Redfish seat? Nordkapp LV

-- Last Updated: Oct-23-10 10:14 PM EST --

Does anyone have this seat?

I've got a new Nordkapp LV. Adjusted the seat this past weekend and noticed some differences in the boat. The back band had been pretty loose, so i adjusted it so it provided better lower back support, which pushed my butt forward ... maybe by 1/2 inch or so ... but enough that I had to move the foot braces back 1 notch. The result of that is my thighs are not in contact with the gunnels, as they were before. So I'm going to pad out a little. Maybe 1/2 inch on each side should do it.

I've read how even a little adjustment on this boat can make a noticeable difference in the feel. Read the specs, which say the seat is 1 and 1\2 inches off the floor in the LV.

The Redfish seat puts your butt 1\2 inches off the floor. I could also position it where I want it, maybe back that 1\2inch, and lower by 1 inch. I would have to pad out the thighs more to keep contact.

Just thinking aloud ... any thoughts would be appreciated.

Are you sure?
About the 1-1/2" off the floor? That’s a lot! Take a look, may be try to slide a finger under the seat to check. If it is indeed that tall, may be there is a way to lower it. I’m sure you’ll get advice more specific than mine on that from folks who own that boat…

The redfish seat is a glorified foam seat. I’d take a solid plastic or composite seat that fits well over one of these any time. But seat comfort is an individual thing…

Regardless, if you indeed lower the seat by 1" you will need to add even more padding.

As for the back band, it should not be touching your back during normal forward paddling, IMO. Only be there for support when you lay back, stretch when resting, roll, etc. If it does push you forward, it will restrict your movements, which even in lively waves is not something you need.

I was impressed by the Redfish seat
design, but had already done my own minicell seat, where I am seated on just enough minicell to avoid ischemia.

Molded FG or plastic seats can be well designed, but always end up wrong for some of us on the end of the size spectrum. I routinely have to cut windows in the sides of some ww and touring kayak seats to accomodate my wide-set hip sockets.

Minicell seats are more modifiable. The minicell can lose some volume in use, and might be too squishy in spots, but stiffer minicell is available, and one can add thicknesses to replace what is lost in use.

Nordkapp LV /Redfish seat
First, congrats and good for you for starting at the top with a Nordkapp LV. That is not usually a boat for beginners. It is a good teacher.

Mine was also 1.5" off the bottom, and I learned how important that was when trading with my friend’s LV. His was considerably more stable, and mine considerably twitchier - we both agreed. My friend had lowered his seat. My boat was much nicer - like his - after I lowered my seat. You have to remove the seat and take something like dragon skin to the foam under the seat. It is pretty obvious what must be done. Be sure to shim the gap that will be created above the seat when it is lowered down. I used a nylon shim. I’ve seen people use nylon or ss washers too.

Re the Redfish seat, I also thought that it would work great, and I now have one that is the most comfortable seat I have ever had. However, it is stock in a Sterling’s Illusion. I loved the LV, but my big toes were a perfect fit for the reinforced fittings for one of the recessed deck line fittings. Chronic ingrown toenails. I finally gave up and traded it in on the Sterling Illusion, which I really enjoy too, probably even more than the LV. But the Redfish seat is a joy.

The only downside to the Redfish seat to me is that there are no cords or fittings to clip with a carabiner. Just pure foam. It might also be a bit more subject to UV damage. But for comfort, I, and just about everybody who has tried it, likes the Redfish seat a lot more than the Valley Seat.

Doesn’t seem like it …
But these specs say 1.44". Unless I’me reading that incorrectly.

So far the Nordkapp has been a …
… kind and patient teacher. I liked the feel more so than the Avocet when edging: this will sound crazy, but it felt more stable to me. Could because me plus the basics (life jacket, skirt, paddle, etc) are closer to 180 pounds than the 170 when I prefer to weigh myself. That’s the higher end of the Avocet scale, but mid range for the Nordkapp LV.

