Spray skirt types/ comfort

Carol and I will soon be purchasing our first spray skirts for her Impex Montauk, and my Susquehanna.

We have been advised that the IR Navideck or Excursion are highly rated for these boats.

Having no experience with one as yet, can anyone tell me how the warm/hot weather comfort of the Neoprene tunnel as on the Navideck compares to the looser-looking waist with suspenders of the Excursion model?

Does the Excursion type allow more water leakage in the event of a capsize?

Also, if any other brands or models have proven themselves for these types of boats ( that will see mostly calmer water duty, at least for now), please feel free to comment.


I Have Both
I have a tunnel type neoprene skirt that I purchased recently for use in the winter. I have been using a vinyl sprayskirt till now. Both of these are manufactured by Snap Dragon and both seem to be nice skirts. I originally purchased the vinyl one thinking that it was cooler in our hot summer months. I never could get the suspenders to work so I removed them. The vinyl skirt did well but always leaked a bit. The neoprene skirt does not leak but is not as comfortable as the vinyl skirt. I dont know that there is any temperature differance between the two.

happy paddling,


Previous String

Long discussion on this topic.

Spray skirts

I see this topic has been covered more than adequately.

Now I’m off to find the ones that meet the suggested parameters.



neo vs. nylon
Hi Bob,

My wife and I just bought a Currituck and a Susquehanna. These are our first boats and we’re in NY so I can’t comment from much experience with spray skirts or hot weather, but for what it’s worth…

We opted to go for Wildwasser neoprene spray skirts, the model with the zippered mesh pocket sewn on the deck and velcro cinch tabs on the tunnel. In all the lessons and tours we took previous to buying our boats we used full nylon skirts. They seemed ok and were comfortable and easy to pop off in wet exit drills.

What I didn’t like about the nylon skirts was they tended to be a bit fussy to put on the cockpit coaming. The gathered nylon material over the bungie required a bit of tucking-in around the coaming as the skirt was attached to the boat. The nylon skirts also had tensioned stays under the deck that had a tendency to invert during a reentry. If this wasn’t noticed and corrected before putting the skirt back on it was necessary to pull the skirt back off to fix it. Minor annoyances in calm conditions but I felt they could be disadvantages in bad conditions and real rescue situations.

The neoprene skirts require a bit more strength to put on and take off but they are much quicker and seal the boat like a tupperware lid. It’s not so much strength but proper technique that is crucial to popping a neo skirt for a wet exit. If you get neo skirts be sure to practice pulling it off the coaming multiple times until it’s easy to do with one hand and eyes closed. We didn’t do this and our first day out with the boats included a few tense moments and a new, unpracticed, rescue technique.

So far, because of the simplicity and superior seal I’m sold on neoprene skirts. I suppose because of the hot Florida weather comfort might override those issues.

BTW, the Susquehanna is a sweet boat isn’t it? I’m loving mine. It definitely seems to live up to the manufacturers description. Turns on a dime and has nice solid secondary stability.


Look at deck and tunnel separately
Neo deck is FAR superior IMO. I find them EASIER to get on and off as they don’t slip around. I can do mine on or of one handed without struggling a bit. Drier seal too, and less puddling.

Having a neo deck does not mean you have to roast in a snug neo tube tunnel (great for cold, WW, Surf) or give up a fabric type flexibility for touring comfort.

I have a Snap Dragon Glacier Trek. Neo deck, and a breathable material tunnel. Neo band again at top with Velcro adjustment. No suspenders, very comfortable. Nicer than the same deck with nylon tube and suspender model it replaced (which was actually also pretty good). The breathable may or may not matter as it’s mostly under PFD - but still is cooler than neoprene on your torso.

Neo deck is toasty - but in warmer waters here I often leave the skirt open touring. If water is up it tends to wash over boat and closed skirt enough to cool off.

Next will likely be and Aquilisaq - Brooks or homemade. Zyflex would be nice…

Mixed material spray skirts
Hi again!

I have looked at a BUNCH of them, and I think we’re going to go with the IR Excursion, neoprene deck and breathable tunnel.

