The Most Comfortable Seat
You want your kayak seat to be comfortable. Sitting down with your legs out front is not a common posture in every day life, but the right seat can make it feel natural.
You may think the secret to a comfortable seat is to have it soft and well cushioned, and this seat is, but if it is shaped right you could make it out of cast iron and sit in it all day. Modeled after the old metal tractor seats that allowed a farmer to spend all day tilling his fields, this seat fits right.
This seat is CNC machined from a 16" x 16" x 3" [406 x 406 x 25mm] piece of minicel foam to fit without any hot spots, wide enough to keep you centered in your kayak and long enough to support your thighs so your legs don't fall asleep. It wraps around you so you feel connected to the boat. I've been working on this shape for over 35 years to get it just right and I think you will find it one of the most comfortable kayaks seats you will ever sit in.
The seats are straight off the CNC machine, the router bit leaves a slightly fuzzy, suede-like texture that will wear away with time. You can adjust the shape and re-work the surface with sandpaper. The seats are machined from gray Minicel®, a very fine-grained, closed-cell foam. It does not absorb water and provides flotation.
Bottom Contour Shaping
Because it is made with soft foam, the flat bottom of the seat may be glued directly to the bottom of your kayak as-is. It will bend and conform, however this will affect the shape of the seat. To maintain the proper shape I flip the seat over and contour the bottom to match the hull shape of they kayak in the cockpit. Not only does this help the seat fit to your kayak, it makes the seat thinner which lowers your center of gravity making your kayak more stable.
Flat Bottom ContourUse this bottom shape on flat bottomed designs such as the Ganymede, or if you want customize the seat yourself. You can stick some coarse (40 grit) sandpaper in the bottom of your boat and drag the seat back and forth until you have a tight fit. You can also cut wedges of minicel to fit under the seat if you want a higher seat location.
Shallow V Bottom ContourThis shallow "V" shape will work for many kayaks including almost all the Great Auk designs, all the Guillemot designs, and the Night Herons and Petrels (including the Play and S&G versions) designs. It should also work with a lot of commercially manufactured sea kayaks. And this would make a good seat for a Nymph canoe. The angle of the bottom is about ~5° of deadrise above horizontal.
Deep V Bottom ContourGood for deep "V" designs such as the microBootlegger Tandem or Aleutesque.
Round A Bottom ContourFor narrow round-bottomed kayaks like the Yukon design.
Round B Bottom ContourAnother round-bottomed shape suitable for the Mystery design.
Custom Bottom Contour
- We can contour the bottom to match your boat. We will need a drawing of your bottom shape to work from. You must contact Nick before you order so we can determine what you need.
Installing Your Seat
The best way to install the seat is using a contact cement such as Barge Cement or WeldWood. Carefully mark out where the seat will go in the bottom of your kayak. Apply the contact cement to the bottom of the seat and inside the kayak where the seat will go. Allow the cement to tack up and then, very carefully, place the seat where it belongs. You have one shot because it will grab immediately. Press it firmly in place and it should be done. Give it a day to improve the bond strength and then go paddling.