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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:16 pm 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Hi Guys,

After looking at many different boat/skipper seat conversions for the A.I. I had a go at a slightly different design.

The main things I was looking for were:

1: Must be easily & quickly detachable (when car-topping the yak).
2: Must use existing mounting points (don't want to add any more hardware or drill any more holes in the hull).
3: Must be able to operate the Mirage drive comfortably when seated.
4: Must not obscure the steering handle or centre hatch.

Here's where I am currently (v0.4!):

The ideal boat seat for the job - a generic folding version.
Image

The pads are easily removable, for cleaning/drying...
Image

Generous dimensions mean it will fit most shapes and sizes!
Image

The main 25mm support-bar attached to the seat base with heavy-duty cable-ties.
I'm going to cut a semicircular recess for the bar and have a more secure attachment method.
Image

The crossbar is attached to the hull using two 25cm PVC pipe-clips bolted to modified screw-in padeyes.
Image

Image

The clips hold the crossbar very securely, but a couple of 20mm velcro straps are used to prevent it from popping out.
Image

Image

The rear of the seat rests on the 'saddle' behind the seat-well and is held in place by a taught length of 6mm bungee cord.
Unfortunately the 'saddle' is higher (by about 7mm) on the left than the right so I'm currently investigating the use of rubber
pads to boost the right rear side of the seat base slightly.

It's not a huge issue, but the rear of the seat skews slightly and puts unnecessary strain on the crossbar cable-ties.
Image

Here's the seat on my last trip out - 6+ hours in the saddle and all went well.

The mounting is very secure and there is no noticeable flex or distortion of the hull when I'm seated (I weigh 85kg, so not exactly featherweight). The high seating position is very comfortable with the added advantage of extra storage space under the seat.

Image

There are a few more things to do before I reach v1.0:

1: Recess the crossbar into the seat base and attach more securely.
2: Add rubber pad to the rear of the seat base to make it sit level.
3: Add PVC collars to each end of the crossbar to prevent lateral movement in the mounting clips.

I welcome any and all comments, suggestions or criticisms!

Cheers,

Mike.


Last edited by mingle on Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:02 am 
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Location: DARWIN, NORTHERN TERRITORY, AUSTRALIA
G'day Mingle. Thats a really nice set up. I have a similar but non-folding plastic seat base without the padding and utilise the original Hobie seat on that. Quite comfortable for my 72 year old arse actually, and quite dry. I have fixed it to a wooden frame, the backend of which slides under the rear crossbar to make the seat easily removable, but as I have a trailer, I leave it in position. I don't know how to post piccies on this site yet, a mate is going to show me shortly otherwise I'd post a couple, but yours looks very professional.

Where did you get those clips for the bar, they look substantial.
Overall mate, your setup is practical and looks bloody good! :wink:


Cheers Vintagerplica
If it works okay...modify it anyway!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:22 am 
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Vintagereplica wrote:
Where did you get those clips for the bar, they look substantial.

I actually found them in Bunnings - 70 cents for two, which was a bit of a bargain.

Vintagereplica wrote:
Overall mate, your setup is practical and looks bloody good! :wink:

Thanks for the kind words - I just need to spend more time on the water to get full use out of it!

Cheers,

Mike.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:20 am 
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Nice development, Mike. I, too, am thinking of putting in some kind of elevated seat. When I was at the WaterTribe EC2013 this year, I looked at a lot of seats. I've posted pictures of some: http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=70&t=7276&start=270 Scroll down until you come to the seats post.

Keith

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:30 am 
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Those seats were very interesting. (I saw the beanbag for $100 at west marine yesterday and was tempted - but we need a smaller version).

Mingle, clever use of the available mounting points. Just put some solid padding under that thing to lever her out, and you have yourself a very cushy ride.

Seems built for the elements, and great looking on the dune hobies.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:35 am 
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Looks fit for purpose. Very professional. I'm sure you will have a few converts with this design. Well done Mike.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:58 am 
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Looks great Mike. That is actually the comfortable angle for me. I like to lean back just a bit when sailing or even using the mirage drive. Very nice.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:59 am 
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Looks really great, Mike. One question though. From the final pic, it looks like tiller would be a bit difficult to manage. Can you comment on that or provide alternate angles?

Thanks,

Jay

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:03 pm 
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Regarding leaning back too far, or pedaling too hard what keeps the seat in place and prevents it from breaking loose when you really put pressure on the seatback?

How much stress do you figure the plastic clips can handle?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:06 pm 
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
@yaknrugger,

The rudder control handle is still easily accessible, even when sitting back - my pfd actually acts as an extra 'cushion' and props me up a bit. It's probably at the extreme of my reach, so I might add the hobie screw-in knob for a bit of extra reach.

@NOHUHU,

The clips have a decent grip on the crossbar, but it's the Velcro/clips that really keep kings in place. I'm actually replacing the current clips/Velcro (as shown in the photos) with plain 16mm Velcro strips, which makes things a bit easier (and possibly a bit more secure, with one less potential point of failure!).

In the first version of the seat mount, the crossbar was just resting in the recesses in front of the screw-in cleats and held in place by a length of bungee cord. But any pressure from pedalling would cause the crossbar to lift and slide backwards, knocking the aka cross brace off, which was a major concern!

With the pipe-clips and Velcro loops holding things in place, the current setup is very solid and even with pretty vigorous pedalling the seat stays firmly in place. I can lift the hull off the ground, holning the seat crossbar and the whole lot stays together, however I'm still considering adding some sort of backup attachment, in case the Velcro fails - probably some short lengths of cord.

