sea seat

Discussion in 'Gear Talk' started by fester, May 12, 2006.

  1. fester

    fester Paddler

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    In the early seventies I lived a few doors down from the guy responsible for developing the floater coat and sea seat concept.His name is Haywood and at the time he was working at UVic.

    Mustang still makes floater coats as well as a huge variety of survival gear based on information from Mr Haywood's early experiments. They do not, unfortunately know anything about "Sea seats"

    The late Derek bamforth of pacific canoe base sold sea seats and sadly since his passing they are no longer available..Ecomarine used to sell survival rafts back when John Dowd ran the shop.
    Once again regrettably these are no longer available

    The theory behind the design using inflation by mouth is a deliberate means of countering the uncontrolled breathing usually associated with cold water shock
    Although they can take up to 5 minutes to inflate and require a good deal of agility and upper body strength when used in thier originally intended manner, they are an extemely usefull device.

    They can be used by a solo paddler as a means of support for resting or re-entry should they become exhausted, incapacitated, or god forbid separated from thier boat. They can also provide support for a rafted tow if there are only two of you etc.... When deployed they are a 3 foot square hi vis orange marker.

    A device similar to the one once sold by ecomarine is used as part of standard nato submarine escape gear.

    It is affectionately referred to by submariners as "the coffin"
     
  2. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    thanks for the very interesting info, fester.

    i guess the relevant points here and from your post in christina's whistle thread are that they were not very stable and are not now available.

    i want a one man inflatable 'boat' that is very compact, fairly durable, fairly stable, good inflation oneway tube(s) and can be towed. for me, it's one of those many design projects that are lined up back there.


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  3. kayakwriter

    kayakwriter Paddler

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    I bought a Sea Seat in the late 1980s. It sucumbed to mildew from careless storage. I bought another one a few years back - glad I did, as I gather they are no longer available.

    The're essentially an inflatable ring made from a fabric similar to that used for paddle floats. The bottom of the ring is floored with uninflated fabric. Once it's inflated, you sprawl in it much as you would in a beanbag chair.

    Mine travels in an accessory pocket on the back of my PFD when I'm doing solo touring that might involve long crossings. My thinking is that if I'm seperated from my boat or it's holed on a boomer, I've got floatation that will:
    1) Increase my survival time (I also wear a farmer john wetsuit).
    2) Increase my visibility (I'll be higher out of the water, and on a big yellow thing.)
    3) Increase the range of my VHF or cellphone, by transmitting a foot or so above water level rather than at water level.

    I've played around inflating mine and getting in it in 1 or 2 foot chop. Once you're in, it is quite stable - your centre of gravity is very low, since your butt is basically at or below sea level (for once, my large ass is an, dare I say it, asset.) And, for once, having your ass in a sling is not a bad thing.

    It'd be nice if these were still commerically available. But I can understand why they're not. Niche market, not a high volume product.

    I've seen instructions in magazine for DYI drybags where you seam-seal coated fabric by ironing it. I suspect a handyperson (which includes me out) could make their own sea seat with little trouble.
     
  4. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    all your reasons make sense to me, kayakwriter.

    out of curiosity, when deflated, what is the outside and inside diameter of the inflatable ring? seems like a candidate for a modified encore in the build DIY section.
     
  5. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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  6. kayakwriter

    kayakwriter Paddler

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    Hi Mick,

    The Sea Seat measures 38" on a side when deflated. The inner ring (formed by simply welding the two layers of fabric together) is 11" in diameter. There must be a bit of differental in the cut between the top sheet and the bottom, because it consistently inflates with a slight fold downward so that it's most stable with the inflation tube on top - just where you'd want it to offset contraction caused by cooling air or a slow leak.

    I don't see where/how to post pictures in a message on this forum (maybe I need to be a more senior member or to have permissions?). And I'm one of the twelve remaining people in North America without my own website. But if you email me at kayakwriter@netscape.net I can send you photos if you like.

    I think home-made one-offs of this would be okay (I'm no lawyer, so this advise is worth what you paid for it). For anyone contemplating commerical production (which I, for one, would welcome) please note the Sea Seat is protected by Patent #1550108. Please respect Fester's friend's work on this. If you did revive production of this, I doubt you'd get rich. But you would have the gratitude of sea kayakers, and prehaps one day, the knowledge that your product saved a life.
     
  7. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    yah, non-commercial uses of exact layouts would probably be ok, but the best idea would be to change them a bit anyway. like who'se square and why would you have the same dimensional characteristic on a side or a head end or a foot end.

    maybe ease of use as omnidirectional, but pretty easy to decide which way is which if theres a diagram etc. like off the top of my head i/d make it rectangular, with bigger chambers to the side and maybe head and use those good oneway long valves like on an inflatable vest (daren says they are halkey-roberts)

    i'll email you as i'd like to see the original.

    heh heh heh . . . just came back from rolling practice where i was sort of dicking around under water with partial rolls and when i finally really came up my head scraped across the hull of an adjacent s&g longyak that i just did not notice was so close. that s&g (stitch and glue) ended up giving me 5 'stitches' and gobs of red 'goo'.


    actually i gave them to myself as my situational awareness was way out to lunch. now sorta typing w/ one hand and icepak in the other to keep the swelling down. shiner city coming up!!! gotta get my polaroids out as that night time sun sure is getting bright in here . . .


