Folding Kayaks Forum

Aleut Spray Deck, Skirt, Cockpit Cover
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Author:  MGGRADY [ Mon May 22, 2017 3:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Aleut Spray Deck, Skirt, Cockpit Cover

I was lucky enough to get a spray deck and skirt with my second-hand Aleut. But when I tried to install the spray deck, I found that it was grossly oversized. Way too big. It was too wide, and it was too long. The Velcro on the deck perimeter would only barely contact Velcro on the washboards if the deck was stretched tight. There was no way to prevent water from pooling on the deck. I needed a fix.

I started by making a deck support just forward of the cockpit opening of the Folbot spray deck. I made it so that it can be pushed up to remove it if it is necessary to exit the cockpit in an emergency. Once the deck is installed, it will stay in place even if the knobs are not tightened. The support is made of fir and spar varnished.

I cut down the Folbot deck until it fit. I put double sided masking tape on the outside of the washboards, installed my deck support and stretched the Folbot deck as tightly as I could. Then I marked along the top of the washboards to give a line representing the seam for the Velcro and the deck fabric. I ended up cutting 5/8” to 7/8” off each side and about 1 ½” off the stern of the original deck. Sewed the Velcro back on, put the hook Velcro on the washboards, and stretched the deck as tight as a drum.

I have an extra component attached to the forward face at the peak of the C frame. I use it to help locate my paddle when using a paddle-float reentry and to position my fishing rod holder. It also holds up the spray deck at the aft end. The spray deck itself has a folded piece of thin stainless steel in a pocket, glued to the underside that sits on this appendage.

Now, the spray skirt. I hated the Folbot spray skirt. Too much material, awfully sloppy fit. I started by removing the Folbot deck tunnel that holds the ½” tubing “coaming”. I removed one staple from the dowel that holds the tubing into a circle. The circle could now be collapsed into two loops, and stored much more easily once removed from the tunnel pocket. I cut the height of the tunnel down to 2” (deck seam to top of tubing pocket, flattened (tubing not installed), and sewed the shortened tunnel back into the deck opening. The tubing could be reinserted into the pocket when needed.

I knew that a spray skirt from scratch would be a bit of a challenge. I started with a cockpit cover. I used 200 denier urethane coated nylon oxford from Seattle Fabrics. I installed the spray deck, put the tubing into its’ pocket, and made a cardboard pattern of the cockpit opening. My first attempt wasn’t that great. But I got it on the second try. I used an adjustable length of 1/8” bungee cord to tension the perimeter.

For the spray skirt, I duplicated the cockpit cover, moved the drawstring slot to the side, added a front pull strap and laid out the tunnel and the tunnel opening. The tunnel itself is a little more complicated than just a straight tube. It has a profiled bottom that takes into account the curvature of the cockpit cover and the different heights in the front, sides and rear. It is also a tapered tube, smaller at the top than the bottom. Somehow, I got it stitched into the cutout in the cover. I found that bungee alone would not really secure the spray skirt onto the tubing that represents the cockpit coaming. I left some 1/8” bungee in the skirt perimeter to help when installing it over the tubing, then added an additional drawstring made of paracord. When the paracord is cinched tightly, the nylon tubing (coaming) is flexible enough that the skirt can be pulled off readily if necessary.

Author:  MGGRADY [ Mon May 22, 2017 3:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Aleut Spray Deck, Skirt, Cockpit Cover

A few crossmember pics

Author:  RangerTim [ Mon May 22, 2017 4:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Aleut Spray Deck, Skirt, Cockpit Cover

Excellent work! You could go into business. I would love one for a Folbot Yukon, especially if it were modified to accommodate the mast and crosstube if a Balogh sail rig.

Author:  siravingmon [ Mon May 22, 2017 4:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Aleut Spray Deck, Skirt, Cockpit Cover

Great work and good to see you've got no qualms about surgery to really improve your Aleut

Author:  HoosierPaddler [ Mon May 22, 2017 5:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Aleut Spray Deck, Skirt, Cockpit Cover

Great work. I don't own a Yukon (wish I did), but I have never seen the cross member connection in your picture. Did you make that yourself, if so could you describe how you did that?


GIIx2, Kodiak, Edisto, Citibot

Author:  MGGRADY [ Mon May 22, 2017 6:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Aleut Spray Deck, Skirt, Cockpit Cover

I did make that connection. Folded 1/8 SOFT aluminum. The "hole" under the knob is actually a vertical slot. Hit the crossmember hard enough, and the whole thing slides upwards and releases. The single countersunk screws that hold the brackets to the crossmember allows them to pivot during release.

Author:  TexSon [ Thu Aug 03, 2017 1:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Aleut Spray Deck, Skirt, Cockpit Cover

I like the wood deck for the floor. What wood did you use and how thick is it?

Author:  MGGRADY [ Wed Aug 09, 2017 5:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Aleut Spray Deck, Skirt, Cockpit Cover

The wood is 3/8" exterior pine plywood. There are two fir ribs on the bottom that are alongside the center aluminum tubes. A fir crossmember on top stiffens the rear of the panel. Fastens to tubes with Velcro. One coat of West epoxy, two coats of spar varnish. Could use a couple of strips of non-skid tape.

Check out my cockpit console/tray under Kayak Fishing - Folbot Aleut Fishing Mods.


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