Seat replacement ideas?

Have a Valley seat that I will be doing something to and shopping for ideas. It is the small pan fiberglass type that is hung from the cockpit rim with the backband connected to the side pieces. For now I see my two options as–

  1. Cutting out the vertical fiberglass walls on the side just below the cockpit rim and putting in a carved foam block seat or an aftermarket seat. Suggestions/feedback on the Kajaksport seat or any other aftermarket seat?
  2. Leaving the existing seat in place and extending the front of it by mating a carved foam piece to the front of the fiberglassed seat pan. Anybody done that? The advantage I see of doing this is that I don’t mess with the structual integrity of the one piece cockpit rim continued down to the side hip supports and then connected to the seat pan and back up the other side.

Seat options
I put a carved foam seat in my Ellesmere and it’s great. In my Explorer, I’m thinking about doing the same thing. But, someone recently recommended trying to put carved foam pieces in front of it to provide thigh support so I’m going to give that a try when I get some time to work on it. I’ll let you know how it works out!

Butt Comfort
I bought a Sealine self inflatibe seat pad and it is the best thing I’ve planted on in years. I’ve used it in two boats and have paddled both for over four hours with absolutely no awarness of my butt. I got it at REI on sale for 20 bucks. Sounds like you are considering some major modifications, you might try this first.

Here is a link to BNystrom’s pholos
He has been very helpful to me and about 30 people I know.

Maybe he’ll chime in if needed.

Then there is always the lovely work of redfish designs who will carve you a super deluxe seat for a reasonable fee.

Can you advise me where I can buy an inflatable seat in the Florida area.

I’ll be doing another one shortly…
…(on another Anas Acuta) so if there are any steps that anyone is unclear on, let me know and I’ll shoot some additional photos. One thing I may do differently is to put a drain channel in the seat. If so, I’ll shoot some pics and post them.

Be wary of inflatble seats…
…particularly continuous pads like the Thermarest. While they can certainly be quite comfortable, they can also compromise your ability to control your boat. When you shift your weight on one, the air simply moves from one side to the other without moving the boat. Conversely, the boat can move beneath you without your feeling it. If you use an inflatable seat, use the minimum amount of air you need to be comfortable.

Minumum Air, Maximum Comfort
You make a good point. I found that the best comfort and control with this seat is with just enough air to keep from bottoming out. Have you tried this seat? It’s great. Mine goes in a Prijon Eski with marine velcro attachments. I can paddle all day and highly recommend it. It is very thin and does not raise your center of gravity. Life is good, paddle well, have fun!

REI On Line
If there is not an REI store in your area you can order one on line at I think the regualr price is $26.00. I got mine on sale for $20.00. Worth every penny.

Has any one tried…
building a simple from on the floor of the boat that would represent the outside shape of the seat (as you look down at it), place a plastic bag inside that form then start filling it with the aerosal foam they sell in hardware/lumber stores for insulation purposes while sitting on the bag so as it expands it conforms to ones’ derriere. After cured, pull it out of the bag, trim/refine then glue to hull.

I have been considering leaving the molded fiberglass seat in this boat, but use this technique to increase the length of the seat pan this way hoping it would form not only to the front of the seat pan, but the bottom of my cheeks/legs. Then glue a thin after market seat pad ontop of the fiberglass and molded foam. My biggest questions are would it work and would this foam be durable enough for this purpose. Opinions? has foam seat that
includes side bulkheads to retain structural integrity. Will cost you a little under $150. You will need to supply a cross section template. You also get some useful flotation out of the deal.

Aerosol foam a BAD idea
Very stick, very messy, hardens stiff, crushes easy.

Buy minicel and dragonskin/sureform.

Don’t use aerosol foam
In addition to the problems already mentioned, it’s not designed to be waterproof and it expands for hours after installation.

If you want to do a molded foam seat, use the two part expanding foam made for marine use. It’s expensive, but it works. I’ve seen Lee G. do a seat this way, so perhaps he’ll chime in with some suggestions.

how many
anas acuta’s do you have?

Carving mini-cell
IMHO this is a EZ way with max comfort.

cut the seat off low, leaving hips and backstrap attachment. f/g in the bottom of the hip to the hull/side. get a block of mini that covers the area. carve away. start with a sheetrock saw or hacksaw blade. finish with dragonskin. wire wheels on slo moving drills eat foam and can speed up the carving/gouging.

I’ve done this a number of times and takes a couple hours. Folks were happy.

I’ve never seen the length extender option work well. The butt pan is still uncomfortable no matter how far you extend.



I have a minicell carved seat in my kayak that is very comfortable but it doesn’t allow me to use my legs very much during my paddle stroke. It doesn’t allow my but slide at all. If I was you I would add a peice of minicell in front of the seat to get the extra support you are looking for. The people that I know that have done that find it works well.

Aerosol foam will not last very long.

– Last Updated: Sep-15-04 3:30 AM EST –

The idea is solid though..... gotta use the better marine type foam, even this stuff has better grades. Generally available in 2 lb densities and up..... 2 lb will not last long either unless you glass over the WHOLE thing , not just the top or bottom. Will support the weight o.k. but cannot take much movement before it starts to break down. 4 pound foam will hold up fine if glassed over w/ glass taking the load and foam only acting as core. 6-8 lb will work as just a seat without major reinforcement but now consider the 6-8 pounds per cubic foot part. Bottom of boat shape is there on seat, from your sit on it process now lay some glass over it (seat bottom) neatly and cover w/ 4 mil plastic to get a really smooth, no sanding needed finish..... lay some resin and cover w/ same 4 mil plastic to get a smooth surface there to ( assuming it is not already) in hull of boat where seat will be... With the smooth surfaces now velcro strips will stay stuck and allow you to move seat around once in a while if you need / want to. Suggest using only half width of the hooks and place on hull, use the full width of the loops and place on seat bottom.

Anyone ever look under a motorcycle seat's cover? That foam is available in 2 part too and really makes a trick seat. It's flexible foam instead of rigid. Better to have smooth cavity molds though because the skin that gets formed against the mold faces is what gives it it's strength.... cannot really shape it like minicell.

Forgot to mention to anyone contemplating sitting on a bag full of rapid cure foam... HEAT !!! Better to do in small batches unless one is really masochistic(sp?). Also suggest wearing a wetsuit to insulate from said overheating and get a nice shape.

These might help

– Last Updated: Sep-15-04 11:27 AM EST –

I have not done this but perhaps you could contact cement some slick 500 denier nylon onto that foam seat. Even glueing down a thin skin of slick minicell might help. You will need to lay it out and cut in some darts but it might work. Neoprene will not work; it is grippy. Seattle fabrics and others might help with the cloth

Let me know if it works

Aftermarket seats?
I most likely will be doing the cut and carve (foam block) solution, but before I go down that road does anyone have experience or suggestions on an aftermarket seat. Just studying my options. Thanks.

Kayaksport was not bad at all
I have enjoyed then in kayaksport boats and they are available as aftermarket seats. Cost some money though.