Waterproofing a Nylon Sprayskirt

I’ve got a couple of Seals nylon sprayskirts where the waterproof coating on the material has failed. The skirts are in great condition otherwise, so I hate to just throw them out. Has anyone had any luck with a spray waterproofing material suitable for marine use? FYI, Seals only guarantees their nylon sprayskirts for five years. I bought a Seals neoprene skirt that has lasted 10 years and counting, but neoprene can be hot on a sunny summer’s day. If can renew my nylon skirts with some waterproof coating, they might be a good alternative on a hot day. Any thoughts or suggestions?

I use 303 Fabric Guard (not the 303 that you put on your kayak hatches) on my sailboat’s Sunbrella bimini and dodger and it works great. Should work well on a spray skirt.

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I’ve been using Gearair’s Revivex Durable Water Repellent on my nylon Seals skirt. Works pretty well but I do have to reapply every so often.

You’ll never make it waterproof. You can make it water repellent.

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Call ‘em toast and get the breathable fabric Tropical Tour version for warm weather paddling. The sealed nylon is going to be steamy.


Exactly. Nylon sprayskirts have a polyurethane coating that ages badly, becoming a blotchy peeling layer. The nylon itself is not tightly woven enough to keep water from seeping through. Ditto for any uncoated seams in any material. Stitch holes are just that: holes.

Sprays and liquids for reviving water repellency only make water drops bead up and roll off more easily. They are not the same as a waterproof coating.


Well, it sounds like more time and money with no real waterproof solution. I don’t know why Seals even sells these skirts if the coating doesn’t last. I guess they figure that 5 years = end of life for the product. I will warn my paddling pals to stick to neoprene spray skirts. These nylon ones that I have look SO good from the top side, but the coating side is crap. Thanks to everyone for your responses. Maybe I can figure out some other use for them.

Nothing last forever. Not even the :earth_americas::earth_africa:

Neoprene skirts cost more up-front but last longer.

Coated nylon costs less but wears out faster.

Pick yer poison.

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I long ago gave up on nylon skirts. Every one I have had leaked like a sieve after a couple of years. I just replaced a neoprene Snapdragon skirt with a Seals after it was showing excessive wear after about 15 years or so. Still didn’t leak appreciably, although it looked like it might suddenly fail altogether.

Only nylon spray skirt I have is the Seals Sneak which is a summer specialty spray skirt for me during the month of July - early Sept dog days of summer along the Gulf of Mexico. If it is rough at all, the Sneak gets stowed and the neoprene comes back out. Otherwise, neoprene all the way even when the water and air are each greater than 85F.

Yep, I use a Seals Splash Deck in the summer unless I know I am paddling somewhere that it’s likely to be rough. Just too hot when the water is 90+ and the air is 100+ here in the summer. Obviously not much point to re-waterproof a splash deck and the cost to buy a new one is only slightly more than a spray bottle of 303 waterproofer!

That said though, when I re-waterproof my Sunbrella dodger and bimini with that stuff, they are truly waterproof, including the stitching. We get some pretty epic deluges here in FL so I’ve seen them put to the test.

From the previous usage of quite a few different treated nylon things, the only truth I know is that they will fail you when you need them most.

I admit that I have not tried Seals, but raincoats, umbrellas, tents and so on all fail.

Even Thompsons Water Seal doesn’t get them all the way back.

Employ some at Seals in the USA. Round file it. :joy: