Sprayskirt installation tips

-- Last Updated: Feb-10-08 4:03 PM EST --

I recently got a new WS Tempest Pro 170 coming from a Tsunami 140.

I have rather short arms and with both boats I have trouble reaching and pulling the spray skirt to attach it at the rear of the cockpit. Once I get the rear on I have no problems at all.

With the 170 I have found that my knuckles get cut up by the combing edge. At a recent pool session I struggled to get it on. Towards the end of the 3 hour session, I had no success.

I have the back band as far back as I can get it without sitting off the back of the seat.

I lift my butt out of the seat and lean back towards the rear deck to try to lessen the distance that the skirt needs to be stretched.

Any suggestions? techniques? exercises?

Thanks, Art

Correct size?
If the skirt is the correct size, it should not be hard by just leaning back. Is it possible that you are using the same skirt as your old boat, but the new boat takes a different size? I think that it is a quite large cockpit in the T170.

Same question
What skirt are you using - make and size? Agree that you shouldn’t have to contort yourself rearwards to catch the back of the skirt if it’s the right size.

As to the knuckles - have you just gone to a composite boat? If so you can probably lightly sand the coaming edge to smooth it down a bit. It might be a good idea anyway - if it’s cutting your knuckles up it’s also wearing the skirt.

size match up
Thanks for the reples.

Spray skirt Wildwasser pocket neo/neo Super Keyhole


Length Width

Min Max Min Max

Super Keyhole 35" - 37" 18" - 20"

Tsunami 140 35" X 19"

Tempest 170 34" X 18"

Seems like the skirt should fit both boats.

The T170 is a glass boat and there are no sharp edges. It probably has more to do with how I am able to install the rear of the skirt on the combing.

  1. I lean back and grab the rand with both hands fingers under the skirt. 2) pull back and rest top of fingers on the combing. 3) slide the rand the rest of the way slipping fingers out and pushing down with thumbs.


Cockpit depth?

– Last Updated: Jan-28-08 12:56 PM EST –

Could it be that the Tsunami cockpit is deeper and you were wearing you skirt high up to fit on the Tsunami. If the Tempest is not as deep you made need to wear your skirt a little lower to line up with the coaming.

Not very likely the problem, but something you might try.

Something I do is to put the skirt on half of the rear coaming at a time. I hold the rear center of the skirt on the coaming with one hand and with the other hand gradually pull one side of the skirt over the coaming until I get "around" the corner. I then switch hands (making sure I always have one hand holding the rear center) and repeat the process on the other side. Once I have both rear "corners" done I pull the skirt forward and hook it over the front point. Finally I go back and pull it over the sides where is not yet over the coaming.

Sounds complitcated, but it happens pretty quickly without thinking after you do it a couple of times.


sprayskirt installation
This may be a dumb question, but is it possible that you are attaching the front first, then the back? It should be the opposite.

I install

– Last Updated: Jan-28-08 1:01 PM EST –

the back first and have absolutly no problems after I get the rear "hooked in".

I had similiar issues in the Tsunami but not quite as bad. In the Tsunami, I did adjust the tunnel up and down with a litlle bit of difference. I will pay more attentio to this detail next time out.

I will also try the one side (rear) at a time technique.

I am starting to think that it is a flexibility/strength issue with my arms behind my torso.


You may need to get
someone to look at the skirt once you are in the kayak. They can see if the skirt looks flat or if it looks to be angled up or down as it goes from coaming to the tunnel. You really can not see that while you are in the kayak. You can then slide the tunnel up or down until they say you have a flat deck. Then you know where to wear the tunnel.


lean back
Lean way back. There is a fair bit of room between my back and the back of the coaming on my T-165. Another trick is to flip the back of the skirt inside out before putting it on. Then you can kind of roll it into place rather than trying to catch the coaming with it.

Sounds like you are too evolved to me. If you had one of those simian body types that had just come down out of the trees, your problem would be solved.

Seated position?
The idea to have someone look at you once the skirt and you are in place sounds good. I am wondering if you tended to lean back in the Tsunami more than in the Tempest because of how the cockpit configures. Also, it does sound as though you may be putting the skirt up a little high on your body, if leaning up and back from the seat solves it.

