Tempest seat creates leak

-- Last Updated: Jan-23-07 9:47 PM EST --

I started this leak and fiberglass repair in another topic. This was all before I had moved the seat out of the way to see what had created the small 1/16 -1/8" hole in my hull directly under my seat. It seems that parts of my seat pan has created wear areas and one has gotten deep enough to make a hole. There will be another hole if I don't do something. Looks like I may have to beef the area under the seat up a bit. I am a little unhappy right now. The boat is only a year and a half old. Any body else had this problem in a composite Tempest? Any suggestions? Flatpick feel free to chime in, I sent you an e-mail.

Any chance some small pebbles or
or sand got wedged in there ?

Seat would have to move around alot … just wondering.

Glassing it up again then putting a super thin slice of mini cell or similar will slow stuff down.

? plop down a little something to bond seat to hull ? Just speculating from the cheap seats since I have not had a look in there myself.

I posted this in the other

Your seat should have been assembled with a series of foam strips and blocks that would have prevented this issue. I know they have been manufactured this way for at least the last 18 months. This is he first i have heard of this type of issue.

Now for the repair; Someone gave nice instructions in an earlier post. You should sand the area and all subsequent damage. A peice of masking tape on the outside is also a good idea. The only part I disagree with, I would start with a smaller, chopped type, peice of glass, followed by a larger woven material. I do not think kevlar provides a huge benefit in this case. Wax paper, or a firm plastic film will provide a nice finish and eliminate possible sanding.

And again, the gelcoat on the outter portion of the boat is optional. The cavity should be evenly filled with resin.

it can happen

– Last Updated: Jan-24-07 10:18 AM EST –

Manufacturers get lazy with the installation of the foam blocks that are supposed to support the seat and mediate the movement between them. Sometimes they put a couple small splooges of adhesive, sometimes they change adheseives, sometimes the employee installing the seal has never been near a kayak. It's a crap shoot.

I had a Mariner Express that got a similar wear spot but it was from two rivets that held the plastic hinge on the seat back. When I removed the seat to make a custom one I noticed the rivets had worn 1/4 through the hull.
On a friends kevlar CD Extreme his heels wore 1/2 through the hull.
On a s&g Coho that had 8oz of s-glass on the inside it was worn at the heels 1/3 into the wood THROUGH the epoxy/s-glass.
On my Mariner I reinstalled a new seat with blocks of minicell glued in with 5200. IT IS IN.

you can have the SAME THING happen with grit and sand down by your heels.

My $.02 is that this is something the manufacturer can keep from happening but I'd say it's not totally out of the ordinary. Like getting a flat tire on the freeway. It's rare but can happen. Whereas any kayak that is used a LOT will develop wear spots on the heels.

Personally I'd repair it myself as the knowledge of repair is worth having and the hastle of dealing with a Borg empire isn't worth it. If you can repair it you can repair regular damage that occurs in use and not sit helplessly for the dealer to help you.

g2d suggestions are good. It's a minor repair and you could use WestSystems little 1oz glue packets to do the repair. Sounds like you could repair it all with a few square inches of 6oz cloth using four concentric pieces stacked on each other going from 1/2" diameter to 1 1/4".

I assume there's no fractured laminate and it's just an issue of building up what's worn away in a small spot.

The important part of finishing up is to block in the seat bottom and sides so that no movement is possible and no grit can get between the pressure points and the hull. I bet you can get some 1/2" minicell camping pad and jam it in with some fast cure 5200. Don't use silicone sealant to hold the pad in place.

ps. I'm pretty sure that epoxy and fiberglass mat are not compatible. Fiberglass mat is the kind that's made of random pieces of fiber and looks like of like rough felt whereas cloth as a weave like course cotton.

have been sent by dealer to Wildy… we will see what happens.


I just finished up dealing with some leaks on a 2007 165 and I saw this post and said oh no.

So I looked at my seat pan and there in no foam under it that I can see, the seat pan fits the hull very well and does not move, maybe they have made a change in the seat pan or maybe mine has some caulking under it.

I don’t know wheather I should post this here or under the repair question. But in 1983 I purchased a bare 32 foot fiberglass hull made out of polyester resins and in building the boat went through one heck of a lot of west system epxoy and I did find out that the adhesion of the west system was not as good to the polyester as using a polyester to polyester bond, how ever in all other aspecks the west system was superior, espsecially with wood.

Also be careful with any of these products and us rubber gloves and proper protection. In building the boat in 1983 I went through so much of the materials and even though I was careful I would once in a while get some on me and as a result sensitized my self to a whole range of materials and even today have a problem if I am near them.


plastic or glass against hull?

– Last Updated: Jan-24-07 2:17 PM EST –

Yep, I think I've seen a couple manufacturers with loose foam under the seats, CD Gulfstream comes to mind.

Unless a seat is fiberglass right onto the hull like Neckys old glass hip braces a cantilevered seat attached to the coaming or suspended hip braces WILL allow movement. Put a 175lbs of paddler in the middle of a 60lb boat and that weight will move what it's attached to.
There's no way around it unless someone glues minicell onto the bottom to isolate grit and anything on the sides to isolate side/side movement.
This is minor and somewhat normal. It's also one of those MANY details that get lost when a product is made by dozens of people none of whom actually use to product and is sold to a consumer not familiar with all the dings and damage from normal use.
I'm curious how Neckys aluminum seat frames will hold up in their composite boats over time as it's a similar issue. Maybe it won't move and grit won't migrate to low spots.

don’t worry
it’s not totally unheard of. Yes you’d think it shouldn’t happen but the number of boats with missing bits of glued minicell is pretty big.

