If you just go for a paddle than you can stop thinking about wanting to go for a paddle.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

2014: Post 31 – Update of the Foam Seat Replacement

I installed a foam seat in my Nordkapp a while ago (click here for my post).  After I had glued the velcro pieces to the hull of the cockpit I let it sit for a week in my shed waiting for the marine goop to cure.  It didn't fully dry during that week though.  

I do not know if it was the humidity or if I just put too much goop on, but each day I would go to the shed to check on things and I would roll a piece of broom handle over the pieces to keep squeezing out the excess goop that just did not seem to want to dry.

By Friday I had some ridges that had formed...

But I figured there was enough of it that was dry so I stuck the seat down to mate the two velcro pieces and went on the Friday night paddle.  

Things did not feel quite comfortable when I was paddling around waiting for the others, so I made some adjustments to the foot pegs and the back band.  It felt better, but not quite right.

The next day I moved the seat forward about a half inch or so and readjusted the back band.  The next time I paddled (click here) it felt very comfortable.  One thing I did notice on that paddle was how warm the seat was.  It is solid foam so obviously will provide a warmer platform for the butt as compared to the thinner plastic seat that came out of the kayak.... and sitting on the cool ocean water this is an advantage.  I look forward to paddling with this seat under me on winter days.

I paddled a couple more times after re-positioning the seat forward, one of them in some decent swell and waves (click here for that paddle) and things seemed to be staying in place.  One thing I really noticed was that I was able to drop my butt into the seat and more easily swing my legs into the cockpit.  The original seat that came with my Nordkapp was higher than the foam seat and this height difference made for a little more room when getting in and out of the cockpit.  

You can see how much lower the foam seat is (on the
right) compared to the original ABS seat (on the left)

Then came the first camping trip that would really give the foam seat a good test; three consecutive paddling days in Placentia Bay  (click here for Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3).

Like most people, when packing for a kayak trip, I put things in front of my foot pegs and behind my seat.  Compared to the original ABS seat, the foam seat has a smaller footprint, as you can see from the  following pics...

A side-by-side comparison of the original ABS seat
and the foam seat.  As well as smaller, the foam
seat is noticeably lighter as well
The outer markings show the extent of the
original seat and the inner markings
show the smaller size of the foam seat

With the foam seat my foot pegs are closer by one notch form the position I had them in with the original seat, but yet there is still me more space behind the seat and back-band to store camping supplies...  another decisive advantage of the foam seat.

Here's a shot of the foam seat and back-band in place. 

So am I a happy paddler?  Well, I was always a happy paddler.  But now with this foam seat I am even more happier than I was before...  this foam seat is smaller, lighter, warmer, and more comfortable.... And if you want to talk dollars, the foam seat is about one-fifth the cost of the ABS replacement seat (based on prices I was able to find at the time of $45.00 US for the foam seat and $227.50 US for the ABS replacement seat).  

What is there to not be happy about?

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