At $80, I didn’t find anything else to equal it.



P.S. My Susquehanna is a 2001 model (according to the hull number), and now that I’ve faired the bottom and the skeg, it goes through the water MUCH better!

Yep, so far so good!

Just today someone gave me a Zyflex to try out… It looks way too cool to work well… If it does work it will be great…

Which item GH?
The skirt or one of the others? I have a sleeveless I cut up with thought to make it into an aquilisaq-like skirt. Not even sure where it is right now. It is pretty interesting/odd material. There was word a while back on QUSA they were looking at doing a Tuilik too (they probably sized up the market and rethought that one!).

I have a skirt…

– Last Updated: Oct-31-05 7:56 PM EST –

I brought it home to see if it fits the Tern, it just makes it over the large cockpit. but saw a catalog with everything... I don't know the name of the Co. but will find out...
Very cool material though...

Now I do ... duh

I have 3. One is coated nylon, the second is a little denser than that the nylon… But, I love my new Snap Dragon neo deck, breathable tunnel with velcro cinches. It sounds alot like Grayaks. It also has a panic strap across the cockpit that you can grab in the event you have tucked your release strap under your deck, go inverted and panic. It is very tight, very dry and very warm.

I have the same Snap Dragon…
I use the strap to hold a chart or a water bottle… Great Skirt.

I used to have a NAvideck skirt
and I had lots of problems with it. The neoprene was so thin and stretchy that water pooled on the deck.

Then when you take the skirt off, you got a lapful of cold water.

I much prefer Wild Wasser or Snapdragon.

Sprayskirts: What to expect??

– Last Updated: Nov-01-05 11:41 AM EST –

OK. TOO many choices in the sprayskirt arena.
Let me pose some questions to thin out the crop a bit.
1. Are decks made of anything but Neoprene to be avoided due to issues with:
A. Difficulty in sealing?
B. Lack of implosion resistance?
C. Water pooling?
2. Is a thin Neo deck like the 0.5mm decks on the IR models more inclined to water pooling or failure under stress of application and removal than the heavier Neo or fabric decks?
3. Do "implosion bars" on fabric decks REALLY work to prevent cave-ins and pooling?
4. Can an adjustable waist/chest band breathable type tunnel offer enough leak stoppage to allow me to practice capsize recovery/psuedo-rolling without flooding the boat?
5. Is it practical to have a breathable fabric tunnel and leave the waist/chest closure open in hot weather? Will that provide significant cooling?
I'd like to get the skirts on order today, so we can have them for the weekend, but I don't want to either waste $$$ by buying features that aren't compatible with our climate, or to err on the cheap side and come up with something that just doesn't work well.
If someone with experience in several different types of skirts could answer my specific questions, and possibly offer other considerations I may be overlooking, I'd appreciate it.

What to expect…
1. The most water tight skirt is all NEO.

2. Thin neoprene may pool and definitely wears out faster (holes start to appear in it).

3. A good nylon skirt should not implode. I have a Wild Wasser nylon that I use when it is extremely hot. It has an implosion bar, and has been pounded by rough surf. Water does come in through the tunnel when rolling.

4. Nylon (if top quality), can seal around the cockpit well. The tunnel does not seal around you very well.

5. Leaving the tunnel opening loose does not make it cooler, your PFD should still be over it.

6. To cool, either roll, use another boat’s bow to hold onto while you lean way over, or spalsh water onto your legs.

7. An adjustable tunnel WILL leak when you roll. I only wear one in the calmest conditions on the hottest days.

8. For staying as dry as possible - never totally dry - a very tight, all neoprene is the way to go.

9. If you paddle flat water in very warm conditions, then I would look at a good nylon or breathable fabric.

10. Don’t be concerned about pockets on the tunnel. They are useless because they are under your PFD. If you want pockets, consider Wild Wasser with the pocket on the deck.

Friends and I have all had good results with the following brands in no particular order. Find one with the features you like then go to a paddling shop and actually try them on.

Wild Wasser, Snapdragon, NRS, Brooks, Seals