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Author Topic:   Thwart seat improvements 15 sport
Alan Hiccock posted 02-09-2002 07:20 PM ET (US)   Profile for Alan Hiccock   Send Email to Alan Hiccock  
A few yrs. ago I had a v16'car-Skiff CC with a storage fiberglass bench seat. I installed a low back folding " wise" padded seat on a locking powder coated swival.
I LOVED it. Comfy, just an overall big improvement on the boats feel & even fishabilty. I looked @ all the 15's on this site and no one seems to go with this setup .
Why is that? Would I create problems by drilling into the wooden thwart seat to install the swival, maybe cracking the wood? I'm no carpenter, but Somethings got be done. My arse hurts from sitting on that wood bench for 5 mins. while in the driveway.
any comments, or seat suggestions???
Thanks in advance, Alan
jimh posted 02-09-2002 09:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
As I commented in CETACEA Page 50, seating is a weak point on the 15-Sport and other 15-foot models.

You might save the original wood thwart seat (if it is in good shape) so you can restore the boat to stock condition, and instead of drilling holes in that fine mahogany, replace with with a new thwart made from something less expensive. Then mount your WISE seats to the new board. A center support rise might be useful, too.

Or, just go ahead and install the new seats!

One way I've run the boat is to throw a cushion on the floor, kneel on the floor and just perch my butt on the thwart. I agree, the stock seat is a pain in the butt after a few minutes.


jameso posted 02-10-2002 10:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for jameso  Send Email to jameso     
Agree with jimh, I do most of my cruising canoe style, kneeling on a cushion with my but on the edge of the thwart. As a result of this and other considerations I am removing all my wood, it is for sale, and will go with a center console. I have before and will take after pics.
Jim Armstrong
Alan Hiccock posted 02-10-2002 11:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for Alan Hiccock  Send Email to Alan Hiccock     
Thanks for the replys,
& yes Jim the mahogany's just refinished it'd be a shame to drill into it. Ive seen in many boating supply cataloges there's a swival made for bench seats, jon boats ect. that clamps on to the bench { no drilling!} Thats one worth checking into. has anyone tried using this out there?? One thing I hope I dont get into is drilling into the deck, I know how important it is that its done right & no moisture gets in there. . Ill start with the cushions & bungee cords and see how it feels and take it from there.
whaleryo posted 02-10-2002 03:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for whaleryo  Send Email to whaleryo     

I am looking into new seating for my Sport 15. I'm going to install the Carolina Skiff medium center console and I'm still investigating the pilot seat. I want to be able to stow PFDs and the battery and still be able to walk around it. One possibility is an Island seat (C. Skiff catalog) maybe with a custom cut-out. The other is to fabricate one from scratch out of fiberglass.

Let me know if you come up with a better solution.

PS. I'm the one in RVC who emailed you.


Alan Hiccock posted 02-10-2002 05:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Alan Hiccock  Send Email to Alan Hiccock     
This is what I bought today....
an adjustable boat seat clamp that includes swivel. It's made by B&M boatseats adjusts from 8" - 19" . Model # BM819JBC.
It looks to be pretty well made there's rubber mounts where the clamp's base meets the wood and also the clamps are rubber sleeved. Galvanized and stainless parts.
It's got 2 wing nuts & 2 9/16 { wrench size} " nuts on the threaded rods, costed 25 bucks @ West Marine.
I clamped it on there and tightened it pretty good carefull not to crack the wood. It seems really secure BUT who knows could last 10 yrs. or maybe I'll crack the wood first wake I jump.
After I installed it I noticed stamped into the swival " do not exceed 5 mph's or severe injury could result"
hmmmm Ive got a 70 Yammie thats just broken in , Im going to give this setup a try.. I think I'll use the laynard strap so my loved ones dont end up cashing in on my insurence policy.
With the Carolina Skiff center consoles theres a couple of colors one is a close match to many Whalers, they come in smooth finish ect., I think the smooth you want.
also you'r getting a grab rail with this cc also. Installation's pretty straight foward, you'll need plenty of 5200, ss screws and maybe consider west systems or pre thickened 2 part epoxy to really seal the holes. Run a bead of 5200 around the whole console after you screw it down { although I bet you knew this stuff}. I had 2 of these boats removed the consoles & also helped/watched these boats being set up.
Ill take some pictures this week & send them in of the seating improvements Im going with and the whole spiffy rig I just scored on.
Alan Hiccock posted 02-13-2002 10:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for Alan Hiccock  Send Email to Alan Hiccock     
just wanted to add that Im bringing back that swival boat clamp thing, an impulse buy that wont be right for my rig.
What I think Im going to do is install a flush mount removable pedistal captains chair, & cut the pedistal to hieght. I'll be able to screw back in the thwart bench if I want.
Bigshot posted 02-13-2002 10:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Nope! No wood there to mount a pedastal in as far as I can remember. If no wood, it will just rip out.
JBCornwell posted 02-13-2002 12:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
I agree with Bigshot. If you must have a swivel seat for the helm, JimH's suggestion makes good sense to me.

