Today I purchased a used Swift Keewaydin 14 (in Kevlar Fusion) that originally had a traditional canoe seat. The original owner removed that seat and replaced it with Swift’s carbon pack boat seat using epoxy to glue it in place. I want to remove the pack boat seat and reinstall the original seat. I don’t know how to do this without cutting out the carbon pack boat seat with a dremel, and then covering the remaining mess with a kneeling pad. I’m afraid that any chemical that might soften the epoxy will also soften the hull so I’m resigning myself to an unpleasant cutting task. Thoughts?
Cut cut cut
For cutting carbon fiber, perhaps explore different carbide-grit saw blade options.
I’m having second thoughts on tackling the project after reading about cutting carbon fiber. I paid $2500 and 8 hours of driving for the boat. It’s a great boat and the price was fair. I’m not afraid to spend money on a top tier boat because I know I’ll always be able to sell it without loss when the time comes to do so—as long as I don’t beat it up. I’m afraid that I’ll never be able remove the seat without an ugly mess remaining. I think my best bet is to cut my losses and resell the boat to someone who is looking for a pack style boat. UNLESS someone chimes in with an easy way to dissolve epoxy without dissolving the boat in the process.
They make narrow belt sanders with 1" or narrower belts. Using one of these very carefully with a course belt and finishing by hand with finer sandpaper might work. You would probably have to brush on a thin coat of epoxy to finish. When sanding you would have to be careful not to heat the epoxy too much to keep it from becoming sticky. Wear a respirator.
If you can find a suitable replacement boat it might be easier to resell the boat you have touting its excellent upgraded seat.
I bought a boat with Minicell firmly glued to the floor of the hull.
I cut off as much as I could without damaging the hull. I soaked the remaining epoxy with vinegar for hours and finally got it off.
I cleaned up the residual with acetone.
That’s interesting and encouraging. (I’m assuming the above-mentioned boat was a composite and not Royalex.)
Many epoxies can be liquified with a heat gun. I might be concerned if your boat has a foam core but otherwise it may be fine to heat up the hull to the 200F required to soften the epoxy. You could ask the Swift folks.
It does not have a foam core, but the idea of heating up an expensive hull sure is scary. I wonder if heating the carbon seat near where it’s attached to the boat would release the bond? I’d still have to deal with the remaining epoxy but it would save me the problem of cutting the seat away.
I sent an email to Swift yesterday but they’ve not replied so far. I’m not the original owner so they really don’t owe me an answer.
If you over heat it you’re _ _ _ _ _d!
Do you mean if I overheat the carbon seat or the hull?
I might try boiling towels in pots of water and using them to soften the epoxy before trying a heat gun. I like just putting it up for sale though. Good luck.
Yes. You need the right tools to cut out the carbon. Any picture of it?
Forget about heating it. It’s not a turkey with a pop-up thermometer.
I have been following your thread and I see you have posted a photo. You have a beautiful canoe there.
I had a few questions. If I had it I would love paddling it as is with a kayak paddle I just went thru the reverse of what you are doing going from canoe seat to more of a pack boat seat so I could paddle it that way. I do understand wanting the original seat also.
Is the old seat location the same as the new seat? Could all the seat back and pad be removed and the original seat just be mounted above it so you would have both? Would doing that interfere with kneeling?
Is the hull symmetrical and could you put the seat on the other end and just leave the base hardware glued in? Is it the extra weight?
I don’t know how long you keep a boat it seems some here flip them often. I would think resale would be better set up like it is.
Probably like Current Designs mounted seats back in early 90’s. Diamond blades and sanding final bits. Looks like a flat flange adhered to the hull.
The boat is asymmetrical. Even so, as you can see from the pics, the traditional seat mounts directly above the pack seat. Kneeling is impossible unless the pack seat is removed. It does seem like pack boats are becoming more and more popular. Ideally, I’d rather sell it for what I have into it than tackle a risky (for me) job. If I can’t sell it without a loss, I may take all of PaddleDog52’s advice and go for it.
PaddleDog- I have no idea how you could see how the seat was mounted from that original pic but you are exactly right! I also admire your enthusiasm for this scary project. Then again, if I screw it up, it doesn’t cost you a thing. Thanks for the interest, help, and advice. I will follow it exactly if I finally work up the courage.
Such a nice canoe…
Looks like you could put the original seat on over the pedestal