Reed Chillcheater

Folks, what do you know/think about the chill cheater aqua therm skirts? I wanted to get some thoughts from the group at large. I’m looking to pick up a skirt in the spring for a Capella 166 RM. With luck I’ll make it to Lake Michigan some time but so far it’s just been up and down the local river. I’m a newbie so be gentle.


Don’t know about them. Link to site?

aquatherm + rotomold kayaks

– Last Updated: Oct-15-07 9:27 AM EST –

last I heard the skirts were good for fiberglass boats (thinner combing) and were not so good for RM boats. Don't own the skirt, but own the dry top. Lovely fabric, dry's quick, flexible etc.

goto and find Chris's email add and shoot him mail. He can answer a lot of your questions.


liking mine
for the 4 or so months use on glass Valley Q. Easy getting on me and coaming. Stays put and dry through waves and rolling. Much cooler than neo. No experience yet with cooler conditions. About same price as decent neo skirt.

Reed Chillcheater
The Reed Aquatherm spray deck has a very tight fitting seal on composite boats, but we have had mixed results with poly boats and therefore do not recommend them for this application. I have had many people tell me that they are able to use them on poly boats by getting the rim wet before putting the spray deck on.

There are both advantages and disadvantages to the Reed Aquatherm decks over traditional neoprene. First of all,the material has more stretch allowing one deck to fit several different cockpit sizes and to allow the paddler to rotate the torso with less resistance. The skin of the a

Aquatherm material provides a very tight seal and the deck tends to stretch rather than implode.

The primary drawback of the material is that while stretched it can be easily nicked by rough piece of poly while doing a rescue. Even though a nick or hole in the deck can be easily repaired with Aquatherm sealing tape and an iron, we recommend that paddlers use a different deck when practicing rescues. When coaching I wear a neo skirt right over the Reed deck during rescue training. Comfort on the water is the biggest benefit that our customers report back to us and in my own biased experience, I find it hard to got back to neo after wearing the Aquatherm these last 31/2 years.


Reed North America

I have two…or 4?

– Last Updated: Oct-15-07 2:14 PM EST –

Actually three... I had a Reed Tuiliq made with two skirts so that i could transfer from ocean cockpit boats to keyhole cockpits without having to switch tuiliqs. worked so well that I ordered a normal sprayskirt with both the keyhole and ocean cockpits and unfortunately, the torso was wrong as well as the ocean cockpit size and there was some (perceived on my part) reluctance to fix either. while the torso was tightened up somewhat, unfortunately, all Reed (in GB) was willing to do is take out one of the bungees in the ocean cockpit skirt and this is not sufficient to fit most ocean cockpit boats. So I pretty much felt that I had to bite the bullet. I was surprised as I had asked for the same dimensions that I had with the tuiliq and it came back smaller. So I was pretty dissapointed and made the decision to no longer purchase their products. Frankly, it would be a hassle to resend back to England after all this time, and I anticipate I would get the same reticience as before. Why wait so long to say something? Dunno..just the subject came up here I guess.
Before this sounds like a total bashing, the tuiliq that i have is perfect and works for everything including my poly boats.


How come
I always seem to kill threads?

you don’t kill threads …
… although you did get me concerned, since I sent the dry top back to get fixed and shorten the sleeves. Wonder if that’s ever going to happen!


p.s> Have you tried their Thermafleece stuff?

Reed Chillcheater
don’t kill the thread! From what I can read, this aquatherm is the best stuff for the money. I’m very surprised that it doesn’t mate well with Poly cockpit rims. I’ve been thinking about that and I can’t come up with a reason other than nicks which happen on gel coats too. strange


opportunity for praise
I love the Chillcheater stuff and same with the fuzzy rubber the other company puts out (can’t remember the name, Stan’s daughter runs/owns it??)

Anyway I’m like BrazilBrazil and have a collection of Chillcheater products-

2 sprayskits

the coverall cag

a tuliq

hatch covers to fit a valley boat

the gauntletts…

I haven’t used any of the products on a poly boat so dont have the complaints some might…the fit on the composite boats is tight and I’ve always like the rate at which their products dry-compared to neoprene its very quick, and also for a given product it is lighter in weight.

