Nordkapp Seat Placement? Need Help!!!


I need some assistance from a Nordkapp owner please. I have a Nordkapp H20 that has a foam seat and I am planning on installing a new seat in it (actually putting an NDK glass seat in it)

My issue is that I need to get some measurements to ensure that I get the seat placement right. I want to place it such that it has the same fore and aft position as the factory seat to ensure that the boat has the trim that the manufacturer intended (since this will affect boat handling). Right now I think the current foam seat may be a little too far forward, but I am not sure of the precise position.

Would someone please be so kind as to measure their Nordkapp and tell me the distance from the center of the backband to the inside edge of the rear cockpit coaming?

Also would you please tell me where the center of the hip pads on the sides of the seat lie in relation to the seat mounting bolts that are in the side of the boat? From pictures it appears that the center of the seat pads lies roughly in line with the rear-most mounting bolt, but I would like to confirm this.

thanks for your help!


foam seat
My Nordy was built a year or two before they switched to the plastic bolt-in seat. I cut out the glass seat and replaced it with a foam one a few years ago, and have replaced that one again since.

I do know from experience that if you move the seat forward an inch from it’s factory position you will find that the boat weathercocks a little more than normal. If your new seat pan is higher or lower than the original, that will be much more notable on the water.

There really is no right or wrong, as the weight of your kit in the hatches can easily effect the boat just as much as moving the seat an inch to the front or back. You might find that moving it a touch one way or the other makes the boat handle a little better than you are used to.

I certainly agree with you about the kit in the hatches, but I will primarily be paddling it empty and that is why I want to have the seat located where Valley determined it was “optimal” for trim for an empty boat.

Part of the reason I am concerned about that is the fact that with the seat in its current position (a bit farther forward than stock) the boat does weather cock pretty readily. Now I realize that this boat will do so when paddled without a load, but since the seat installation will be permanent I would like to try my best to get it in the “right” position.

The seat height will be a bit lower than stock so that will make the boat fit me a bit better and add some stabiility which is certainly not a bad thing for a Nordkapp. It will be the same seat as in my Explorer and I find the height and fit of the seat to be perfect for me.


Never assume the " factory" number
is going to be right … Mo’ betta’ test and R&D yourself for your weight and intended loads and waters. Call me if you want more info here.

Valley seat location
…“I want to have the seat located where Valley determined it was “optimal” for trim for an empty boat.”…

Hmmm, I find that not all Valley seat locations are on the money. My Aquanaut LEE cocked badly with the seat in the “factory” position. It lee cocked for me (240lbs) and lee cocked for a 170lbs paddler too.

Moving the seat forward has alleviated the problem but not cured it totally. I also did not care much for the Valley plastic seat and fabricated my own carbon one as replacement:

Why is everyone always whining…
about the Nordkapp’s stability ??? Sure, it’s a little loose in the middle…but put it on edge and it’s as solid as leaning on a dock. As for seat placement, I’ve always used foamies and rigged them to be velcro adjustable to and fro. The trick is to use 1 1/2 inch sew on velcro on both surfaces and glue it on using 4200 fast cure. Never comes loose.

…you should’ve kept that Inuk and by now the H20 would feel really really stable.

new seat

– Last Updated: Nov-21-12 5:13 AM EST –

My objective for the new seat is purely boat fit, which is one of the most important components of boat handling and stability on edge. It will actually sit higher than the current foam seat. My objective is not to increase the boat's stability but am only stating that more stability is not necessarily bad with this boat, which is a fair statement.

Agree the Nordkapp is more stable than the Innuk (how do you remember that I had that boat!). That was a pretty tippy boat now that you mention it, although it did not bother me terribly. I also just had a Bahiya and I think the Nordkapp is a good bit more stable than the Bahiya was.

Agree that the Nordkapp has pretty good secondary, but the current seat I have in it does not allow me to maximize use of that secondary stability, as I have not found the sweet spot for width in the hips. I think that is critical for good edging. I like the NDK glass seat becuase it is just right for me in terms of both width to fit my hips right, and height which puts me just low enough to where I don't feel crammed in the boat.

Interesting points on Valley seat placement. I would say that the current position of my foam seat is too far forward for sure (given that the boat weather cocks fairly noticeably to the point that the boat really does need the skeg to keep it on track without significant and constant correction strokes and not just edging) but not sure how far back would be too far back. I may have to wing it. I imagine the sweet spot is fust a little farther back than where I currently have it.


Kayak Trim
The factory placement is a “one-size-fits-all” WAG. While it can be a useful benchmark, you can do much better by adjusting the seat placement to suit your body (and your gear load).

Adjusting the kayak trim is an important ritual for many racers, and the seat on most race kayaks is on a microadjustable track to facilitate.

Brent Reitz provides some good ideas at

The key is that you want dynamic trim (paddling at your normal speed), rather than static trim (sitting stationary).

