Tempest seat, foam blocks.

Tempest seat, foam blocks.

I finally removed the seat in my fiberglass T170, to check it out underneath. My seat has just 4 plastic “buttons” on the seat pad to hold it in place. There’s small foam blocks (1” x 2” X 3/8”) underneath to cover the two button trees in the front and a foam strip (2” x 10” x 3/8” thick) over the two trees in the back. These would also offer support to the bottom of the seat. I pealed one foam block back a bit to see that the trees are ground down and not sharp. The good news is there’s no damage or risk of damage to the fiberglass from the trees.

There is foam and glue residue on each side under the seat where it starts to curve up toward the seat hanger. This is evidence that there was originally a foam block on each side of the seat.

I do feel the seat move slightly side to side when edging strong one side then the other. This was one of the reasons I removed the seat to check out the foam blocking. I’m thinking I should glue some minicel foam blocks back on the seat bottom at the sides. Anyone have an argument for not doing that? I can’t think of one. I called Alder Creek kayak shop and they said it’s a solid idea. I’m gonna go for it. If it causes a problem, I can just remove it again. That’s the beauty of foam. I’ll check here just before I brush on the contact cement just incase someone succeeds in talking me out of it :). Flatpick?

Tempest owners, feel free to compare notes here. How many bottons do you have holding down your seat pad? What’s your foam block configuration under the seat, if you’ve looked?


Many boat owners, kayak and canoe,
could consider using foam to control seat movement. Sounds like, in your case, there should have been foam there, but it may have been removed.

Some composite kayaks and many canoes have “hanging” seats, supported from the boat rim by hanging panels or by dowels. Sometimes this arrangement is not sufficiently firm, and the seat shifts when the boat is edged. Shoving some minicell between the hanging supports and the side of the boat corrects the problem. Adds floatation too.

You mean the little pine tree things?
I think there were two in my seat pad. I removed them soon after I bought the boat, so I could glue in 1/2" minicell pad to raise my position. Then I glued the seat pad on top of that.

I didn’t have any seat movement either before or after the change (better NOT be after all that glueing!).

I know the Jubilee

– Last Updated: Jul-07-07 11:33 PM EST –

has a hanging fiberglass seat; molded in, I think. The one I tried had minicel blocks glued in between the seat bottom and the hull. This was Jonathan Walpole's boat and I know he tends to make good mods to his boats, so don't know if the minicel is stock or not. It looked like a nice neat factory job. By the way, that's the boat that he has for sale, white on white, compass installed, $1800. If anyone's interested, I can post the web site url.


Question on re-installing the straps.
Duh! In what order do the straps go back on? I tried to check when removing the seat but got a little careless and didn’t quite figure it out.

From top down, I’m guessing it goes:

  • Fiberglass deck.
  • Aluminum end on the back band strap aligned with the back hole.

    -Strap to the thigh ramp (Aluminum piece on top of the thigh ramp strap so that it helps hold the thigh ramp strap in place.)
  • Seat hanger.
  • Plastic (teflon?) washer.
  • Lock nut.

    Bolt through all of that.


Wondering about the Explorer too.
I know on the Romanys the seats are often borken or loose. At SSTIKS, one was broken, and one I paddled was loose. I didn’t look carefully, but I’m guessing it’s a molded in, hanging seat. Does it come with foam blocks installed?


I realize now that, on my boat anyway, there’s two holes in the thigh ramp strap but they are spaced shorter than the holes for the bolts. So you can only use one hole and bolt to attach it. So I put the back band strap with aluminum end on the back bolt and the inner most hole in the thigh ramp strap on the front bolt.

The problem with seeing how they were attached originally is that they’re covered by the fiberglass deck. Then when you slide the seat forward, the straps slip out of place and fall off the seat hanger. If I had been careful I probably could have seen how they were located, but I wasn’t.


Did you add the half inch just because you had room, and to make the boat a little more lively?


