Bucket Seat Pans

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I had been looking for a used bucket seat pan or two. Doug wanted one to replace the simple foam pad in his Rob Roy (mid-90’s $1200 MSRP decked canoe in glass, with a ten cent foam seat). And I wanted one to keep as shop stock for the next decked canoe conversion.

The manufacturers have needed every one they had on hand, and in any case a new seat pan can run upwards of $70. Nope.

Asking at BMO I was led to the (now well organized, nicely done Sarah) trapdoor basement. I was honored; they don’t let just anyone down there. Watch the headroom and stair treads - BMO is located in a historic train station dating from the 1880’s or ‘90’s. People were shorter back then, and had smaller feet.

https://www.bluemountainoutfitters.net/about.html

In the seat pile Sarah found two vintage plastic seat pans. One standard looking plastic pan had a fine crack, which I filled on the underside with G/flex.

P5100001 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

In “repairing” that single crack the previous owner had gone Gorilla tape crazy on top, and yet somehow missed taping over some of the crack. Pretty work, as my old mentor used to say sarcastically.

P5100004 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Once the G/flex on the backside has set up I’ll peel all the tape off and G/flex the crack atop of the seat pan if necessary.

The other used seat pan is a peculiarity. Glass, not plastic, and much deeper than any seat pan I have ever before seen. Oops, wrong photo, like this

P5100006 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

5” deep at the back, 3 ½” deep at the front sides, by 14 ¼” wide hip width. The MRC IQ seats had a similar high-rise back, and for me those proved to be the most comfortable pan seat around, the only seat I can use without a back band.

PA160009 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

The bottom of that deep seat pan is equally peculiar, with 1” ID slider tubes glass in place. (Forgot to take a photo)

I wonder from which weird vintage hull that seat was salvaged? I wonder if my fat ass will fit comfortably?

Testing. . . .testing. . . .Eh, that’s a nope, my endomorph hips are too wide; even naked and lubed up I briefly had a seat stuck to my derriere. But it might be just fine for a skinny ectomorph.

Both will get low-point drain holes drilled, and some Ridgerest padding contact cemented in place, later melting through the Ridgerest covered drain holes from the back side with a hot nail head. RidgeRest on only the bottom of the pan for the ectomorph seat, not the sides, so I don’t make it any Twiggy-hipped narrower.

Will they work? The shallower one certainly will, and the weirdo one might for the right skinny assed paddler wanting some back support.
 
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I like the comfort of Ridgerest sleeping pad foam on pan seats, and it was time to cushion the two new pans.

The usual Ridgerest routine; make a paper template for approximate size and shape to be covered, trace the outline on the Ridgerest and cut out the foam, It’s better to make the template a little larger than seemingly needed and trim any excess after a fit test.

Lay the cut out Ridgerest pieces on the bucket seats (I weighted them in place with sandbags) check the fit, mark and trim as necessary and, on the tall bucket that gets Ridgerest only on the bottom, lay it back in place and Gold Sharpie an aiming outline.

Drill a couple drain holes in the lowest part of the pan seat, best done before the foam get glued in place.

Then the laborious part, evenly coating contact cement onto/into the ridge recesses. Unlike a Waffle House breakfast I don’t want contact cement maple syrup puddled in the recesses. And, unlike a flat piece of minicel the waffled Ridgerest probably has three times the surface area, = three times as long spent on thorough, un-puddled brush strokes as a flat piece of minicel.

P5150004 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

P5150005 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Two coats each on the seat pans and Ridgerest pieces. The long push pins are simply to hold the Ridgerest in place while coating with contact cement. Re-coated and timed tacky, a little heat gun reactivation action on both surfaces, press into the Gold Sharpie outline on the deep-dish seat and hope my aim is true. Press the Ridgerest down everywhere on both seats, center and especially edges.

I don’t want to be thumb-pressing Ridgerest on seat pans for the next hour, or overnight. Time for some binder clips on the critical edges.

