Skerray OC experiences?

When I recently bought a used Pintail, the seller also had a RM Skerray for cheap enough that I bought it too, even though I almost cant get OUT of the boat’s ocean cockpit once in. I figured my wife (5’2, 130#) or small guests could use it, and it looked like a nice enough boat.

I was surprised by the tight cockpit, because everything I read about the Skerray describes it as a fairly maneuverable, stable kayak for a medium or large beginner or intermediate paddler. Granted this boat has an Ocean Cockpit, but this thing is not at ALL for a medium to large paddler! I’m 6’0, 175 pounds. My hip bones barely fit between the sides of the cockpit rim, and getting out, my kneecaps get stuck on the underside of the front cockpit lip. I have to struggle a bit to get them free. (needless to say I don’t plan on wet-exiting this boat, or probably even paddling it ever! :slight_smile: Once in the fit isn’t too bad, but my legs would be too long for the farthest forward setting of the pegs.

Can anyone who’s familiar with the Skerray say whether this is normal fit for this model? Or was there a smaller fit available at some point? Maybe someone put a really tight skirt on it and the cockpit coaming just shrank?

Anyways, whatever people know about this boat would be appreciated.

Thanks, Nate

I had one for a while
While I did not mind the ocean cockpit at 5’8" and 190 lbs at first. I found the high rear deck to be problematic exitting after a shoulder dislocation. I liked the boat quite a bit. It did tend to weathercock without the skeg, but she was a comfortable boat.

Somethin’ ain’t right

– Last Updated: Dec-27-08 6:22 PM EST –

I'm the same size as you and found the Skerray to be roomier than the Pintail (we borrowed some OC Skerrays for a couple of weeks when we were in Shetland in '04). The coaming size is the same as the Pintail's, which is the standard VCP Ocean Cockpit. I'm particularly puzzled about the knee issue, as I padded the foredeck down more than two inches and had no trouble getting in and out. I have long legs for my height, which tends to make such problems worse (I constantly scraped my knees and shins on my old OC Nordkapp HM), but I had no problems with the Skerray at all.

IMO, the Skerray with an OC is the next best thing to a Pintail. We were immediately comfortable in them and they handled rough conditions really well. One member of our group owns an Avocet, but when he tried the Skerray, he liked it better and used one the rest of the trip. I thought about buying one as a teaching boat, since it would reduce the amount of repairs I have to do on my Pintail. ;-)

It's a great boat!

two different skerrays?
If my memory is correct I think that the Skerry had two differnt models. One was the RM, one was the RMX, I think the only difference was the cockpit. Perhaps you got an RM not an RMX? The Skerray XL (or excel) was a much larger fiberglass kayak.

Maybe Peter Horton will have some info on the plastic Skerrays.

BNystorm nails it again…agree 100%
My experience was the same with the RM Skerray. Ocen cockpits require a different strategy for entering and exiting.

Skerray RM
I have a Skerray RM with the ocean cockpit. I’m 5’9" and 240#. I have short legs and arms. With my short arms and long torso I cannot lift my butt up on the rear deck. I exit by bracing the paddle on the beach and rotating my body in the cockpit and crawling out of the cockpit on my knees; sorta the reverse of a paddle float rescue. Even with short legs I can’t get them out when sitting. As has been mentioned I have added an inch foam under the deck for better fit.

more details
The cockpit dimesions are actually the same as my pintail - 15x21, but the shape of the Skerray cockpit is more teardrop shaped, with less width at the front, so if I only had one knee I could probably get out just fine, but with two neighboring knees, the effective cockpit length is shorter than in the Pintail. Maybe my legs don’t straighten all the way. I haven’t noticed that I fall over backwards a lot when standing, but maybe I’ll work on my stretches anyways. My wife’s knees actually bend backwards a little when she stands straight, so maybe she’s just the type the brits had in mind when they built this boat. :slight_smile:

The decal on the front deck is too scuffed to be legible, but this boat is about 16’ 8" long, and about 22 3/4" wide, which (according to my metric conversion skills) is what the Skerrey is supposed to be. And pictures that I’ve found match up well (including the detail that this boat appears to have been produced primarily in a kinda seasick turquoise color, as is the one I have).

How are you getting in and out?
The best technique for getting in is to sit on the aft deck and slide both legs in at once. Getting out, you put your hands on the gunwales behind the seat, lift your butt up and slide up onto the aft deck. You should be able to do this easily.

I don’t recall there being a difference in shape in the cockpits, but it’s certainly possible and I’ll take your word for it, as I haven’t compared the two boats sided-by-side.

The dimensions sure sound like a Skerray to me. I’m not aware of any other roto-molded boat that size with an ocean cockpit.

The boats we paddled were…
…the standard Skerrays, not the RMX and I had no trouble getting in and out. You probably remember how much fun I had with the ol’ Nordkapp, eh?

ahh the Nordkapp!

– Last Updated: Dec-28-08 9:30 AM EST –

As I recall you were so happy when you bought that boat.. but you were even happier when you sold it!

That’s how I’m getting in and out. putting my hands on the coaming and lifting my butt onto the back deck, sliding my legs out together while keeping them straight. Even when my butt is as low as possible on the back deck, and my knees are as straight as they go, my kneecaps still get stuck under the front coaming, and I have to really wiggle to get them free.

Got that right!
Although, it was a great learning experience and I had some good trips in that boat, so I still have fond memories of it, along with the scars. :wink:

more info?
I’m curious to hear what you liked/disliked about the nordkapp.

The issues were specific…
…to the particular version and its configuration. It was a Nordkapp HM, with the “integral skeg” on the hull. It should have been call the “Norkapp TLAFT-TAAOCTT” (“Tracks Like A Freight Train - Takes An Act Of Congress To Turn”). The issues were:

  • It was difficult to turn the boat, as you may have guess by now. While I found that I could get it to weathercock or lee cock slightly by leaning forward or backward, respectively, it was generally a pain to maneuver. It became a real problem in any kind of tight quarters. There were a few times that I got into difficulty due to this.

  • It had a high aft deck and an ocean cockpit. While neither of these is a problem on its own and I really prefer the latter, they are a bad combination, at least for someone with long legs. Getting in and out of that boat always involved scraping my shins and knees and there was nothing I could do about it. The high deck also hindered doing layback maneuvers and made getting into and out of the boat more of a chore than it needed to be (again, this was exacerbated by the ocean cockpit).

  • The seat was too high, making the boat unnecessarily unstable. I fixed that by lowering it a full inch, which made the boat much more fun to paddle, but made laybacks even more difficult. On the upside, with the lower seat, the boat felt great in rough water and I enjoyed it much more.

  • It had the old configuration of 3, 10" hatches with all of them along the centerline and the day hatch - if you can call it that - positioned too far aft to reach comfortably. The small size of the fore and aft hatches limited their utility.

  • The peaked foredeck was MUCH higher than I like and lowering the seat didn’t help that, either.

    I subsequently paddled a newer Nordkapp HS or Jubilee and found it handled much better, but the seat and aft deck were still too high. The Nordkapp LV might be a good choice for me, if I were looking for an expedition boat.