is a flexible cover for a boat
A boat is a watercraft of any size designed to float or plane, to provide passage across water. Usually this water will be inland or in protected coastal areas. However, boats such as the whaleboat were designed to be operated from a ship in an offshore environment. In naval terms, a boat is a...
, in particular for a kayak
A kayak is a small, relatively narrow, human-powered boat primarily designed to be manually propelled by means of a double blade paddle.The traditional kayak has a covered deck and one or more cockpits, each seating one paddler...
or a canoe
A canoe or Canadian canoe is a small narrow boat, typically human-powered, though it may also be powered by sails or small electric or gas motors. Canoes are usually pointed at both bow and stern and are normally open on top, but can be decked over A canoe (North American English) or Canadian...
. It is used in whitewater
Whitewater is formed in a rapid, when a river's gradient increases enough to disturb its laminar flow and create turbulence, i.e. form a bubbly, or aerated and unstable current; the frothy water appears white...
, inclement weather or sport to prevent water from entering the boat while allowing one or more passengers to sit in the boat and propel the boat by paddling or rowing
Watercraft rowing is the act of propelling a boat using the motion of oars in the water. The difference between paddling and rowing is that with rowing the oars have a mechanical connection with the boat whereas with paddling the paddles are hand-held with no mechanical connection.This article...
A spraydeck is a sheet made out of water-tight cloth (for example, rubberized or impregnated cloth) sized to fit over the opening, or cockpit, of the canoe or kayak.
A spraydeck has an opening for each passenger. Each opening likewise is encircled by a line or elastic string running in a hollow seam on the edge of the hole. This makes it possible to tighten the spraydeck around the body of the passenger.
Spraydecks are worn by kayakers in most conditions, but especially on rough water and in inclement weather, to prevent water entering the kayak's cockpit. On a kayak, the spraydeck is secured to a rim surrounding the cockpit with a line or elastic string called a rand. The line or string runs in a hollow seam along the edge of the spraydeck, alternatively elastic cord is attached directly to the edge of the spraydeck, and is tightened around the rim of the kayak's cockpit or stretched over it. The fastening may be pulled tight or held so by its elasticity, this prevents water infiltration while allowing passengers to quickly release it if the boat should capsize. To aid easy release during a capsize a grab loop is attached at the front of the spraydeck which the kayaker can use to pull the spraydeck free. A properly sealed spraydeck will allow a kayaker to perform an eskimo roll and continue paddling without having to bail out.
A kayaker's spraydeck is also known as a "sprayskirt
", because it is donned like a skirt
A skirt is a tube- or cone-shaped garment that hangs from the waist and covers all or part of the legs.In the western world, skirts are usually considered women's clothing. However, there are exceptions...
before entering the boat. "Sprayskirt" is the more common term in the US.
Spraydecks are commonly made from neoprene, nylon or a combination of both materials. The most appropriate material depends on the temperature/time of year and on the type of water being paddled. Whitewater spraydecks are made totally from neoprene, whereas flatwater touring/sea kayak spraydecks may be made from either material.
These spraydecks are snug, tight, thick to keep in the warmth, very tight fitting on the cockpit, can withstand rolling, bracing and high wind and waves. They sometimes get very warm during hot days but will keep the paddler very warm during colder conditions. On modern neoprene spraydecks the rand is usually elastic cord attached directly to the spraydecks rim.
Nylon spraydecks are easy to attach, easy to remove, offer adequate seal to keep water out, comfortable, sometimes breathable, sometimes waterproof and are used during warmer conditions. They will either have neoprene or nylon for the torso. Nylon spraydecks are less commonly used during rough conditions as they are not as tighly fitted so are more likely to accidentally become free.
3. Other Materials:
Whitewater spraydecks often have additional features to ensure the best seal and greatest robustness. Latex may be coated on the underside of the deck to grip the cockpit better and/or a protective material (e.g. Kevlar) added to the surface of the deck to provide abrasion resistance.
On a canoe, the spraydeck is secured to the outside of the hull with string or cords to a webbing specifically installed for this purpose. Modern designs have many features for safety and convenience such as map and paddle pockets, access openings, and tie-down straps.
Like a kayak, a spraydeck will allow a canoer to perform a kayak roll (provided he/she is strapped to the canoe) and continue paddling without having to bail out. But this manoeuvre is more difficult.
On a canoe, it is not only a safety item but may also be used for comfort. During rainy or cold weather, it keeps the lower body of the canoers dry and warm, and prevents rain from building up a puddle at the bottom of the boat.