Choose the Best Boat Seat for You
There are many different types of boat seats available and the most important consideration in making this determination is the type of boat you have and what you will be using it for. The most common types of boat seats are:
* Leaning Posts
* Helm Seats
* Seat Cushions
Leaning post seats are most often used for center console boats. They can function as a leaning post, a seat or a bench. Most of these types of seats have optional removable backrests and thickly clustered cushions for superior comfort. Most leaning posts type seats have four fishing rod holders and an integrated hand and foot rail. This type of seat usually costs around $750.00.
Captain's Chairs are usually designed for center console or flybridge use. There are many types of captain's chairs that run the gamete on quality. Top of the line captain chairs have UV stabilized polyethylene construction, extra thick clustered cushions, padded armrests on anodized aluminum mounting brackets and foot pedestals. This seat also is a slider, meaning the seat itself slides up or down for the comfort of the captain. They have a 15 inch starting pedestal.
A less expensive type of captain chair is the helm seat, which has removable snap-on cushions, 360 degree nylon spider and a 15 inch fixed height pedestal. These seats usually cost around $240.00.
Swivel seats are especially popular on fishing boats that have a seat hole pattern to attach them onto. The benefits of swivel seats are that they are removable, can turn 360 degrees, fit most standard seat holes patterns, are self lubricating, with non-corrosive poly swivel bearings and most are made with E-coated steel which resists corrosion. Additionally, most swivel seats have a quick release mechanism that allows the seat to slide out thru plastic tracks that are mounted to the boat.
Additional Types of Boat Seats:
* Some fishing boat seats are cushions on top of ice chests with a swing backrest, allowing for seating in either direction. These swingback seats can be positioned anywhere the angler desires in the boat, or fastened to the deck in specific locations.
* Another type of boat seat is the folding or "quick flip" seat. These types of seats are easy to transport and eliminate tie down straps. They also stay dry as you can fold them up and transport them or put them inside boat storage should bad weather arise. There are numerous types of folding or "quick flip" seats in regard to quality and comfort.
* Jump seats. This type of boat seats are back to back of one another. They are usually seen on sky boats and runabouts. Most have plastic frames, cushioned seats and have dry storage underneath. They come in many different sizes, are permanently mounted into the boat and most are UV treated to provide for mildew resistance.
* Stern Seats. Stern seats are located in the back of boats. They are found on either or both sides of the engine facing the front of the boat.
* Lounge Seats. Lounge seats are boat seats that are similar to a couch in a home. More than one person can sit on them, right next to each other or they make great sun bathing seats, as a person can lay down the length of one. Most of these types of boat seats are found on walk-through windshield boats and pontoon boats.
* Bench Seats. Bench seats are popular on fishing boats as well as many recreational boats. What is great about these seats is that they are cushioned both on the seat and the back and have either a live bait well or storage area underneath.
Along with a fresh coat of paint, there is no better and easier way to improve the aesthetics of any boat than adding high quality seats. This vast selection of seating solutions makes it easy to find a seat that fits the space, improves feel and maximizes use of space.
The following are a few considerations for selecting boat seats. Most seats require permanent fastening to the deck. Many also integrate storage space in the design. For steering stations, consider what is the comfortable height for reaching controls. Many center console boats use leaning posts instead to minimize the footprint while providing a secure hold on deck. For an inexpensive and innovative approach to additional seating, try a large fish cooler that offers a seat cushion accessory. Coleman and Igloo both offer this, with a securing kit made of simple corner dogs. Fasten the corners mounts to the deck to keep the weight of the cooler secure from sliding on deck. This seat will hold all the fish or food you can fit, and removal is a cinch.
Major considerations when adding seats on any boat is stability and free surface effect, or shifting weight that creates instability. Shifting weight can quickly overturn a boat. Any permanent seat should be fastened to the deck. When considering a major change in the seating plan, consider the effect additional weight will have on trim (fore and aft) and heel (side to side). Once the location is certain, permanently fastening to the deck is easy. Fasteners should be bedded with a quality marine sealant adhesive such as 3m 4200 or sika flex. For cored fiberglass decks, the best practice is to drill oversized holes first, epoxy fill the hole, then let cure. Then re-drill a smaller pilot hole into the cured epoxy to ensure the core is sealed. This simple step prevents core rot down the road. Where possible, use backing plates under the deck for seat post mounts. For any loose deck chairs, it's advisable to tether them in place with small securing line to prevent dangerous sliding - the source of many an injury and disaster.