I think the main potential point of failure would be the screw-in pad eyes at the sides of the seat-well (that the Velcro/clips currently attach to) since they take most of the stress when pedalling. I guess adding a couple of stainless pad eyes, secured with hearty bolts is e only alternative, but adding extra hardware is outside the remit of the design (at the moment!) :-)

Cheers,

Mike.


Last edited by mingle on Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:44 pm 
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mingle wrote:
@yaknrugger,

I think the main potential point of failure would be the screw-in pad eyes at the sides of the seat-well (that the Velcro/clips currently attach to) since they take most of the stress when pedalling. I guess adding a couple of stainless pad eyes, secured with hearty bolts is e only alternative, but adding extra hardware is outside the remit of e design (at the moment!) :-)
That's what I was thinking too. My plastic seat retainer padeyes ripped right out of my hull on a heavy day. I did not enjoy the ride home after that!

If you cut a slot in the tube, you could potentially slip it right over the Hobie Padeye (or a stainless eyebolt) and use a hingepin or dowel to keep things together.

Or do the same thing with a flat alum bar, that could be screwed neatly to the seat and bent to conform to the cockpit shape.

Either of these ideas would lower the profile of the seat front for you and secure the main attachment point better. You could back that up with the steel padeyes as you suggested, and even add straps on the seat back, like we do now.

Ideally, a full clamp, like the ones used for our new Aka cross tubes or the smaller Hobie "sidekick" tubes would make the seat fully secure.

Whichever way you go, I think you're on to something here.

Does this get removed after each sail?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:04 pm 
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NOHUHU wrote:
If you cut a slot in the tube, you could potentially slip it right over the Hobie Padeye (or a stainless eyebolt) and use a hingepin or dowel to keep things together.

Or do the same thing with a flat alum bar, that could be screwed neatly to the seat and bent to conform to the cockpit shape.


I looked at those two options as well. With v0.2 of the design I cut the original cleats (in the spot that I now have the pipe-clips attached) down so they were just small pegs sticking up out of the gunwales, and drilled a matching hole in the ends of the crossbar, which them slotted over the 'pegs'. It was held in place by the velcro/clips, but I found that the crossbar would sometimes twist and ride up the 'pegs' slightly.

I tried some 40x5mm ally bar, but it seemed to flex too much. Box-section 45x20mm was another option, but it would've required a bit of cutting and welding, to make a nice fit - which is way beyond me! The only way to lower it would be to shift the entire seat forward by about 50mm, but then it's staring to get in the way of the steering and seating.

Although the seating position looks quite high, it's actually pretty much perfect for me. If I lowered the front of the seat, I'd be sitting to upright (particularly when wearing my PFD). One great advantage of a high seating position, that I'd never really thought about, is how easy it is to stand up. Rather than having to clamber up from the almost recumbent 'original' seat, it's now a simple case of simply shifting forward and standing - in the same way you'd stand up from a lounge, or dining chair. Same goes for sitting down, just SIT DOWN - no farting around stumbling into the old Hobie seat.

Of course, it's not all plain sailing - when seated, the lower edge of the sail is at shoulder height, which can be a bit annoying. I'm toying with the idea of extending the mast by about 30cm, so the sail is raised above head height, but I haven't investigated if this will cause other issues.

The advantage of the current version (having the crossbars simply slot into the pipe clips) is that it doesn't matter if the crossbar twists as it's mounted in the 'circular grip' of the clips. In fact it makes a handy pivot-point, as you can flip up the entire seat, from the back, and stow stuff under it, without having to force it under the seat front - if you know what I mean?

NOHUHU wrote:
Ideally, a full clamp, like the ones used for our new Aka cross tubes or the smaller Hobie "sidekick" tubes would make the seat fully secure.


I have a couple of similar clamps, but they were too long to fit comfortably in the recess for the padeyes - I guess I could pad it out from underneath. I could make quick-release mechanisms for these clamps, with wing-nuts, but it's starting to add to the complexity a bit.

NOHUHU wrote:
Does this get removed after each sail?


Yep, and it only takes a few seconds to remove (or fit), which is one of the best features.

Thanks muchly for your comments and feedback!

Cheers,

Mike.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:28 pm 
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Gee whizz Mingle, I don't know about that ...extending the mast bit. I know what you mean about having to duck under the sail when tacking/gybing, but when the wind gets up there is already a hell of a lot of strain on the mast base. :roll: Capt'nchaos made a small mast topper extention for his jib furler, then after consideration shortened that to reduce the strain on the mast.

Oh, unless you are a hotshot sit-on-top- kayakker, don't try going out without the amas and mast to go kayakking. That high seat becomes a...er ...problem, especially if there is a mere one foot slop about! :oops:
Cheers Ian
If it works ok...modify it anyway!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:41 am 
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The "flip up" seat is a kool feature, so long as it's in the right direction. :wink:

If you do want to lower things, there's no reason you couldn't bend the alum tubes without welding.

Enjoy the new dry ride. Cheers!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:17 am 
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Nice work mingle.
I have one of the exact same skipper seats that I bought from BCF, but have not fitted it yet.

It is mainly for my son who always complains about the seating position when he comes out with me, but I am quite happy with the Hobie seat.

I have a TI so the position of mounting will be a little different to the AI, but you have given me some new ideas to make an easily removable option for the TI front seat.

Cheers
Geordie

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