DIY Spray Deck

Mods, DIY gear, repair, etc...
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Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:47 am
Location: Helsinki, Finland

Re: DIY Spray Deck

Post by undersound » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:17 am

AeroNautiCal wrote:Glad to hear that you are safe.

When (if) you feel able to, would you consider sharing your experience with your homemade spray deck in more detail?

Well I don't remember much, but my raft flipped when I accidentally entered a rapid sideways. I had used double 50mm velcro to fasten the front and back part together. That solution turned out to be almost too slow to tear open. The front part with zippers was also too front to effectively exit the boat. Luckily the gluing on rear part gave out as I struggled to get free. My hand got entangled with boat's mooring line, but as I got free of the boat, it filled with water and pulled me to shore.

I lost half my gear to the river but learned to appreciate all the work that people in Alpacka put to spray deck design. I'm not going to gamble with my life again.

-lost camera, 200€
-lost helmet, 60€
-lost paddle, 70€
+saved life, priceless

PS: I was 100% I would be able to exit the raft safely. Triple check your designs if you're going to run rapids with self-made deck.
2011 green Yak (open)
2012 red Alpaca (ww-decked w/ Cargo Fly)

Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:00 pm
Location: Ghent, Belgium

Re: DIY Spray Deck

Post by surya » Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:04 am

Last december I ordered a new Llame from Alpacka – without a spraydeck.
The reason why I choose to do so were various:
1. The price of the packraft – while not too expensive for the product itself – already blew a serious hole in my wallet; adding another $250 for a spraydeck was a splurge I could barely afford.
2. I saw the benefits of a spraydeck, but wanted to have the option to be able to remove it completely – and while the cruiser spray deck partly offers this option, it leaves the front part covered, making it difficult to use the raft with a child-passenger, as I do not think the spray deck would long survive in close vicinity of my 5-year old son ;)
3. I did like the tight design of the whitewater spraydeck, but its irremovability made it no option for me.

These reasons combined prompted me to build my own spraydeck, which design is based on the whitewater-deck, but which is (completely) removable. This removability obviously results in a loss of total waterproofness. Upto what extend this is the case, I will have to find out…

The deck I constructed consists of 4 parts:
- a PU-coated brim with a Velcro tape, glued on the boat itself (weight unknown)
- the deck, which is edged with hooktape to connect with velcro on the boat. (167 grams)
- 4 pieces of plastic pole, to create a frame for the skirt (208 grams)
- A sprayskirt to stretch over the framed deck. (95 grams)

Total weight of the configuration is 469 grams (or 16.75oz)

While the construction of the deck was fun, it proved to be a challenging and difficult task too. Keeping in mind weight, removability, strength and – above all – safety, it is a permanent balance to observe.

Now, before I venture out on white-water, I’ll make sure to get to know my deck thoroughly. But therefore, spring must arrive first. :)
Spraydeck attached to the raft
DSC_0569.jpg (217.5 KiB) Viewed 13955 times
The frame for the skirt is placed through zippers
DSC_0573.jpg (156.57 KiB) Viewed 13955 times
Sprayskirt attached
DSC_0581.jpg (171.83 KiB) Viewed 13955 times
The Velcro is pointed down to protect it and to create a pressure between the brim and the boat as extra support for the deck.
DSC_0585.jpg (133.73 KiB) Viewed 13955 times
Packraft, spraydeck and skirt
DSC_0587.jpg (192.15 KiB) Viewed 13955 times
Last edited by surya on Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Posts: 156
Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 9:32 pm

Re: DIY Spray Deck

Post by jeremy089786 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:31 pm

Wow, what a great looking deck! I would love for my white water deck to be able to come off for about half of what I use the raft for.

How easy is it to get out of when you roll over? Also, if you rolled, would the whole deck (as well as) the spray skirt come off? If so you might be able to zip the main deck on?

Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:02 pm

Re: DIY Spray Deck

Post by robertdexter » Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:50 am

I never do any fabrication for my own spray deck. I appoint some to take care of the work. If I get free time I fabricated my own spray deck.

Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:35 am

Re: DIY Spray Deck

Post by Cooper123 » Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:12 pm

At school (a long, long time ago) I used to sail dingies on a local dam. They had automtic bailers in the bottom of the hull - wonder if they would work in a canoe??

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