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Thread: Kayakers - anyone use a Mini Skirt spray cover?

  1. #1
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    Default Kayakers - anyone use a Mini Skirt spray cover?

    Kayaker folks -- anyone use or see another boat with a Mini Skirt spray cover? My Fiddlehead double-paddle canoe gets too much drip from the 8' Greenland paddle, particularly on windy days. No need for the trouble and hassle of a fitted spray skirt, and because it isn't a commercial 'yak, most fitted spray skirts wouldn't fit anyway.
    The coaming keeps out most water from powerboat wakes, but the paddle drips add up to a fair amount of water on the boat's...and my...bottom. And, yes, I'm sitting on a raised 'yak cushion and have drip rings on the paddle, although I suppose they could be moved further out or be larger. I've tried canvas tarps over my legs, but anything not attached to the coaming will allow water to run off into the boat.

    This Fiddlehead was built by the Forum's very own Dmede from 1st-growth WRC with a AYC bottom, and a lovely craft she is!









    https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p...trngmnskrtxpas
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Kayakers - anyone use a Mini Skirt spray cover?

    I saw in a museum or some place an "eskimo" paddle with a series three fancy carvings each side starting on the blade, ending a bit out from where your hand would go and the third in the middle. I was thinking of this and that annoying drip and finally put it all together. Rather than carve my paddle up, I just made six turk's heads, three strand, for the job of drip rings. The outer ring gets in the water but it's also the place where most of the water taken up by the blade drips off. Pretty much the rest is shed by the middle ring.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Kayakers - anyone use a Mini Skirt spray cover?

    One problem with the Greenland paddle is that the hand position is at the base of the blade, meaning that standard drip rings won't fit. I might also try the twine or a temp tape drip ring as shown below to see if that works to reduce drips into the cockpit.



    http://windslicer.co.uk/gallery.html
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Kayakers - anyone use a Mini Skirt spray cover?

    From the second photo shown it looks like Thorne's GP already has drip rings on it, though they appear to be too close together. It's easy to improvise drip rings with duct tape and see if they cure the problem before committing to anything serious.

    Sorry, cross post...

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Kayakers - anyone use a Mini Skirt spray cover?

    Ian, a skirt is very necessary part of a kayaker gear (male or female!) the coaming on your boat doesn't have a "lip" which is needed to keep the elastic hem of the skirt tight to the coaming. I'm sure anyone with a some sewing experance can make one up for your boat. Also. drip rings come with many kayak paddles most are just rubber rings.
    In wind it's common to "feather" the paddle so one paddle is horizontal to the wind when up. some people use a twist of the wrist others use the button lock in the joint to set one blade at an angle to the other.
    https://bendingbranches.com/kayak-pa...does-it-matter
    Hope this helps
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Kayakers - anyone use a Mini Skirt spray cover?

    DeniseO30, certainly a skirt (summer kayaking) or tuilik (winter) are items I use where appropriate. An open boat like pictured in the OP - Rob Roy and some by LFH or Pete Culler spring to mind - really can't be covered and really don't need it as they have sufficient stability. And they are not boats one generally takes out to play in surf or white water.

    It is not uncommon for ocean kayakers to carry a conventional paddle and a Greenland style.

    Most store bought conventional paddles can be seperated and the join has three pin holes so you align the blades in line with each other, with about a 60 degree feather, or a 90 degree feather. They typical Greenland paddle does not break at the middle, is shorter, and the blades are in line - no feather possible. The conventional blade is considerably larger and especially if you are paddling straight into the wind really must be feathered. The Greenland paddle is a narrow blade both to be more restful - like low gear - in rough water and to make feathering pointless.

    As an aside, anyone who has a conventional paddle set for feather and is paddling across a very strong wind will have noted whichever blade is in the air is catching lots of wind and wants to turn you over. One of several reasons to switch to the Greenland paddle if it's getting rough.



    No skirt. No PFD. For shame! Fie !

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Kayakers - anyone use a Mini Skirt spray cover?

