I’m in the process of building a COHO kit and am wondering about the comfort of the seat.The Thermarest pad dosen’t seem like it would give the proper support. Also, what have you folks used for the id numbers on the starbord back side of the boat? Thanks in advance Frank
I found the thermarest
seat did not give me the support under my thighs that I needed. I carved a seat out of minicell that I purchased from Joe Greenley at Redfish Kayaks. http://www.redfishkayak.com/ The seat has worked out great and Joe gave me some nice tips on carving it over the phone. I also found the stationary back support that Pygmy uses to be too restricting when doing layback rolls. I put a backband in and it worked out great. I would give the Pygmy equipment a try and if it doesn’t work out for you you can change it.
Wha Ho, Pilgrim;
I built an 17’ Arctic Tern a couple of years ago and rather than use the Thermorest pad supplied I decided to carve my own seat from minicell. Turned out well and also installed a IR backbrace instead of the Lexan thing Pgymy supplied. Didn’t use the footbraces either - made a minicell bulkhead footrest.
I was happy with the stock seat…
…until I carved one out of minicell. I was never uncomfortable with the stock seating but the minicell seat is way more comfy, seriously. Also, the amount of control that you gain from going to foam is huge. Makes it a better boat and me a better paddler. Also got rid of the stock back band after a few tries at cutting it down and replaced it with a Snap Dragon. Much better arrangement and didn’t cost much more.
Second the Redfish…
I have the Pre-carved minicel in my Tern with a Snap Dragon backband… It made all the difference in the world.
It will also give you much more control for edging the boat. Also placed the bulkhead closer and eliminated the footpegs.
After the experience with my Coho and the foam seat I had to do it to my Tern 14, also. Rather than buy another block of foam and carve a pretty one I decided to try glueing odd scraps together and carving a proto-type, if you will. I came up with a foam seat that looks like Frankenstein but it WORKS! I’ve thought about redoing it from a fresh block but I’ve kinda grown attached to the ugly mother.
An ugly foam seat is better than the stock seat any day.
How much do these kits sell for? There’s a Coho kit in the local trader (unstarted project) for $600.
If it’s still in the box buy it. But only if it’s untouched. It’s only a little more than the cost of material. The kit new is roughly $900+ shipping.
Happy building, Tom
thermarest + foam
i’ve had a problem with leg numbness in my pygmy, i tried several options including carved foam. what i’m using now is a 3/8" x 16" x 20" closed cell pad (from a backpackers sleeping pad, $10 at wallyworld) and thermarest seat pad. i arrange the pads so that my tail bones rest on the 3/8" foam pad and the thermarest pad is a little forward of that contact point, so i get a good ‘feel’ for the bottom of the boat through my pelvic bones and the thermarest pad keeps my legs from going numb. i can move the thermarest pad back for softer seating or forward for more solid contact. i used to start going numb after about 45 minutes, now i can stay out for hours : ) works for me!
Make sure it’s the FULL kit w/epoxy
I tried the thermorest, ya might as well sit on a folded blanket. I also tried the one that has the hip pads that fold up. Great hip pads lousy seat very short. If you look up the Redfish seat be sure to look under seat blanks. It’s not really a blank at all it’s a finished seat that has to contoured to fit your boat. Greenly also offers a complete custom seat. It you are looking at that one also look at ONNO’s seat and Kajak’s seat. I cut the pygmy plastic back band in half padded it up and find it better than my other commericial straps.
I usually order a couple of engraved brass plates from Woodcraft and epoxy one on the outside and one on the inside.
They are relatively inexpensive ($3.99 each) and look nice on the boat.
step by step
Frank, you don’t have to overthink it as you’re building. Go ahead and finish the kayak, paddle it with the thermarest seat and build the seat then. Unless you want to do it right from the beginning. My experience with seats is that it’s like building the boat,you do better the second and third time than the first time although the first time can be near perfect if you go slow and follow directions.
The cost of a 1/2bun (3"x2’x4’) isn’t that much, go for it. One thing to make sure is to cut the minicell blank so that it has keyed indents on the side for the hip braces to lock it in place, thereafter get some salamander hip pads on top to lock it in place. I wouldn’t trust velcro to hold the seat in place.
re. building the Coho, if you haven’t put the coaming on yet there’s something worth doing that doesn’t take any effort for a worthwhile improvement. The two piece coaming meets at a peak at the front, you can modify the shape of the spacers so that it has more of a curve. This may not seem that important but given that the front of the coaming will get hit if the kayak is rolled on a hard surface it’s worth rounding it over, it also makes the front of the coaming more hand friendly if you grab the kayak in that area.
I did it by building up thickened epoxy on either side of the joint and grinding it down to make a smooth curve over the joint with no sharp edge.
I second what these folks have said…
... and I'm happy to show you how I did it on mine.
I took Lee's advice about "rounding over" the coaming a bit further and actually recessed my coaming. The Pygmy Coho kit I "inherited" was made before the company introduced their Rollers Recess option. I decided I wanted to revise my cockpit for four reasons:
• to recess the back coaming rim as much as possible.
• to add thigh hooks for increased contact
• to make the overall opening smaller in order to use my existing spray decks
>>> to remove the peaked coaming rim of the original Coho design
I've also included pics of my minicell seat, showing the "indents" Lee mentioned to lock it into place around the hip braces. I then added removeable minicell hip padding (not shown) to further lock the whole seat in place. Note that the seat is extra long and and high in the front to give me as much thigh support as I could get. Really helps prevent leg cramps.
Take a look:
it’s a shame they went to the effort of putting in that one little piece of plywood and didn’t redesign the rest of the deck panels to accomodate a complete coaming recess with integral thigh bracing.
What advantage one might get from the aft coaming being an 1" lower is moot without thigh bracing. Putting in a full recess ensures the kayak gets thigh bracing as standard and gets the front of the coaming down to the peak of the deck reducing the chance of damage to the coaming when/if the kayak is rolled on a hard surface.
Made my own
THose remembering my episodes with my artic tern last summer, remember the seat issue.
I bought a block of minicell foam and carved my own along with hip supports.
Carving (albeit I live 10 min from water)allowed me a trial and error (and with the 2’x3’ block of 3", I had more than enough )of starting out high and carving down till the seat ‘fit’ and my COG was low enough that I began to feel connected to the boat.
I’ve got one of those minicel happy seats from CLC…I still prefer the one I carved (but that is just me)
btw…I epoxied velcro to the boat and the pad which allowed me to adjust to fit the fore and aft with the backbrace.
While I had no problem with the inflatable seat pygmy sends with their kits, several paddlers comments about not being connected to the boat with the oem seat were right on the mark.
Good to hear…
I also found that adding some foam to the interior sides help with the thigh bracing…
I now have several trips with the boat fully loaded and the handling is awesome.