Padding out Tempest fg cockpit

-- Last Updated: Sep-27-06 1:52 AM EST --

I have the tempest 180. Lost 25 lbs and 4 inches in waist since I bought it. I intend to lose about another 65 lbs and 6-8 more inches in the waist, ending at 200 lb, 36-38“. I’m keeping the 180 though, at least until I get to the stable end weight, and probably after.

For lowering the thigh braces, I’m thinking get longer screws and insert a minicel spacer between the fiberglass and stock thigh braces. Should work for at least a half inch spacer, hopefully more.

For hip pads, the stock pads jut out too much at the top for me. They’re probably supposed to wrap around above the hip bone. For me they stick into my hip. I could try raising them. I’m thinking though just shape some minicel to my liking and glue some Velcro strips to the minicel to mate up to the Velcro on the sides of the seat pan.


Paul S.

congrats on the weight loss!
(doesn’t kayaking make it a pleasure?)

Dirty Mind
I always read an obscenity when I see that abbreviation for fiberglass.

well now
Paul, you do look good as a smaller person! good seeing you @ WCSKS!

I have seen more pad glued to the thighs but lowering them I haven’t seen. Hope they are still solid with the spacer. ???

You can open the zipper in the back of the hip pads and saw/ chisel out some of the foam making them thinner. or just glue in regular hip pads.


Don’t use Minicel for spacers between the boat and thigh braces, as it’s too soft and it will allow the braces to flex and stress the screws and screw holes. Either glue foam onto the bottom of the thigh braces or make rigid spacers of the thickness you need.

I wouldn’t recommend Velcro on the hip pads, either. It doesn’t adhere well in wet environments, particulaly when applied to a part that may see considerable sheer stresses. Just shape the pads the way you want them and glue them in with contact cement. You’ll be able to remove them if you ever need to, it just takes more work than Velcro does.

Remember, nothing in kayak outfitting is permanent.

Recommend material
"Don’t use Minicel for spacers between the boat and thigh braces, as it’s too soft and it will allow the braces to flex and stress the screws and screw holes."

Sounds like good advice. Can you recommend a good material; light, rigid, water proof?

Paul S.

There are a few possibilities
Wood is light, rigid, easily shaped and can be made waterproof without too much effort. There are lots of plastics that would work. If you have a plastic supplier in your area (look in the yellow pages), you may be able to get somes scraps of various types at little or no cost.

Still, rather than trying to shim the existing thigh braces, I would lean toward adding more padding to them, as it seems like the easiest fix. Is there a particular reason you can’t or don’t want to do that?

Because, I was thinking
adding a shim would be easier.

I need to look at it closer, but the thigh braces are curved and covered with nylon (I think) cloth. I’d have to pull the nylon off (no problem I guess. just aestetics.) and glue on more minicel. I think I’d have to cut the existing minicel down to flat, but can’t go deaper than the threaded sleves that receive the bolts. Just seemed easier to add a shim. I am cautious now though that neither you nor flatpick would chose that method.

Paul S.

Can you send me pictures…
…or post some online? That would really help. Then again, I’d go with whatever Flatpick recommends, since he designed the boat.

Yes, Fiday or Saturday (NM)

Just Glue Minicell…
less fuss, no messing with rusting bolts, etc, later on. Minicell ain’t going to be anymore a pain to the eye than putting on shims. Plus, you won’t see it anyway once the skirt is on. To ensure it stays on well, just cut big enough pieces that match the thigh braces but extends to the side wall. More glue surface, more stability.

As small person, I always having to outfit boats. I not aversed to drilling anything. But, I avoid it when simple glueing will do.

Ultimately, if you keep losing weight, you may consider going down to a smaller T.


Ok, took a better look.
I removed the thigh braces all the way to get a better look. They extend sideways along the underside of the deck farther than I thought. Also, the curve isn’t that abrupt. You are all right of course; just gluing minicel to the existing braces is the way to go. The nylon seems to be glued on to the stock braces. I figure just glue the minicel sheet right to the nylon.

For the hip pads, flatpick had suggested just trim down the top hump on the minicel if I don’t like that. To preserve the original for possible resale I could just shape a new piece of minicel and put it in the nylon pouch. Either way, the nylon won’t fit snugly at the top of I remove the hump in the minicel. If I didn’t care about aesthetics for resale, I might just glue a 3/4" piece of minicel directly to the side of the seat pan. That would put the minicel surface about flush with the coaming and would be nice and cushy. Right now the sides of the seat pan are outboard of the combing.

I’ll still provide pictures tonight or tomorrow.

Paul S.

If resal is a big concern, you could buy another set of stock thighbraces and hip pads from the dealer.

