Amateur outfitting

Discussion in 'Boat and Accessory Building' started by BigandSmall, May 18, 2015.

  1. BigandSmall

    BigandSmall Paddler

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2012
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    225
    Location:
    Northern BC (FSJ)
    I decided to try making a foam seat and backrest for my boat to see if I liked it. I bought an Assateague last fall when I heard they weren't going to be made anymore. Unfortunately they mounted the seat so far forward it made it difficult getting out on the water. Also the backband mounts with a single screw to the seat and the backband allowing it to pivot all over the place. Should I put the seat back in I'd put a 2nd screw at the seat mount to help keep it at the right height.


    I couldn't find any grey minicell foam around here so I made a temporary seat out of some jigsaw puzzle mat scraps I had kicking around. I glued a couple of pieces together to get the thickness I wanted. The mats are 1/2 blue and 1/2 red making my temporary seat not very attractive. It did make it easier to see how deep I was sanding though.


    I used an angle grinder with a worn out flapper disc to carve out my seat. I tried a new disc but it was too grabby. I watched Rod Tait's video on Youtube and did a poor job imitating it. For a back rest I picked up a yoga block at CDN tire and cut it on an angle to match my bulkhead.


    I taped everything in temporarily and headed out for a test run.


    I ended up moving the seat back at least 2 inches. I had a very windy wet test run so I got to land in small waves twice, once to drain water and once at the take out. I was so much easier to jump out in a hurry now. Also I ground the seat down to approximately 1/2 inch thick lowering the seat height about an inch. This really changed the feel of the boat. It didn't feel tippy before but the extra feeling of stability is nice. I still have some work to do though. I didn't drill any drain holes and since I took a bunch of waves into my lap I see the point of those. In my excitement to get out and test it I forgot my water shoes and ened up just wearing sandals. My right leg was falling asleep a bit but I wonder if that was foot wear and not having pegs set up correctly? Time will tell, I might shave the seat front down a little more too. I made a point of straightening and wiggling my right leg well ahead of time to ensure it was awake for the take out. When I got back to the boat launch there was a guy there throwing a ball for his dog at the grassy spot I launched at. I had to jump out at a rocky spot instead. With the seat moved back it wasn't bad. Only upon standing did I realize the left leg wasn't fully awake either... Funny thing when you fall in, no one is ever looking at you when you stand up.
     
  2. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Dec 7, 2011
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    1,280
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Good job!
    I was surprised at the difference in 'feel' that lowering the seat less than an inch can produce.
    That 'jigsaw' foam flooring is good stuff. I have a bunch of it in grey and it has made some thigh pads.
    Keeping a piece in the car is handy - I throw it on the ground when I'm changing out of the dry suit.

    BTW, if you find that moving the seat back has made the boat 'bow light' you can always throw a bag of water in the front compartment.

    Numb legs and falling down at the beach....been there,done that! :D
     
  3. GeroV

    GeroV Paddler

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2014
    Messages:
    89
    I just made a new seat out of minicel foam as my legs were going numb from the previous seat. Given where you're paddling, I'm assuming you're wearing a dry suit. I'm also going to assume that you did a bit of shifting around on the new foam seat to get your seating position just right. That may have caused bunching of the drysuit of the insulating layers underneath in the groin area, which could cut off circulation. The other cause for the numbness may be that you don't have enough support under your hamstrings. Try angling up the front of the seat a little with some additional leftover scraps.

    Color isn't so bad - kind of psychedelic!

    Gero
     
  4. BigandSmall

    BigandSmall Paddler

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2012
    Messages:
    225
    Location:
    Northern BC (FSJ)
    How do you find the difference in density/flexibility between the puzzle mats and the grey minicell John?

    I'll try tipping the front up, thanks for the suggestion Gero.
     
  5. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
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    1,280
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    I'd say they were quite similar. The flooring is certainly cheaper - I think I paid $10-12 for a pack of 4 sheets 2x2ft.

    The flooring mats I got have one side that's smooth and the other side has an 'embossed' pattern, but the non-smooth side still seems to glue OK with solvent-type contact cement.

    A big block of minicell and a bandsaw allows cutting wedges as well as 'as required' thickness pieces, but it's a luxury.
    You can do a lot with a knife and a coarse sanding disk or 'Dragonskin' metal or a Japanese rasp.
    I collect closed cell foam when I see it cheap - kneeling pads for gardeners, yoga mats, sleeping pads, etc. . Useful when padding under the deck, hip pads, & thigh hook pads.

    I'm a fan of hard and slippery seats (NDK style like the Romany ones, or Mariner kayak seats) so can't help much on the foam seat building. :D