Submitted: 12-24-2011 by T.Palmer
Got the new spray skirt in Friday, a Harmony TTD Clearwater. Cracked the stave. It is very brittle plastic and was installed upside down from the manufacture. I cracked it while trying to install it the proper way. I glued up 3 strips of storage container lid tonight for a replacement. We'll see tomorrow. The XL size is a lot bigger than the large. On my Future Beach Trophy 126, the large was about 2" too short, and I have choked up the bungee of the XL about 19" on both ends to get it to size. The bungee is about 1/2" in diameter and has a tendency to easily roll up over long sides of the cockpit. I'm curious if it will stay on with a hefty dousing. Quality of workmanship looks good. We tried it on Randy's Future Beach Patriot 124. His cockpit is 44' in length and the skirt is way to short.
We went Sunday and paddled the East Fork of the Stones from Hoover's Mill Road to the Readyville Mill, 6 miles. The water level was good, scrapping the boat bottoms just a few times. There were numerous Class 1/2 areas along the way providing a good test for the new skirt. The large diameter bungee does tend to roll up on the long sides of the combing. Not to bad, maybe I can get it adjusted out, but I think something like a 1/4" bungee will work better. There were plenty of white caps Sunday and of course we dove right to the center of the biggest ones, getting a good splash over the bow every now and then. The replacement stave I made did not work very well, but the skirt did keep me pretty dry. I did catch one big shot of water on the zipper side and some water came through into the cockpit. The zipper is nice for accessing the cockpit though. The large size skirt I got first was just a little too small to get on, but the XL is a lot bigger. I can pull the tunnel almost up to my armpits and still have a good bit of loose material. While this creates some creasing that can hold water,
I will say that the skirt was very comfortable and did not restrict movement when paddling. A proper fitting stave should help some, hopefully taking up some of the slack.
Here's a couple of ideas I've been given on the message boards. This link is to a site that sells kites and accessories. They have both hollow and solid fiberglass rods in several diameters.
Another fellow suggested untapered dinghy sail battens. I googled it and the batten strips look promising too. Both products are inexpensive so I guess I'll try both and see which does the best job. At least I now feel confident that I will end up with a better performing skirt than the manufacture gave me.