I’m looking for a recommendation for a spray skirt for my WSBS Thunderbolt. Can anybody recommend a brand/model that works with this boat and which allows a full rotation paddling style? I had a skirt for my old boat and it would pop off as soon as I took a stroke because it wasn’t meant for a racing paddling style. I’ve been using a half skirt which is great, but it’s getting cold and I want more protection.
I bought my T-bolt used and it came with a pretty crappy skirt that works good enough. It’s got a nylon tube, as do my other skirts, and I have no problem with it interfering with rotation.
Something like this-
I’ve read that Greenland Akuilisaq (conical sprayskirts) are designed to avoid interfering with proper rotation. Brooks makes them, but to fit small Greenland cockpits. Reed makes them and will customize the deck to fit your boat if you send them a tracing.
I wonder if a storm cag would work, or just be too much material to move around while paddling fast. Have you asked Mr. Bushnell for a recommendation?
I haven’t asked Mr. Bushnell for a recommendation because
a) he doesn’t publish an email address and
b) I don’t want him to find out that the previous owners and I added a bulkhead and other unauthorized modifications to “his” boat and then have to hear a long diatribe about it.
I also added rear bulkhead
and small out of the way thigh braces that work great. I am not sure the t-bolt is a cold weather boat. I broke ice to get to shore with it once while wearing kokatat drysuit. I bought a skirt from doug and added a waterproof ykk skirt that zips all the way to the cockpit rim. It works great for flatwater.
The cockpit for t-bolt is so huge that I am not sure it is made for rolling. Choose one. Big cockpit that is easy for 8 portages a day such as 90 miler. Or small ocean cockpit with a tight skirt for rolling.
Or how about an epic ski? You said cold water. What is your plan for getting back in the boat if the skirt pulls off because it is so big. Please dress to swim. Warm in the cockpit is not real if you swim.
I’ve rolled my T-bolt quite a bit with no problems and the skirt that I got with it is pretty crappy. Really easy boat to roll and no signs of the skirt trying to pop off.
But yes, dress for immersion. I had to wet exit once and that was no fun at all. A 21’ boat isn’t so fast anymore when it’s full of water and you’re swimming it back to shore.
I’ve gone over twice unexpectedly in the boat and when you’re paddling hard you don’t get much opportunity for a second chance should you blow the first roll. One shot is all I had both times. Rolled successfully once and had to wet exit for air after one failed attempt the other.
Bulkheads are a winter project.
Congratulations on rolling it
Bend a piece of wire around the outside of the boat to establish the curve. Taper the cut a little with steak knife a from back to front. I use 2in or 4in thick white ethafoam and 3m77 glue with a 4in drain plastic drain plug. Ethafoam will absorb some water and stink but it was a grat quick fix that lasted 5 years. Painting or glass will help. Steering cABLES WENT THRU SMALL TEFLON TUBES. Standing the boat on end to empty out leakage is tough. To make room for pfd you might add 4 eye hooks for bungees on back deck. With rear bulkhead, you will not have room behind seat for pfd. My eft also has front bulkhead. If doug builds an indy race car, it will not have a roll bar because if you do not tip over then you do not need roll bar.
kinda off topic-
I just figured out what WSBS is two nights ago. I have seen it posted often but never knew what company it was refering to. Turns out West Side Boat Shop is about 5 minutes from me and I never knew it was there. Checked out their site and hope to check out their boats soon.
Really nice boats, not for beginners
Not exactly mainstream, but are cool and many are quite fast, if a bit unstable.
If you launch from Veteran’s Park
on the canal/Tonawanda Creek confluence, you'll see Doug Busgnell there a lot. He also launches onto Ellicott Creek at Niagara Falls Blvd. I seem to run into him every year at one of those spots.
He lists a phone number and hours he's open.
Now that I know
He is there I will certainly keep an open eye for him. Thanks for the info everyone.