Which skirt?

Looking at using our 20% coupon at REI. We have two Tsunami 145’s, and are thinking of getting skirts for them.

Looking at the REI website, we like both the Seals Sneak and the Seals Coastal tour.

Looks like the biggest difference between them is the zipper on the Sneak. We like the idea that you can access under the deck without removing the skirt, but does it really work that way? Seems like you’d have to unzip/ buckle the PFD before getting to the zipper. The while fishing around under the deck and not paying attention, you have an unsecured PFD.

Is this a real concern? We paddle Sierra lakes, no plans for rivers or streams. Around here all the rivers are all whitewater. Water temp is cold, Tahoe is the closest to our place. We’re not die hard kayakers, if it’s real nasty out, we’ll stay off the water.


Thanks, Sam

skirts for your boats
Based on cockpit size of your boats I’d think the Coastal models would be better for you. The Sneak with zipper is better suited for real large cockpits where you install the skirt on the boat onshore and then unzip and climb in. Really large or long cockpits make it hard to get the back of the skirt, and then the front snapped on without one or the other popping off. However, you won’t run into any problems getting the Coastal on you WS boats and they’ll keep you drier and warmer. Tahoe eh? Man that’s beautiful country!

My wife and I both use the Seals Sneak on our sea kayaks. I disagree with the above post that it was intended for a larger “rec” cockpit where the skirt is to be installed on shore. Our cockpit sizes are 1.4 and 1.7, considerably smaller than “rec” cockpits. We like the convenience of unzipping the skirt to get to items below deck. Also, here in FL, unzipping the skirt certainly helps to cool off when conditions are calm.

As for your questions about unzipping the pfd, you are correct, you would have to unbuckle the pfd first. However, you could easily rezip the pfd after unzipping the skirt. If conditions were of enough concern where you would be nervous having an unsecured pfd, then you probably wouldn’t want to be unzipping the skirt anyway, as water would probably enter the cockpit.

Another note, the sprayskirt is perfectly fine for calmer conditions, with only small chop and/or waves. In rougher conditions, the zipper does allow some water to enter, which is why a neoprene skirt would be better suited to adverse conditions.