I will get someone to look

– Last Updated: Jan-28-08 4:26 PM EST –

at the tunnel position while I am sitting in the boat.

I might add that in both the Tsunami and the Tempest it is more than a lean back I need to lean back, push on the pegs, actually lift my butt up and slide my torso towards the rear.

I might not have been pushing as far in the Tempest because I am not yet familiar with the primary stability.

I will work on dry land to test out the different methods suggested and try to id the one that works best for me.

Thanks again for all of the suggestions.

Dinosaur arms- Art

Good luck
I just asked on a Tempest forum about spray skirts…you might want to ask them the same question…here’s the link…http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TempestOwners/

This works for me with my WW Neo/Neo

Try not pulling the tunnel up as high as you are now. Then flip the back part of the skirt up before you get in the boat.

That solved all of my difficulties getting the skirt on.

Can you lay back flat on the rear deck
without lifting you butt from the seat? In general, the Tempest is a pretty easy boat to lay out flat on the back deck.

What kind of PFD do you have? Sometimes PFD’s with a lot of padding in the lower back will restrict your ability to lean back. Try putting the skirt on without wearing your PFD to see if that might be causing the problem.

I’m out of ideas now …

Good luck!


The 170 has a large cockpit…
But the seat is placed way forward of the rear coaming. Your problem could be that your tunnel is set back too far on the skirt and doesn’t have enough rear reach to go on the Coaming… Try putting the skirt only on the CP and see if the tunnel lines up with your normal sitting position.

skirt & tempset
when i first got my 170 pro (coming from a plastic one) i chewed up my knuckles a bunch…

first thing i did was:

grabbed a file and sandpaper…smoothed down the underside of the coaming all the way around the cockpit…if it cuts me then it will most likely cut the skirt too…

you can also get slip/snap on auto trim to go around the edge of the coaming too…

putting the skirt on…

sometimes the skirt we use are one size fit s -supposed size of cockpit- yes a 19x34 WILL fit a tempest…but is the seat in the same place in all boats with that cockpit size???no…i use an IR shockwave for mine…and i have found that the tunnel/seat position is placed for a seat that is more aft than the in the tempest…so i get in and slap the back of the skirt on…and then lean forward to hold it in place while getting the front of the skirt on…the neoprene of the skirt will stretch…no worries…just pull on it…

hope this helps


Spray Skirt

– Last Updated: Feb-01-08 12:04 PM EST –

Had a similar problem, (slightly different,) with a Seals Neopreme skirt on our Chathams. I took the dealer's suggestion and it helped, (this after we double checked the size.) Leave the skirt on your boat when you put your boat up after paddling. After a couple days the skirt was much easier to get on. Just a thought.

wetting the skirt rand before stretching it on, this will give you more stretch in the skirt. You may just have to get a new skirt, sounds like the one you have just isn’t a good fit for the Tempest. You may need to have one custom made for you and your boat given the difficulties you have. Several skirt companies including Mountain Surf and I think Snap Dragon will let you send a tracing of your combing with the required tunnel placement to have a custom skirt made. Just bc according to dimensions of the cockpit your existing skirt should fit doesn’t mean it will, regardless of the dimensions every cockpit is a different shape, with different seat placement.

Also look at the GSkirt from Mountain Surf, it has a deep lip pocket shaped into the rear of the rand to make it much easier to hook onto the rear of the cockpit and hold as you stretch the skirt forward. According to their fit list for a neo skirt you need a size LK-200.

Good luck

The weather has not been

– Last Updated: Feb-01-08 12:39 PM EST –

cooperating for me to have someone eyeball the skirt position while I am in the boat yet. But, I looked at my skirt (Wildwasser NEO/Neo pocket). The back of the tunnel seems to run almost straight down to the rand with no real horizontal run. This may be causing alot of the issue.

Just to be clear, the only problem that I am having is getting the rand over the rear cockpit coming. Once that is on, I have no issues getting the remainder of the rand over the cockpit.

I will look into the other suggestions also.

Thanks, Art

I don’t know
much about the wildwasser skrits, but I’m going to guess that are designed with the idea of fitting Prijon boats more then fitting other manufacturer’s boats. Definitely sounds more like the skirt design is the issue based on what you just said.