New Seats for the Elver


For a long time I used the cloth seats indicated in the plans. They worked ok. But there were issues. They were a bit time consuming to put on and take off. If I left them on for any length of time they would get really dirty and I would have to remove them for washing. Most importantly though they were not really comfortable to sit on. On top of that I found myself sitting just slightly too low in the boat to see over the cabin top.

New seats

I was inspired from various sources about ways to make better seats. These basically boiled down to making seats that conform to one's behind when sitting. Also the seats had to be extremely light weight to avoid further weighing the boat down.

I designed these templates by basically tracing my rear end onto a piece of cardboard. I cut the cardboard and checked the fit. Then I traced it on plywood and cut it out to make frames. I made 4 frames for the starboard and 5 for port. Also shown here are triangle wedges to reinforce the joint between the slats of the seat and the frame.

My first attempt was to use larger slats for the seat. I glued these to the top of the frame. When I test fitted it I found that the front of the seat extended out too far past the edge of the seat frame. This meant the leg area in the cockpit would be too small. Also it meant that I could easily flip the seat up if I stepped on it wrong.

After that I changed my mind. First I cut the template shorter and removed the triangles. I then cut notches for use with narrower slats. Here are a bunch of frames and slats ready for assembly and glue up.

I glued the slats to the frames in stages. First I glued on three slats to assure that the frames were properly spaced and perpendicular to the slats. If I got this wrong I would have to start over.

Here the seat is fully assembled. I trimmed this end to conform to the bulkhead inside the boat. I wanted to leave about a 1/4" gap between the seat and the bulkhead.

Here I have applied the first coat of varnish. Whiskey is inspecting it and pronounced it good.

Testing at Cedar Key

At this point I took the boat to Cedar Key for the 2018 Cedar Key Messabout. The seat proved comfortable to sit on and I had no problems or reservations about standing on it. After returning home I constructed the port seat the same way.

Here both seats are finished and installed.

To make sure the seats don't ever fall out or lift up on their own I installed slide latches underneat that fit into holes inside the frame.