Wilderness Systems spray skirts...

Just got a Wilderness Systems Tsunami 175, and the recommended spray skirt for it: Truefit Spray Skirt -W7. Are they normally difficult to put on the first time? I spent about 15 minutes trying to get it to stretch far enough to fit, but no luck. Started from the back, but the front end seemed to fall about a half-inch or so shy of going over the front of the cockpit. Any secrets? WS’s customer service didn’t have any thoughts. I’d read another comment elsewhere where the buyer had the same problem and concluded that the cord through the rand wasn’t long enough. I’m thinking it was the right size, but just needed stretching out coming right out of the box. But now I’m wondering…

Does sound a bit tight. A skirt should normally go on with some stretch to hold it in place, but not a huge amount of effort.

Once you get it on the first time, it possibly will stretch out and be easier on future installations. You could also try stretching the rand (perhaps by hanging it at one end with weight pulling down the other end).

One trick that works on some skirts to allow them to get on is to wet the rand area. Common practie of white water paddlers who want super tight skirts.

I checked the Seals Skirts sizing app (https://www.sealsskirts.com/sizing/sizing.php) and they said:
WILDERNESS SYSTEMS Tsunami 175 (all models)
Nylon Sprayskirt & Cockpit Cover Size: 2.2
Neoprene Sprayskirt Size & Cockpit Cover Size: 1.7
1.7 often translates to an L or XL deck size in other brands. 2.2 is definitely an XL, or perhaps beyond.

Interesting that Seals recommend a larger size for a nylon skirt, which I think yuo are looking at using. Maybe that it the issue. If you want nylon, you may need a larger deck size. or switch to neoprene skirt.

Hmm. The TruFit series has a nylon deck. You are interpreting WS’s fit guide right, though I kinda wonder how close you are to the end of the skirt’s capacity. The Tsumani 175 cockpit is at the upper range of the dimensions they say the W7 fits…

I also wonder if “sticky edging” is limiting how easy it is to take the skirt out to its limits. Normally in nylon skirts there is material sewn around the bungie and generous room for the bungie to stretch inside that cloth tunnel.

FWIW, while the zipper thing sounds neat, over time the fancier a nylon skirt gets the more there is to start leaking sooner than you want. Would you be terribly opposed to returning this skirt against one with a stretchier neo deck? Still with a bungie edge, just to get more stretch.

Pete, I was thinking of trying to stretch it out a bit. But if that doesn’t work, switching to neoprene as Celia suggests would make sense. From a consumer’s viewpoint, it does seem odd that WS would say this skirt is made for this boat when it puts up such a fight;-)

Would seem odd, but these parts, even though they seem required, are not a focus for the kayak manufacturers. WS offers spray skirts, PFDs, clothing, paddles, etc., but it is very much a small, side part of their business, not their focus. Like this for the big kayak manufacturers (and the small ones don’t even bother offering these accessories).

Most kayakers stick to buying boats from these kayak manufacturers, but everything else from companies that specialize is those accessories.

Sounds a little tight. But both materials stretch when heated by the sun, nylon less. Lay it out in the sun an hour or two and try it then. If it goes on leave it there, in the sun another hour or two.

Good suggestion, Overstreet, thanks!

I had the exact problem with a different WS kayak and it took years to figure out despite assurances from Seals and WS that the skirt sizing was right.

The problem may be that the seat rises above the plane of the deck. If so, there is no way you are going to get a good fit without changing to a backband or having the skirt custom tailored to accommodate the seat back. The skirts can shrink over time time, too, making the problem worse.

It was pure torture for a couple of seasons. Injured finger tips, delays when starting with a group, taking risks to get the skirt on in rough conditions, but mostly taking risks by not using the skirt. The problem got worse and worse. I went so far as sewing in loops the back to pull the skirt over the combing.

A larger skirt will just implode in the front. The nylon skirt was effective for paddle drips and keeping the wind out, but thats it.

So if the seat rises above the deck, the most practical solution is to switch to a backband; WS makes. a kit that is ready to install.

I have heard that Phase III seats have some kind of value to them and that certain dealers will pay for them.

I have 2 boats with Phase 3 seats and both backs tilt below the gunnels.

ExploreNE, sounds like a neoprene skirt might be the best solution…

@string said:
I have 2 boats with Phase 3 seats and both backs tilt below the gunnels.

The lowest position of the seat back of my WS boat was always above the plane of the hatch.

Seals did not take into account all the possible seat configurations when they sized the skirt.

The worst possible solution would be neoprene in my case.