[Note: I posted this first on the Impex message boards, but realized I could get broader input here.]
I recently (last Sunday) bought a used Impex Currituck. What should I look for in a moderate to extreme condition spray skirt?
Note: I purchased it from a friend, a kayak instructor. He tends toward extreme: be prepared for doing rescues (good protection of the edges of the skirt), rolling (neoprene deck, at the least), surfing, etc. I expect under his care to spend as much of my time head-down as head-up.
I lean toward the Seals brand, if only because it seems they have the most precise sizing (1.2, 1.4, 1.7: for instance, I would not buy a “large” sport coat, when “44 Long” will fit me more closely). Thus, it sounds like a Seals 1.2 is better than another brand’s “medium” or “small”. (Also, I’ll need an XL tunnel: that “44 Long” is a real measurement.) The Currituck cockpit is quite small: 16x30, I believe.
The main question: is a neoprene tunnel a good idea, or a great idea? Is a nylon or nylon-with-neoprene-waist tunnel good enough for 80% or 90% of what one is likely to encounter, or does that last 10% require an edge of safety?
I find that the neoprene tunnels are reserved for “whitewater” skirt categories. I’m considering
- Seals Extreme Tour: Neoprene deck, nylon tunnel with neo waistband.
- Seals Shocker: Neo deck, neo tunnel, Sealtex edge guard (a “whitewater” skirt).
- Seals Pro Shocker: Neo deck, neo tunnel, aramid-reinforced edge guard (think body armor, bulletproof vest).
More notes: I expect to be on flatwater (Maine lakes) or slow-water rivers (near Philly) a fair amount, but I’ll also be at the Jersey Shore and on the Maine coast at some time. For very calm flatwater, I’ve got an ultra-light (and ultra-leaky) Seals Inlander that I picked up for the first trip, but I’m looking now for my mainstay spray skirt.
Ideas, thoughts, experiences, suggestions?
(Pardon the long post, please. Also, my dreams lean toward surf and rough water; reality may bring me up short, of course.)