I finally moved the seat forward

My Pilgrim Expedition has an adjustable seat. I had never changed the factory setting, but recently I thought something was loose in the seat, so I examined the 4 bolts that hang the glass seat. Initially, I found one loose bolt and tightened it just a little. Oddly, the loose bolt was on the opposite side from where I had felt looseness. The next time I paddled that boat it loosened up again. It was fine until after I had done some rolling. I could jiggle it a hair and then paddle without any more looseness. Weird.

I inspected the bolts again and, this time, I saw (with the help of a flashlight) that the bolts use a 4mm Allen wrench, not a screwdriver. I decided to remove them and the seat itself this time and take a look under the seat. There were no visible cracks, no piece of gravel stuck under the seat or on the thin foam underpad. The only thing that might have allowed movement was ONE of the bolt holes had a washer that did not stay glued around the bolt hole but fell off when I removed the seat. This was the same bolt I had previously found slightly loose. Maybe the bolt hole there was slightly ovalized and the unglued washer allowed the seat to move ever so slightly? The hole did not look ovalized. I still am puzzled by this, because the other three bolts were secure.

Anyway, I reassembled the seat and straps, this time with the seat forward by the 2 cm adjustment allowed. There is a SKUK video on how to replace a seat. In it, the narrator says stock factory setting is 70 cm from the top middle of the seatback edge to the forward edge of the coaming. After I moved the seat forward, that distance was 26.75 inches, or 67.945 cm. The only important fact, of course, was how would the kayak feel now.

I have paddled it once since moving the seat. Getting in and out of the cockpit was still easy, and the sprayskirt still sat well. I had been worried that the tube would be too stretched in back but it was fine. The fit over my legs felt a little better because my thighs were now in a narrower section of coaming, albeit the part that is also a little higher. I will paddle it like this for a good while before deciding to keep it as is or move back to factory position. The boat was still easy to roll and a little thicker foam all around should make it the ideal compromise between snug for use in rough water and looser for plenty of wiggle room at other times.

I still need to do a reenter and roll to see if losing 2 cm of space on the floor in front of the seat will make that more difficult.

The remaining question is how much more will it weathercock. The bow is relatively high volume compared with the rest of the kayak, and I am light. It was entirely possible that sitting forward by 2 more cm would have no discernable effect. I thought it might have had a little more desire to weathercock, but honestly wasn’t sure. I need to paddle it more before the answer will be clear. We had very light wind that day for most of the paddle. During the last couple of miles a storm heading in strengthened the wind. I compensated for the weathercocking tendency by aiming off and that worked well. But I would have done that anyway with anything but a direct headwind.

Another note: The backband straps are secured by two of the seat bolts. Since I don’t need the backband at all I should have removed it. Oh, well, it is a finicky thing to play with so I will leave that in until the next time I mess with the bolts.

Hope you update once you’ve paddled in heavier wind.

Backband removal: was learning re-enter and roll in a class when I had no backband in my boat. It was an alien experience to begin with, but finding the back of the seat even more alien. Wound up reinstalling the backband while I continue to work on making a minicell block. Need to try again and see if it makes a difference.

This seat is molded in a way that makes the band unnecessary. The rear lip goes up several inches.