I finally bought my first kayak, after two and a half years of renting. (I’ve probably spent enough on rentals that I could have already bought two boats!) I got a ClearWater Designs NuNu, which is a nice little rec boat at 9.5 feet long and 28" wide. I’ve got a paddle, foam for cartopping (have to wait till the car is paid off before I can get a rack!), and everything else I need (some of which I had before buying the boat, like the PFD) but I don’t have a skirt yet.
I am very fussy about water in the boat - I have ALWAYS used a skirt except when I was on a SOT in Grenada (the Caribbean waters were great!). I’d like to get a skirt that fits well, but I want to keep it cheap if I can so I’m going with nylon. The cockpit is 34x16 inches, and ClearWater Design does make a skirt for the boat but I haven’t been able to find anywhere to buy it - they don’t seem to do direct retail. I have been looking on eBay and skirts seem to go pretty cheap there, but I haven’t found any that would be good for my size boat.
So I’m wondering - how big a skirt can I get while still having a good seal? How small can I get without having to kill myself trying to get it on? (I’m pretty weak and skirts are something I’ve always struggled with.)
do you need
differents skirts for when you’re having a “fat” day?
I don’t have “fat” days, but gee thanks for asking.
One tunnel size should be just fine. The cheap ones aren’t generally adjustable, and I don’t need it to be anyway.
We have an LL Bean factory store near us (Nashua, NH). I found a skirt there that is meant for an Old Town Otter/Loon 100, which have cockpit sizes of 38x19 and 37x17. I bought it for my Acadia, which has a cockpit size of 34x20.
If you have one of these stores nearby, you might find one of these. I think it was $19.99.
BTW, do not buy one of these for an Acadia. It doesn't really fit too well!!!! You can just about stretch it to the right width, but there is only about 1/2" of overlap on each side.
This is the skirt I got.
Like I said, they were selling at the LL Bean Factory store in Nashua for $19.99. Judging by the list price, I guess it was a pretty good deal.
If the LL Bean skirt doesn’t work for you, keep checking on e-bay as well. There is a company that regularly sales skirts that fit a range of sizes. They are called ediscountbike.com. I was able to get a skirt for my yak about 40% off retail.
Not an expert but…
I usually paddle SOT boats and do a just a little bit of touring in SINKS. I also paddle a decked surf boat. I have used nylon skirts when renting boats and I really hate them. I did some rescue classes with the nylon skirts (different brands and styles) and none of them were as effective as my cheap neoprene skirt I bought for my own surf boat or neoprene skirts I have used when using outfitters boats for trips. You can get a decent neoprene skirt for $80 bucks and maybe cheaper on ebay. In the long run the difference in price would be worth it. Some people complain neoprene skirts are hot, I just splash water on it when I am feeling warm or intentially tip over and cool off.
Thanks to everyone for the tips! I managed to find a seller on eBay who has the skirts made by ClearWater Designs, so it will definitely fit my boat. He’s selling them for the list price of $40 plus $10 shipping and I think I am going to go with that. Thanks again!