cutting out seat

The fiberlass seat in my new (actually a '95, but newly acquired) Valley Pintail is too narrow for my hips/thighs. I figure no matter how I solve this the first step to any of the approaches is the same - cut out the seat. Seems like a 5 minute job, but jeez, it’s hard to take a saw to a permanent fixture in a boat like that.

Anyways, I’ll try to take a few deep breaths and reassure myself.

I’m thinking of using a foam pillar backrest, but I’ll probably leave little ears of the seat hangers, for now, so there is something to attach a back band to if I change my mind. All this is a first for me, having done no more than some minor padding out in previous kayaks, so I think I should keep my options open for now.

I’ve removed a Valley foam seat from a Skerrey that came with my Pintail, and I’ll probably try that out first. Otherwise I’ll think about building up a foam seat like BNystrom’s pics show. Any idea where I can get another VCP seat? I can’t find them online anywhere, and eventually I’d like to put something back in the Skerrey.

Seat removal is pretty easy…
…and the only cutting is on the cheek plates. Remember, with fiberglass, nothing is permanent, as it can always be repaired. If you ever wanted to replace the stock seat, you can.

seat hangers
Be sure to pad out the seat hangers between the hull. If you don’t they can act as a lever when you roll or brace and cause cracks or stress fractures.

Personally I would just cut them out.

I often face the same problem
because, at my height, my hip sockets are pretty far apart. I have cut windows in the side panels of the seats in two of my kayaks to accomodate my hips. If my thighs have still felt tight against the sides of the seat, I have put some padding inside the upper part of the hull so that my thighs don’t angle outward as far.

This approach may not give you enough relief, but I thought it should be mentioned. Whether windows weaken a particular seat too much is a matter of judgement applied to the particular boat in question. Some seats are strong enough, some aren’t.

A wacky possibility would be to saw through the middle of the seat, spread it some, and glass over the cut. That’s glass work I would not hesitate to do, but it isn’t a pretty solution.

extra glass
My seat has a strip of tabbing under each cheek where the seat is glassed to the hull. The tabbing bridges about a 1" gap, so it shouldn’t be that hard to remove. One side is loose already. Hopefully the other will pull off without damaging the hull layup. I can’t easily get in there with a saw to cut it.

interesting ideas
I had never thought of myself as having wide hip-joints, but there you have it. I guess my wife has been keeping that from me all these years.

That’s an interesting thought about cutting out hip-joint windows. Might be worth a try before a cut out the seat. If it doesn’t work I’ll have the seat nearly cut out already.

I’ve noticed, as you point out, that if my knees are more upright my hips fit better (still snug, but not uncomfortable), and when I let my knees fall outward it’s too tight in the hips. I can fit in this boat as it is, but there’s a noticeable tight spot in the hips that I think I’d rather address directly rather than avoid by restricting my leg position.

new hip holes
Well I tried the hip hole fix, and it’s certainly better. I’m not sure it’s perfect, but it’s good enough that I think I’ll leave it at that for now, and try it for a bit. See how it feels on the water.

I used a 2 1/8" forstner bit, and cut two holes which overlapped by about 3/4". Then I cleaned up with a file to make an smooth oval measuring 3 1/2" long x 2 1/8" high. It definitely takes the pressure off enough for me to paddle it a while and see how I like the rest of the seat.

Thanks for the tip! :slight_smile:

I know what you feel about
the fear of damaging your baby. I have fears that I’ll scratch the deck just turning my kayak over for inspection. Its normal to have fears about such a prized possesion such as a kayak.

You should be able to reach it…

– Last Updated: Dec-27-08 6:38 PM EST –

...with a hacksaw blade hand-held. Use it with a pull stroke and wrap some tape around the end you're holding. The "struts" are thin and cut pretty easily. Just cut it in the middle to start, then once you have the seat out, you can cut/rasp/scrape/sand away the rest, or at least enough that it doesn't interfere with installing your new seat. I'd be careful about pulling or prying anything that's glued to the hull, as you never know which is going to give way first.

I’m thin enough…
…that I can leave part of the cheek plates in place, but Mike’s correct that bigger guys may be best off to cut the cheek plates off at the same height as the rest of the coaming.

It’s not normal…
…to get all worked up over the risk of scratching a piece of Tupperware. Polyethylene kayaks scratch if you look at them hard. Do you completely lose your mind every time your boat hits a rock or a log?

good so far
I went out for a test paddle around Verona Island today, for 4 hours in the seat, and it was actually fairly comfortable. I am tightly cradled in this seat, but thanks to the new hip holes it’s not binding anywhere the way it used to around my hip joints.

I’ve got great control with this seat. I think I’ll keep it a little longer, and see if it’s just too restrictive.

You really like to bash tupperware
kayaks, yet polyethylene is more impact resistant than fiberglass and can take impacts to hard surfaces much better. Its one of the strongest materials that kayaks are made of.

I’m not bashing polyethylene…

– Last Updated: Dec-29-08 11:33 AM EST – it's a great material for certain applications, including some forms of kayaking. Although I don't own any poly' boats currently, I would certainly consider one if I was doing a lot of teaching and I wouldn't hesitate to buy a poly surf boat.

What I'm bashing is your bizarre worship of a piece of plastic. I like my boats too, but I don't go around espousing them as being the ultimate product for everyone or naming myself after them. The Pammy 140 is a low-performance recreational boat that's really a KINO (Kayak In Name Only). For example:

- It's too wide to learn any skills in, since you can't edge it effectively.

- The cockpit is so huge that you can't get any real purchase on the boat, so basically you can only sit in it and paddle, with very little ability to control the boat other than with the paddle.

- You can't get a spray skirt for it that would actually stay in place if a wave dumped on it.

- It's bog slow.

As I said before, if it suits your needs and you enjoy it, fine, but in the realm of kayaks, the Pammy is a bottom feeder, basically suitable for lilly-dipping in calm water. There is nothing even remotely special or impressive about it. People here have been trying to give you a reality check, but you keep on posting the same fawning drivel. It's the equivalent of somebody waxing poetic about the culinary excellence of a "Big Mac". It's silly, but you apparently don't get the joke. That's why everyone is making fun of you.

Someday when you're older, you'll look back at these posts and wonder "What was I thinking???"

Best Post of 2008 . . . .

If you decide to keep it…
…you may want to consider adding some glass on the outsides of the cheekplates to bolster the strength of the areas where you removed material. I would probably epoxy 3-4 layers of 6 oz. glass or 2-3 layers of 9 oz glass on each side, running it from the curve of the seat pan up to where the coaming meets the deck.

agreed… one of the better posts
very well said, polite, but too the point!

Yes, but it won’t last long.
Pammy will likely delete it as he usually does when he doesn’t like what he reads . . . .


Even the Pungo 140 beats the pamlico 140 as its listed as “Elite Recreational” Pamloco 140, you really should UPGRADE to a Pungo!!! wohooo… or at least get a Pamlico 160, and call it a Plastic Kruger to annoy folks even more!!

Could be a good idea, if the windowed
seat feels floppy side-to-side. I should have said that the seats I’ve windowed were poly seats in poly boats, so that the seat rested on the boat bottom. After I windowed the seats, they showed no increased tendency to shift. A pure hanging seat, however, such as we used to have in composite whitewater kayaks, might need some side panel reinforcement. Another possible strategy would be to glue minicell pads to the side of the kayak, so that the sides of the seat are laterally supported.