I have a Seals Pro Rand sprayskirt coming this week to be used on my 2005 Avocet RM. I've already read (here) that the 1.4 size should be a good fit for that boat.
Is it advisable to put it on the boat and leave it there for a while (how long?) to pre-stretch? Will it make it easier to put on later? Can this do any harm?
Any other tips on how to use or maintain this sprayskirt?
Yes, the rand will stretch a bit, my experiences are based on the IR skirts.
The most difficult thing for “prestretching” is putting that skirt on the boat for the first time. Not an issue for my Avocett RM, but for one WW boat; I ended up putting it on, stretching the skirt on the coaming, and then wiggling out through the tunnel.
Maintenance - rinse and dry. Small cuts can be repaired with AquaSeal, seams with Seam Seaver( ???) or iron on tape.
I had the Seals 1.4 Randed on my
2006 Avocet RM. It is a very good fit. I am now using it on a P&H Scorpio LV. With the recent hot temperatures all I would suggest is wetting the skirt and the coaming before mounting. If you were purchasing the skirt in the fall with cooler air and water temps you might need to pre-stretch.
You might find this video to be helpful.
Thanks for the link and the confirmation of the good fit. One question though - do you feel that their (tunnel) sizes run small compared with their fit chart? That’s what is seems to me anyway judging by a very brief trial fit in an EMS store - but they don’t carry the randed ones. I ordered two sizes and will return one.
Use 303, leave skirt on larger coaming
I used rubber-rand Harmony skirts that took an act of Congress to get on my kayaks. Periodically I’d saturate the rand with 303 and then leave it on a boat with a slightly larger coaming for a week. Made a huge difference. Wetting it good before getting in the boat helped. And I took out the stiff inner plastic tubing.
Interesting tip. I do have some 303 on hand. Hope it will not require and act of god to get the spray skirt on though… I will be pracricing wet exits for sure and securing the sparyskirt to the boat before going on any major trips in conditions.
Seals seem to be true to size…
I have a 33" waist and my Seals Randed deck has a Large tunnel. I feel it is a good fit, particularly when I am wearing my dry suit.
glad to hear
although when I tried on an XL (Seals but not randed) at EMS it seemed extremely tight. Of course our bodies could be different. I’m 5’8 and 180lbs and wear a size 34 jeans. According to the charts the XL should be fine for me but it was uncomfortably very tight so I ordered both XL and XXL (hard to believe) just to see how it feels. That’s the reason for my question. I wonder if the one in the store was mislabeled.
Thanks for the input though
Put it on wet
Pre wet the skirt first-makes huge difference. I have 2 of their neo tunnels both large and fit me perfect with 35-36 in waist. Don’t think I’d use 303 on mine as I think you’ll end up wanting all the grip you can get after you break it in.
I’ve never had a neoprene tunnel before and didn’t realize that wetting the tunnel makes it much looser. You planted some douts in my mind now. I guess I’ll have to wait for the skirts to come (Thursday) and just try them on.
Are you saying that 303 will compromise the gripping quality of the sprayskirt on the coaming? My experience has been exactly the opposite. 303 softens rubber and makes it more flexible (and thus grippier). Maybe you’re thinking of the slick, glossy surface formed by 303 on hard materials (like paddle shafts - definitely a no-no).
303 if ya want I’m just saying…
I’ve had a lot of kayaks and neo skirts and if you have the right fit in the first place you shouldn’t need to do anything other than learn how to snap it on the coaming. I do recall using 303 on a RM boat several years ago and doing the coaming and it made it impossible to get the skirt to stay put for awhile. Each coaming is different and some have more of a lip to hold the skirt and that will make the real difference. I’ve also learned that where the seat fits in relation to the front and back of the cockpit makes a big difference too. The skirt folks sort of take an average guess when they measure cockpit sizes as to where the center of the seat is so the tunnel is approx in the right place. But every now and then a boat comes out with the seat placed out of this approx range and it makes the skirt fit less than ideal as the fabric in front of you might be baggy and the fabric in back of you super tight. But that’s why neoprene is the best since unlike nylon skirts you’ve got some give and take.
303 on rubber rand of sprayskirt
I can definitely see where 303ing the plastic coaming of an RM boat would tend not to hold a neoprene or nylon sprayskirt.
I was talking about applying 303 to the rubber rand of a sprayskirt to make the rand stretchier and more flexible, and thus easier to put on, especially on a composite coaming. That rubber rand really does make a watertight seal - I wore that skirt out and now have a straight neoprene skirt, which is much easier to put on but not nearly as watertight. I might try the bike inner-tube suggestion.
rand on composite
"I was talking about applying 303 to the rubber rand of a sprayskirt to make the rand stretchier and more flexible, and thus easier to put on, especially on a composite coaming"
From what I’ve read, it is not advisable (read: strong warnings) to use a randed sprayskirt on composite boats
Still - the point about making the rand more pliable with 303 is worth some consideration should it prove to be too hard to get on and off. I’ll have to try and report back.
one other tip
If you plan on using it in the pool - order a spare. Chlorine can be hell on spray skirts.
I had access to a pool… so no worries there. Thanks for the heads up though
I’m curious, where/what are the strong warnings against using a rubber-randed skirt on a composite boat? Agreed, it’s a little extra work, but a warning implies safety. Can you amplify a bit?
Maybe that’s why mine wore out - too many pool sessions!
Well, give Marshall Seddon a call
at The River Connection. I can tell you he will ‘strongly’ recommend against using a randed rubber skirt on a composite coaming.
I can also tell you that if I put a Seals 1.4 randed skirt on my Cetus LV, which is a composite kayak, it can be damn near impossible to get off.
You don’t have to believe me just drop Seals a line and ask them. Simply put, the practice is considered a safety hazard.
Yes, rinse all your gear throughly after
a pool session, particularly your skirt and pfd. I usually just wear them into the locker room and rinse them off in the shower.