Necky Chatham Seat

I have a Necky Chatham 16 and I find that the seat and back brace is uncomfortable enough that I don’t use it as often as I would if the positioning was better. It has a narrow padded band that wraps around my lower back almost even with my hip bones. It’s way to low. I’ve tried everything to make it more comfortable, but nothing works. What I need is something with a higher back with better support. I know that weight is the heart beat of these things, but I’ll sacrifice a little more weight for something that will soothe my bony but and sore back.

What have others successfully used? As it is, if I can’t solve this problem, I might trade off the kayak for something that fits me a little better. I’m 5’9 and 175 lbs.



Need better seat for Necky Chatham 16
I felt it better to change the subject line to explain the problem.


Two problems
If I could fit in the Chatham I’d trade you my Tempest 170 for it just for the low rear deck that allows laybacks easy -:wink:

The Chatham 16 has a fairly low rear deck, and a respectively low backband. It is there not so much for back support as it is to keep you in the seat. I’ve learned to paddle without a backband but I do appreciate having one loosely behind me to both keep me in the seat if it gets rough and to stretch my back against every now and then. But I do not use it while actually paddling…

Back to your question though. How hich is the area where the backband is attached? Is it raised enough relative to the rear to allow for a wider backband to be attached and still centered properly on your back (up/down that is)? If not, then you will need to go for a back rest rather than a back band, to raise it enough. Or may be make an asymetrical backband that has more height on the upper side than on the lower (have not seen these sold though).

That said, a tall backband/backrest will probably interfere with your sprayskirt too, not to mention get in the way during re-entries…

I did not see a reference to what’s the issue with the seat bottom part, if any. Personally, I had one of the Necky seats exactly like what’s in the Chathams and I did not like as it came - the thing was very comfortable and supportive overall but the upper leg support was too high and rubbed me when I paddled (with lots of leg drive). So in my case it had to be cut down so there is no support there. Not sure what your problem is though… As a reference, in my Tempest 170 I keep the respective part that is adjustable all the way down flat at the hull (others like it up though, so it is an individual thing).

I went through a sore back phase
to fix the problem I removed my back band and started doing core strengthening exercises.

If adjusting doesn’t work, you can get

to make you a custom minicell seat for about $160. It will be lighter than the assembly it replaces, and will add flotation. If Redfish does not have data on the cross section of your Chatham, you would have to supply a template according to their instructions. The redfish seat does not have wrap-around back support.

Immersion Research
you might check out these

I replaced the stock backband on my Approach with the Lounge and it’s pretty nice.

it’s funny that you find it too low
because my complaint has always been that it’s too high

I prefer a “butt band”

We make a seat that you can snug right
right up against you for maximum support too but if you have a “bony spine’ I think you will run into problems with many seats / backbands. If you can get your hands on some 1/2” or so foam cut two pieces about 6 X 5 and two about 6 X 4 … place them behind your current backband with a 2" gap in the middle on the 6 X 4 down first then the 6 X piece overlayed 1" apart. See if that helps …

what year is it?
what seats have been comfortable in other kayaks?

The only failing I find with the 16 is the adhoc nature of the backband outfitting that complicates an already narrow cockpit coaming. It took awhile for them to replace the too narrow aluminum seat frame but the aluminum brackets that route the backband adjustment doesn’t make sense to me.

You might try what some folks have used,remove the backband completely and built up blocks of 3" mincell

makes a great “backrest” out of minicell foam. It is just wide enough to support the spine. If you have too much room between the seat pan and bulkead it will not work. I don’t recall how much space there is in the Necky. I put one in my Point 65 X-Ray and it is the best back support I have had in any boat. It also permits much more torso rotation than a full on backband.

Necky seat and backband?
I’ll bet you could sell it easily, and put in something you like. If it’s the velcro in, grey seat pad, with the aluminum frame, I would be happy to buy it from you. I think the seat is the best stock seat made! The back band is okay, too. Just need to excercise past the point of needing a backrest. Ken…