Some Experience

– Last Updated: Jul-08-07 5:24 AM EST –

My buddy (who has skills and tools) and I took out my T165 seat and modified it. If memory serves me correctly I just popped the connectors off and used rubber cement to re-attach the foam pad to the plastic seat. No more threat to the hull.

I don't know how tall or long legged you are but I have found that entering and exiting my 165 is vastly improved with the seat moved back one bolt hole.

Ahhhhhh. perfect.

out paddling
funny as I read this thread Paul, you eventually figure it out! I been out paddling all day and got back late.

yep the seat’s suppose to have two blocks on either side and I glue a 1.5" X 10" strip of 3/8" neoprene foam on the leading and trailing edge of the seat.

This does make getting the seat and straps back in a little tight BUT makes the seat VERY secure.

The leg lifter strap goes in the forward hole and the alum backstrap thingy in the aft hole. Use a phillips head screwdriver or other ‘poky’ tool to align before putting the screw back in.

good luck


Can’t do it in the fiberglass.

– Last Updated: Jul-08-07 11:02 AM EST –

The bulkhead behind the seat slopes down, to give more compartment storage. The seat base is right against the bulkhead.

I've learned about one advantage to the seat being more forward relative to the coaming. Much more comfy for layback rolls.

Appreciate the suggestion. I do have to go feet first to get in. Works ok though.


Thanks, Steve
Good piece of mind to know I got it right.

Yeah, I had to push down on the seat a little to slip the straps in. Good idea on using the phillips screwdriver as a guide. Next time! I just aligned the holes real good and wiggled things around a bit and used the bolt as a guide :).

Glad you mentioned in another post, turning the boat upside down for re-installing the nuts! Less room to get my fingers and a socket in there in the 170 than in the 180.

Going paddling today to check it out.

Had a lot of fun yesterday, actually, tinkering with the boat. My daughter and her boyfriend were visiting for the day and over night. So it was a good family day, talking with them, tinkering with the boat, too much good food. My wife’s a social animal. She can’t resist cooking a nice meal when they visit. I’ll work it off today.

Thanks again.


Never Say “Can’t”

– Last Updated: Jul-08-07 2:28 PM EST –

The seat we modified was in a new fiberglass 165. We cut the seat with a reciprocating saw so that it could be moved back. Works great.

(We were in "American Chopper" mode. Did some gorilla grunting also.)

Also on T seats…
Since Steve posted here I thought I’d ask about my current set up with regards having installed a Rule bilge pump behind paddler , against bulkhead, and not haveing forward cockpit water flow back behind the seat to be pumped out.

The through holes have been drilled (RM 165) for switch and outlet hose so it has to stay located there. I found that if a 5mm gap or so, is levered up in front and at back, under the black plastic seat base, the water can level and drain evenly to the pump.

Can Steve or anyone advise if this will cause the base to lift and seperate over time, and any issues with wear around area. Plan on using rolled up and glued 2" webbing for gaining a gap.



Found a solution
After taking a good look at the seat it seemed that the base is held in place by being bolted on at the top of the hip pad area. So some 1cm poly rope is now running through the middle and underneath the seat base to give a gap…should work.

soundz good
if you get a chance post some pics of the final install.


Seat doesn’t move at all, now. I used a straight edge across the front and back edges of the seat base to contour the foam blocks to the shape of the hull.


Seat lifter install
Here is a link to some photo’s of the pump set-up and raised seat base. The battery is 1.3 amp hour,sealed battery and bilge pump 500 Gla/hour Rule at 1.9 amp hour draw. Should get 30-40 minutes pump time. There are bigger batteries with more weight and size. Switch is a waterproof one from aussie electrical store. It all works well and now even better with the flow back to the pump with the rope setup.



nice job!


Because I’m short
I paddled the boat a couple times first without making the change. Stuck a pad under me and decided I liked the higher position much better, plus it matched my position in my wood boat (which I like).

Yes, it is more responsive at the higher seat position. Some might call that tippy. At my size, it’s merely “normal.” I could go a little higher…