Sprayskirt for Impex Force 4

-- Last Updated: Jan-24-07 5:35 PM EST --

Hi all -- I'm looking for recommendations for a really water-tight sprayskirt for an Impex Force 4.

A bit more detail on my quandry -- When I purchased my Force 4 this past fall I picked up a Mountain Surf sprayskirt (I don't recall the model, although it's a full neoprene skirt, if that helps) as recommended by the dealer. The skirt fits me and the cockpit opening well.

Nevertheless, during rolling practice, a fair bit of water has been coming into the boat (not tens of gallons, but probably a gallon per five capsizes). I think the culprit might be the bungee cord that secures the skirt to the cockpit coaming. It appears that the bungee is a bit too thick to fit as neatly as it needs to be on the front of the coaming in order to ensure a really water-tight fit.

Of course, If I'm missing something obvious that would allow me to keep my current skirt, please let me know.

Dry Top
Are you wearing a dry top with a double tunnel & neck and wrist gaskets during this practice?

If not, there’s a good chance the water is actually coming in through your spray skirt tunnel.

What’s the waist?
In the sprayskirt - if it is a velcro closed thin that you tighten up around your waist, it’ll be fairly wet in rolling without being tucked into a double tunnel like a full drytop asn idicated above. If it is a neo tunnel, it still may be pulling away a bit as you twist around since you are likely wearing less heavy layers in the pool than you will be outside. The tunnel on my full neo skirt is actually a little big in the pool, but won’t be when I am outside.

If it is leaking at the edge of the skirt around the coaming, the most likely place to look at is the side of the skirt, on the opposite or uphill side from what you roll up on. Have someone see if that is lifting up as you go thru the motion. If it is, you’ll need a skirt with a better fit to your cockpit shape, and maybe a tighter bungie.

try this:
Go upside down, gently press on the sprayskirt, look for bubbles ( you might need help here ). Water will be coming in through the same path.

I agree with Celia and K41N - poor seal to your body is the most likely culprit.

Thanks. The skirt is full neoprene, including the tunnel. I don’t wear any dry gear in the pool, just an under-armor type t-shirt and swim trunks. That being said, the tunnel does fit me quite snugly.

Suiram – I’ll attempt your experiment at the pool this weekend.

99% chance it’s through the tunnel
I used to wear only a rashguard in the pool with my sprayskirt and I’d get tons of water in the boat. I now always wear a drytop (shorty) in the pool to keep the water our. Mountain Surf makes probably the best skirts on the planet and they are known for being exceptionally dry so I’d be surprised if it indeed was the skirt.

if it’s not sealed in a dry top tube
sometimes water goes down the channel that your spine creates in your back

Under-Armour and other polys “wick” water from the skin…that’s why we wear them. Of course that works in reverse too! I have no doubt your getting water wicking through your shirt into your cockpit, as well as coming up through spaces in the tunnel caused by the spine, etc.

A dry top, with a double tunnel, is the only way to really seal out water.

Spine is where I get it
Doesn’t matter what kind of skirt I use - when I start twisting around I leave a nice open channel for water right over my spine.

But the shape of the coaming v the cut of the skirt can create somewhat loose points around the edge. The skirt I use for my Vela officially fits, but it really could afford to be narrower to not have points where the bungie just isn’t as tight around the edge. I occassionally get some in there.

Same experience…with a neo deck

– Last Updated: Jan-25-07 5:57 PM EST –

That's why I switched to wearing a shorty semi-dry top with a double waist closure, over my rash guard, for pool sessions.

Wearing a rash guard by itself let way too much water in.

Take a look at the NRS Stampede jacket, which is currently on-sale at their website. It is very similiar to what I wear for pool sessions.