Spray skirt or cover

I was thinking I need to get something to cover the cockpit of our kayaks since they will be stored in a garage and I dont feel like having spiders in our boats.

I was shopping around and I found covers at REI for 35 and spray skirts for about 50.

I only plan on using the boats in flat water so although I dont really NEED a spray skirt should I just spend 15 extra to have a spray skirt and find a way to make it sealed to use as a cover. This way if sometime down the road I need a spray skirt I have one? Or should I just stick to a cover since it will completely cover the entire cockpit during storage and I will have no need of trying to close up the skirt opening?

Why not just cover them with a cheap

Our boats are stored in our boat barn, and we just use a tarp or throw cloth over the cockpits of the ones that don’t get used much, and that keeps the spiders out.

jack L


– Last Updated: May-27-11 7:50 AM EST –

It's not a great idea to try to use a spray skirt as a storage cover. You'll never get the center to close completely, and the rand will lose stretchiness if its on the coaming all the time.

If your boats will be inside, get some window screen or other cloth mesh, cut it slightly oversize and use bungees to hold it over the coaming. You don't want to seal moisture into the boat, and mesh will keep the bugs out.

PS someone sells mesh cockpit covers, but DIY makes sense.

Even on flatwater
its nice to have a spray skirt when it gets cooler out.

If your kayaks is equipped with hatches, might be beneficial to take these off as well - damp hatches get nasty even over a week or so.

No need to spend a lot of money - DIY covers out of mesh, or some synthetic fabric and bungee cord will work out quite well. You can even store your dry paddling gear inside the boat to save some space.

Sounds like you first kayak, because
you do need a cockpit cover for rain ashore and when rain hits while it’s on top of your car. Sprayskirt is difficult to modify to work this way.

Most people also do need sprayskirt on flat water - there are boat wakes, rain again, and it’s warmer in wind ith sprayskirt, and in a calm weather a lot of water gets into cockpit on your paddles.

So go ahead and get both. Just make sure size is right.

Thank you
I think I will go ahead and get some material and some bungee chords to do it myself. I appreciate the input and opinions!

Didn’t realize it was for a garage

– Last Updated: May-27-11 4:20 PM EST –

sorry. Anyway, all previously said stands: you need a cockpit cover for camping ashore or driving with car on top. Not from a mesh, of course!

In a garage - it's different. Under the roof you don't need to cover the cockpit with waterproof fabric, and for long storage hatch covers should better be open too.

While you can easily make a mesh cockpit cover with square piece of mesh and bungee around, a proper synthetic cover is better to buy - they start from $30. Making a sprayskirt is yet more trouble, I'd better buy.

Campmor.com has
the Seals brand ones for $20, if you want impermeable ones