    Thanks, everyone! I'll try a drip ring, seine twine or something further up the base of the blade and see how that works. I might also make a longer Greenland paddle - the current one is 8' and might be a bit short for the width of the Fiddlehead, and is certainly too short when I use it in my 14' Mad River canoe.
    Last edited by Thorne; 02-05-2018 at 12:13 PM.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  8. #8
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne View Post
    Thanks, everyone! I'll try something further up the base of the blade and see how that works. I might also make a longer Greenland paddle - the current one is 8' and might be a bit short for the width of the Fiddlehead, and is certainly too short when I use it in my 14' Mad River canoe.
    I was pretty sure you knew all that Ian! I gave the advice anyhow, silly me.

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Kayakers - anyone use a Mini Skirt spray cover?

    Another option would be to simply use the paddle from your canoe, but that might be heresy.

    Benson

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseO30 View Post
    I was pretty sure you knew all that Ian! I gave the advice anyhow, silly me.

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    And if you're going to build a paddle you can buy a 2pc ferrel

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Kayakers - anyone use a Mini Skirt spray cover?

    I'd continue to use the Greenland, but fabricate a mini spray skirt similar to the one shown. It doesn't need to be whitewater-sealed or capable of withstanding big, dumping waves, just keeping drips out. I'd install some snap studs onto the outside of the combing about an inch above the deck and snap it on. The studs would be perfectly secure and don't look ugly. Sew a flexible plastic batten into the splash cover for the arch (Home Depot plastic door and window trip strips) and you're good to go.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Kayakers - anyone use a Mini Skirt spray cover?

    As long as we are moving on to bright ideas . . .

    Let me first propose a distinction for our purposes here between the "double paddle canoe" and the "kayak". The double paddle canoe is decked to some extent but is really an open boat. The kayak looks like it is still close to it's Alutian or Greenland ancestry and has a small cockpit.

    Double paddle canoes really benefit from the bigger blades and with bigger blades you can get the scooped shape that it appears everyone but me likes so much. Since longer paddles with bigger blades mean windage, I'd make it featherable. If you don't need to have it break in half, just build that in.

    I feel that the 60 degree option is half baked. If you have your hands such that when one blade is in the water, your upper arm is straight out from your shoulder and your hand is rotated just a little such that your knuckles slope towards the boat at about 15 degrees. Then get that blade wet and adjust the other blade. You'll find that the blades will then feather just fine with now jerking on your wrists.

    One final prejudice - I admit that a properly engineered scoop in a paddle or oar blade makes the blade better for the straight stroke, but it's as some cost to efficiency in sculling and bracing. Also, you have to note which way you're holding the paddle or oar. I like it straight on the long axis with a bit of raised spine rising concave from the edge to the center on each side. That holds the water great and gives real power in sculling or bracing.

    Everyone has their own style, what works best for their bodies and minds. If it hurts, it's at least wrong for you, but exactly what's wrong may take a truely eagle eyed coach.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Kayakers - anyone use a Mini Skirt spray cover?

    Thanks again. I can hack out woodwork and paint, but my fabric fab skills are proto-Neanderthal at best -- meaning I'd rather buy something than have a lame-looking Frankenstitched monstrosity on the front of this boat. The "Recreational" mini spray skirt may work. I called Harmonygear and they'll have some in next week, so we can get measurements at that time. I want something 30-36" long, but may have to shorten the curved arch if it interferes with the paddle. The Fiddlehead cockpit is over 6' long, unlike most 'yaks. https://www.harmonygear.com/search/skirt

    Stay tuned!
    Last edited by Thorne; 02-05-2018 at 01:31 PM.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Kayakers - anyone use a Mini Skirt spray cover?

    I've never found the "lap skirts" to be enough. I want them to wrap around me - just a little - as the drips are in front of and beside me sitting in my 'yak with a Greenland stick.

    As an aside, I've seen some neat Turk's-head style drip rings that are made around a small groove in the paddle blade beyond the loom. I haven't seen that they've done that much to help the drip situation.
    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."
    -William A. Ward



  15. #15
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    Default Re: Kayakers - anyone use a Mini Skirt spray cover?