I’ve also got about 4 years total seat time in several Tempests, the last being a 165 glass boat. I wanted something faster and more nimble.

I may try to lower the seat first … I’ve read that’s about 1/2 inches. Should I get 1/2" of nylon shims?

Might try to lower the seat first …
… Consider other seats in the spring. Right now I’m thinking minor adjustments as I get acclimated to the boat.

Lowered the seat in my Nordlow
I lowered the seat a half inch in my Nordkapp LV and it made a notable difference.

Unscrew the seat. Pull it out. Remove the amount of foam you choose from under the seat. Add that thickness of shim under the gunwales on top of the cheekplates. Screw the seat back in place.

Removing the seat pad can also make a difference. It can be replaced with the thinnest of minicell glued in with contact cement. Contact cement is also good for gluing foam under the flanges.

gotta go w. lowering the seat
I’d rather lower the seat and pad the thighbraces than replace a whole seat.It’s easier. You might want to try that first.

Like kocho, I prefer a hard seat (fiberglass w. minimal one layer padding) but it’s your butt that matters.

One thing about changing seats: If you really like to crank on your braces and turns and throw yourself around in the cockpt the original Valley seat is, IIRC, bolted into the boat via seat towers.

If you remove the OEM seat and replace it with foam, custom carved or homemade, it’s a less robust form of attachment. The seat might shift and at the least opportune times. Whether this is important to you or likely to occur depends on your weight shifts and your paddling style.

My overall advice on mods - unless extreme discomfort and/or safety is involved - is to do the least possible at first, paddle it awhile, and then do gradual tweaks.

Size of shim

– Last Updated: Sep-17-10 1:01 AM EST –

First get the seat down where you want it and measure the gap. You want the correct shim or washers so that everything is firm. You don't want the seat supported by the upper bolts, but by the bottom. You don't want any slop, so get the thickness you need. You may need to get longer bolts, but I don't recall if I did that- think I did have to do that. I think that I had about 3/4" gap, but I lowered it to the max and really liked the result.

The rear coaming of the Nordkapp LV is high for a Valley boat - about an inch higher than an Aquanaut. I wish it were lower. Part of my decision to only lower the seat a half inch is that rear coaming height. I don’t know why Valley hasn’t adopted a rolling recess, such as in a Romany, to make laybacks and re-entries easier.

Don’t pad down the thigh braces too much. I find being able to get my knees up helps my posture. Most of the time you won’t have your knees locked-in anyway.

lower seat
Yes it does make a difference.

If you have the newer model seat you will need to take a few extra steps.

There is a block of foam on the very back and you need to cut away about a 1/2’’ to lower the back of the pan.

You also must grind down the bolt that attaches the back band to the pan or it will rub a hole in the hull.

Glue new very thin minicell on the bottom. There are already two of them but they come off too easy and you should go ahead a replace them.

After you lower the seat down so it’s just about touching the hull, you won’t need that thick of shims. I think I just used stainless washers and some thin strips of wood.

Also put some kind of padding (that thin black stuff?) under the front edge to keep it from rubbing the hull. So no part of the seat pan can rub a hole in the deck.

You will probably need longer bolts. I lowered mine twice and the last time used the longer bolts.

You may not need as much padding under the thigh braces as you think. I’m tall and the slightest adjustments make a huge difference. Even the thickness of my shoes can cramp me in there too much. I also use a foam bulkhead.

It’s not a less robust form of attachmen
in the old Noah kayak I fitted out. It’s just a matter of putting foam where it needs to be to keep my butt from shifting. There’s always a way to do it.

On the UV issue, there seems to be something in minicell foam that slows UV degradation to much less than that I’ve seen in Ethafoam. Exposed minicell in my open canoes does not seem to show much UV damage at all.

Thanks for the suggestions!
This is the first time I’ve ever considered fine tuning a cockpit. I plan to go slowly, making the easiest adjustments first.

