Sealing issue with kayak skirt.

Last summer I picked up a used Impex cat-4, I’ve had it out about 6 times and the skirt I have does not seal as good as it did on my Nicky Chatham-17 poly. Is this because the coaming on the cat-4 is much thinner than a poly boat??? Or could this be because I’m using a white water skirt?? This skirt has strips of non slip material that end up under the coaming on both sides of the skirt. Do I need to buy a new skirt??? HELP

Have you checked recommended sizes?

– Last Updated: Jan-16-12 8:57 AM EST –

The two cockpits may be slightly different in shape or size, enough to leave loose spots. There are two differently marked Seals skirts that are about the same size for example in square inches of the deck, but one is a better fit for longer and narrower cockpits.

I will look into the size. Thanks

according to Seals
sizing guide, the Cat-4 takes a size 1.2 for a neoprene skirt and the Chatham takes a 1.4

a couple other sizing guides

Looks like it time for a new skirt.

the 1.2 and the 1.4 Seals are the skirts I was talking about. The 1.2 is for a longer, narrower cockpit (I use one in my Vela) and the 1.4 is actually very close in total surface area but is for a shorter, wider cockpit.

coaming may be leaking too
Skirt fit is crucial but it is not uncommon for there to be a gap or leak between the cockpit rim and the deck. Sealing is easy with marine or plumbers Goop found in most hardware stores. I’ve seen a number of composite and thermoform boats leak around the coming from all brands but fortunately the fix is easy and usually permenent.

Impex cat 4 is 15.25 x 31
Impex cat 4…is 15.25 x 31 Looks like I should be using 1.2

goop to under side of the cockpit rim
Are you saying that I should add some goop to under side of the cockpit rim, to get rid of the edge…? (Does this area need to be more round for seal off???)

I think they mean…

– Last Updated: Jan-17-12 8:52 AM EST –

to look for the possibility of leaks between where the cockpit rim is attached to the deck and the main deck itself. But if the boat is properly made, that should not be an issue.

While I am here, I should note that you need to practice a wet exit with this boat in a safe environment early on. Getting the skirt pulled of the composite rim may require that you be more attentive to pulling it forward than you had to be in the plastic boat. You don't want to find that out for the first time when you are already taken by surprise.

Also, you haven't indicated how dry you want to be. There is a sweet spot in dryness - sometimes a skirt that is very dry is also one that will be harder to pull off the coaming in a pinch. And it is most likely that you'll end up capsizing for real when you are already off your game. I personally opt for being a little less dry to keep some head room for getting out if needed.

skirt fit
I personally never liked those skirts with the reinforced edge. I find them hard to stretch on and I don’t think they seal as good as a plain neoprene one. Are you taking on water just paddling or after rolling? My normal skirt takes on some water but it’s comfortable to use because it not that tight. I have a tight one I just used in pool practice and It didn’t leak a drop - but It is tight on me and on the boat.

Just paddling seem fine
but if i do some adeging or some rolls it leaks… not a lot but more than my old Chatham.

is not a dry sport!

Is your ww skirt a rubber rand type?
Rand type skirts are better for thick poly rims. For FG rims, skirts with bungee cord sewn to the neoprene are best.

It is possible that FG rims require a better fit. I have a FG kayak with a long Prijon style keyhole cockpi. So, I tried a Prijon bungee cord skirt. It was hell to get on, though once on, it didn’t leak. Later I got a good buy on a Snapdragon bungee skirt. It is fairly easy to get on, and doesn’t leak, either.

Experience with another of my kayaks suggests that if the cockpit rim is too narrow relative to its length, some skirts may leak at the sides.