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#1 30 Nov 2020 4:34 pm

Curlew
Member
From: nr Skipton, N Yorks
Registered: 8 May 2020
Posts: 30

Upgrading my Shearwater kayak seat

The only thing I do not like about my Shearwater 16 is the seat. I don't find it comfortable especially after an hour or so and even sticking another layer of foam over it does not really help. Being stuck to the floor of the boat you also almost always have a wet backside!

By comparison the seat fitted to my Valley Gemini composite kayak is so much better shaped. I therefore got the measuring tape out and realised I could probably fit one to my Shearwater if I removed the hip braces.

So with care I used a Dremel mounted saw to carefully remove the hip brace panels leaving as little as possible at each end. These were sanded fairly flush and sealed off with a lick of epoxy. I also tore out the foam seat which took ages to tidy as it came away in pieces.

The new seat is shown in the photos. It has a fairly rigid plastic frame and side mounting brackets which require two bolts through the hull. These line up OK without any trimming of the seat frame. The seat is just a fraction narrower than the maximum width of the boat so a snug fit. The fastening points are clear of the coaming edge although I had to use longer bolts than supplied due to the angle of the hull. The seat comes with a shaped foam support under the base, this fits nicely and I would say the lowest part of the seat in no more than 2cm higher than the old foam pad. I don't feel I am sat significantly higher in the boat.

Caulked the bolt holes and then fiddly job to get the fixing plates and nuts located underneath. There is a cutout in the side of the seat frame that you can get your fingers through (the hip pads are removable) but it took a while. The end result however is neat, solid, and comfy.

The whole thing would of course be a lot easier if you decided to fit the seat from scratch as you would not fit the hip brace panels. I am sure you could even epoxy it in place with a bit of imagination if you wanted a no-hole solution but I think it is useful to be able to remove it when it gets really mucky or worn.

Hope this helps someone.

Big thanks to Jason at Valley Kayaks in Nottingham. He sent me the seat free of charge by overnight courier when I enquired about buying one. Nice bloke, nice boats too. I hope it is OK to post a link.

https://www.valleyseakayaks.com/

Bruce

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Last edited by Curlew (30 Nov 2020 4:36 pm)

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