To start, I stuck some foam behind the hip pads, making a more snug fit. On the water today, I could feel the better contact. I’ve also decided that thigh contact is good and needs no foaming. I did buy the cement: Marine Goop.

The boat felt great today. Down in Narragansett bay, went under the Jamestown bridge, towards the URI Bay Campus. The waves down there were running closer to 2 feet, nice swells. Got to try some confused areas, with swells rebounding off the rocks, mixed at times with boat wake. Took waves from all angles, even at rest, to get the feel of how it handles waves.

I read where someone described it as waves just move under the boat. That about sums it up. This is a fun boat to be in.

Think I’ll hold for now, then when it gets too cold (for me) to paddle around here, I’ll put the boat in the garage and play around with lowering the seat a little.

BTW it’s not that hard. Just don’t be afraid to use some common sense. The bolt I mentioned to grind down, you can replace with another bolt and washer, and another tip is to replace the nut with a use a nylon threaded nut so it doesn’t unscrew it’s self.

The trickiest part was reaching my fingers through the seat to attach the nut to the mounting bolts. (I did use longer ones, shems, and washers and nylon threaded nuts)

BTW I think they have lowered the seat in the last year or so.

I got out on the ocean today in mine… pure magic… 5’ swells from Igor…

With the NordLV the rougher it gets the more stable it becomes. Love it!

Update and question: skeg cable
Took the seat down 1\2" today.

Question on the skeg cable: there’s a notch in the seat mold at the top that allows the skeg cable to pass through. Do you keep the skeg cable in that notch after lowering the seat? Or do you let the cable go on top of the seat? Right now the cable is still going through the notches, which results in a curved in the cable. The skeg seems just a little tight now.

Overall this seemed to go well. I took 1\2" off the foam block at the back of the seat, and removed the 1\2" foam pad in the front. Replaced the front foam with 1/8" foam. Took off the excess bolt for the back band, and re-glued the foam on the bottom side of the seat. I cut 1\2" blocks of plastic, and used those as wedges (3 per side) between the top of the seat and the underside of the deck. The original bolts fit.

So now the seat is 1\2" lower and seems solid. I may move the skeg cable out of the notch and let it go over the top of the seat, behind the 1\2" plastic wedges.

I may take the boat to a local pond tomorrow, shallow sandy beach area, just to see how it feels in water. Can’t really paddle the boat because I don’t have proper gear yet. Will probably need to foam out the thighs a little.

I would keep the cable as straight as you can to avoid binding/wear.

Repositioned cable …
… Now above the seat. It’s straight, and made sure the it does not slip behind the seat.

I have a '10 model, with a newer skeg slider. The cable comes into the cockpit (from the stern) just behind the top rear of the seat. There are notches at each end of the seat so the cable can pass through the seat. Don’t know if that’s how they were before. Lowering the seat 1\2" lets you put the cable on top of the seat.

How low can you go?
From what I’ve read, a number of people have taken the nordlow seat down 1\2". But I’ve read a few you have said they were thinking about going lower. Has any one done that, and how much?

1\2" puts my seat just about on the floor. Maybe 1\8" more in front, 1\4 or so in the back looks like all I could do if I wanted to go lower. Mine is a '10 model … is the seat lower to in the '10 vs. previous years?

Test paddle
Took the boat this morning to a local pond for a short paddle.

Feels like a little more primary at rest, secondary perhaps a little more pronounced. Pushing to what seems to be the edge of secondary, I think I could feel a little more resistance up to that point to where she just keeps going.

One thing I like about this boat: if you push past that point and she’s going over, you can feel it instantly, and a quick shift the other way and she’ll recover.

On my list to improve: replace the 1\2 wood shims with plastic.

I spent some time looking for longer bolts, but all I could find was the same bolt. It’s metric: 6mm x 30mm. I found a place on line that has 35mm and 40mm (length), that turns out to be here in the Boston area. Turns out I didn’t need longer bolts, but I’m going to pick some up just to have in case I need them later.