How to Make a Spray Skirt for a Kayak

How to Make a Spray Skirt for a Kayak
Two basic types of kayak spray skirts come in a myriad of designs. The white water, "water proof" neoprene skirts are made for heavy-duty kayaking. Lighter duty nylon spray skirts keep you fairly warm and dry, but aren't meant for the white water, surfing or an "Eskimo roll." The first is more complex and should probably be purchased ready made. The touring type may be made at home.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Four yards treated nylon cloth (in 4' width if you can get it although 3' width will work) 25 yards waxed nylon thread 12' of ¼" bungee cord, (or double the length of kayak cockpit plus your chest size) Scissors Crayon or permanent marker Sewing needle 12" of 1 ½"-wide nylon webbing Thimble 20' of ¾" seam tape Measuring tape
  • Four yards treated nylon cloth (in 4' width if you can get it although 3' width will work)
  • 25 yards waxed nylon thread
  • 12' of ¼" bungee cord, (or double the length of kayak cockpit plus your chest size)
  • Scissors
  • Crayon or permanent marker
  • Sewing needle
  • 12" of 1 ½"-wide nylon webbing
  • Thimble
  • 20' of ¾" seam tape
  • Measuring tape
Step 1
Measure the circumference of your cockpit rim. Measure your chest. Add 4 inches to each number. Roll out your nylon on a flat surface and use a crayon or permanent marker to measure the circumference of the cockpit (plus 4 inches) at one side of the nylon and your chest size (plus 4 inches) at the midpoint of the other side of the length of nylon. Connect the dots with marker or crayon and cut.
Step 2
Overlap the diagonal sides an inch and place seam tape along the overlap. Duct-tape it in place and sew the seam with waxed thread. (Waxed dental floss will work.)
Step 3
Sew the ends of the bungee cord together and place in 2-inch rollover at long and short end of your resulting tetrahedron-shaped cloth (double cockpit length on long side and chest size on short end). Tape and sew as with first seam with bungee cord sewn in the overlapped rollover of cloth.
Step 4
Sew a loop of nylon webbing at the lower (bigger) edge of the skirt at the opposite end from the seam for a pull cord. Turn the skirt inside out and step into the narrow end to try it on.
Step 5
Step into your kayak with the spray skirt on with the pull loop in front. Once seated, start behind your back fitting the bungee-corded edge under the cockpit lip working around to the front until it is sealed.

Tips & Warnings

 
Use an old tarp, bungee cords and duct tape for a trial before making your final product. Poke the pull loop under the spring cord on the kayak deck for easy locating in case you have to make an emergency exit.
 
Use an old tarp, bungee cords and duct tape for a trial before making your final product.
 
Poke the pull loop under the spring cord on the kayak deck for easy locating in case you have to make an emergency exit.

Article Written By Richard Nilsen

Richard Nilsen writes poetry, fiction, features and news stories in upstate New York. He was an emergency mental-health consultant for 20 years and directed a mentoring agency for a decade. Nilsen is a black-fly control technician in the Adirondack Park, where he enjoys hiking, biking and boating.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.

FREE UPDATES

Subscribe

We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.