Pictures and plans
Ok, here’s the thigh brace. I’m thinking just contact cement a 3/8” sheet of minicel right to the nylon surface of the brace. If that’s not enough, or when I lose more weight, another 3/8” sheet. (may not be clear, depending on your monitor)

Next is the seat hanger and the hip pads. I could either put about a 3/4” thick piece of minicel in the stock hip pad case, and maybe sew down the extra nylon casing material where the hump is supposed to be, or just glue a piece of 3/4” minicel directly to the seat hanger. If going directly to the seat hanger, I think those Velcro strips on the seat hanger, screw in from the back and can be removed. Which way would you go?

Paul S.

Questions and suggestions
Can the Nylon-covered pad be removed from it’s base? If so, I would sandwich the new padding between the two. If they can’t be separated, just glue foam to the existing surface.

For the hip pads, I agree with removing the Velcro. While it may seem like a good idea, my experience has been that hip pads that are attached with Velcro get knocked loose frequently when entering the boat. This is particularly common during rescues. For that reason, I prefer to glue the pads in place. Tapering the top to make it easier to slide past them is also a good idea. You don’t need, nor want, hooks on the hip pads in a sea kayak.

Brian, thanks for the input. Highly valued. The nylon on the thigh braces is stuck on very solid. Also the foam that extends under the deck is pretty thin, maybe 1/4".

To give the stock hip pads their due respect, the case has straps which buckle around the back of the seat hanger, in addition to the velcro.

I’m sure you’re right about the Velcro alone not holding that well. Experience is almost always right.

I removed the seat only to find that the velcro strips are riveted on. They felt like they might be allen screws, but not. Oh well, I learned to remove and replace the seat anyway. An earlier thread from Kudzu and Flatpick helped.

So, I contact cemented 1/2" minicel on to the thigh braces. I also cut some 1/2" minicel as hip pads to go on the seat hanger, and contact cemented some velcro to line up with the velcro on the hanger. I chose not to remove the velcro on the hanger as it would not be easily replaced later. The hip pads are still outboard slightly of the coaming, so maybe they’ll stay in place. If not, I’ll contact cement them right to the seat hanger. I’m a little hard headed I guess about seeing what will work first hand, even though I know I’ll probably be contact cementing to the seat hanger eventually.

When push comes to shove I’ll chose good outfitting for me over aesthetics for resale. The boat is for use by me for now. A perspective buyer may like it the way I have it anyway. And I may never sell it.

I’ll be trying it out in a pool session tomorrow night. Hence, I was anxious to get it done Sunday.

PS, I’m getting to love this mincel stuff. Contact cement though is a love/hate relationship. Love how it sticks. Hate how it smells. Hate how it sticks to everything, newspaper, fingers, …

Paul S.

A few comments
Regarding rivets, a pop-rivet tool is a very handy thing to have for a variety of jobs, so you may want to pick one up just to have it around. Rivets can be drilled out and easily replaced if necessary. I’m not suggesting that you do that now, just bringing it up for future reference.

“When push comes to shove I’ll chose good outfitting for me over aesthetics for resale. The boat is for use by me for now. A perspective buyer may like it the way I have it anyway. And I may never sell it.”

That’s the right attitude!

“PS, I’m getting to love this mincel stuff. Contact cement though is a love/hate relationship. Love how it sticks. Hate how it smells. Hate how it sticks to everything, newspaper, fingers, …”

Are you using gel or liquid contact cement? If the latter, you’ll find the gel to be easier to work with, as it stays where you put it. Either one can be trying at times.

Didn’t know there was jel. I’m using the DAP (I think) in a red can.

I realized last night that another risk with velcro only on the thigh braces is that they might blow off during car top transport. Probably not enough wind in the cockpit, but I don’t want to have to worry about it, and don’t want to remove them each time. I figured I’d leave the velcro in place and just contact cement a couple inches in the four corners. That should hold it fine. What do you think? I could easily cut new pieces, drill out rivets, and cement the entire suface, but I think the 4 corners would hold fine.

Paul S.

ditto on the gel over liquid
bnystrom is the Master

The fit
The hip pads are perfect! Just adding the half inch on each side is great.

It’s good having the thigh braces a half inch lower. They feel like they lost some of their hook though and don’t fit quite as well. Adding the minicel sheet took some of the abrupt hook out of the edge. Also, with the half inch material extending outboard under the deck and curving down the side a little, my knees don’t splay out as much as they used to. I can thin the material out there. I can dish the material out some to get the hook back too, but then they’ll be higher again.

If I had it to do over again on the thigh braces I would have added 1" material to give me room to dish out to fit and still end with 1/2" lower. Oh well, on the whole it’s a lot better fit now than before. I can still add another 1/2" material, dish out, then cover with 1/8" if I dish through the interface of the two 1/2" sheets.

Totally broke through on the rolling tonight. Completely confident on the one side. That’s mostly a different thread, but the padding didn’t hurt.

Paul S.