19 April 2011

SHOP: modifying a Tahe Greenland seat and cockpit

Tahe Marine Greenland is one of the few production kayaks specifically designed for Greenland style rolling.
Very low volume and low rear deck allow for advance moves that in most other kayaks are much harder to perform. A low rear deck promotes laybacks where the paddler can honestly lay with his/her back on the rear deck.
Some paddlers find that the position of the seat in the Greenland is a bit too close to the rear coaming and that the back band is a little bit uncomfortable. When laying back there can be localized pressure on the spine against the rim of the coaming.

Below is an example of a highly modified cockpit of a Tahe Greenland, customized to the needs and body shape of the owner of the kayak.

The seat has been moved forward and the fabric back band has been removed.
Thin closed cell foam (minicell) has been added to strategic points to alleviate pressure on the pelvis bone.
The back band has been replaced by a custom made contoured fibreglass extension of the existing seat that is hinged for behind-the-seat access.

Located behind the seat is an electric bilge pump that allows quick removal of water that might have entered during launch in rough waters. The Greenland has very little freeboard (that's the nature of low deck kayaks) and launching on shores with waves can be tricky trying to avoid flooding. The solid backrest pivots on stainless steel bolts anchored into the coaming. The flanges of the cockpit coaming have been extended to allow for the seat to be moved forward.

The owner of this Greenland found the stock Tahe seat a bit short and not supportive enough for long paddles. He wanted more support under his legs and modified the seat with fibreglass "wing" extensions, padded with closed cell foam. He also modified the underside of the deck to create "cradles" for his thighs and have a more positive area for boat control. Perfectly shaped closed cell foam now engages his thighs exactly the way he wants it.
Visible is also a custom made under deck "glove box".

View inside the kayak showing supports for the seat extensions.

After receiving numerous emails asking for details on the procedure for the above mods, here are some additional images of work in progress.
EPS foam plug in place of back band

lay-up with carbon/Kevlar and fibreglass



  1. Hi Damiano, agreed - totally stylish. Real craftsmanship. I would love to see images from the building process, because you always learn how to create a form to achieve such a result. If you have some more information it would be great if you share them.
    Regards from Switzerland,

  2. Axel, I know what you mean: it's nice to see the finished product but one learns from seeing how was it made...
    I will try to get hold of images of the work in progress and post them. Might take a while to source them though.

  3. Thanks for posting these!! I have always believed that motivated paddlers come up with the best tools..and in this case at least, form meets function at the highest level.

    TAHE - TAKE NOTE!! Pay this artist for their work and add this to your next generation of Greenlander kayaks!


  4. I've been wanting to put a bilge pump in my tahe, and was wondering where the battery is stored and where the switch and outflow are located in that boat...
    Nice looking mods.

  5. Mike, the battery is usually stored in a waterproof box in the day hatch area (in the Tahe is just the rear hatch). The switch is a magnetic one, just behind the cockpit.
    More info on electric bilge pumps: http://gnarlydognews.blogspot.com/2009/04/shop-electric-bilge-pump-in-kayak.html

  6. Very Nice!
    Wish I was able to to this on my Greenland...
    Hope TAHE can see this and make some :)


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