The only product that doesnt fit right is the gauntletts, they are a 3 finger deal and just dont feel right for me…I still use them because of the length-up to the biceps-and they are waterproof…and i actualy prefer to wear them over sun screen all the time. I like them so much I’ll probably have Reed make another pair with bigger fingers/lobes/claws.

re-read Chris’ (falcon) post. I think he is saying that the sprayskirt is prone to nicks from doing rescue practice where you drag the boat over the deck. A rotomould hull is more apt to have rough edges around scratches because most of the plastic stays on the boat, whereas on a composite hull the gel coat scrapes off leaving a smoother gouge. Obviously, you could nick the fabric in many ways, but it sounds to me like Chris is saying it’s more apt to happen with a rotomould hull dragged over your deck. Sounds like a good product, but one you might need to be a little more careful with and not use when working on rescue skills.


thats what I meant
Thanks Wetzool. The other part of the poly verses composite discussion is the shape of the coaming. Composite coaming edges have a short edge (1/4" or so) that the Aquatherm can stretch over while a poly coaming is much more rounded and does not provide as good a grip. Like I said before, some people have used them successfully on poly boats we don’t recommend them. I have pondered the idea of using something like tennis racket handle tape around the poly coaming to compensate, but haven’t really tried it as I don’t have poly boats that I paddle.


Reed spray deck on Avocet RM
I purchased a Reed Aquatherm spray deck from Chris earlier this year, but I had yet to test it out.

I gave it a try on my new Avocet RM yesterday. The results were less than satisfactory.

The Reed deck fit the Avocet just fine, but if I did any sculling or bracing on one side of the boat the spray skirt would slide up and expose the opposite side of the cockpit. In other words it would not ‘grip’ the coaming well.

Now in fairness I also tried my all neo Snapdragon deck, which had been custom ‘tailored’ for my composite Aquanaut LV. It held on to the poly Avocet’s coaming a bit better, but I could still get it to slide over the coaming allowing a gap if I was really aggressive in my bracing and sculling.

One friend has indicated that I may need to go with a skirt that has a rubber rand.


I have used a Snapdragon stock all neo spray skirt and Seals half neo/half breathable deck on my Avocet RM for the past two years. I have never had either pop off or create a gap when sculling, balance bracing or rolling the kayak. Is is possible you are wearing the tunnel too high on your chest? This could cause a gap on the far side as you extend on the sculling side of the boat.



– Last Updated: Oct-26-07 4:11 PM EST –

I too thought a tight or stretched tunnel might be the issue. I actually pulled down the tunnels on both the Reed and SD. Even with the extra fabric to play with I could easily slip the Reed off on one side or the other with a decent low/high brace. I was not even in an overly 'extended' position when bracing. If I sculled for support the skirts slip even more easily.

Again the SD offered better retention, but it was not what I expected or what I am use to seeing on a composite boat, where the skirt will only come off if I pull it off.

I should note that the Avocet RM coaming does not have a overly aggressive lip to it when comparing it to the composite boats I have paddled.

Lastly, I just got off the phone with Brad at NESC where I purchased the boat. He has paddled the Avocet RM quite a bit. His spray skirt experience on the RM model has been the same as mine. He suggested that I go with a rubber randed skirt, as used on poly ww boats, if I want it to stay put.

there could be another problem…
i have found that sometimes some skirts -even tho they might be the right size- do not fit a boat because they are the wrong size/shape deck…

on my Mega surf boat i had the correct SIZE skirt…but the sides would always pop off…because there was not enough loose material in the hip area for the skirt to correctly grab the cockpit coaming…i should have had a real custom skirt made for it…but it lives at someone else’s house now…


I wonder …
I’ve got a 2004 RM and the cockpit was changed slightly with the 2006 model that has adjustable thigh braces. Doesn’t seem like the depth of the coaming changed, but might have.


– Last Updated: Oct-26-07 5:55 PM EST –

I'll leave the Reed skirt out of the discussion for the moment. Your suggestion might be its problem, but again I can see that the poly surface is a fairly slick material for bungee + neo to grab on to, particularly since the Avocet RM's coaming is not overly deep.

The coaming of my Aquanaut (composite) measures an 3/4" wider an almost an 1" longer than the Avocet RM's. The SD was custom fabricated from a coaming tracing, so there should be more than enough material.

BTW, I also tried a friend's non custom all neo SD in the proper deck size (Medium). Same slip problems. I will be trying a Wildwasser all neo next week, but I still go back to what NESC indicates. Only a rubber rand it going to keep a skirt on this boat, particularly in conditions.

Good point
Mine is the 2006 model (Tri-laminated poly). There are no older Avocet RMs locally to compare it to.

For jollies

– Last Updated: Oct-26-07 7:10 PM EST –

I just went out and tried the Reed Aquatherm deck on my Aquanaut LV composite boat.

Now granted I wasn't paddling the 'Naut. This was a dry-land test, but gosh I couldn't dislodge the Reed deck even a wee bit and I pulled on the tunnel with decent force: left, right forward and back.

I really think the problem is the inability of either skirt to grip the combination of the slippery poly material and non-agressive coaming recess on the Avocet RM.