P5150008 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

And then a pile of Zip-locked sandbags laid atop for overnight compression weight.

Day Two. Yes it takes me parts of two days to do something as simple as glue RidgeRest to a seat pan.

A little razor blade trimming of some RR that extended past the pan. It is seriously not worth trying to cut the Ridgerest to exact perimeter dimensions; insta-seating the contact cemented Ridgerest it is easy to get a little off kilter, and any overlap cuts like butter with a razor blade.

The seat pan drain holes now covered by Ridgerest. A lack of drain holes isn’t a big issue when my cheeks are covering the seat pan, but there is puddle if I exit the canoe in the rain without some low point drainage. The Ridgerest waffles will still be wet, but not nut-soaking deep water. A sponge wipe takes care of most of it, and if it’s raining I’m either wearing raingear or, height of sweaty summer, don’t mind being wet.

Holes melted & sealed using a Propane torch to heat the head of a nail.

P5160009 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

P5160012 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Most cleanly melted going first from the hole-visible bottom side, then back through the hole again from the foam side

Done. I don’t yet have a rebuild that needs a bucket seat, but when I do. . . . .
 
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Since they are so hard to find I’m kind of surprised with your construction abilities you didn’t use one as a mold to create your own ;-)
 
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“Since they are so hard to find I’m kind of surprised with your construction abilities you didn’t use one as a mold to create your own”

That is far beyond my shade tree abilities, and I suspect that sort of thing takes practice to perfect. But, if I was to try to make a mold off an existing bucket seat pan, I’d use a Mad River IQ seat. This is an IQ seat being mocked up for installation in a decked canoe.

P9160015 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Perhaps an apocryphal story but I’ve heard that when Kruger was contemplating the shape of the seats for his decked canoe designs he made a basic seat pan shape using some long-pliable putty and had a bunch of people sit on it, leaving consensus butt cheek impressions.

The Monarch and Sea Wind seats are somewhat more “deep dish” than many other buckets, and very comfortable.
 
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to save time and ensure that I get full coverage I use Super77 spray contact adhesive, you can literally do 2 coats in 5 minutes, and it grips hard (made for automotive use). Just remember though that if you're off the mark it's not going to let go again. I had one canoe with foam on the seats and it held up to abuse by scouts for more than 20 years.
 
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to save time and ensure that I get full coverage I use Super77 spray contact adhesive, you can literally do 2 coats in 5 minutes, and it grips hard (made for automotive use). Just remember though that if you're off the mark it's not going to let go again. I had one canoe with foam on the seats and it held up to abuse by scouts for more than 20 years

One of the things I enjoy about canoe repairs and outfitting is that I learn new tricks every day. I have Super77 spray in the shop, but never thought about using it for foam outfitting purposes.

Pfffffft, pffffft two coats of spray, no contact cement puddles in the waffle crevices would be a lot easier, especially on seat foam that isn’t exposed to a lot of sheer forces.

Next time!

I think your abilities are considerably beyond "shade tree"!

Let’s call it a guy with an empty two car garage and some rudimentary tools. Nothing I do working on boats in the shop couldn’t be done by Harry Homeowner with a few simple tools and some patience, and I am continually impressed by the boatwork Canoe Tripping folk turn out is less hospitable environments.

Cheeseandbeans in the driveway with the TW Special. Goonstroke, in Maine, in winter, in the yard with the Traveler. ALSG on the sun porch with the Explorer.

Or DougD in a freezing, no heat, see your breath, “Oh my fingers are F*%#ing frozen” New Hampshire shed with the Rob Roy.


Dang, I got heat in the winter and an AC unit in the summer. Shop life is good.
 
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ALSG on the sun porch with the Explorer.
Sounds like a solution to the board game Clue: Mr. Mustard in the library with the candlestick.

My sun porch (sunporch?) is a perfectly hospitable place to work on a canoe -- I not only restored the Explorer there but built my stripper there. It's my SWMBO who is inhospitable to my using the sun porch for that purpose.
 
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