So, I just finished my Chesapeake 17 minus the seat.  I'm still a little short on gear, and so not ready for the maiden voyage.  While I'm building capital for gear, I thought I'd investigate my seat options.  I'm looking recommendations based on what everybody else has done.  Aside from going with the pad and backrest included in the kit, what is going to give me the best value for comfort?

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RE: Seats

Make your own seat as Ross Leidy did- see Blue Heron site. If you have left over glass & epoxy and possibly some material, all you need is another seat to use as a form. Oh, and alot of time. Let me know how it works out.



RE: Seats

I just went with a basic seat shape carved from mini cell foam; then a little later down the road added one of those skwoosh seat pads over it (not sure if thats spelled right) - I just had the basic back band (very similar to the rapid pulse they sell here)

Of course I am in a Wood Duck which is a fairly comfortable kayak despite seating arrangements, but I have had my share of extended paddles (including one 15 mile stretch) and remained reasonably comfortable

RE: Seats

Less is better in my opinion.  I use a 3/4" thick piece of minicell, just large enough to fit between the hip braces and about 8" long.  I do double up the with a 1" wide strip at the "rear" end (sorry for the poor pun).  Staying  as low as possible is a good thing.  The minicell does a very good job of avoiding any pressure points and keeping me from sliding around in the boat.  The standard CLC seat is OK too, but I find having a lip all the way around the seat to be a bit uncomfortable. 

 I find the simple backband to be very comfortable as well, but my wife does prefer something taller and more firm for her back. 

RE: Seats

Joe over at Redfish sells a carved out seat of mini cell  It comes about 12X24X4 inches and you carve it to fit your yak and the pitch that you want it to sit.  I found it to be one of the best I have ever sat on.

But now I have to tell you I cheat.  I have several seats that have come out of production kayaks (Wilderness, P&H) and I use those for myself.

RE: Seats

The Creature Comfort works fine for me in my WD12 and pirogue. My record is 22 miles in a single stretch. Not pain, just a slight stiffness from sitting for 8 hours, which you'd get even on a couch. Not sure how it would work in a Chessie with a spray skirt, though. Without the spray skirt, no problem.

In terms of value, years back before I got the seat I did a 14-mile paddle which left my back messed up for 3 weeks (504 hours). The price of the seat spread out over 504 hours is 23 cents per hour, definitely worth it not to be in agony. And after the first paddle it's paid for.


RE: Seats

My favorite is the Surf and Summit Hot Grande Seat, which CLC now sells. You just peel off the paper backing and stick it on. If it seems too thin, or your boat has a V-bottom, add a piece of closed-cell foam under it. You can see a photo of such an installation at the end of my Merganser blog.

RE: Seats

I was leaning toward the Happy Bottom Pad because it has the integral hip braces.  Does anybody have an opinion on its comfort?

RE: Seats

I ordered the Happy Bottom pad for my Shearwater 17 S&G I built last year. I had to cut off the hip braces because it was just too tight of a fit. After about an hour of paddleing I find the seat very uncomfortable. Got some good ideas from these posts though and will look at some of the seats suggested. 

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