Greg Stamer

I have cut the composite seat out of
every boat I have ever owned except my Epic. Why would you want a composite seat that is a one size fits all when you could custom fit a minicell seat to give you any conceivable fit? Pad out the hips, set the height exactly as you want it, angle, back contact, lay back roll comfort, you name it. Most race cars have custom form fitted seats (at least the high end ones), I owned a few Nordkapps and a custom was critical to my enjpying them as I did. A properly fitted Nordkapp is, in my opinion, a top three production boat of all time. With a factory seat I would not even own one. JMO Bill

Agree that a properly fitting seat is essential. This is why I am installing a new seat-the NDK high performance glass seat.

I find that seat fits me perfectly. It is the exact right height and the exact right width for me. It gives me great boat fit, control and great support for my forward stroke.

I did the foam seat thing for years and really liked it, but have changed my mind about it. For whatever reason I can never get it “just right” and either is a little snugger or a little looser than I want at the hips. I just can’t seem to get it just right. And what feels right on flat water is way too tight in rough water.

I have come to the conclusion that I prefer a glass seat that fits right. I like the ability to “slide” a little in the seat. Foam just is not right for me for whatever reason.

I am planning to put the NDK seat in the Nordkapp.

I feel that is the only way I will be able to give the Nordkapp a fair shake–if it fits just right.

My only concern is placing the seat in the right position fore and aft since it will be a largely permanent installation.

I have actually installed one of these seats in another boat-- a P&H Bahiya and really liked how much better I felt in the boat with the NDK seat.


I must say, your explaination is clear
and well reasoned. You sound like you really know what you want, soooooooooo lets move on to how to get that puppy in there. Are the original ears (composite drops from the coming) still there? Was the boat an original glass seat boat? There should be evidence of where the original drops were (non gelcoated strip). If the drops are already there in sufficient length to re-attach, the project should be a little easier. Some of my Vallet seats were hung rather than laid. Is this seat you plan on using a hung seat or a laid seat. Am I even correct in assuming that you want to glass the seat in into the boat using drops from the coaming? When I cut out my seats I usually use a dremel cut off wheel so that the material I remove is at an absolute minimum. If your seat is laid in you could use a few mounting holes so that the fore and aft position is adjustable, the trick here is getting a wide enough drop to put multiple holes in. I will shut up now and ad more if it sounds like you want me to take it further. Even the hung seats had supporting foam on the bottom, so in the final analysis I am not sure there will be a big difference in doing what you are trying to accomplish. Bill

thanks, Bill for the installation advice.

I have cut a lot of NDK seats out of boats and know how that can be a pain. Luckily in this case the boat already has the seat removed and has a foam seat. This boat originally had the valley plastic seat so I still have the seat hangers in place that I will porbably remove.

The seat I am installing is the new NDK glass seat which installs quite differently from most. You just epoxy some mounting brackets to the sides of teh boat and bolt the seat in.

As to the seat location–I moved the foam seat in my boat back a couple of inches and then went paddling yesterday in some good winds. The boat’s handling was much improved in the wind with very little tendency to weathercock. Interesting to see how big of a difference that made.


I am not familiar with the seat you are
using. At my weight, the Nordkapp set low enough to be less effected by weather cocking. My bigger problem was elevating my hips enough to get my shoulders flat on the deck. Never could do this, I think more because of the 10 pounds of shit in a 5 pound bag syndrome than the seat placement. I wonder if you could machine a dove tail into the mounting blocks and then mount a dove tailed rail onto the side of the boat. This would allow you to move the seat fore and aft. Epic does this with their seat, but only theirs is mounted on the bottom rather than the two sides. If you find the unloaded neutral point you could mount the seat there and load your boat as evenly as possible. Would like to see a picture of your finished product. Kayak seats are probably one of the least developed areas of the kayak and are second only to the paddle for having the largest impact on the paddling experience. Good luck. Bill

check out this web page

Great Gallery
I am about to do the exact same project with a recently acquired NDK greenlander pro. Anyone have any feed back on the NDK foam seats avail on the web?



The foam seat in the H2O is a typical foam seat with ears. The seat is installed with Velcro as you have found out. If you move it too far back you will not have a layback roll. The seat was moved back from the previous owner. A Necky Extrasport seat will fit in the H2O now which is higher. You can stop by or buy one from Annapolis Kayak. You can also install some hip brace plates by drilling 2 holes in the angle brackets. You can also install some minicel foam. I have yet to find a kayak that is balanced for me. My CG is 2 inches farther back than most folks. I am finishing a SOF. The best boat so far has been my Eddyline Fathom. When does the wind factor of 10, 20, 30, or 40 mph start becoming a problem? Good Luck.


Happy Bottom seat pad
Sorry forgot to add link

I bought one for my Nordkapp and it’s great!

thanks for all the seat advice.

I actually am very pleased with the seat I plan to put in it (NDK high performance glass seat)

As to the question above about weather cocking: I found it started to weather cock in even slight winds (15 knots). Of course it was controllable, but it was noticeable.

Moving the seat back helped a lot. I paddled this weekend with winds to about 20 knots and it was very controllable with edging alone.

As far as layback rolls…I don’t do a layback when I roll so that is not an issue for me luckily.