Kayak seats are not the most comfortable, especially if you’re on the water for long periods. This is why many people spend time trying to modify the seats. Can you put a boat seat in a kayak, and will it work?
Can You Put A Boat Seat In A Kayak?
You can use a boat seat in a kayak, yes, but you will need to fit it properly and make sure it is safe. If not done correctly, it causes you to wobble in the water, which can cause it to come undone if you accidentally capsize.
If you’re considering changing out the seat on your kayak, you’ll want to know how to do it properly. This article will explain the process to make it easy for you to understand how to do it, and some reasons why you may want to consider it.
Why Might I Add A Boat Seat To My Kayak?
There are several reasons for wanting to change the seat in your kayak, but the biggest one is probably comfort. If you are going for long journeys in your kayak or sitting for hours on end (particularly if you enjoy fishing). You may find that sitting in a kayak without a supportive backrest gets quite uncomfortable.
Adding a boat seat is a great way to change that, especially if you can find one that is supportive and easy to sit in. It may make a lot of difference when you’re out on the water for long hours at a time, so it’s well worth considering if you find you’re uncomfortable.
There aren’t a lot of options available on the market for upgrading a kayak’s seating arrangements. Yes, you can change the current seat for a more comfortable kayaking seat, but most kayak seats are not comfortable.
You might be tempted to try sitting on padding such as blankets or cushions to soften the plastic base, but these carry their problems. They will get wet out on the water, and if you capsize, you’re very likely to lose them.
They also shift and slip around, meaning you’re less steady in the boat and more likely to tip to one side, especially when you’re trying to get in or out of the kayak.
It is much better to have a fixed solution, and that’s what a boat seat can provide, with the added benefit of supporting your back as well as cushioning your rear.
How Can I Add A Boat Seat?
That said, it’s crucial to install a boat seat properly. This will make it more comfortable but also safer, especially if you accidentally capsize at some point. An improperly fitted seat may come loose and could sink or get tangled up.
Start by reading the manufacturer’s instructions and checking that the boat seat is compatible with your kayak. Many people have had success by buying a folding boat seat on Amazon. For instance, the Wise Economic Low Back Seat is perfect because it’s padded and inexpensive and should work great for any kayak, especially a sit-on-top fishing kayak.
Once you have checked this, decide where the seat should be positioned.
Remember, it is a good idea to have the seat near the back of the kayak, as too close to the front will have several disadvantages. It will leave your legs squashed, making it uncomfortable to sit in the kayak for long, and it will also make it much harder to steer the kayak.
If the weight is mainly in the kayak’s nose, this will push the nose down. This affects the steering and the speed of the kayak, and you will need to put a lot more energy into paddling and keeping the boat on course.
Therefore, position the seat toward the back of the vessel rather than “front.” This ensures better handling and usually better comfort, too. This will ensure that it can hold you comfortably, especially, if you’re a heavier person. Read this article to find out where a heavy person should sit in a kayak.
Kayak Seat Modification
This video will walk you through changing out the kayak seat with a Wise folding seat. You can watch the video and follow along, plus I’ll detail the exact steps taken in the video below.
With a little bit of work, kayaks can be modified. Some people have even modified them so they could sleep in them.
Fitting The Seat
The video above walks you through how to replace the seat with a boat seat, but for fitting a kayak seat, but remember to always refer to the manufacturer’s guide first and follow their instructions over generic advice. This will ensure a safe fitting.
You shouldn’t have to drill any holes in the kayak to replace the seat. In the video above, he drills some holes in the seat and uses a u-shaped PVC that the seat attaches directly to.
Step One: Remove everything from your kayak the paddles and other equipment don’t get in your way. Position the boat on a flat, stable surface that you can work more efficiently.
Step Two: Place the seat in the kayak, with the fold of the seat resting against the back of the seating area. If you have chosen a different location for your seat, place it in so that it is level and firmly against the bottom of the kayak.
Step Three: On the edge of the kayak, you will see metal fixings specifically designed to attach the seat’s hooks. Clip both straps to these hooks and check that the clips are firmly positioned to prevent the seat from coming loose if you capsize.
Step Four: Tighten the straps. You don’t want any slack in the straps, as this will prevent the back of the seat from being stable and supporting your back. Keep tightening the straps until the back of the seat is vertical and slightly curved. This is the position in which it will offer the most support and stay upright.
Step Five: Check that the seat is stable by seeing what happens when you tug on the straps. It is a good idea to test a seat in calm waters and low-stress conditions the first few times you use it.
You now have a comfortable boat seat positioned in your kayak and ready to enjoy!
Adjusting Your Seat
You may find that you need to adjust the seat a bit, especially if you frequently kayak in different conditions. For example, the position you want when kayaking on whitewater is likely to be different from the position you choose when fishing.
Play around with the height of your seat, and see what works for you. Sitting up high is often more comfortable for long trips, but it will make your kayak less stable because it lifts you above the level of the water.
You may find that a high seat is difficult to adjust to at first, so practice on calm, flat water before you try this in a river or in windy conditions. Be prepared to capsize a few times while you adjust to the new balance!
If your seat has an option for adjusting your hip angle, remember to play around with this. You may find that adjusting it helps to make your lower back more comfortable during a long session and causes fewer aches and pains the next day.
If your seat is not adjustable, consider purchasing one that is, or buy cushions or pads to lift and reangle your hips. It’s essential to find a sitting position that doesn’t cause you pain either while paddling or in the days after a kayaking session.
Adjust the back of the seat, too. You may find you even do this mid-session as your desire for support changes with the conditions and your own sense of tiredness. Many kayakers find that different positions make kayaking more comfortable, and changing the angle reduces stress and stiffness.
Adding a boat seat to your kayak can revolutionize your comfort out on the water, and if you’re a serious kayaker, it’s definitely something you should consider.
Try to choose a kayak seat that will offer you plenty of support and has options for adjusting it while you’re on the water so you can alter your seating to suit the conditions and your energy levels. Folding seats are the best and least expensive options. It will provide you plenty of storage and comfort without sacrificing a bunch of space.
This additional flexibility will help you tackle different conditions, allowing you to fish and whitewater kayak from the same craft with more comfort!