Cracked hung fibreglass seat, how to fix?

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Irish Sea
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Cracked hung fibreglass seat, how to fix?

Post by Irish Sea »

Hi guys,
looking for a bit of advice here on how to best procede with a seat repair on my 90's Valley Nordkapp. Its an ocean cockpit with the glass seat hung from the coaming.

Over the course of this summer the right side seat support developed a crack roughly in the middle. It's not all the way through the material yet but on the outside (towards the hull) you can feel a crack in the laminate and lots of fibres sticking out. Also the seat developed a lot of side to side movement when edging the boat. For now I squeezed in a tight fitting piece of minicell foam between hull and seat support on both sides and with that in place the seat feels solid again.

Anyway I would like to fix it properly as I'm a bit concerned that it may crack completely and the prospect of paddling with a half loose seat in potentially rough conditions is not an appealing one.

So how should I procede?

Cutting out seat completely and replace with foam seat would be one option but I quite like the original seat.

Would it be enough to sand down the cracked side of the seat support and then put the boat on its side and add a layer or two of glass cloth to the cracked outside of the seat?

Cheers,

Bjorn

Chris Bolton
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Re: Cracked hung fibreglass seat, how to fix?

Post by Chris Bolton »

This is a problem that I've seen on more than one kayak. I think you'll struggle to get a good bond laminating onto the cracked seat, in the restricted space. I suggest fixing a plate (aluminium, HDPE or fibreglass) on the outside of the seat, by bolting through with countersunk M6 bolts. Then wedge foam into the space between that and the hull.

If you do want to go for laminating, use epoxy resin and remove as much as you can of the cracked surface layers first.

Irish Sea
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Re: Cracked hung fibreglass seat, how to fix?

Post by Irish Sea »

Thanks Chris,
what about cutting the seat out first but leave a bit of the side support under the coaming (this would be above the crack). Fix and reinforce the seat properly from the back with glass cloth and epoxy. Then I would reattach the seat using some sort of backing plate as suggested and bolts. I would imagine I could do a cleaner job like that and as an added bonus this would make the seat removable for future cleaning, repairs etc. I could even make it somewhat adjustable by drilling a couple of holes in the backing plate.

Could that work?

Chris Bolton
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Re: Cracked hung fibreglass seat, how to fix?

Post by Chris Bolton »

That would work, yes. I've seen seats cut out and refixed with plates in order to lower them, and proper job on the lamination would be straightforward with the seat out.

Irish Sea
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Re: Cracked hung fibreglass seat, how to fix?

Post by Irish Sea »

Allrighty,
I may look into that way of fixing it then. That would also allow me to experiment a little with seat height and angle. At present I find the seat comfy as such but maybe angled backwards a little bit too much for my taste. With several sets of backing plates with mounting holes drilled in slightly different locations I could find my perfect fit. Sounds good. That's like the two birds with one stone type of thing. Not only do I get to fix the seat properly, I may even be able to improve my seating position.

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