Kayak seats

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by cthippo, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. cthippo
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    cthippo Senior Member

    I'm getting ready to fit out the cockpit on the Raptor and trying to figure out what to do for a seat. I'm looking at the seats they sell for sit-on-top boats but they're ridiculously expensive and not really optimized for a sit-inside boat. What have other people done for seating in their boats?
     
  2. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    You want to get that right, it makes a big difference to the sitting pleasure. I have to consider the same thing myself, and I havnt found any 'off the shelf' seats that I thought were comfortable and well priced either.

    At the moment, I am planning to carve a quality bum shape in some closed cell foam, and cover it with epoxy/glass. Then, I will glue some Velcro strips to the top of the fibreglass, and get a soft rubber block about an inch thick to sit on top, held down with the Velcro.

    My thought was to anchor the fibreglass seat by gluing some nylon 'ribbon' to the bottom of the boat, both sides of the seat, and lacing the seat down with 'string'.

    Any other ideas would be of interest to me too.

    I was thinking that foam would help with flotation if the cockpit got flooded too.



    I
     
  3. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Find a plastic chair that fits you well and cut the seat off.
     
  4. iceboater
    Joined: Jan 2011
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    Location: Iceland

    iceboater Junior Member

    If I where going to build my own kayak I would put a lot of effort in making or getting the right seat that fits me.
    If I would make it myself, I would do it this way:
    Get bean bag chair and cover it with thin plastic.
    Find out from sitting in your kayak what angle would be most comfortable between your back and legs.
    Take measurement from your knee to chest.
    Make a template out of thin plastic of approx. measurements of the seat you want and add about 3 inches in each direction.
    put the template on the bean bag and try it out by sitting on it to see where to aim your behind to get it in the right location under you.
    Use the template to cut 600gr strand mat.
    Wet the strand mat on the template with resin, 3% catalyst.
    Roll the air out.
    Place the strand mat on the bean bag with the template under it.
    Put thin plastic over the wet mat.
    Sit on the mat on the bean bag with the added layers of clothing you would use on your kayak.
    Push yourself in and measure the distance from your knee to your chest and sit still for about 40 minutes and then carefully stand up.
    wait another 30-60 minutes and peel the plastic of the shell and trim it
    to desired shape with knife or scissors.
    The shell will have a lot of wrinkles in it and you can either build it up
    with more layers of fiberglass or use it to make mold for new seat.

    Axel
     
  5. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    Thats a great idea IB. I was wondering how to get the contours right - bean bags are a great concept. Getting out carefully, and not disturbing the beans while laying resin are the key. I might prefer to use the bum shape as a template for taking off dimensions for the carving.

    Gonzos concept of taking all the hard work out with a premade plastic seat also appeals greatly. You could also get a back shape from it if you cut down the back of the chair and mounted it properly with the seat. The big 'if' is getting a plastic chair that suits a paddling position.

    Hours of paddling sitting on some of those general purpose plastic seats could be daunting.
     
  6. iceboater
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    iceboater Junior Member

    My idea is to make the template cover back and bottom. Therefore you would need to take the knee to chest measurement.
    And you would need to sit in it until the fiberglass hardens some. It is very hard to stand up from bean bag chair without disturbing it.
     
  7. iceboater
    Joined: Jan 2011
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    iceboater Junior Member

    I decided to try to make the seat according to my description in post number 4.

    When I have paddled kayaks for long distances, the only discomfort is from the seat not fitting to my bottom,
    resulting in loss of blood flow to my legs and not being able to brace myself comfortably with my knees against the deck when I need to paddle hard.

    I did everything according to the description, but I would suggest using less catalyst.
    It got very hot sitting in the seat where resin accumulated and it took only 10 minutes to harden so I could stand up.
    The chain hoist helped me to stand up without disturbing the bean chair. The seat is now ready to be trimmed to desired shape, faired and panted to make a
    mold or build up with more layers of fiberglass and use as a seat.

    Axel
     

    Attached Files:

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  8. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

    The easiest way to make a seat is to get some EVA foam and carve it out with first a bread knife, and than a Sureform file (looks like a fine cheese grater). It is fairly fast, and it makes a comfortable seat, that also adds bouancy to the kayak. You cut the lower side to match your kayak hull, and carve away the "seat" side to match your backside (with many "test fits" as you shape it).

    Large blocks of EVA foam are pretty costly, I like to find scraps and glue them together and carve the seat out of something approximately the shape I need.

    See this web site: http://www.redfishkayak.com/seats.htm

    Redfish also sells seat "blanks" that are already roughed out, or completed seats if you want to pay for all the hand labor to make one. If you come down my way sometime soon you can have as many EVA scraps as you want, I have several boxes of scraps I got from redfish kayaks.
     
  9. Petros
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    Location: Arlington, WA-USA

    Petros Senior Member

  10. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    That's exactly what Troy and I did for our canoes. It works great!
     
  11. cthippo
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    cthippo Senior Member

    If anyone is following this thread, I bought a junker life jacket for $10 and sliced it up which gave me enough closed cell foam for a comfortable seat. Pics to follow.
     
  12. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

  13. cthippo
    Joined: Sep 2010
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    cthippo Senior Member

    Anyone have experience bonding closed cell foam to itself and other things? Is there something that will stay at least a little flexible when dry and not eat the foam?
     
  14. iceboater
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    iceboater Junior Member

    I would use Sikaflex
     

  15. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    Sikaflex would be a good candidate.

    You may also like to drop in to your local specialised craft centre, and check out their range of 'goos'

    I remember buying a mixture used for flexible moulds that was very robust, tough and ... flexible. They are fairly expensive, but you would only need a shallow layer to provide that bit if 'give'.

    Something like that is on my 'to do' list.
     
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