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  8. Dave_Barrie

    Dave_Barrie Paddler

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    Ouch! Guess you're gonna have to start wearing a helmet :p
     
  9. Mark_Schilling

    Mark_Schilling Paddler

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    Ouch! That sounds painful! I've encountered the same thing in pools - people tend to get way too close just as I'm setting up for a roll. I've started 'practising' a few very wide, excessively splashy sculling braces first, so they think I'm going to get water in their eyes and stay away. :wink:
     
  10. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    it was completely my own fault, no one was even in the other yak!

    i was flailing around trying to do vertical sculling from upside down to upright and didnt realize i was moving sideways a lot with the vertical sculls. i ended up right at side of a yak that was tight against the pool edge. so when i banged into it, it didnt move much.

    anyway back to sea seats. - if there hadda been one between the yaks ida bin laffin instead of cryin.
     
  11. kayakwriter

    kayakwriter Paddler

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    We chewed the fat on Sea Seats awhile back. As noted, they're not commerically available anymore.
    I just came across this:
    http://www.alpackaraft.com/Site/Items.c ... tegoryID=1

    Downside: heavier and bulkier than the Sea Seat, though it might work in a large hippack that was on you as part of your bail out kit.

    Upside: way more durable, designed for regular use rather than emergency use only. I've go visions of switching my kayak spare paddle to a four piece take apart and using this raft to access/cross mountian tarns on the hiking sidetrips I sometimes take on my paddling sagas. Wee Sandy Lake above Slocan Lake comes to mind...
     
  12. DarrenM

    DarrenM Paddler

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    That thing is totally cool 8)
     
  13. DarrenM

    DarrenM Paddler

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    Ouch... just noticed the price... :?
     
  14. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    this is similar to the one i carry every now and again:

    http://www.coleman.com/coleman/colemanc ... ryid=10085

    i think i paid $10 on special so bought a couple and then bought another similar type last summer just to see the diff and play around a bit.

    so like 100x cheaper than the alpacka, heh heh.

    but they are too big, want something in betw the unstable and simplistically nondesigned seaseat and these 'poolboats' so that just possible to put in the pfd like you do or easy stowing in yak. i think it's legitimate to sacrifice having legs in as core is of main importance, much better inflating tube type and location(pushpull near mouth), some acknowledgement of head support and some gesture at more lateral stability.

    done a bunch of dimensioned schematics balancing betw small size and stability with above considerations as well as some playing around with the idea of a very thin material spray like skirt that is able to be pulled up to the neck area ( a pseudo-shelter) or some material that can be pulled up betw the dangling legs like a beavertail (slowing ht loss). but they are not really really really simple and so i will probably let those ideas go.

    i have abt 10yds of htseal nylon that i'll put to this use when i feel ok abt the approach and when some of my other projects are done. heh heh.


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  15. jbj_bc_ca

    jbj_bc_ca Paddler

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    Mick, how do you inflate the 'poolboat'? My daughter has one and it takes about an hour to inflate using an electric pump plugged into the car's lighter socket. I can't imagine inflating by mouth, nor can I see carrying enough CO2 to inflate it far either. Perhaps you tow it around inflated, like a tender?

    Jonathan
     
  16. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    by mouth, i counted about 60 large breaths, i/ve never done it in real conditions (cough, cough, small breaths, blub, blub, worn out . . .), the blow up tube is in wrong place, is too small, is awkward and it's way too much volume.

    but if there's a big problem it may be an option, but i know it's marginal . . .

    (i carry one now and again as it's often no big deal and fits right behind my seat (in several yaks now) just below the backband and doesnt impede layback etc.)

    can anyone think of a light, nonstretch fabric or material that could be used to make simple 1/4 size models. (model airplane fabric shrinks with heat - so no good for this). Plastic from plastic bags would be good, but is there any easy way to airtight glue it?

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  17. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Mick,

    This stuff may be too heavy, but you can get heat-sealable nylon from Seattle Fabrics. The edges seal with a home iron. I've used the stuff to make custom drybags.
     
  18. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    i have about 10 yds of the stuff from seattle fabrics, but i want something much lighter to model with. i think the (200dernier??) stuff is too heavy to model problems.

    tyvek? mylar is too stiff. hvy plastic bag'd be good.

    duh duh duh, some kind of vinyl!! - exact same stuff that real cheap toys are made of. . .

    now where to get?

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  19. jurgenk

    jurgenk Paddler

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    They're not cheap, inflate to 160 psi, and have three working orifices... I wish my sea seat were so accomodating. Apologies all around, drinking and posting never mix well...
     
  20. DarrenM

    DarrenM Paddler

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