What's special about a skirt for a Fiberglass Boat?

Just stopped by a dealer, and he said I would need a Seals Skirt with the shock cord folded up into the fabric—not a Seals Shocker. He said the models with the exposed shock cord are too difficult to take off for a wet exit.

The boat is a Valley Skerray XL, if that matters.

Very unclear what you mean. Skirts are generally rimmed with a rubber rand (not recommended for the hard edges of a glass boat) or a bungie (just fine for a glass boat or a plastic depending on dryness required).
The bungie edged skirts can be neoprene or a material like nylon or cordova.

Which of these types of skirt are you talking about?

A Seals Shocker should work well for you. It’s a very commonly used skirt for fiberglass sea kayaks. There are rubber rand skirts, and Immersion Research makes the Klingon, which is a bungee folded into the fabric. But I’m not sure why exposed shock cord would make it too difficult to take off. I’ve generally heard that the opposite is true. Seals Shocker/Pro Shocker, Immersion Research Shockwave, and Snapdragon Ocean Tour are all good go-to skirts for fiberglass sea kayaks. A number of years ago I went to ordering all shortened tunnels (Snapdragon Ocean Tour Flirt EXP, Seals Pro Shocker with low fit 6" tunnel, Immersion Research J-Lo or just a Shockwave with a shortened tunnel). That just makes them a little easier to put on and take off, a little more comfortable, I find every bit as waterproof, and it works nicer with drytops and drysuits where you just sandwich the tunnel between an inner and outer tunnel anyway.
A Seals Shocker not being appropriate for a composite sea kayak is a new one to me.

Another option would be the Seals Odyssey if you do t need a neoprene tunnel.

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I asked about skirts recently in this thread:


You may find some of that to be helpful. I ended up going with a Seals Shocker and I use it on both the Assateague and Stratos now. It is more difficult to remove from the Assateague’s (fiberglass) combing, but I find it keeps the water out a little better than the randed one I was using. It could be that the tunnel on my older skirt was losing it’s stretch though.

Seals Shocker appears to be a bungied skirt from what I just saw. So I am still not very clear on this whole conversation.

I have found that a decently tight rubber rand skirt is generally harder to remove from a fiberglass coaming than a bungied one. Personally I will not use them other than on a plastic WW boat because I know I have had trouble removing them. I have a less strong grip than a lot of guys to start with, smaller hands, and will not take the risk.

But the Seals Shocker I just saw online is NOT a rubber randed one, it is a bungied skirt that looks very similar to my Seals Extreme Tour. So either I am missing something or terribly confused.

Well–I was confused too, thats why I wrote. Basically what was stated to me:

  1. I need a skirt which has a bungee folded up within the fabric,not exposed, because skirts with exposed bungee cords are too risky to use with the sharper (compared to roto-molded) combing
  2. So this effectively eliminates the Seals Shocker.
  3. Bungee vs rubber rand did not come up…the most important factor was having the bungee “folded up” into the fabric—presesumably this means it is not visible…

But basically he had a shocker in stock and he did not think it was the best for the reason stated above.

SO, can anyone think of a reason to NOT use a Seals Shocker as long as it fits,

As an aside, I hate the whole process because I got sold a Shocker 1.8 for my wilderness systems boat with the elevated Phase III seat…the seat only goes down so far, It was a terrible fit, I mashed my fingers too many times, and was subject to extra risk. …Same dealer…

Barge - Update, may have figured out what the guy meant.

I have the history of neoprene skirts in the basement, all bungied except for one of the WW skirts. Maybe two have a lower cloth portion with material wrapped around the bungie. Most are a neo deck skirt purchased to fit a given boat, so there is no adjustment to the bungie and no cover around it. I have beat the hell out of them and at most I have gotten a high wear spot in the oldest where the neo deck has started separating from the bungie a bit. But I am talking a hell of a lot of beating and UV exposure before that happened.

The only way I know for a bungie to have material wrapped around it is either a fully fabric deck or a partial neo/fabric deck. I personally have not found them to last longer than ones with the bungie just stitched to the deck i terms of keeping things dry.

Hi Celia. Everything I recommended is a normal bungied skirt, including the Seals Shocker. I must have not typed it all in a very straightforward way.
“There are rubber rand skirts, and Immersion Research makes the Klingon, which is a bungee folded into the fabric.” - These as opposed to a normal bungied skirt like the Seals Shocker.

I think every skilled sea kayaker I know uses a bungied skirt like the Seals Shocker, Snapdragon Ocean Tour, Immersion Research Shockwave. It does seem an odd thing for an outfitter to recommend against. It could be based out of some personal experience, a personal condition - such as very weak arms, or a perceived condition of Barge - perhaps he was looking out for some physical limitation he felt Barge would experience?
And Barge, no offense intended. For all I know, you do professional wrestling on the weekends and could throw me over the top rope into the 12th row. I’m just saying that in sea kayaking, whenever I listen to recommendations, I’m usually looking for clues as to why they are making those recommendations. Once I understand the why, I might often determine that their recommendation won’t apply to me.

CapeFear, you typed it right.
I was still stuck trying to` figure our what the guy meant to Barge as stated in the original post. I think I might finally gotten it when I remembered that I have a couple of hybrid skirts for my older boats, half neo and half fabric deck. But the original recommendation either lost something in translation or was wonky to start.