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PostPosted: April 10th, 2013, 7:11 pm 
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Joined: February 25th, 2012, 10:14 am
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If someone has experience with canoe covers/skirts I would appreciate their input. I think nylon/ripstop is the common choice, but I wonder why neoprene is not popular. Neoprene is available at 1.5mm (.058 inches) in U-loop or UBL which both should hold well to velcro tape. So apply velcro adhesive backed tape under the gunnel around the canoe (1-2 inch width) and stretch the neoprene over the tape and trim. Less expensive than a custom cover and perhaps better? or not? Please let me know what expeiences you have had with covers/spray skirts in general and what you think of my proposal. Great forum, by the way, I have been enjoying it for the last year. Thank you.


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PostPosted: April 10th, 2013, 8:53 pm 
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Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
None of the standard neoprene I've seen is waterproof, it's heavy, in sunny weather you'll have a steam bath happening underneath.

Velcro? Really? You think that's going to hold in a serious dump? Maybe as a simple splash/rain cover.....

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I think nylon/ripstop is the common choice


Polyester (marine grade) is preferred over nylon because of the UV resistance.

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PostPosted: April 10th, 2013, 11:37 pm 
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Location: winnipeg
I can imagine how with neoprene, which is rather stretchy unless bonded to nylon or some such, water would pool on the deck in significant quantity to be a problem. Nylon and polyester can be laced down quite tightly. Also the weight, as mentioned, and it wouldn't pack down to any reasonable size. Even kayak skirts made of neoprene typically have battens, fabric reinforcement and other tech to keep them from imploding due to water pressure.


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PostPosted: April 11th, 2013, 12:07 am 
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Joined: February 19th, 2004, 9:53 pm
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Location: Atlanta
All of the neoprene I've used was waterproof--- it was mostly high quality, thick neoprene used in sprayskirts put together by quality firms like Snapdragon.

However, I did make a cockpit cover for travel using neoprene, and apparently the material I purchased was mediocre. It sealed great at first, and never flopped at 70 miles per hour, but after about a year the neoprene started splitting under the nylon facing. You wouldn't want to spend a bunch of bucks on a neoprene spray cover and have it go bad.

The nylon facing(s) on neoprene adds weight when it gets wet, and may be more susceptible to UV than the nylon in "made" spray covers.

To avoid or reduce water pooling, a neoprene cover would have to be made so that you would have to stretch it to get it on. If you've ever struggled with relatively small whitewater kayak spray skirts like I have, you know you'll need a committee to help you get the thing on. The nylon cover I have for my MR Guide is carefully fitted so that it can go on snap by snap without a hassle.


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PostPosted: April 11th, 2013, 1:03 pm 
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Joined: February 25th, 2012, 10:14 am
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Thanks for the responses. I do believe arched battens and/or thwarts would be best. My particular application would be to cover a flatwater outrigger canoe as an alternative to decking it, as is traditional. No whitewater, no heavy weather, and storage indoors or outdoors with additional protection. This velcro compatable neoprene would be fit and trim, no sewing involved. Mainly wind and spray protection in my case. If anyone has personal experience with this application please post. I believe thicker (perhap 3mm) neoprene is used to make sprayskirts for whitewater kayaks, but the weight is likely prohibitive on these lightweight hulls.


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PostPosted: April 13th, 2013, 11:41 am 
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Joined: February 25th, 2012, 10:14 am
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I did some research and most of what we commonly call neoprene is SRB which is good for athletic wraps beverage wraps etc. True neoprene is CR and is used in quality wet suits because it is more durable and gives better thermal protection at depth (it does not compress as much as SRB apparently at depth). Both are water resistant, closed cell foam, and do not absorb more than 1-5% by volume of water if immersed. I found specific gravity from 6-12 pounds/per cubic foot, so very light at 1.5-2mm for my application. My canoe is 16" maximum beam but I think I would be concerned about the stretch and pooling on a 32" tandem. To my dismay only the SRB is avilable with velcro "loop" on one side and nylon on the other. I would rather buy the CR but the supplier claims SRB is used for spray skirts with good results. I have ordered samples: it actually comes in low, medium, and high cycle velcro backing, and the price difference is significant. I ordered some velcro "hook" tape also with adhesive back. I will try this out and get back to the forum with my opinion after pulling and torturing. Ground freight so probably a week away.


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PostPosted: April 23rd, 2013, 8:24 am 
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Joined: February 25th, 2012, 10:14 am
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I received samples yesterday from Rockwoods.com and both the low duty 1.5mm 54486-B/LDC and the 2mm medium duty 2MM/B/MDC perform well, they stick like velcro should. The medium duty does have a little more grip. I am pleased and will probably use this or a similar product on my canoe. Rockwoods was the only seller I found with samples, so I will shop around for best price in quantity.


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PostPosted: April 25th, 2013, 5:14 pm 
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I should note that I have determined that mounting the velcro tape on the canoe below an outwale of any width puts tension on the velcro which will fail. The velcro/neoprene interface must be in sheer. Tape could be attached to the outside or the bottom side of the outwale itself if adequate width/depth for perhaps 1" tape was available. In my case I may build with no outwale. Quite a selection of colors are available.


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PostPosted: June 4th, 2014, 10:02 pm 
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Joined: October 28th, 2001, 7:00 pm
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Location: Whati, Northwest Territories, Canada
I may be stating the obvious here, but have you heard of North Water? http://www.northwater.com/html/products ... tures.html
I've used their spray decks... both made of vinyl and pack cloth. If I ever build my own deck, I will incorporate a lot of their innovation in design and materials.

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