retrofitting a Sevylor inflatable

After a weekend of rafting, I would like to upgrade the cheap sevylor collecting dust in my garrage. Has anyone tried this? My idea is to add a two peice plywood floor to fit over the bottom and under the side tubes. I would add a crazy creek like seat and some holes for foot supports and if I get real creative some thigh braces. Will normal preasure treated plywood work, or should I find marine grade plywood? And if so… Where do I find marine grade plywood? My plan would be for an occasional trip down class two and maybe three rapids like the Tuckaseegee or the Nantahala.

Does this sound crazy?


Try a Boat Cushion

– Last Updated: Jul-07-05 8:13 PM EST –

I had lots of adventures in various Sevylor rafts and kayaks, but no sense using them for purposes they were not designed for. The rafts weren't designed for serious class II, and certainly not class III. You don't want to get too crazy.

Try sitting on a stiff boat cushion. Your butt won't be as wet, and it will give you a firmer position to paddle/row from.

Great for a lake
The hard floor is great for rowing on a lake but I would not want it on rapids. I would think the boat needs to flex. I used 3/8’ exterior plywood and varnish. I laid thin outdoor carpet on the top side while it was still wet. Worked great for fishing until I bought a kayak and gave the raft to my daughter for the grandkids.

Foam maybe?
To my Sevylor TX 390 kayak I added a foam floor from a Maravia inflatable kayak. I just strap it in to glued on D-rings. I did this because the inflatable floor got so leaky I couldn’t keep up with patching it anymore, but the added stiffness improves the Sevyor’s performance a lot without making it TOO stiff like a wood floor would.

update on ideas
I just pulled it out and started looking at it. I figured a 4 ft long board would prevent it from tacoing and still allow 3 ft on either end to allow for flexibility in the rapids. Some foot straps and maybe a wide strap round my lower back would give me the security and control I need. I also did some research into the local rivers and the two prementioned rivers are both class I and II rapids (with one III). Wet and fun but not all that dangerous. It sounds like the Tuck might be done with tubes, so a retrofitted Sevylor is not all that stupid.

A question for the guys who made stiffeners… Does the stiffness help out the tracking? I remember the Sevylor had absolutely no tracking (which is why I bought a plastic boat).



Yes, adding stiffness did help the tracking of my TX 390. Which model do you have?

Sevylor does make a skeg that can be attached to some of their kayaks that improves tracking.

One of the good things about paddling an inflatable on flatwater is that once you learn how to make a duckie go in a straight line, ANY boat will seem to have good tracking!

You could try PVC pipe.
I attached 1/2" PVC pipe (schedule 40) to the underside of an inflatable floor – to make stiff ribs. Worked real well. Added stiffness but was still somewhat flexible.