Moving seat back on a CD Squall

I have a CD Squall, that fits me like a tight glove… I’m really happy with it.

The only issue I have is that my legs are about 1" inch too long to get in and out, without first sitting on my coaming, and then sliding my legs in.

I prefer to sit in the seat, and THEN bring my legs in, as I paddle in rocky areas, and don’t like putting all my weight on my carbon paddle for support. (Seen to many Epics snap)

So, my question is…

I can move my Squall seat backwards about 1 1/2", and get the extra leg space I need, but would this impact handling of the kayak? Any other drawbacks to moving the seat backwards a bit?


Moving the seat back will effect the trim of the boat, which usually does affect the handling.

The Squall is a tracker, moving the seat back will loosen the bow - which may not be a bad thing…

Your comfort with the boat and balance may improve to the point that you can enter feet first without needing the paddle as an outrigger. If you like the way the boat performes as is, this might be a beter solution than changing the boat’s trim.

Thanks… Loose Bow?
Thanks for the response… You said, “The Squall is a tracker, moving the seat back will loosen the bow - which may not be a bad thing…”

I come from a WW background, can you explain this in a little more detail for me? (Pros/Cons of a “loose bow”?)

I am happy with the way the boat seems to feel, but I don’t have a ton of Sea Kayak experience, so I’m not too picky… yet…

I know “Loose Bowels” are a bad thing, but have no experince with “Loose Bows”… :slight_smile:

Thanks again…

How big are you?
At my weight it’d probably have made little diff for me to have done that with my Squall. But if your legs won’t fit in…

I think I am…
Fairly large for the boat… (I think), but it fits like a glove once I am in…

I am 5’ 10", 178 lbs…

I should add…
I should add that entering the boat is not a problem… It’s exiting in rocky areas… I like to pull my legs out, without having to shift my body weight up on the coaming…

I don’t like throwing my weight on my carbon paddle, and the boat tends to tip if sitting on the coaming unsupported while pulling my legs out…


Have You Gone Out In Winds Yet?

– Last Updated: Dec-04-06 6:18 PM EST –

say 15 knots plus. The squall used to weathercock (turn upwind) on me like crazy after 15 knots. But I am only 140. For someone heavier, like it may be trimmed perfectly, which means you don't want to mess with it. Whenever someone trims further back (like moving the seat back), the stern gets locked in more and the wind will have more effect on the bow. It starts to leecock (turn downwind). This consider undesirable (if not dangerous). Imagine a strong offshore wind blowing and you start to leecock like crazy while trying to get back to shore. Of course, you do have a rudder on the boat. That can help a bit.

Personally, I like my boats to trim neutral. So I tend to move the seat back a bit on some. But an inch can make a big difference, especially for someone already on the upper range of the boat's recommended weight range.

Then again, you can move your seat back, a ballast the front with jugs of water.

You won't know until you experiment in wind with the boat as is.


Butt, foot, foot entry/exit…
Is one of the must-have criteria when I’m looking for a new boat.

You can’t always judge by cockpit size because seat placement may be forward. ie: The T170 Pro.

Loose bow
Is just what it sounds like – the bow moves or slides readily off from dead straight. It can make for a lively boat like a Romany. It may also, as Sing noted, make for lee cocking which is not fun.

Play with the boat in winds as is. By adding weight aft, you can get some sense of what moving the seat back may feel like.


– Last Updated: Dec-04-06 11:19 PM EST –

Thanks for the input everyone...
I am new to the board, and appreciate the feedback.

Doing mostly Whitewater, I never really had to deal with wind, and leecocking/weathercocking.

So... back to my original question...

Will 1-2" movement on a 16'6" boat make a real difference? or just a theoretical difference?

It Can Make A BIG Difference

– Last Updated: Dec-05-06 6:37 AM EST –

For real. That's why I strongly suggest you go out in winds first, as is, to check out how it reacts to wind before doing anything major. Just about any boat handles "fine" in 0-5 knot winds. It's 15 knots plus that major handling problems begin to show in seakayak and make that paddle back to shore challenging (or even life threatening). It ain't like going down the river where the shore is just there, right or left, and you decide you'll portage around a drop 'cause your boat does not feel or handle "right" in a wave/hole.

You can take one day of test paddling in the winds to get beyond "theory" before doing anything.

But then again, the squall has a rudder. I guess you can learn to be rudder dependent.


right on…
Even with the rudder deployed I’ve seen that style boat very difficult to turn upwind in very high winds. You will just make it harder by moving the seat back. Best you try it out first.

Agree w/Sing
Congrats on going into a low volume boat for you. Yeah, you are a good bit bigger than me at 5’4" and 135 pounds. The boat should be performing quite nicely for you.

I (also) had the Squall, my first sea kayak, and would be very careful about moving that seat around at your size and weight. This boat, as you have already found, tends to turn etc stiffly. It’s not a slippy slidey kind of movement like with the Explorer. So if you alter the seat enough to change how it fundamentally responds to wind (or waves), it will do so in a very stiff manner that’ll cause you some work to keep her on track. Or you’ll be living on that rudder more, which I personally found vestegial on that boat and liked it that way.

Perhaps you should mess around with water bottles in the stern bulkhead, grab some float bags so you can hold them right up against the bulkead, to emulate the likely effect of the seat change. Take that out in a higher wind and see how it handles.

As to getting in - yeah the rear deck of the old Solstice design is not a terribly easy place to balance compared to the newer lower decked boats. I can easily see you having problems with that. But there is an easier way to deal with that than moving the seat. Get a heavier, more cheapo spare paddle and use that to get in. You can keep your good paddle connected via a paddle leash or paddle beener and stick the spare splits back under the front deck rigging once underway.