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Hobie Kayak Seat Upgrade

The Hobie AI kayak is a great is a great kayak, fast and versatile. People use their kayaks for sailing, paddling, peddling and have even build Hobie Kayak Trolling Motor for their kayaks. But one of the most criticized features has always been the seat. Not only is the seat is not comfortable, but it’s below the water line. No online has come up with a good and affordable way to solve this problem. The Hobie AI kayak seat upgrade has always been an illusive upgrade until now. For under $50 unsatisfied Hobie AI owners can upgrade their kayak seat.

Hobie Kayak Seat Upgrade Hobie Adventure Island AI

Hobie Kayak seat upgrade material

Below is a list of materials need for the project. The seat is the most import for the hobie ai kayak seat upgrade but you will also need a heat gun to reshape the kayak to fit the seat.

DeckMate Compack Folding seat for the Hobie Kayak Seat Upgrade.

Hobie AI Kayak Seat Upgrade

The Deckmate compack Folding Seat measures 15.5 inches wide, 15.5 inches deep and 16 inches tall, weighing in at 9 lbs. It’s well built, strong and conformable. The upholstery has 3-years full replacement and is made from
30 oz soft to the touch, marine grade seat vinyl. It’s constructed from plastic frames with 100% stainless steel hardware. It’s relative small size makes it perfect for the Hobie AI kayak seat upgrade.

This modification is for he Hobie AI, but can also be done to other kayaks. As a warning upgrading the seat will lift the center of gravity and will make the kayak unstable, UPGRADE AT YOUR OWN RISK! B Deckmate compack Folding Seat doesn’t have completely fit the AI, it needs to be modified to fit the Hobie AI kayaks.

Step One of the Hobie Kayak Seat Upgrade

Warning: This process will modify the kayak haul and can seriously damage the kayak. Precede at your own risk!  This is for education purpose only.

Before you precede with the seat modification, figure where you want to seat to be. Center it the best you can and use a pencil or marker to trace some line on the seat and kayak so they line up. This will help with the process.

Because the seat doesn’t completely fit into the Hobie AI we are going to use the heat gun to warp the kayak and push the seat into place. If you have done so, remove the upholstery from the seat. The back of the seat has two rounds sections. This will not fit into the kayak. Using the heat guy heat up the side, make sure to heat a big enough section so the plastic can bend. Take your time to make sure the plastic is heated, it should have a shine to it when it’s heated.
Tip: Take your time heating the plastic. I made the mistake of heat the plastic too fast. It’s better if you heat the plastic slower. Also heating the surrounding section will help to remold the shape of the kayak.

Hobie Kayak Seat Upgade Mold Insert

After the side is heated spay some cool water on the round section of the seat and push the seat into the kayak. You are trying to make a mold of the seat in the kayak so the seat will fit. Try to push down and out instead of just down. You might have to repeat the process many times before the plastic will take shape. Once you finished with one side repeat the same process on the other side.

Next is the font of the seat. Heat up the front area the seat will fit and once it’s heated take the seat and push down on it. Again you might had to repeat the process many times before the seat took shape. Make sure to hold the seat in the position while the plastic cool.

Custom Seat for Hobie Kayak Seat Upgrade

Next, we are going to create two shelves on the back so the seat can rest. This way the seat is not resting on the circle section but rather the bottom of the seat.
Find any HDPE and use the heat gun to melt the plastic onto the kayak. Any plastic with the recycle symbol and number two in the triangle will work. If you can find material similar to the kayak that is ideal if not just use any HDPE. In the video, I used a white bucket.

After the I melted the plastic to create the two sides. I used epoxy putty to extend the self out. The epoxy putty will not completely bond to the kayak but I’m not using it to seal the kayak but rather just to reinforce the shelves so it should be fine. The epoxy putty was easier to mold than the HDPE. Remember to spray some water on the kayak seat before molding pushing the seat into the kayak this will prevent the mold from bonding to the kayak seat.
Tip: Set part of the epoxy, the pus the seat in, the remove the seat and see where the angle come out. The use the epoxy to extend the shelves out so it is in contact with more of the seat.

Overall the whole project cost less than $60 factoring in that I had my own heat gun. The seat is raised 3-4 inches. It’s comfortable and can quickly detach from the kayak for transport.

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