My choice would be a custom, snap on cushion for the thwart seat.

Red sky at night. . .
JB :)

Alan Hiccock posted 02-13-2002 12:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Alan Hiccock  Send Email to Alan Hiccock     
Hmmm, I guess that's why the center console conversion is popular, the wood is a strip in the center of the per diagram here at the website..
How thick is that deck then, at wouldnt hold all epoxyed & 5200ed in there with big screws? Not that I would want to start experimenting here.
Tom W Clark posted 02-13-2002 12:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
Pedestal seats will work fine. I had them in my 1979 Striper. Thestandard Striper model had a 48 qt. Igloo cooler for a pilots seat with the pedestal seats mounted on the centerline of the hull fore and aft la a bass boat.

However, when I ordered mine, I had the dealer delete the cooler and mount the pedestal seats side by side. This was GREAT! I don't know about the lack of wood backing but the factory put them in the center and I had them side by side with out any failure whatsoever. In the case of a Sport I should be easy enough to remove the thwart seat (and preserve it unblemished for future reinstallation if desired) and install a pair of pedestal seats.

When shopping for the pedestal seats I would suggest figuring out who the OEM of the Striper seats was or at least choosing a pedestal with as large a base as possible. The other thing is to look at the shape and size of the seats themselves and make sure they can swivel around without bumping into things, if indeed you want to be able to swivel them around at all. For water skiing it was great to reverse the passenger's seat for the observer.

Timo posted 02-13-2002 12:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Timo  Send Email to Timo     
I removed my original thwart (1977 Sport-keep the original for restoration) and joined and epoxied some 5/4 mahogany (two 5 1/2 boards can be joined to make a nice bench), cut to length and thru-bolted 12-way position Wise swivels, attached to bargain folding Wise seats-both purchased from US Boat, and instant comfort! I am also building a custom console, also of mahogany, so the seat had to be finished to determine proper console height. Keep in mind that if you are buying a custom console, install it first before you finalize your pedestal seat height.

Good luck!

Tom W Clark posted 02-13-2002 12:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

Your boat is a 1988, right? You'll have no problem finding backing for the pedestals. The whole bottom of the boat has wood backing. See:

Alan Hiccock posted 02-13-2002 02:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Alan Hiccock  Send Email to Alan Hiccock     
Yes Tom its a '88. I'll recheck the diagram from what I came up with there was only a center strip of wood, maybe I missed a notation for my model.
Thanks for all the replys by the way, a wealth of info. & ideas here.
One thing is it seems the bench seat is located too far away from the steering wheel to reach it { me anyway} if I was to go with with a Wise locking swival drilled into a new bench { but I recken could be moved foward}.
I'm going to research those BW Striper seats. If indeed I can install a removable pedastal & a little capt. chair right there it would be ideal & I think the safest, most comfy setup.
Another consideration would be a cushioned cooler seat or fiberglass deck box. The advantage of those being the obvious, the boat needs more storage and a place to put my bait & lunch & that rare fish that I catch, but I dont think my back could take the lack of support those would offer.
My plan is to go with a boat cushion bungeed on to the seat, get the feel of the boat a little and take it from there.
I wouldnt want to convert to a c. console because of how nice the mahogany side console & rest of wood looks.
Thanks, alan
where2 posted 02-14-2002 01:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
Thwart Upgrades: As I was launching my 15' Sport last night, I was thinking about this thread. One thing I haven't seen anyone mention is the thought of spacers to raise the rear thwart. My 15' Sport came with little 1-1/2" Spacers that raise the seat slightly allowing the gas tanks and battery to live under the seat (out of the way). If this concept was modified slightly, you could also move the seat forward getting you closer to the wheel. In thinking about the whole back rest concept, I was thinking why not create a back rest that attaches to the under side of the thwart making a higher more functional design similar to the SuperSport. Cover the backrest in vinyl with some foam cushion. Essentially, like the "Backrest Assembly For Bench Seat" that West sells.

Just a thought

whaleryo posted 02-14-2002 01:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for whaleryo  Send Email to whaleryo     
Where2 -

I have that setup now but I'm not crazy about it. It's a pain to climb over the backrest to get at anything or to use the stern for fishing. I'll post some pics and let you know the URL. The idea behind raising the seat to store the gas tank and battery was to free up space in the stern, but the backrest kind of defeats the purpose.


Alan Hiccock posted 02-15-2002 09:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for Alan Hiccock  Send Email to Alan Hiccock     
Couple things to add,
I got my Cabellas cat. & they have an impressive variety of flush and other type pedistals.
Also how many boats nowadays have " no wood" construction & capts. chairs?
one more thing is I last season destored a deck and refimilarized myself with working with
I bet I could " Cook" a big swival to the deck of this boat with epoxy that would hold fine, that stuff is intense.
Im going to check again the diagram for wood locations for the '88 but figure I'll ask also... Does the '88 have wood behind the stock sport console
whaleryo posted 02-15-2002 02:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for whaleryo  Send Email to whaleryo     

If you look at the key in the wood location diagram under "H", you'll see 47" x 104" x 1/2". I believe it basically covers the entire deck.


Alan Hiccock posted 02-15-2002 02:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Alan Hiccock  Send Email to Alan Hiccock     
Bill, thanks for chiming in, OK, simple enough..the hulls before 5a0857 had the center strip, and after pretty much the whole deck has wood. OH thats great good to go for a Capts. chair on a shorty pedestal or some kind of improvement.
where2 posted 02-15-2002 05:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
Maybe an improvement would be to use a hinged backrest setup. But alas, if climbing over something knee high is a little old, then Pedestal steat it is. Of course, then you're back to where to put the battery and gas tank.

I just wish I had some place to put a VRO tank. Wishing I could retro-fit one from a Yamaha that had it under the cowling.

Tom W Clark posted 02-15-2002 06:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

Just put the VRO tank in a battery box opposite the battery. I used a pair of 6 gallon tanks on my 15-Striper with its 70hp motor and I seem to remember having all the room in the world back there.

whaleryo posted 02-15-2002 09:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for whaleryo  Send Email to whaleryo     
Here are a few pics of my Sport 15 as it now stands, with the custom rear thwart seat...
raised 3 inches and a back rest added.

It looks nice, but it's rather cumbersome.


Alan Hiccock posted 02-16-2002 10:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for Alan Hiccock  Send Email to Alan Hiccock     
Tom, the coolest thing about this new Yammie 70 on my whaler is the VRO tank is built in under the engine cover!, theres a fill on the engine cover & a digital gauge built into the tach. . Pretty neat huh? I never new that this set up existed.
Nice work on the custom seats, your up there pretty high the seating position looks real good
Matthew posted 02-18-2002 09:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Matthew  Send Email to Matthew     
I have the two rear thwart seats in my '80 sport. They were originally installed by Jacobsens in Seattle when the boat was purchased. It's comfortable seating,and still allows access to the stern of the boat.
There has been no cracking of the rear mahogany bench.

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