The Tempest is a good hull design and the basice construction is sound. If you paddled a lot you’d eventually wear holes where your heels are located.

yep and yep
seen it and if you don’t have a piece of foam under the front and back of the seat…add one.

for repair fill in with a couple f/g strips. mat is fine.

sorry bout that


recommended adhesive for minicell?
I like the fast cure 5200/4200 because it’ll lubricate the minicell into position and not pull up like silicone. Maybe Lexcel?

One of the things a person can do where minicell is holding things in place but you’re worried about movement tearing the bond is to glue it into place then cut right through the minicell with a thin sharp knife. Kind of like the recess cut into old Perception minicell bulkheads where it allows for flexing so it doesn’t tear the glue. That way you can get the support but the movement is between the minicell.

Esters break down the binder in mat
Depending on the the base, Epoxies might not … but will still be o.k. for tiny repairs. Better to use cloth anyway IMO.

For nice neat edges on small repairs,

Wet out that last larger ply by laying over current stack and lightly dabbing it with a brush to just wet out to edges. The clear 4-6 mil unwrinkles plastic squeegeed over works great and is a really nice technique to use when re-glassing the foot wear area.

vinyl ester
The hull is made from vinyl ester resin. Some epoxy’s will not break down the binders in stitch fabric.

…I’m not understanding what you just said. Can you try that again?

And yet ANOTHER leak isue on the Wilderness Systems Tempest kayaks…hatches, bulkheads, skeg housings and now the seat area itself…good work they do down there on those kayaks they build.

Thankfully there are a number of good sea kayak companies out there that know how to do it right. Maybe someday Wilderness systems will figure it out again. They used to be good in the past…

Stitched fabric would only have

– Last Updated: Jan-25-07 4:17 AM EST –

binders if were sewn w/mat on it. Still works o.k with epoxy but a little more effort neded to wet it out with most off the shelf higher viscosity epoxys.

DBM 1708 vs DB 170 ..... Both stiched fabrics with same weave / weight of fabric but M is for mat.

No matter which way you like to stack repair plys .... starting with big one or little one, it is nice to consolidate everything with a larger one to keep thing nice and neat. So you have a few plys down already , all wet out. Take your final one and put it down dry on top of your stack and just sort of lightly tamp it into place allowing excess resin from stack below to wet it out. Not exactly a fast thing to do on multiple spots but it is a nice professional way to go.
With a bit of tapping and maybe a little more resin from the pot ( you do not want top ply to draw resin back up and starve the plys below either ), you can let said top ply wet itself out all the way to edges. That would be edges of said ply AND if you are doing it right, just to ( or just inside of )the edges of your repair / grind / sanded-for prep area. Clear un wrinkled 4-6 mil plastic over the top of this and it looks great. If the boat has a non-smooth finish on the inside I might consider NOT using the plastic so the repair blends in a little more. Let it cure and just touch the very, very edge / perimeter of the top ply with 120 or something medium to take the edge off.

As per the other thread ..... I like to use clear packing tape on the outside of a tiny hole that is being backfilled from a repair on the inside of the boat .... you can see what is going on.

If you have time, not a bad idea to wax around the hole so any excess resin that sneeks past the tape will flake right off ..... Let resin go to 'green' stage, then you can pull tape and get 99% of it off with a razor blade and and some acetone if need be .... good time to trim the high spots of the ( outside ) hole to save some sanding too. Once most excess is off from spot , you can usually hold the blade @ a very low angle and slice flush. Same blade can be turned perpendicular to surface for effective scraper later too without taking much gelcoat off from surrounding area. Scrape till real close then go right to fine grits right away if going crazy.

Yeah, but
the hull design is really great! And with friends like DennisH and Flatpick, I can get this stuff patched up in no time ;-).

Paul S.

(Been paddling twice in the past 4 days, so the winter world is a bowl of cherries right now!)

Not a WS issue.

– Last Updated: Jan-26-07 6:23 AM EST –

In review I dont belive it was really manufactor defect or flaw in the product or design. I dont think the seat was missing foam, the rivet just pushed thought the seat too far (the wrong rivet was probably used). WS will fix it.

How can you say that?

– Last Updated: Jan-25-07 8:27 AM EST –

If the boat normally has foam under the seat and that foam is needed to prevent the seat wearing through the hull but the foam was left out in manufacturing isn't that a problem for WS to fix? Lots of companies would apologize, send you the missing foam and give you instructions for fixing the problem.


– Last Updated: Jan-25-07 9:39 AM EST –

You are WRONG on that and I don't know how you did your review. But the seat did cause the damage and I don't know if mini cell would have helped or not. If minicell would have helped - it should have come with the boat. I use my boat - it's not just to look at - but I DON'T abuse it! The plastic snaps or rivets or what ever else you want to call them that attach the cushion to the seat are hard and somewhat pointed on the end and protrude thru the bottom of the seat seem to line up exactly where the grooves are rubbed into the boat. This is not a normal wear issue - I guarantee you. THIS IS A WILDERNESS SYSTEMS ISSUE! Chris

You are correct. This is certainly a Wilderness Systems issue. I’ve paddled alot of sea kayaks over the years and have been somewhat hard on them shall we say? I’ve never, ever had a problem such as this with any boat.

Unfortunately it is just anther example of very poor workmanship on an otherwise nice design.

Good luck with dealing with Confluence!!

Cheers…Joe O’