Sling seat adjustment

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Sling seat adjustment

Post by Fishingron »

Hello All,
I purchased a Saco two years ago. My intent was to access remote ponds and lakes for fishing. I previously used a 2006 Puffin II for the same purpose. The Saco sling seat is very comfortable. Wonderful boat for paddling and sightseeing. However, at my age and size (67, 6’2”, 240 lbs.) stability is a major concern. I was uncomfortable with the twists and turns necessary to fish from the sling seat as it was hung. I spoke with Alv about lowering the center of gravity. He suggested bringing the seat crossbars closer together but cautioned only a minor adjustment was necessary. I moved the rear crossbar 1/2 inch. Two days ago, I had a chance to test that adjustment. On the water, I slid my fingers between the seat and keel. My guesstimate was a 3/4 inch gap between seat and keel. I paddled for 20 minutes. The ride was pretty stable. I returned to shore and put the baseball diamond shaped blow up pad between the seat and keel with slight air pressure so as to contact the seat to keel. The ride was very comfortable and no stability concerns. I will have no issues fishing with this arrangement. Probable TMI but I believe this adjustment may provide food for thought. Thanks for listening.

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Re: Sling seat adjustment

Post by KerryOnKayaks »

Good information, Ron. I had to do a more complicated adjustment to lower the seat on a beta version Pakboat Quest that I bought a few years ago -- they had made it too high and I had the same stability issues. Just a little bit of lowering center of gravity does have a huge effect. I like your idea of putting an insert between the lowered sling and the frame and skin -- I have been a little worried about abrasion and may try that with a piece of closed cell yoga mat -- also have an inflatable pad like you used and will try that too.

It really is remarkable how the slightest fractional difference in your center of gravity can affect kayak stability. I have a rigid skin on frame Greenland replica kayak with no seat at all, just a lumbar positioned backbanc and I sit on a scrap of 1/2" thick Ensolite foam laying on the frame and skin in the cockpit. Last summer I was heading out paddling with some friends and was going to use that kayak. I happened to have a 3/4" thick closed cell seat pad (the kind people use on car seats or at stadiums) in my car and thought I would try putting that on top of the Ensolite for a little extra cushioning. This kayak is quite narrow (20") and hard chined but I have paddled it for years and feel very stable in it and am very used to the way it handles -- have NEVER capsized even in rough conditions.

But we had only paddled out about 100' from the beach when one of my companions behind me shouted something. As I turned my head and shoulders to see what was going on, to my shock I went right over into the drink! Just that extra 3/4" of elevation had made me top heavy enough to capsize on flat water with a slight shift in position! It was more embarrassing than dangerous as the water was warm and I was near enough to shore to swim in dragging the boat, which only weighs 31 pounds. It wasn't worth the effort to pump it out and climb back in out on the water. But the incident taught me to not add anything that raises my butt even 3/4 of an inch!
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Re: Sling seat adjustment

Post by Alv »

There is no doubt that the solution works. But it also brings you a little lower relative to the gunwales, so paddling will be less comfortable. And personally I like to have my feet lower than my body. That position is also affected by the change. How tight to make the seat is a bit of a balancing act, and there is no right or wrong way. The change is easy, so feel free to experiment.

Instead of drilling multiple holes, you can move the seat temporarily and lock it into place with a hose clamp (that we'd be happy to supply).

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Re: Sling seat adjustment

Post by primco »

I just got a Quest 150 and after my first paddle, I felt too high up/tippy, even after letting the air out of the seat bottom. There was a decent 10mph wind out on the bay and I couldn't relax. Had to paddle constantly to keep from tipping. I setup the seat according to the video, with the seat cross-stays just on either side of the thicker 3/4" tube. When sitting in it, there is about 1 inch space between the bottom of the seat and the keel pole. There doesn't appear to be any other way to setup the sling seat to get it to go lower. I would love even another 1/2 inch if it does contribute to stability.

I did yank it all out and try to mount the cross stays closer together as suggested. The only way is to jam one of them on to the 3/4 inch part of the rod to shorten up the distance. This did get me lower, but the seat sagged to where I felt like I was sitting in a bucket. The bar across the front is then too high. I'm not sure that's a great solution. Maybe with bar clamps I could just bring it in a little but I do worry about the stress on the plastic joints that were designed for 5/8 tube.

I guess there is an option to put in an another seat. I have one that might work from an inflatable kayak. I wonder if anyone else has tried that to sit right on the bottom of the boat. I'm tall so I'm not worried about the gunwale height. I wonder if removing the crossing seat stays would hurt rigidity.

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