Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Installing Kayak Seat Cushions - An Easy Project

In my "Ouch! It Hurts!" blog post, I noted that my Aquafusion Liberty 13 seat had no cushion and was hard plastic. It made for a painful back and butt experience! :-( I looked at several third party seat cushion solutions... but was not satisfied with the fit of them. I then sent an email to Aquafusion... learned of a Liberty 13 seat cushion kit... purchased it... it was delivered today... and I installed it! :-) Here is a step-by-step instruction for installing seat cushions in an Aquafusion Liberty 13 kayak.

Kit has 4 molded foam cushions...

... with 12 plastic fasteners.

You also need an electric drill and 3/8" drill bit. (Correction - you should use a 3/16" drill bit. The supplied plastic fasteners will work provided you use a 3/16" drill bit. Aquafusion made a mistake in the installation instructions.)

Original Liberty 13 seat. Seat and back rest are molded hard plastic. Back rest has straps that allow some angle adjustments.

Position pad where you want it. Here I have positioned the seat pad.

I used a drill set tool to poke a hole through the pad to mark the drill positions onto the plastic beneath the pad.

I then took the plastic fasteners and inserted them into the seat pad.
This is a photo of the underside of the seat pad with the pointy side of the plastic fasteners facing outward. I then removed the seat pad and drilled the 4 holes directly into the plastic seat. Do NOT drill through the pads themselves or you risk tearing or fraying the material. I repeated this process for installing the back rest and hip cushion pads.
However, I noticed right away that the plastic fasteners were NOT holding down the seat cushions! In fact, the back rest pad would not stay mounted in place. I realized that Aquafusion sent me the wrong size plastic fasteners! :-( The fastener on the right is the size sent by Aquafusion. The fastener on the left (larger one) that I purchased from my neighborhood Lowes store, is the correct size!

Voila! My Aquafusion Liberty 13 with installed seat cushions!

Once I realized I had the wrong size plastic fasteners... and purchased the correct ones... the project went quickly. It took less than 15 minutes to install the seat cushion kit. I recommend that you always check with the original kayak manufacturer for essential accessories... like seat cushions to ensure a correct fit. Now that I have nice molded foam seat cushions in my Liberty 13... I'm sure both my back and butt will "thank me" on my next kayaking adventure!


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