Kayak seat modification

I have a Wilderess Systems Tsunami 14.5. I’ve always had a bit of a problem exiting after landing but my first winter paddle this year it was almost impossible without dumping myself out which is pretty embarrassing, I was wearing cold weather gear including Kokatet dry suit and heavier elements boots than I wear in cooler weather. Not excessive layers. Can I move the seat back without disturbing performance? What about a release system for the seat back? Any other suggestions would be appreciated.

modifying the seat position

– Last Updated: Feb-12-16 3:56 PM EST –

I started a few years back with a Tsunami 125 with its generously sized cockpit. I like the way WS outfitted their boats and moved up to a Tempest 170 composite. But I felt the seat was placed too far forward, and would bang my shin trying to exit. I did some research and learned a number of people have moved their seats further back.

The seat sits in a molded plastic yoke that has two stainless bolt attachment points through the deck. those can be removed, and new holes can easily drilled through the top of the yoke. No new deck holes are required. I split the difference between the two exiting positions, which are two inches apart. I then replaced the seat now positioned 1" further back.

The only tricky part is starting the locknuts up under the coaming. It takes some patience. Have the boat on its side. I have done to a couple boats and the first time took about three hours. Second time about half that time. I found this video showing the yoke top and converting to a backhand if you have not already.


I noticed no change in handling. Exiting is way easier. Afterwards, I ran into Steve Scherrer, designer of the boat at NW Paddlefest, and mentioned the modification. He said great, no big deal.

I’ve Moved Some Seats Back
Don’t know about that model but I’ve moved the seats back on a couple of Tempest 165s and on a Dagger Alchemy. I just moved the seat back one bolt hole and secured the seats with just one bolt instead of two. I had to saw off some excess base material but it was easy enough. I think the boats handle just fine after the move. Better in fact. If you feel you’ve changed the trim in a negative way just put a bottle of water in the front hatch to fix it.

Get a Pungo 140
Same hull as the Tsunami 145 you have but with a larger cockpit so it is much easier to get in and out of.