Boat Building Forum

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Seeking: Advice for seat mods and toggle handles

First post here, looking forward to sharing and learning!

I recently purchased a used Pygmy Borealis XL. Love the way it tracks and its light weight. Not too crazy about the seat, which is a Harmony-branded seat pad glued to hull, and the standard Pygmy plastic backrest with foam. Because I didn't build it, I'm not sure what the manual recommends for how/where to install the seat back band. It seems too far forward to me (about a 2 1/4" gap between back of seat band and front of the aft cockpit coaming) and he put two screws on each side so that the seat band can't be easily raised to stow gear in the hull behind the seat. Assuming that I decide to keep the stock plastic backband with padding, are there any guidelines for how far fore or aft it is installed? I'm a big guy at 6'3" 270lbs, so I need all the room I can get..... ;) I'm seriously considering a CLC Creature Comfort Seat or a Redfish seat, anyone else have any other aftermarket seat recommendations for wood kayaks? I've seen several videos on how to make your own out of minicell foam, but the convex carbide carving discs they use are $70 ea.........

As for the toggle handles, the guy I bought the Borealis from didn't install any. My Borealis is quite light, but we have a lot of reservoirs here in Oregon that close their gates in the Fall, and I'm a year round kayaker who uses a kayak cart to get access to the water in the off season and I really need at least a fore toggle handle to pull the yak on a cart. I've seen several different types of handles on wooden kayaks, and wondered what the best way to add the toggle handles would be. The builder of my boat suggested drilling the hull for 1/2" dowel rod (he recommended oak), epoxying that in place, cut the dowel off flush with the hull, then drill out the center of the dowel and feed the line attaching the toggle handle. Any other suggestions on how best to do this?

Many thanks!