Watermaster -- hard seat?

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by adamfkimball, Jun 20, 2012.

  1. Hi all,

    I've been loving my watermaster, but my back takes a major beating if I'm out in it for any real length of time. Ultimately, it's solvable with some back and core strengthening but I'd also take all the help I can get. I'm thinking about trying out the hard "action" seat from Big Sky Inflatables or at minimum the high-back seat. I'd like to hear from anyone who has tried seats other than the stock seat - how did it go? Did you change for good? What would you do differently?

    Ultimately, I'd like to try out the action seat before committing (not cheap) so if anyone would be willing to be saintlike and loan me one, maybe I can find some goods that you'd like to try. Or if you have a used one, let me know!

  2. I picked up their foam seat pad a year or two ago. Just enough padding to keep the cheeks happy. It has a strap to put around the seat back to keep it in place. I think it cost $30 if I recall...
  3. I can't comment on the "Action Seat" because I've never seen one in use on a WM.

    It's a little hard to draw a comparison since it was 9 mos between using a WFF demo and my Kodiak with the highback option. I am going to say that there is a difference but it is not great. The highback doesn't come with a cargo pocket on the back so I bought a Surf to Summit fishing seat pack that straps to my WM highback seat that is OEMd by StS.

    I also use a Thermarest Trail Seat velcro'd onto (and clipped into) the highback seat. I also velcro a non-slip carpet pad to the Trail Seat surface so I'm not sliding around. It is Very comfortable and warm.

    BTW, I spend just 30-35 minutes strength or cardio training on alternating days at home, losing 50 lbs in 8 mos and have kept it off for 3 years. One day a week is devoted to chest, back, and abs. I think strength training for your core is a great idea, and not just for your WM.
  4. I've got the hard seat on my Kodiak. It's almost the exact same design as the seat on my pontoon, molded grey plastic with padded bottom and folding back. It's attached to an aluminum plate that slides onto the wooden deck with a metal lip on the front to attach it and stainless hinged fasteners to keep it in place. Despite low back issues, I can fish all day in it with no support problems at all. I bought my boat used and the seat came with it so I have no idea how much it costs as an add-on option. Seems to me it's well worth whatever price they ask if you have back pain.

  5. same thing with the back here too, Adam; I have a hard seat on an Outcast pontoon, and it's really been nice when I compare it to the seat on my Kodiak. It'll put you higher on the platform though, and might interfere with the oars if your knees are up there too. I didn't see that high-backed seat Rich had on the Big Sky website the last time I looked; wonder if he's still got them? I might adapt one of those backpacking chairs to mine. The seat's not bad, it's the lower back that gets me, because there's no support there.
  6. Any nervousness with it being held on by fasteners? Are they bolts that go through holes in the hard seat bottom surface or just clamps?

    I would have nightmares of that seat coming off in a rolling rapid. :)
  7. My old Tote-N-Float has an Action Seat. It has 4 holes through the plywood seat and bolts on securely. Funny thing on both my WM and T-N-F - once I forgot my WM seat so I just sat on the bench. Maybe it made me sit up straighter, I am not sure, but it was way more comfortable than using the regular foam WM seat. Now, I either leave the seat home or I fold it in half so I sit on double foam. I find my back does not get sore this way, nor does my backside. I tried going back to using it the proper way and it just wasn't comfortable.
  8. My earlier description about how the hard seat attaches was probably pretty vague, so here's a set of pics that illustrate the design and process far more clearly. This shot shows the hard seat mounted with 4 bolts to the aluminum plate. Note the hinged fasteners attached to the plate at the opposite (left) end. See how the front lip of the plate is bent to allow it to slip over the front edge of the wooden deck? (BTW, this shot shows a side view of the seat balanced on the bow of the boat for maximum clarity, NOT how it's actually mounted to the deck.)


    Here's a closeup of the snap fasteners on the back side of the aluminum plate.


    Here's a top shot of the wood deck showing the two fastener attachments screwed into the deck.


    And here's a side view showing how the whole thing looks when the fasteners are attached to their mating parts that are each held with 2 screws into the wooden deck.


    Bottom line is that this is a factory upgrade from Big Sky Inflatables. It's FAR more solid than the way the stock soft seat attaches with Velcro and a couple of straps. If you're OK with the soft seat in big water, this will make you feel as secure as Fort Knox. Plus it's a LOT more comfortable.

    JesseCFowl likes this.
  9. That fastening system is pretty solid, lots of folks use them. As for a pretty simple counter point...if you are just sitting on the seat platform are you any more secure on that with your back side fasteners?
  10. Kent. Thanks for thur write up and pictures. I am continually amazed at the quality of the WaterMaster. Those things are bulletproof. The hard seat looks like a very worthwhile upgrade. The soft seat is fine but I know that a hard seat would be an entirely better experience. It doesn't look like it raises the height much either. Quite nice.
  11. Well, if you're unsure about holding on in heavy water, you could always just super glue velcro strips to your ass, yes?
    Bill Aubrey likes this.
  12. Just wanted to come back to this old thread for a second. I recently purchased the soft "high-back" seat from BSI. First use was yesterday and the difference was EASILY noticeable on a five hour float. The hard foam stays shaped and provides an enormous amount of lumbar support compared to the stock seat. It is easily worth the $110 that they charge. Of course, you could also find an aftermarket kayak seat and sew the velcro on it, but I decided on the simpler approach. The only drawback (for some, not me) is the lack of a pocket on the back of this seat.

    Overall, I am highly impressed. I get much better support and everything is packable in the bag. I love it.

  13. Is BSI still using the modified Surf to Summit Tallback for their optional highback?
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    If so, for $40 (they went up) you can get a nice Fishing Pack with spinning rod holders that I use to hold a medium Measure Net which happens to have a real good length for a Water Master, that sits me a little closer to the water than a pontoon.

    To Alex's comment about super gluing velcro to your ass, I got a $16 Thermarest Trail Seat. I used Pliobond to glue adhesive velcro strips to the highback seat and the Trail Seat; hooks on the bottom of the trail seat. Holds real well but I also burned a hole into the excess welded seam border on the trail seat with an old soldering iron for a short lanyard to clip to the highback seat strap for extra security. It's very comfy and warm but the surface of my model of Trail Seat is kinda slick so to keep from sliding around in breathable waders I used Pliobond to glue adhesive velcro onto a thin mesh non-slip carpet pad and the top of the Trail Seat (hooks on the non-slip pad) and now I stay put.

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