Beefy spray deck

Hi to all!

Has anyone got a beefy spray deck mounted on his Alpackaraft?
I am thinking about getting myself one, but I would really like to have a closer look at it.
I have hard time to clearly see how it is built.
Moreover, is there some kind of “stiff” plastic strip along the velcro?

pictures welcomed!
thank you for your help.

I have a beefy spraydeck if you would like to see one. It hooks just like the pictures on the Alpacka site, a two-sided Velcro tab fitting in a two- sided Velcro sleeve.

I had the previous spraydeck and this is a huge improvement if you will be running class III & IV water. It is a little harder to exit when upside down, but well worth the hassle!

If you are going to run whitewater this is a no-brainer unless you are going with a sweet custom deck like on Roman’s Llama.

Hello John,

thanks for your reply.
If ever your could take additional pictures, that would be nice!

A custom deck, yes, I thought about this…
Being located in Europe, I actually though I should fix this by myself rather than ordering it from overseas.

I was thinking about doing something like this:

in black, the front deck,
in blue, the rear deck,
in red, the velcro

I would probably add some material around the area, which will be stressed by hard pulls. And use some 10cm wide velcro.
How does that sound to you?
Is this rather similar to what Alpacka is offering?

Hey Guys,

maybe this need and DIY approach comes from being placed in Europe :wink: I myself made it wonderfully work by using snap fastener:

Basically it is enough to reinforce the velcro closing on to of the opening, directly to the waist - the stress point.
It prevents the deck from opening gradually, but opens at a certain power.

You can use more buttons down the velcro, but be aware of entrappment. For me the verco section in between gave enough hold once the opening was reinforced by a single button.

It is easy, cheap, no mess with sewing or glueing!

Get back for more questions



Hei Sven,

Thanks for your reply.
Yes, I actually saw your post. and also another interesting one. I put the reference here, if ever somebody is interested in the future… :slight_smile:
Esben’s post
Richard295’s post

I think you convinced me about the snap fasteners method. I’ll try that first.
If it is not enough, I think I will then try a one side 10cm wide velcro tab.
I will reserve the super sandwich method for later if everything has failed :slight_smile:

I started out the 2011 boating season with one of the supposed “beefy” spraydecks but I was disappointed in it. The only thing different about the “beefy” version is the side closure on the deck. I found the closure impossible to manage one-handed, which is crucial for many on-river situations where you are hanging on to the river bank with one hand and trying to close the deck with the other. Even with two hands it is awkward to fit the tabs in the slots and press the velcro together and I often found I was mushing the tabs into the slots and hoping the velcro made contact. The velcro is on the wrong sides of the tab and slot to make proper contact when you close your hand. The variation illustrated above by waluyo with velcro on all the surfaces would be an improvement.

After my floor shredded on the second day, Alpacka sent me a new boat with the non-beefy spraydeck. I put a button snap at the top of the skirt to minimize the frequency that the deck blows open, but it is still a long way from ideal.

The number one issue that most packrafters struggle with is the spraydeck. We have come a long way since the open boats, but nearly every boater that I paddle with struggles with their spraydeck. The only truly beefy deck that I have seen is on Roman Dial’s boat, and I am very jealous of how simple and dry that deck is. We paddled 3 hours of non-stop Class IV last week and he never had to bail once, while I was stopping constantly. Roman’s deck is made of a heavier fabric than the standard decks, and has a short center opening with 3 strips of velcro and a tall waist that comes well up his torso. The only flaw that I could see is that Alpacka continues to use cheap velcro that deteriorates quickly, especially the loop side, which fuzzes and frays in the first days of use. For only a few dollars more they could use better and wider velcro and save us lots of hassle.

Thanks for the comment bradmeiklejohn.

I actually followed Sven’s suggestion and put a snap fasterner on the skirt. I have tried it last weekend and was quite happy with it. It as indeed and as you said “quite a long way from ideal”, but it is already a huge improvement.
The next step for me will be to adds some sleves on the both side to welcome some foam pads/ziplocks/collapsible bottle… But that will have to wait until I am back from holidays.

The strong snaps I bought from Shelby ’ ’ are pretty awesome and have nothing to do with the snap fasteners I originally bought at the local store for a couple of euros. The tool -included in the kit- to cut a hole in the fabric is awesome and does not mess the fabric. The snaps look solid and are now securely attached to the deck. They are pricy, but I am not disappointed.

If I eventually consider the snap not being enough for my use (true test for me in Kirghistan in the next weeks, where packrafting potential seem endless), I’ll considering applying some good-quality 10 (or cut to 7-8cm) cm-wide velcro on the side openning.
At the moment, I am not anymore conviced by the sandwich method (maybe overkill for me and could be a potential entrappment hazard). But a wider velcro should do…

I’ll come back on this subject later.