Whitewater Spray Deck

I got my Alpacka back last week complete with the new whitewater deck. There hasn’t been much chatter about this, my guess is not many people have it yet.

I have yet to try it out on the water; however, my initial impression is this deck is a total game changer in packraft design. I look forward to being able to run the water I enjoy without stopping to dump. The cockpit size appears to be close to a medium (#4?). It would be really sweet if some kayak spray skirts fit. I don’t have one laying around to try. I imagine I would use the beefier neoprene skirts for roadside runs and save the Alpacka skirt for backcountry adventures.

Here are a few shots of the design taken with a crappy IPhone camera:

The first picture shows the pieces that make up the cockpit rim, two curved aluminum tent poles for the sides, and two PVC dowels for the bow and stern. The PVC slips in each end and the sides zipper.

Here are the two pieces fit together:

One side zipped:

Both sides zipped and spray skirt on:

Very Creative idea!

A guard-rail run without getting out of the boat once and dumping = Success!

I do think I am going to seam-seal the skirt. Some water pools up on it while running and I ended up with a little bit of water in the boat at the end of the run; however, compared to last year it is nothing.

My partner did break a pole right near the white ferrule piece. We’re not sure if it snagged on or hit a rock. Makes me think I might want to take a couple extra poles on longer treks just-in-case.

John I can barely move today, I took some serious boulder impacts. When I bit it, on one less lawyer, I think it must have caught on a rock. I am really glad I tucked and also have a kevlar helmet, holy crap. However, my moment of agony left me with another thought. I may be holding the Willow triple crown of crappy boating, enjoyed by few. Now I have officially flipped a kayak, packraft, and IK on the guardrail.(geez)
On the new deck, I was impressed that I could piece it together and continue the run, still keeping out more water than the old decks. On another note I was impressed that the material survived at all.
The worst was the rock I hit under the water while in my boat. I am really glad that basketball size boulders don’t fit up my hindside, but it hurts like hell when they try. Bottom line, get those pads in the bottom of the boats, that was way worse than being scrapped upside down along the bottom. Oh! and my frozen hands finally have feeling again.
Other than that it was great. (lol)

Is anyone having trouble keeping their skirt on when they boof? I like my knees bent so I can put force upwards against my thigh straps when I boof, but I am blowing my skirt. So instead of dealing with that I am trying to keep my legs more extended, however, it is hard to raise a bow in this fashion. I do not want to move my seat back to the original posistion, so have thought about lengthening my straps on my skirt so more sticks out of the bottom and it’s not so tight on the deck.
Any ideas would be considered.
On a good note; the deck is keeping the water out, I just need to work a kink or two out.
I also noticed getting out in a hurry is tricky, when there are no eddies and I have to go for it…

I blew my skirt for the first time last night running Moose at 350. Looking at my GoPro video I can tell that it came off because of water pooling on the front. I was able to get it back on while running, but only after taking on a lot of water. I don’t have my seat forward and this didn’t appear to be caused by my knees.

Anyone else having an issue? I heard today that some people have started using a beach ball to prevent the blown skirt. Has anyone tried that?