Seaward Chilco help

I recently bought a Chilco and only took it out a few times.

I noticed it was real twitchy unloaded. I weight 175lbs and was curious how much ballast I should add (25-50lbs?).

The next item is the gas pedal rudder system. I find it awkward and uncomfortable compared to the traditional push pedal system. I’m considering ordering the push pedals from Seaward as a retrofit.

Last item. I found the padded plastic seat severely uncomfortable in a very short time. I recently moved the seat down and forwards as I think the thigh braces might be the culprit as they were closer to my knees than to my torso. I’m planning a test of this on a rare winter weather window on Sunday.

I really like the design and build quality but some of these quirks make me question my purchase. Any advice or comments would be appreciated!

Enough ballast so it’s not twitchy.

If it makes you happy.

Glue and foam.

If I recall, the Chilco has some v to the hull so it will be twitchy when sitting flat on the water. Relax you hips and let it sit a bit to one side while keeping your torso vertical. See if that helps. If you keep paddling, that should help, too.

How deep is the Chilco?
I find a boat that is too deep leaves me uncomfortable after a while paddling - I am working too hard to get to the thigh braces. Some of the Seaward designs tend to be deeper than more current trends. You can add minicell and pad the thigh braces down to help with a depth problem.

Chilco "twitchy"
As mentioned above, the Chilco’s slight v makes it want to sit on either side of the v rather than absolutely vertical. The Foster Legend does the same thing. The boats are not unstable; the trait just takes a little getting used to. I suggest you take the time to get used to the gas pedal type rudder control also. The sliding pedal type are a big step backward, especially for rolling & bracing, or if you try to pump your legs with a forward stroke. I have an old Necky that formerly had the sliding pedals. I upgraded to Seaward pedals years ago and am glad of it. I haven’t popped a rudder cable since upgrading either, which is more likely with the sliding pedals.

Agree 100% with Above
The Chilco does feel twitchy on fairly flat water due to the hard chines. I recommend paddling it quite a bit - you’ll soon realize that twitchiness is unrelated to its’ stability, which is quite solid. Relax and you’ll get used to it.

The gas pedal style rudder controls are far superior to the sliding pedals. Again, probably you need a bit of time to get used to it.

I paddled the Chilco for a few years, and I’m sure you’ll love it once you get more time in it.

Like any kayak, it helps to custom fit it with foam.

One problem down one more to go
I put a bag on concrete in the front and one in the back hatch. This really took care of the twitchiness. However the more serious problem of my legs falling asleep persists. After a 40 min paddle I could barely get out of the cockpit. After many years and many kayaks I have never had such a bad problem. I tried a replacement “Happy Bottom” seat pad in the past and I did not change anything.