Native Ultimate Skirts

Outfitting your Native Watercraft has some specific options for those who have the “Ultimate”, one of the most popular fishing kayaks in the industry. The accessory rail that runs the full length of the Ultimate is called the “Adapt A Trak”. One of the accessory options for the Trak is the spray skirts. They are available for the bow, the stern and the center section of the craft. Every Ultimate owner, fishing or non-fishing, should consider adding one or more skirts to their Ultimate.

The primary purpose of the skirts is preventing water from entering the kayak. A secondary benefit of the spray skirts is providing a sheltered area to place items underneath the skirts. For anyone who may encounter heavy rainfall regularly, or transports their Ultimate right-side-up, buying all three will reduce the surface area for water to enter the Ultimate to nearly zero.

For cosmetic purposes, many people like to add skirts because they look good on the boats. Available in black or camo, their cosmetic value is overshadowed by what it is actually designed to do. For people who go out with minimum weight and are not heavy passengers in the Ultimate, the skirt is not a necessity but something you should consider adding anyway. Many years of clients paddling the boats in wavy conditions, the Ultimate stays up high on the water and very little water enters the Ultimate from over the bow or the stern. This is with very little weight added to the craft. At times when you would like to be putting significantly more equipment in your Ultimate, the bow skirt in particular is an accessory that is essential to have. With more weight in this craft, the boat is lower in the water. While paddling, the probability of the bow digging into a wave goes up dramatically. A stiffening batten for the bow skirt forces the water that comes over the bow and onto the skirt dump off the side of the Ultimate, not entering the boat.

The Ultimate with this crate, cooler and passenger is much better off with a bow skirt.

The stern skirt is extremely useful for those who anchor to the rear of their boat. In choppy conditions with the boat anchored to the stern, water may splash up over the rear of the boat. The skirt prevents that water from entering the boat.

The pocket on a bow skirt is a perfect paddle-keeper. The blade of a paddle pushed up into that pocket will secure the paddle and also allows you to lay the paddle along the gunnel “out of the way” while you are fishing. The black bow skirt has a mesh pocket and anglers need to be careful to not let lure hooks snag on that mesh. The Camo skirt is not mesh and unlikely to hook with a lure.

Upkeep is minimal. With extensive periods of time in the elements, the aerospace protectant “303″ will bring the skirts back to their original color. The bow skirt on my original Ultimate 14.5 is still on that boat, intact and without any tears or defects.

The Ultimate is a vessel that is not self-draining so every user needs to be aware of water in their boat. This presents no danger to the conscientious user. Small amounts of water in the craft is standard and not a concern. Water that has filled the lower areas of the Ultimate and is almost ready to come up into the center section of the boat requires action. That best option: Get to a shallow area to exit the Ultimate. Removal of water is safe and easier when done from outside the craft. A lot of water can be removed using a cylindrical shaped tool such as a large cup. But for many gallons of water it is great to have a simple hand pump with you. Pushing down on the stern, gravity will bring all the water to the back of the boat to be scooped or pumped out. Being aware of how much water is in the Ultimate and always knowing where your shallow water or beach “exit point” is, the risk of swamping the boat is eliminated. Using a bow and stern skirt, the likelihood of water entering your Ultimate goes down. Combining the right accessory choices in skirts, avoiding overloading your craft with weight and staying aware of the amount of water that is in your boat, you should never be in a predicament.

Product info from Native Watercraft:

The Adapt-A-Trak™ bow spray skirt is designed to keep water from choppy conditions, wakes, waves or even rain out of the boat. It easily slides or clips into the Adapt-A-Trak™ system and can be used separately or combined with other skirts to cover you from bow to stern. Available for the Ultimate™ 14.5 Solo and Ultimate™ 14.5 Tandem.

The Adapt-A-Trak™ center spray skirt protects your legs from splashes, paddle drips and the sun. It easily slides or clips into the Adapt-A-Trak™ system and can be used separately or combined with other skirts to cover you from bow to stern. Fits the Ultimate™ 14.5 Solo.

The Adapt-A-Trak™ stern spray skirt is designed to keep water from choppy conditions, wakes, waves or even rain out of the boat. It easily slides or clips into the Adapt-A-Trak™ system and can be used separately or combined with other skirts to cover you from bow to stern. Available for the Ultimate™ 14.5 Solo or Ultimate™ 14.5 Tandem.

Product Details: – 400 denier, urethane-coated nylon is sturdy and waterproof – Stiffening batten sheds water -Secures with bungee clips to thwart – Tuck your paddle into the mesh pocket when you need your hands free – Links to center skirt at hook-and-loop edge – New design for 2011 models

Video:    Installing a skirt

Neil Taylor – Native Watercraft endorsed guide Owner and guide: Strike Three Kayak Fishing (Cell) 727-692-6345

 

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