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Seat Repair or Replacement Help

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Hi everyone,
A problem has developed with my 1987 Sawyer Autumn Mist that I am hoping to get some help with. Unfortunately, after all these years of use, the plastic tractor seat cracked. I did some field repairs on it (with Gorilla tape), but that was only a temporary fix to get me out of the backcountry (squeaking as I went). I am thinking that I need to replace the seat, rather than repair it, but maybe a repair is possible. I would appreciate your advice on whether the seat could be repaired and if so, a someone who could do it. If not, where might I get a replacement seat? Thanks in advance for your input and help.20220919_080258.jpg20220919_080317.jpg20220920_160047.jpg
 
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I like those Sawyer seats. They're about the most comfortable bucket I've sat in. I had one that was cracked too. I honestly can't remember if I fixed it or just left it alone.

If I was going to fix that seat I'd scuff sand the seat and lay down a couple layers of fiberglass tape over the break and then cover that with peel ply to help blend the edges. Another layer or two over the crack on the bottom would be ideal. The ridges on the bottom will interfere but just go around them as best as possible. You could maybe do a larger piece of fiberglass (or multiple pieces of tape to cover the whole thing) on the bottom of the seat to help reinforce it and keep future cracks from developing.

You can sand the patch on top and maybe try to paint the whole thing but I doubt it will ever look "pretty." I think it will work just fine though and that's all I'd care about.

Replacing the seat would involve buying a bare bucket seat from somewhere else and finding a way to attach it to the aluminum frame. Or just drop a wood seat down and bolt it in place.

Alan
 
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If you have to replace it I have seen these before. Do not know if they have the same mounting on the back for you. But the look close to the same. But Alan has the best idea if you are wanting to keep it.

 
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I like those Sawyer seats. They're about the most comfortable bucket I've sat in. I had one that was cracked too. I honestly can't remember if I fixed it or just left it alone.

If I was going to fix that seat I'd scuff sand the seat and lay down a couple layers of fiberglass tape over the break and then cover that with peel ply to help blend the edges. Another layer or two over the crack on the bottom would be ideal. The ridges on the bottom will interfere but just go around them as best as possible. You could maybe do a larger piece of fiberglass (or multiple pieces of tape to cover the whole thing) on the bottom of the seat to help reinforce it and keep future cracks from developing.

You can sand the patch on top and maybe try to paint the whole thing but I doubt it will ever look "pretty." I think it will work just fine though and that's all I'd care about.

Replacing the seat would involve buying a bare bucket seat from somewhere else and finding a way to attach it to the aluminum frame. Or just drop a wood seat down and bolt it in place.

Alan
Wow Alan, thanks so much for your ideas and information! I hadn't thought about fiberglass tape. I'm not real handy with things of this nature, but maybe, with your instructions, I can manage it. I don't really care how it looks and anyway, I have a seat pad that fits the seat perfectly and would hide any ugly work that I did. Is there anything you think I should keep in mind when choosing the tape? Thanks again!
 

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If you have to replace it I have seen these before. Do not know if they have the same mounting on the back for you. But the look close to the same. But Alan has the best idea if you are wanting to keep it.

Thanks very much Clint. I guess the key will be the seat dimensions and most importantly whether it will fasten to the aluminum tubing. Wenonah had a similar seat, but the space between the tubes is only 6.5 inches, while the existing ones are 10.5. But thanks anyway, I will bookmark the site and keep it in mind as an a possible fix.
 
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Marlin Bayes of Western Canoeing and Kayaking of Abbotsford British Columbia told me that he bought the mold for those seats when Sawyer went under. Western Canoeing and Kayaking is also where Clipper Canoes are made.

I had a clear plastic seat of the same type on my Sawyer Summersong that cracked. A bought a plastic molded seat from Marlin who told me it would be an exact fit.

Sure enough, it was an exact reproduction right down to the mold markings and flashing. The screws in the frame lined up precisely with the screw bosses molded into the seat. It was just a matter of screwing it onto the frame.
 
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Wow Alan, thanks so much for your ideas and information! I hadn't thought about fiberglass tape. I'm not real handy with things of this nature, but maybe, with your instructions, I can manage it. I don't really care how it looks and anyway, I have a seat pad that fits the seat perfectly and would hide any ugly work that I did. Is there anything you think I should keep in mind when choosing the tape? Thanks again!
Nothing too special about choosing the tape. 6 ounce cloth 4" wide is probably the easiest to find and will work fine. Just to clarify it's referred to as "tape" only because it comes in rolls and it looks like tape. There is no adhesive on it. The edges are finished so they won't unravel, which makes it nicer to work with as opposed to cutting out strips of fiberglass from a larger piece.

Clean the seat and rough it up with something like 120 grit sandpaper where the patch will be. You can mask it off with tape to make it cleaner or do like I do and get in a rush and skimp on the prep work and spend more time cleaning it up later.

Cut out the pieces of tape to the right length. Then either lay a heavy layer of epoxy on the seat and set the tape in place. Press it down and add more epoxy as needed to fully wet it out (it will go clear and all the little squares in the weave will be filled).

Alternatively you can brush a light coat on the seat and wet out the pieces of tape on a separate surface and then lay them on the seat.

Peel ply isn't necessary but it will make it a much cleaner/neater job. The surface will be smoother and the edges will blend in better with the seat. Once the cloth is wet out lay the peel ply on top and press it in place. It should be fully wet out (no bubbles) just like the cloth in the area of the patch.

Let the epoxy cure overnight and pull the peel ply off next day. Then decide how much more time you want to spend making it look better.

Most of us have tried using things like wax paper or saran wrap in place of peel ply and while it sometimes works it oftentimes turns into a mess.

Alan
 
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Marlin Bayes of Western Canoeing and Kayaking of Abbotsford British Columbia told me that he bought the mold for those seats when Sawyer went under. Western Canoeing and Kayaking is also where Clipper Canoes are made.

I had a clear plastic seat of the same type on my Sawyer Summersong that cracked. A bought a plastic molded seat from Marlin who told me it would be an exact fit.

Sure enough, it was an exact reproduction right down to the mold markings and flashing. The screws in the frame lined up precisely with the screw bosses molded into the seat. It was just a matter of screwing it onto the frame.
Thanks pblanc. I had called and spoke to them. They didn't mention having a mold for the Sawyer seat, but said they had a Clipper seat that would work. The only problem is that shipping to the U.S. would be about $60. I am going to give the fiberglass tape a try first. I appreciate you taking the time to help out.
 
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The Sawyers always had those tractor seats, and they are okay. Why not update them with some nice ash seats with black webbing?
 
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Hi everyone. Here's an update on the broken seat situation I had. Unfortunately, the fiberglass patching did not work. But, fortunately, I was able to find someone on FB Marketplace that was selling two Sawyer seats that were in great condition at a very reasonable price. I picked them up on the way back from my last trip, painted them (they were white) and installed one. It fit perfectly and now I have a backup seat as well. Thanks again to all of you who offered your ideas and expertise.
 
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