Page 1 of 1

Deck Seats for Folbot

Posted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 11:51 am
by RangerTim
Cold weather, cold water, and Covid have given me time to putter but not the opportunity to test. I had chunks of 3" closed-cell foam left over from making a bilge bed [viewtopic.php?f=25&t=7277] for a Folbot GII. I thought they might make serviceable deck seats for use with a tiller when sailing. The result seems ok but as I said, I do not have the opportunity to test. Also, I must live with the prototype for now as I have no more expendable foam chunks.

Each seat is composed of two chunks of foam. The smaller chunk elevates the larger chunk and rests on a frame tube. The larger chunk rests on a washboard. The washboard seats into a channel in the larger foam chunk. The seats are intended to be placed at a rib for maximum support but might be placed elsewhere along the washboard. To help keep the skipper from falling overboard the seats tilt slightly toward the cockpit and have non-slip sheets on the upper surface.

Two straps thread through slits in the larger chunk. The straps are not meant to hold down the seats. They simply prevent the unoccupied seats from being lost overboard. They thread behind the top tube of the side frame. The seats can be flipped into the cockpit and leave room for the skipper but can be in the way.

An electric carving knife from a thrift store cuts the foam, though not super accurately. One must proceed slowly to avoid bogging the motor. 3M Super 77 spray adhesive adheres the two foam chunks to each other, and does a pretty good job. It does less well with the non-slip sheets, but the straps will hold the sheets on.

As the water temperature here is 40 degrees, I may need to wait until April or May to test on the water.

Re: Deck Seats for Folbot

Posted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 1:11 pm
by RangerTim
The non-slip sheets were an afterthought, after I discovered how slippery the foam is when wet.

Re: Deck Seats for Folbot

Posted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 6:41 pm
by JohnSand
I like them.
When I was rigging my Super, I thought of ideas for deck seats too. They had them in their catalog. That boat sailed well without them under a 55sqft lateen. But I weigh 230#, and have been sailing for years, so I can keep a boat upright pretty well.

Re: Deck Seats for Folbot

Posted: Sun Feb 28, 2021 5:29 pm
by DLee
Looks pretty great Tim. I have a set from Mark at Long Haul which are very similar in style to what you've made here.

The only problem with these is that it takes a really brisk and consistent wind to actually use them. If you're like me, you're going to find that you want an elevated seat which is very close to the height of the gunnels so that you can spend a fair amount of time in the center or edge but then quickly shift out to the deck seat. I end up sitting on the rear coaming or even behind it on the rear deck far too often. It's also a little too high.

I've tried many variations of stacked cushions and a 'hiking' board across the top. None really seem to do the job properly. Mark makes a canoe seat for the York and I'm going to ask him about getting one for my kayaks. I'd like it to hang down off the coaming just 2 maybe 3 inches below the top edge. Maybe I could help the support with some cushions underneath. I'd like it to be just deep enough to maintain a little COG but high enough to quickly shift out to the deck cushion.

Anyway, I'll let you know what he thinks. It would be great if it were easily moveable because it could also be a canoe paddling and fishing seat as well. Maybe even a little work table :D But mainly it'd be perfect (I think) for sailing.


Re: Deck Seats for Folbot

Posted: Tue Mar 02, 2021 3:11 pm
by RangerTim
I see your point, Dennis. I can always cut the seats down for lower ride height, or maybe scuttle them altogether. I'll see what goes out on the water. I'm hoping for a bit of testing time before the Tall Pines gathering at the end of April. When the water temperature is below 50°F I'd rather not go out, especially for a windy-day test. 39°F here just now.

What I really would like is a plank behind my seat that slides and locks port-starboard on a track. It would overhang the water on the windward side while remaining above the deck on the leeward.

I could sit on the plank of course, though perhaps only centered over the deck. More useful, perhaps, would be the ability to counterbalance by leaning out to windward on a forearm while more-or-less remaining in the cockpit. Now I just sit as far to windward as I can while gripping the windward coaming with my leeward hand.

Re: Deck Seats for Folbot

Posted: Sun May 16, 2021 4:37 pm
by DLee
How'd it go out at Tall Pines Tim? Did you try out the hiking seats?


Re: Deck Seats for Folbot

Posted: Wed May 19, 2021 12:49 pm
by RangerTim
The hiking seats have functioned well so far, Dennis, after three mods. First I needed an elevated tiller cradle to raise the resting tiller above the hiking seat. I cobbled together something from the I-MIGHT-NEED-THIS-SOME-DAY pile.
0308211048a.jpg (59.1 KiB) Viewed 1388 times
0308211048 (3).jpg
0308211048 (3).jpg (80.11 KiB) Viewed 1388 times

Re: Deck Seats for Folbot

Posted: Wed May 19, 2021 12:54 pm
by RangerTim
After the first use, in light air, I realized the process of moving from deck to cockpit lifted the seat from its position resting on the coaming and the frame. The seats needed to be held down in both places.