    Thanks for a very thoughtful response, Ian! I'd never really thought about the difference between yaks and double-paddle canoes for paddle shape. I also prefer straight / flat paddles and oars, as I tend to push off things and the curved blades aren't great for that. I'll borrow a more standard paddle and see how it works.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    As long as we are moving on to bright ideas . . .

    Let me first propose a distinction for our purposes here between the "double paddle canoe" and the "kayak". The double paddle canoe is decked to some extent but is really an open boat. The kayak looks like it is still close to it's Alutian or Greenland ancestry and has a small cockpit.

    Double paddle canoes really benefit from the bigger blades and with bigger blades you can get the scooped shape that it appears everyone but me likes so much. Since longer paddles with bigger blades mean windage, I'd make it featherable. If you don't need to have it break in half, just build that in.

    I feel that the 60 degree option is half baked. If you have your hands such that when one blade is in the water, your upper arm is straight out from your shoulder and your hand is rotated just a little such that your knuckles slope towards the boat at about 15 degrees. Then get that blade wet and adjust the other blade. You'll find that the blades will then feather just fine with now jerking on your wrists.

    One final prejudice - I admit that a properly engineered scoop in a paddle or oar blade makes the blade better for the straight stroke, but it's as some cost to efficiency in sculling and bracing. Also, you have to note which way you're holding the paddle or oar. I like it straight on the long axis with a bit of raised spine rising concave from the edge to the center on each side. That holds the water great and gives real power in sculling or bracing.

    Everyone has their own style, what works best for their bodies and minds. If it hurts, it's at least wrong for you, but exactly what's wrong may take a truely eagle eyed coach.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  16. #16
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorne View Post
    Thanks for a very thoughtful response, Ian! I'd never really thought about the difference between yaks and double-paddle canoes for paddle shape. I also prefer straight / flat paddles and oars, as I tend to push off things and the curved blades aren't great for that. I'll borrow a more standard paddle and see how it works.
    To me kayaking generally means your bottom is below the waterline. canoes are generally higher, and you're sitting above the water it really makes a difference in paddling styles. And length of double paddles and single paddles

    Sent from my LG-M430 using Tapatalk
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Kayakers - anyone use a Mini Skirt spray cover?

    A “double paddle canoe” is a different animal than a canoe or a kayak.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Kayakers - anyone use a Mini Skirt spray cover?

    This page has some interesting info on using double-paddles in canoes, and shows a cool drip ring made of surgical tubing held on with a cable tie. It also compares performance between Greenland and "Euro" style blades.




    http://100lakesonvancouverisland.blo...or-canoes.html
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Kayakers - anyone use a Mini Skirt spray cover?

    For a benchmark on dimensions, I have a couple poly yaks with Wilderness System Voyager brand spray skirts and they are very close the Harmony skirts. Harmony actually bought Wilderness Systems a few yrs back. I have both brand kayaks and they fit perfectly. Anyway, these skirts are only 17" front to back and about the same width...cockpits are only 30" long. They use a bungee all the way around to conform to different cockpit shapes. The back of the skirt has a round foam insert that keep it crowned and to stop cascading waves...very similar material of a pool noodle but smaller in diameter. I use these skirts mostly to keep wave splash out...drip rings contain most of the water and I adjust them depending on conditions. These are low tech and would be easy to make...chances are you you will have to make a skirt to fit but maybe a full cockpit cover would work if you modify it.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Kayakers - anyone use a Mini Skirt spray cover?

    Use to run kayak tours in the San Juan Islands and we loved our mini skirts.... used them for nice weather paddling and found they were better for beginners in that there is lot as much risk of being trapped in a capsize.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Kayakers - anyone use a Mini Skirt spray cover?

    I use turk's heads as drip rings on my GP's. They help a bit. A less vertical stroke works the best, as it prevents the drips from coming aboard. Even a proper skirt on a kayak will leak if subjected to constant flow off the paddle, and it doesn't do the fingers much good in cold water, either.

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