Tractor Seat or Rope Seat in my Drift Boat?

Mark Moore

Just a Member
#1
Finishing up a project drift boat soon and need to make a decision about the rowers seat. Would love to hear some feedback on both types.

Some pertinent details, I had a major back surgery 20 years ago so it is important for me to have my knees level with my waist or below for all day comfort. I’m 6’3’ long legs, shorter torso. I can build whatever I need to make the height work but am curious about rope vs. tractor seat comfort.
 
#2
Finishing up a project drift boat soon and need to make a decision about the rowers seat. Would love to hear some feedback on both types.

Some pertinent details, I had a major back surgery 20 years ago so it is important for me to have my knees level with my waist or below for all day comfort. I’m 6’3’ long legs, shorter torso. I can build whatever I need to make the height work but am curious about rope vs. tractor seat comfort.
Tractor seat offers some lower support. If you get one make certain it has drain holes. This is essential. Rope seats are fine as are webbing seats . If you go either if these routes look at a product called "happy cheeks" from Jackson kayaks. It will make any seat a custom seat and keep you warmer. I too am your height and a lifetime of whitewater kayaking and physical work has worked my back. You are doing the right thing putting allot of weight in this decision. I would also suggest an adjustable rowers chalk for your feet . Make it adjustable on the fly so you can change positions on search of comfort. A thumb screw or similar you can use with cold James is a must. It also must move if you have an adjustable bench for trim.
 
#4
The seat on my pontoon boat tore through in the middle of the season last year so I dummied together a rope seat. It works great. So great that even though I had a new cloth one made I may just keep the rope seat. I'd try rope first and see what you think. It's not like you won't find use for the rope if you decide on the other option.
 

racermo

Watch that Backcast
#5
I'm in the process of refinishing my drift boat and will replace the rope seat with a swivel seat. Both for the back support it offers and ease of access when lake fishing.
 
#7
I’ve had drift boats with both. Currently have a flat rope seat. On slow flat water I wish I had a seat back to relax on. For whitewater and harder rowing situations I like a rope seat. More room for hard pulls and never slip on the rope. I’ve been thinking about building a seatback I can swing or slide up when neeeded.
 
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#8
Have dealt with back issues for decades, and before I got too old to row, used two interchangeable seats.
The high back padded seat with drain hole (from NRS.com), which is super supportive and really comfortable, for rivers with moderate whitewater and no chutes.
For more challenging rivers, swapped for the low back drain hole seat, which still provided some lower back support while allowing to lean back and dig in.
Eventually just rowed rivers I could use the high back seat on, and when I finally had to give it up, was because of worn out shoulders, not the back.
Over the years had a few guests aboard with their own drift boats, after putting time in on the high back got their own.
 

saffman

Active Member
#9
Hey Mark, major back surgery survivor here as well. I have the low back tractor seat on all my human powered boats. Works great. The high back Jone ust seems to be in the way and for me was not comfortable. It's nice to have that support down in the lumbar region.
 

A.A.

Active Member
#12
I have the NRS-style low back tractor on my pontoon and a strap seat on my DB. I find they are equally comfortable. One thing I find really nice about the DB, though, is that the rear casting brace doubles as a back rest. It’s out of the way while rowing, but I can scoot back just a little and lean back to give my back a break. I find myself doing it a lot. Maybe something to think about..coordinating the casting brace and seat.
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