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Seat bottom wears through layup


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This is a cautionary tale for owners of new boats. Do you know whether the bottom of your seat is properly separated from the boats layup via mini cell foam or not. Most of us just assume so and paddle until there is a problem. I recently purchased a used Boreal Ellesmere about a year old and in excellent shape. Not being too happy with their seat I removed it to make some modifications. I was surprised to see wear into the resin exposing the kevlar fabric in two significant places: the leading edge of the seat and two areas under the sit bones. No foam was in evidence other than a block in the center of the seat, which was obviously not enough. I since have provided protective foam for these neglected areas. While you will not be able to inspect the bottom of your seat without removing it you can make an easy determination about the leading edge of the seat by running your finger underneath to see if there is any protective foam there. This may be unique to Boreal but something tells me there may be other manufacturers who neglect this important area as well.

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A better bet than using foam is to bond the seat pan to the hull with Lexel or one of the GOOP products. The problems with using foam are:

1 - It will compress and wear through over time

2 - Any sand or grit that gets under it will become a grinding paste that will accelerate the wear on the hull

If you are going to use foam, you need to bond it to the hull, or both the hull and the seat, in order to prevent #2 above.

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