To hold the seat down at the frame required two steps. First the stock bungee perimeter line was replaced with double-braid polyester.
A pad eye was added to the gudgeon to complement the bow pad eye for anchoring the line as a loop. The purple line is for the rudder downhaul.
0314211445_HDR.jpg (86.61 KiB) Viewed 1388 times
The loop, a single length of line, has a bowline at one end. The other end threads through the bowline and is tied to itself with a tautline hitch. Once the boat is assembled the hitch can be tensioned to resist sagging. The tension can be easily released for disassembly and packing while leaving the line in place.

Second, four very short clip-end bungees were made. A d-ring was added to each webbing strap on the seat underside, two per seat. Each short bungee clips to a d-ring, loops under the perimeter line, then back up to the same d-ring.
0319211129.jpg (59.24 KiB) Viewed 1388 times
To hold the seat to the coaming Velcro was used. Pressure-sensitive self-adhesive hook Velcro [from Folbot, left over from spray deck installations] went on the cockpit side of the coaming. Sew-on Velcro loop was adhered to the complementary surface on the hiking seat. I used Lexel here as it sticks to just about anything, though it requires two weeks for full cure. To install the seat I hold it vertically next to the cockpit side of the coamimg then tilt it down to rest on the frame, thus engaging the Velcro.

Re: Deck Seats for Folbot

Posted: Wed May 19, 2021 12:59 pm
by RangerTim
Next time on the water the seats stayed put and I had more wind. Deck seats [hiking seats I guess, but without sufficient wind I am only sitting on the deck] are a gas! I can lean back to at least reduce pressure on the leeward ama if not lift it from the water completely. I was able to close-haul with unreefed Balogh 36 ft2 in 12-15 knots. Yes, the mast was bending a fair bit, but certainly less than it does without counter-balance. After a puff passes the windward ama limits how much I tend to fall backward if I am unprepared. Still, I needed loop-end straps port and starboard.

I had straps made to order from The phone at Custom Tie Downs was answered by the most helpful Cristina. No menu tree. As my specs did not correspond to a stock item, she took my specs and came up with a custom SKU for me to order from the website. I chose the piece-sewn loop of 2” polyester.
sewn-loop-pieced.jpg (24.32 KiB) Viewed 1388 times
This yields a 1” wide loop for the hand. I specified 10” long loop opening for ease of placing my hand inside and having the loop fall across the back of my hand. That loop size worked out well on the water. The overall length was 30”, which turned out to be much longer than needed.

I installed a couple of ¼” ID brass grommets [to match Folbot coaming carriage bolts] at what seemed like reasonable locations in the webbing. A soldering iron worked great to create the holes for the grommets. The strap is installed over a coaming carriage bolt on the deck side of the coaming. Thus the stress is not taken entirely by one rib ear. One strap on port, another starboard.

My next time on the water was at the Tall Pines Harbor Campground gathering of kayak sailors known as The Sails Angels. The hiking seats and the straps worked fine despite the straps being too long. My hand ended up a foot or so from the leeward coaming. Two to four inches might be better. Even leaning far back my elbow was crooked.

Downsides to the hiking seats:

The sail creates a huge blind spot. I am often bending over to look under or around the sail.

The seats inhibit a natural paddle stroke when in the cockpit even with a bent-shaft single-blade paddle. Not a problem unless I need to paddle a significant distance.

I must drop into the cockpit for tacks and jibes unless I am prepared to flip the boom over my head as it crosses the cockpit. This movement, down then back up while holding the tiller, can be awkward.

The seats are oriented for sitting facing the cockpit. I find myself twisting my torso to look forward. The alternative would be a seat that spans the cockpit. Since I may want to sit in the cockpit such a seat would either be in the way or put my weight too far aft.

When broad reaching or running in light air the sheet [the part from the traveler to the clew] can hook on the hiking seat.

With no loop straps to hang on to I became tired gripping the coaming and wedging my legs. This prompted the addition of straps.

I have difficulty hanging on to the strap while managing both sheet and tiller. This means I cleat the sheet most of the time. With more practice I may be able to manage all three.

I must be extra alert to uncontrolled jibes for the obvious reason.

Even with the downsides, sailing from the hiking seats in a stiff breeze is just plain fun!