Need to know how to make a spray skirt for a kayak? If you are into kayaking you have probably wondered how to make your own spray skirt. Spray skirts are usually made from either neoprene or nylon. These instructions are going to show you just how to make your own spray skirt for your kayak using neoprene.
To make your own spray skirt for a kayak, you will need:
- Two yards of 1/8” neoprene
- Six feet of 1/4” nylon shock cord
- A large piece of hard cardboard
- A non-permanent marker
- Neoprene glue
- Measuring tape
- Ten feet of one-inch nylon webbing
- A pull cord fastener
- Two three-foot sections of one-inch flat nylon webbing
- A lighter
- Acetone or lacquer thinner
- Someone to help you take measurements
- Sit in the kayak and measure the distance from the combing (where the cockpit begins) to your shoulders, with assistance from someone. Then place the cardboard over the cockpit and trace the oval cockpit opening on it.
- Use the scissors to cut out the pattern from the cardboard. Place the cardboard on the neoprene and cut around the pattern, approximately three to four inches away from it.
- Place the shock cord on the neoprene along the outer edge of the cutout neoprene and circle it around, following the edge of the neoprene. When you get back to the start, extend the cord approximately eighteen inches further out. Cut the cord and use a lighter to melt the cut ends.
- Using the acetone or lacquer thinner, clean from the outside edge in about eight inches or so on the neoprene. You can also use sandpaper after cleaning to roughen it up a bit for better bonding. Fold the outer edge over the shock cord and glue. Take care to not glue the shock cord to the neoprene. Leave the shock cord at the front end exposed, making sure to leave eight to nine inches on either side. Slide the pull cord fastener on the exposed ends, closing the circle of cord.
- Put the shock cord around the cockpit combing and slide the fastener up against it, making sure the neoprene is tight against the combing. Mark where you will sit and then remove the skirt and cut out the opening. Put the skirt back on the kayak.
- Put one of the three-foot sections of webbing over each shoulder and then step into the cockpit through the hole in the neoprene. Mark the neoprene where the webbing hits when you are sitting. Sew the webbing onto the neoprene where marked. Sew the opposite ends of the webbing on the back side of the spray skirt, directly across from where they are attached in the front, keeping them an equal distance apart.
- Take the ten-inch piece of webbing, make a loop and sew it to the very front of the neoprene where it meets the combing. This will leave a circle of webbing coming off the spray skirt.
- Sit down in the kayak and put the shock cord around under the combing. Pull on the fastener to tighten it, making sure to pull out the webbing loop so it can be seen and is within reach from the cockpit. To remove the spray skirt, pull forward on the webbing and then pull up and back. Practice removing the spray skirt several times to make sure that the cording isn’t too tight and that the skirt can be removed quickly and easily in case of an emergency.
And now you have made your own spray skirt for your kayak. You can also make one from nylon to use in warmer weather, as neoprene holds in warmth. If you use nylon to make a spray skirt, use the lighter to melt the cut edges so that it does not start to unravel. Now go out and hit the water, and enjoy staying dry with your new spray skirt.