Seat recommendation for my Shearwater 17

I am currently building a CLC Shearwater 17 would like some input on different seating options.

I know CLC makes a seat upgrade for less than $50.00 but I would like to find a seat with a back rest incorporated into the seat. Right now I am strongly leaning towards a Redfish custom seat. Anyone out there have a Redfish seat? Are they good? Is there something else you would recommend?

Foam Seat is good
I’ve not tried their $145 seat with a back on it. The miser in me would go for the Redfish sculptured seat at $48 plus a Rapid Pulse back band from CLC $24.50. I like a back band over a seat back any day.

Actually, I’ve sculptured my own seats from a 3" foam block $24.


Redfish good
but honestly if you’ve gone this far, don’t stop. Order up a 2’x2’x3" foam block from CLC and start cutting it to shape.

There’s a couple ways to do this.

One is the take the block and cut a piece that is as wide as the bottom panels and cut an angle into the bottom to fit the bilge panels. Go ahead and make it as long needed butted up to the back bulkhead with cut outs for the hip braces. Start carving and when it’s flexible bend it into the kayak and keep carving. There are lots of websites describing the technique for carving.

The other method is to cut NEATLY two parallelogram shaped blocks that when glued back together make the exact angle of the bilge panels so you don’t have to cut the bottom of the seat to shape. CLC should be selling cut chunks of minicell to sell as seat kits but they make too much money selling CC and HB seats. The benefit of this method is that you have a deeper seat with more back and side support. The resulting glue seam isn’t pretty but if you want to keep going paint the seat with rubber tool dip.

With the 3" thick minicell going all the way to the back bulkhead you can either build it up further with a solid angled back or keep it low for a back band. Either way you can carve out slots or holes for your favorite beverage. Think of it. An insulated space with at least 2" of minicell all around it! Also the front of the thick minicell seat can have slots carved out for other specialty items or an indent for a small lunch sized Pelican box that can be bungied to the floor of the cockpit between your legs. I’ve glued minicell to those Pelican boxes so they don’t slide around and float if left open/flooded.

The Creature Comfort seat and Happy Bottom seats aren’t anywhere as good as the Redfish seat or one you can carve yourself.

You’ve gotten spot on advice here. Be aware that minicell carving can be addictive. Once you have carved a reverse replica of your own butt (when seated) life as you know it is over. You will never again accept someone else’s corporate view of your butt and how it moves during torso rotation, edging and long cockpit sessions. You will be done with that. You will never again demo a boat and consider the comfort of the seat because it will be a non-issue. It doesn’t matter. You will have a better option. You will be comfortable and you will know how to achieve it for the rest of your life.

I prefer to shape the seat (butt-interface) before sculpting it to fit the cockpit, though. By keeping the base of the foam seat flat I can use a flat surface to sit on and fine tune the shape. Once I’ve got the shape at 90% I bevel the base (kayak interface) to fit the hull using a cardboard template roughed out from the inner hull profile.


at one time
I had one trashcan full of minicell chunks from carving seats and thigh braces, a few fiberglass seats made from molds, it adds up.

I have used the Redfish Seat on three kayaks so far. They are really nice. I second most of the advice you have already been given. I would carve one if you have time and inclination. If not, then I would get the pre-carved blank and use a back band. You will need someway to attached the back band of course. I seldom use either the back of the seat or the backband when paddling but I think the adjustability of a back band is a positive.