Is this a useful item? Are they available in different materials? Just for cold weather? Where is a good source? Can you use them with a fairly large cockpit - as in Tsunami 165 which I believe is a 1.7?
Is this a useful item?
Yes, because you live in Vermont. A tulik is basically a further layer that goes around you and your cockpit coaming. It creates a large air pocket that adds warmth and/or protects against rain. It also can be put on at lunch break to help keep you warm.
It can go over an existing skirt, assuming you don't have funky things going on with your coaming. Or it can serve as both skirt and jacket in a single layer.
Are they available in different materials?
Yes, for quite varying amounts of money, and are also known as cagoules from some manufacturers. But be careful about nomenclature - the Brit sites call just about everything that is an outer jacket for paddling a cagoule, so most of their cagoules don't actually act like a tulik.
The priciest way to go is something like Kokatat's Storm Cag made out of GoreTex Paklight for about $300 full price, or their Strom Cag Light made of Tropos which comes in around $200 full price. I am pretty sure you can knock around on the web and find them in coated materials from other manufacturers.
Or - you roam the Greenland paddling sites, where you can find everything from folks who'll make them for you to materials to make them yourself. The Greenland folks often make their own, glued seams more often than not from the ones I've seen. They tend to use a stretchy material but exactly what it is escapes me.
Breathability is the decision to make with these. For a while one manufacturer was making hem in sil cloth, which is wonderfully warm for its weight and hardy, but everyone we knew who had one of these could never actually keep it on because it was too hot. They'd put it on at lunch break, but it'd be back in the day hatch by 20 minutes into paddling away after. It was surely useful, but for less wearing time than the more breathable ones.
Just for cold weather?
Or for wet weather.
Where is a good source?
As above, plus web time.
Can you use them with a fairly large cockpit - as in Tsunami 165 which I believe is a 1.7?
The Kokatat's that we have can accommodate a quite large cockpit, but always best to call for a pre-made one. If you make your own this is not an issue.
I never thought about the CAG as a tuiliq. Cool. I own a tuiliq
making your own
There are not all that many manufacturers any more. One excellent domestic maker, Bug Head, unfortunately went out of business last year. They made really neat ones functionally and even aesthetically – including tuiliqs that made you look like a killer whale, beluga or shark. I guess there was not enough business to support them. Reed and Brooks both make neoprene ones. I bought a pattern for sewing your own from the qajaqusa.org site (think it was around $20). They also sell the strip of material you need to sew around the hem to grip the coaming. You can get a variety of neoprene, including the stretchy type, and any other materials, glues and fittings from Seattle Fabrics web site.
I’ve been eyeing the Kokatat Storm cags for a while – have considered sewing something like that myself using the Cagoule/Anorak pattern available from Seattle Fabrics. But once I priced the Goretex and other materials to make one, the $200 to $300 price does not seem all that out of line. And Kokatat stuff is just so darn well made – it would be a reasonable long term investment. The cag can also double as a rain coat, survival bivy or be thrown over a victim in a rescue situation, plus it is far more compact to pack than a neo tuiliq. Still, it is hard to beat a neoprene tuiliq for streamlined warmth, comfort and repeated rolling. I’ve no doubt the cag would let in a LOT of water in a roll.
I bought a length of brown oiled cotton (like what British rain gear and Aussie drover coats are made from), thinking I would make a sealskin-looking cag/tuiliq to use with my replica Greenland boat and cedar GP. But I decided the thing would probably be too stiff and ungodly hot to use.
Rolling with the Kokatat cag
We got out to a local pond to practice on a hot day last season, and realized I had left my skirt at home. My husband had his Kokatat cag so I made do with that. I had one surprise - it trapped enough air even with the lightweight bungie that it made rolling easier. (and I looked like a badly made orange ball in the water)
In rolling, it let in more water than my regular skirt but it wasn't so much that I had to pump out after every roll. Sculling got a bit more damp if I did so for a while, but even that just put a couple of inches of water slopping around the bottom. Wet yes, but nothing you couldn't paddle on with.
I am sure it lets in more water than a neoprene cag, but not as much as you'd expect. And of course, unlike the neo tulik, it is intended to be a supplemental layer rather than primary. So this makes sense.
My Bughead was complete crap…
…as were at least half a dozen other people that I know of…and the owner was a condescending ass every step of the way…glad they’re out of business.