DIY Spray Deck

I just bought an alpacka of a fellow, never been used, but has no spray deck. I understand that it can be mailed back to the company to have a deck put on. However, has anyone fabricated their own spray deck and if so care to share the details? If not, any suggestions on attempting this?


Yep , I’ve done 3, the first 2 out of silinylon which wasn’t strong enough, and the latest out of heavier fabric, which gas been good. Email me at and I’ll send some piccies. I thunk there was a thread on this forum a year or two back where I posted a piccy as well - I’ll see if I can find it.

I’ve found the posts about fitting spray decks, and the piccies of mine - they are under “general discussion”/ “retrofitting a spray deck” on Jan 19 2010.


Although this thread is almost a year old, I think it’s better to reuse this than start a new one to confuse users.

I bought my Alpacka half a year ago and without spay deck since I didn’t think I would be using it for whitewater. Well, oops. Sending the boat back for retrofit would cost $200 + freight + toll + VAT (≈300€ = bad idea) so I started engineering my own deck.

Note to Alpacka: I’m fully aware that this will void my warranty =)

If you wish to see what parts I ordered for the project, check the list here:
Note: The store takes international orders

The deck is going to be constructed of two separate parts for bow and stern. The building material is really heavy duty 220g/m^2 PU-coated diamond-pattern -ripstop nylon. Feels a bit like overkill but at least it should’t rip too easily. And it’s orange! <3

The sides of the front part will have zippers and the bow will be secured with 50mm velcro strap. I was going to use zipper for that as well but I couldn’t find one of suitable length. The back part will be permanently glued to the boat and I will use a 4mm rubber lace to secure the whole thing around myself. Front and back parts will be attached to each other with velcro as well.

This is the current situation. The project continues and I will update you with more details soon =)

(click to enlarge)

If you wish to hear more of this, just ask =)

Here’s a close-up of bow velcro strap and one of the side zippers. The gluing of front part should be done today.

(click to enlarge)

Gluing was successful!

Here’s the frame of front part

Here’s the front part attached

Here’s the almost ready back part. When it’s completed all that remains to be done is gluing it to the boat.


Thank you for your photos! I was going to start on my project this month. Like you, I was never going to use the packraft on whitewater.

^You’re welcome =)

If you wish to see some of the details, just ask

Here’s the final gluing of the back part. Now I’ll just have to wait until it dries.

I’ll try to summarize the whole project after I’ve sealed the seams and tested this beauty!

EDIT: Testing will have to wait until rivers melt here in the frozen north =)

It was fun trying to fit a spray deck:

Worked pretty well, but the fabric/velcro that ran vertically along the waist tube needed a taper to it, as it is a tight fit at the lower end. I’d also like an entirely removable deck for some situations, and an opening at the front to allow easy egress of water .


I’d like to note that the this spray deck I made turned out to be extremely dangerous. I’m lucky to be alive. I tore the whole thing off and disposed it.

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.

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 :wink:
  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. :slight_smile:

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?

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.

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??