We own 2 Mallard kayaks. We are trying to purchase skirts/covers for them. The opening is 49" × 22". I have not been able to find a size chart to find the appropriate skirt. Any suggestions please?
According to the Seals company fit charts the Wilderness Experience Mallard is not a stock size but can be made to order.
Extrasport has a chart which lists dimensions and their skirt size 5.0 has maximum dimensions of 50" x 23" which would fit. Since they attached by bungee cord, you can tighten the knot on the cord for snugger fit. Note that size codes are not the same from maker to maker.
Note that per that chart that the 5.0 size fits Pungo 100 kayaks so any sized for those should fit on your boats.
Here is an eBay listing for a skirt for the Pungo 100 described at 49" x 21":
Be forewarned, though, that such huge cockpits really do not support a skirt well. Because of the large area, water from splash and paddle drip will build up and pool in the middle, causing the skirt surface to sag unless you constantly lift your knee or pluck up the fabric with your hand to shed it. When the pool gets deep and heavy enough, the skirt will implode and pull loose from the coaming, dumping the water into your lap and the cockpit.
For the cover, I would suggest these:
The advantage of this kind of cover over the "shower cap" style is that it is more easily secured around the boat for protecting it during transport on a roof rack.
Or you could take a chance on this cheapie from China at 54.5" x 27".
It is also very easy to sew your own cockpit covers -- I have done so for my own boats. I prefer breathable covers that keep out bugs and dirt but allow the inside of the boat to dry out. I use colorful fabrics made for the covers of patio furniture cushions and cut a shape an inch bigger all around than the cockpit. I use newspaper to trace the outline and cut a pattern. Then I cut a long piece of black nylon fabric 3" wide, melt the cut edges in a candle flame so it won't unravel, then fold the strip over in half and sew it around the perimeter of the fabric deck, leaving the ends open at what will be the rear of the cover. Then I take 1/4" bungee cord and fish it through the nylon sleeve ( you can get a bodkin to do this at any sewing store.) Then tie a snug overhand knot in the ends of the bungee after snugging it up tight enough to stretch over the coaming lip of the boat. You can get materials for this for a few dollars at any Joann Fabrics or even at Walmart sewing departments.
DIY options range from quick and dirty to pretty damn nice.
- Cut a piece of blue tarp bigger than the cockpit, lay it over the cockpit and secure it with an old bike tube.
- Cut a piece of rip stop bigger than the cockpit, fold the edges over an inch or two and stitch or glue it in place. Thread a bungee cord through the resulting fabric tube and tie it off at a length appropriate for your cockpit.
- Doing it right requires more work. It’s basically making a spray skirt out of something like neoprene, but just don’t cut the hole and add the body tube. You can search up a variety of instructions on the web. I made a skirt that involved cutting plywood the exact shape of your cockpit (2 pieces), sandwich neoprene between the pieces, clamp, and sew to bungee. Once you have the plywood pattern, you can make skirts and covers for both boats.
If you are not a DIY-er, check with your kayak dealer to learn the cockpit size, then go forward and order covers. Sometimes your skirts have the size marked on them. For example, my Seals skirt is marked “1.2,” that’s the size.
Maybe a better working alternative?
To ask a practical question - can you lean forward enough to reach the front of your coaming to get that off? Seriously, in that length cockpit I would not be able to make the reach. And I am near average height for the generation that would have Grandma in it moniker.
And a skirt that big costs a lot of money, to maybe be darned inconvenient to use.
You may want to consider a combination of a half skirt, which would limit water on your legs, and keeping rain pants with you for if you get caught in a surprise shower. The would leave you relatively dry but using equipment that you could reach all of.
These are rec boats anyway - with that size cockpit they are not supposed to be anywhere with real waves nor can a skirt fix the fatal issues with these boats if they do get into waves. As mentioned above, the skirt would too easily implode. So staying mostly dry, with a half skirt that you can independently manage, may be a better idea.
According to IR
According to IR, your cockpit size looks like it exceeds their XXL size, see the article here: