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Valley Seat Mods: success stories?

We Valley owners know the seat pans and back bands suck royally. I'm fairly pissed that I have to contend with crap plastic seat and ergonomicalky poor backband, even on my 2009 AvLV custom. I know old pans and bands are excellent-- I can paddle for hours without issue with my 2003 Valley Argonaut.

I've got plenty of ideas for fixes(minicell, new seat, take it out, don't sit back etc), but an asking: has any Valley owner of the crap seats circa 2005 to 2009 (I think they made changes in late 2009) have an actual working fix?


  • my fix worked very well
    I know what you mean: the Valley plastic seats pre late 2009 are junk.
    You and me are am not the only ones to lament the problem (two other paddlers I know have problems if paddling for more than one hour).
    The seat shape is wrong: it slopes too gently on the back and the back band makes contact with your back too far back.
    The seat literally gives you a pain in the butt.
    I have removed the seat, fabricated a new one and replaced it.
    Needless to say now the seat is 100% good.
    Details on how I did the job is at: http://gnarlydognews.blogspot.com/2010/01/shop-replacing-valley-seat.html
  • Confused about seats..
    My early Nord LV (2007?)had the plastic seat with the foam seat and hip pads. I never had an issue with comfort but did remove the seat pad to get lower in the boat.
    Wondering if this is the seat everyone has issues with.

  • That is beautiful custom work on your
    Valley seat replacement. Regrettably it requires materials, skills, talents and time I simply do not have, and I happen to own two Valley boats with the offending seat pans (both 2006 models). :-(

    Like CD1 I wish there was an easier solution.
  • I believe so...
    -- Last Updated: Mar-17-10 10:37 AM EST --

    unless you speced your boat otherwise the default seat in a Valley kayak from sometime in 2005 through 2009 is the one CD1 is referring to. I am not sure what Valley is using on their boats in 2010?
    I have two Valley boats with the offending seats (2006) and my backside is not real happy, particularly during long crossings. :-(

    Based on comments from other Valley owners I have been told that if you were ordering a custom Valley one could have specified a hung glass seat (extra cost) or possibly the foam seat Valley used prior to 2006.

  • Very simple seats
    Kayak seats don't have to be complex or expensive to be comfortable. You can see a simple, inexpensive method of construction a foam seat and some examples of them in my "Seat Removal & Replacement" and "Kayak Outfitting" albums on Webshots at:

  • I have owned several Valleys and ended
    up either cutting out or modifying all of them. The glass pans were all cut out because of my size. My new carbon/kevlar Nordkapp has the plastic seat. I removed it and filled the entire back area with minicell and put in a 2" minicell pan cut on an angle front to back or 2" down to zero at the rear. This method has worked fine for me. My 07 Aquanaut LV RM uses the stock plastic pan and the back band is completely filled in with scultped minicell. I think a simple wedge bottom and minicell back stop works great. The good part of the stock seat is that you can use the mounting holes on the deck for the attachment of a new back band. Bill
  • Options
    I have modified the Q-Boat seat
    I have no problem with the Valley seats per se but I did modify the seat on our Q-Boat. The reasons in our case were to get the paddler sit lower in the boat. I cut the plastic seat out and then followed advice from Brian Nystrom's web site on installing a foam seat. The end result is great and I am very happy with it.

    ... except that I fitted it for my older son and once in a while I try to squeeze my ass into it. It works in the summer but not when I wear a drysuit with insulation underneath.
  • Options
    think about the use. If you plan on using the boat in pool sessions and rolling practice where you constantly swamp the cockpit then I would keep the plastic seat for a while.

    What happened to me with a different boat was that the foam started separating from the fiberglass due to the constant water exposure and (perhaps the chlorine).

    I have a Nordkapp with the original plastic seat and it works great for me in pool session or outside.
  • if you don't want to spend time
    -- Last Updated: Mar-17-10 7:31 PM EST --

    making your own foam seat, the pre-made Bumfortable seat is really great. I used this to replace the seat in my wife's Aquanaut when time was short before a trip, and we both find it extremely comfortable. We took the backband out - there's enough support from the seat itself.
    The "wide" model.
    It is expensive for what it is, but very nice.

  • moparharn - seat tilted back 2 inches?
    I want to make cetain I have this right. But the seat is 2 inches thick nearest your knees and 0 inches thick at the stern?

    I ask because I cut out a seat that was slightly tilted back so I could put in one that was level. I find it interesting how different people need very different seat positions to be comfortable. I need to have a verticle spine or tilted slightly forward, but many boats come with the seat tilted backward so you have to curve your spine forward to sit up straight.
  • Thanks for the link....
    I'll have to take a closer look.
  • simple foam seat are great
    simple foam seat are great and very comfortable too.
    Easy to make and inexpensive.
    They don't work for me since all my kayaks have electric bilge pumps fitted.
    The water sits on the floor and can not get to the pump behind the seat.
    Details on electric bilge pump: http://gnarlydognews.blogspot.com/2009/04/shop-electric-bilge-pump-in-kayak.html
  • Yes- that is it. Two inches to support
    the thighs and zero at the back which is somewhat tucked under the seat back. I use the two inches to bore a tunnel in the middle for the pick-up on my foot pump. I have run tubing from the foot pump down the keel and about five inches into the seat bottom. The end is plugged and I have cut about 6 or 7 radius grooves in the bottom to serve as a strum box. It works pretty good. Takes about 75 pumps to empty the cockpit from a re-enter and roll and I think the flow is about right, I may add a slit or two for more flow.
    I can add pictures if you want to see it.
  • Wow- I like the looks of it, Sure would
    be a time saver if you have the cash. My worry is fastening it down. Velcro always comes loose and requires gorilla glue or some adhesive to remain more permanent. This adhesive may damage an expensive piece of foam. Bill
  • plz add pics, mop
  • .
    The seat shape is wrong: it slopes too gently on the back and the back band makes contact with your back too far back.
    I agree! Well-said. And what a nice mod! Thnaks, gnarls.
  • A prophet: mop!
    -- Last Updated: Mar-17-10 11:42 PM EST --

    I own a Valley Nordkapp which came, when I bought it, with the Bumfortable seat. Same as in the pics. It is precisely as you say, mop: I can;t get that bad boy pegged down even if I slather the underside with enough DAP Weldwood to close 1000 elephant's anus's. The underside is corrugated floam (not smooth) and that does not help. It seems "down", then I paddle once, and Bumfortable simply pulls off. Funny that you'd see that from the pics. Smart. The integrated back is the issue when puching forward on footpegs. Now, if I put foam behind it--like between it and the bulkhead--it might solve the issue. Because issue #2 with the Bumfortable is the back has little firmness, so it's rather useless. I se from the link that others have that issue, as they sell a strap of some type to keep the back upright. So a mod of the Bumfortable might help one of my five Valleys. No, make that six Valleys. But one, the Argonaut, alreayd has the ideal old hanging glass seat. I really wish I had lobbied for a hanging glass seat in the custom sectiona, I bought in 2008-2009... forced them to put it on or no deal (deal or no deal?). The plastic crap is horrendous on the carb Kev boat--it's a joke really. These are many great ideas on here--I look forward to the photos.

  • CD1 glad you posted your experiences
    -- Last Updated: Mar-18-10 12:01 AM EST --

    with trying to glue down the Bumfortable seat with DAP Weldwood, because that is exactly what I would have tried in my Valley boats. So I guess the Bumfortable is out, but possibly a Redfish foam seat would work?

  • Options
    Happy bottom pad
    Just put this in my 1989 Skerray last week. I saw a guy carrying one around at QWS, and asked about it. He bought his in Canada, but I found them at CLC. Great service from CLC. http://www.clcboats.com/shop/products/boat-gear/kayak-seats-foam/happy-bottom-pad-kayak-seat.html
  • Thanks, that seat pad looks very
    similar to the foam seat that Valley used in some of its boats prior to 2006.
  • My ass is too big for that seat, it
    pinches my hips and is not long enough to support my thighs properly. If they made one with a deeper pan and thinner hip pads it might work for me. Gorilla glue wroks pretty good for my minicell to hull applications and can usually be punched off with a scraper if you need to remove it. I will take some pics of the Norkapp set up tonight and post them. Minicell bulk head with foot pads that has been cut out in the center to accomodate the foot pump. Heel padding either side of the pick up tube, and minicell seat pan and back rest with the pick up shoved into the seat pan. The back rest will look huge but I only contact the bottom three inches unless I am stretching or rolling. Bill
  • Happy bottom pad
    i have one in my Cd Solstice GTS i had to cut off the hip pads to make it fit. The foam skin is fragile and gets cuts from normal waer. For 42.50 plus shipping you might be better off the something with a neoprene skin. I might glue a fabric skin to mine to help protect it.

    I also agree that it is not as deep as I would like for thigh support and am thinking of adding addtional thigh support some how. I'd welcome ideas on how to do this.
  • Hot Seat
    Has anyone tried this seat from Surf to Summit?
  • Here are my pictures.

    The seat back while taking away storage room also reduces the amount of water the cockpit can hold. I need protection for my spine on laybacks and stretches because of the surgery I have had and will have. It is angled so that only the very bottom provides the stop. I measure the dimensions for the pan and cut it on an angle with a pizza saw. I don't know how much weight I have added, but the hose is the most heavy item. My boat with foot pump(short pick up), keel strip, and hatch covers weighs 46.5 pounds and that was with the original seat so I expect to still be near that number. I also remove the foot braces and use mincell on all of my bulkheads. The holes for the foot brace screws and seat mount screws are filled with automotive push plugs with silicone. My only othe mods are a tube loop for my storm paddle on the front bungees and a closed cell pad in the day hatch so I don't have to listen to my crap rattle around when I roll. Bill
  • +1 Happy bottom pad
    I put one in my 2007 Anas Acuta after I took the Dremel tool to that medieval torture device Valley calls a seat.

    I cut the hip pads off, though, and left just the seat pad, and glued it in. VERY happy with it. It feels lower than the stock glass seat, and much more comfortable -- I can even walk after paddling for 5 hours with it.
  • steveey - Hot Seat
    I have the blue hot seat. It is less than an inch thick so it was even harder on my thighs and caused numbness in my feet. I put 1.5 inches of minicell foam under it and now it is almost as comfortable as the Happy bottom seat. I'd say the hot seat is most often used as a pad in a boat that has an existing seat and for that it is fine.

    Your results may vary.

    Next time I may just carve my own foam seat. Or make a fiberglass one to fit me.
  • sticking Bumfortable seat
    I stuck down the Bumfortable seat using a double-sided adhesive film I had. (from a photo store) Didn't use any back-strap, but did put a piece of foam between the back of the seat and bulkhead. As CD1 said, this might have helped in keeping it stuck. It stayed in place fine for 2 days of use, but since it was the last time my wife used her boat last fall, I can't say how it will work long term. Still seems to be stuck well after a winter in the garage in Massachusetts.
  • These are great ideas.
    -- Last Updated: Mar-20-10 10:12 AM EST --

    Thanks to all for posting. I think foam is it--for the one Bumfortable that I already owm (I would not buy--came with a boat I bought, and the price to purchase is nose-bleed city!), I will put it in my rec kayak and foam it against the back cokpit wall and see if I can get it to stay put. Aggressive foot pushes and rolls thwarted the Bumfortable in the past...but maybe it's worth tryiong again. That back intergrated with seat idea is only good I think for lawn chairs and rec yaks.

    The foam will be cut and placed. Mop's pics are helpful. The stock seats, like the $42 one on the link above, might be cool.

    Two of the Valley's with the offensive seats are sectionals, so I have to get to the bolts behind the seat, so a "fixed" or glued foam back won't work for those, even if it's a narrow sliver--I have to turn a wrnech back there. But something will work out based on the dsigns given here. Thanks to all!

    P.S. Wayne-smith: " medieval torture device Valley calls a seat." That is not only funny, but so very true. Anyone who likes the Valley's atrocious factory plastic seats must have a prehensile, monkey tail.

  • CD1- My seat back comes in and out with
    tug. I punch it in place and it stays there, then I grab one side and pull hard to get it out. Accesing your bolts would be no problem. The foam tucks under the coaming lip and into the sides of the boat. Bill
  • Thx, moparharn, for tips and pixs
    Nice that u took the time to photo...it'll stay here oin] Advice section for posterity.
  • Foam seat
    Hi Steve!

    I have replaced *many* of my stock Valley/NDK/custom boat seats in the past. I typically take a dremel or taped hack saw blade to the FG seat as Brian Nystrom's webshot gallery shows with great results. However, I caution against using a dremel unless you have experience with it as it can "get away from you".

    I have found the NDK foam seats to be hands down the best solution for me. They are just like the Valley and "Happy Bottom" seats in shape, but NDK covers them with a nice black cloth to keep them from getting gouged/cut/worn - and they last a long time!

    With all this talk of Valley seats I am a bit nervous about the Nordkapp Classic I have inbound though - although they tell me it is a "hung" seat so maybe it will work.

    If you decide the seat options or modifications don't work for you - just send give me a call and I will give you a hand with it. (to put on my car rack!)


  • Scott, many claiming to be "hung" have
    not lived up to their billing. If you are not a lard ass like me, you may find the glass seat to be really nice. Wait and see. I use a tile saw from sears that has counter rotating 5 inch carbide blades. One blade spins clockwaise the other counter. The two offset each other and creat little or no "tear out". Very clean cut with no "bucking" from the saw. Awesome tool that I got from a garage sale and had no idea even what it was. Bill
  • Besides
    the sectionals have the bolts in the day hatch....so ...you pop the day hatch cover to get to the bolts....they are not behind the seat.

    sectionals come apart between the day hatch compartment and the rear hatch compartment :>)


    Best Wishes
  • OOOOOH....pretty boat~!!!!
    If it had the ocean cockpit I would try to talk you out of it, Roy!

    That makes the most sense with bolts in the day hatch!
  • Foam seat
    I used the VCP foam seat after I cut out the old seat in my boat. 4 yrs and going strong. I left the back band and I have had no problems on extended trips that require nearly 7 - 8 hrs in the boat.
  • NDK Foam Seat
    Where can you purchase this seat?
  • Options
    sticking bumfortable seat
    What I've done on a couple of boats, that works nicely, is I've used 2" heavy grade self-adhering velcro, and I've attached this using contact cement. Lightly sand and clean the places on the bilge where the strips will run. Set them the width apart of the outside 'runners' under the seat, and make them at least six inches longer than the length of the seat in its likely placings. When you pull the velcro apart to remove the seat, you don't want to stress the ends of the strips, is the idea. Coat both sides with two layers of marine grade contact cement and place the strips in when the glue is ready. Then, mask the bilge with masking tape, set about 1/4" away from the strips and paint around the sides and the ends of the strips with aquaseal. Let it get right into the edges, and completely cover over the ends (which I rounded off).

    Ok, now for the seat. I got 4 large automotive panel buttons, like big plastic mushrooms, that have 1 3/4" buttons, and pins about 2" long. I wrapped the 'fuzzy' velcro face around the button, folding the velcro all the way around and trimming the edges so that all of the edges were under the button. Then I just pressed the buttons' pins up into the foam, trimmed the forward ones a little to make sure I couldn't feel them through the seat, shot aquaseal into the holes and all over the underside of the button, and jammed them back in, so that aquaseal oozes out all around and makes a seal. This gives 4 securely anchored velcro surfaces that you can stick and tear apart forever.

    I find those 4 surfaces are enough to keep the seat well secured - the weight and movement of paddling settles the velcro in pretty well. But you could easily add several more buttons to increase the amount of velcro contact.

    I've done this in two boats, so I can switch the seat between them, and everything is holding together fine in both of them, two years later.
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