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Old 11-27-2009   #1
Down by the River, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 197
What seat for a cat?

Just wondering if I should go with a high back or low back seat for my Sotar Legend Cat? Pros and cons? Also, should I use a flip seat bracket so I can sit on my dry box and move the weight forward or stick to the traditional cross bar seat and keep my weight lower?


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Old 11-27-2009   #2
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,120
I prefer the highback seat. The lower edge of my PFD sometimes would get caught on the lowback seat. Also the highback allows me to really jam my butt back into the seat for leverage when the going gets tough. I tried rowing from a drybox this past summer and it was OK, but I prefer the seat. My rowing partner was really after me to try the drybox thing because he feels it gives you the ability to move around and shift your weight (high siding). But I still like the seat better, although I have gotten bounced out of the seat a few times.

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Old 11-27-2009   #3
fdon's Avatar
Christopher Creek, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 288
Thats a question that has been on my mind as the new Legend tubes arrived last week and the frame will be ready by the new year (fingers crossed). From the pics and video I have seen, it looks like the choice among Legend boaters is mixed. I like the idea of the added lumbar support the high-back provides along with the additional ++ mentioned. I am leaning towards the low-back however as I feel the need to high-side quickly and in any direction trumps the high-back. A good bit of the issue is addressed by frame choice. I will have the luxury of frame designed with built in foot bars with toe braces so staying in the seat over the rough stuff should be easier than a frame that lacks these features.
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Old 11-27-2009   #4
Wirednoodle's Avatar
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1986
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From a stacking perspective def a low seat. For comfort a high is hard to beat.

My next frame will have low seats to cut the weight a bit.

For reference I have 14'x24" Legend tubes.
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Old 11-28-2009   #5
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
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I used to row with a high back, I felt it gave me more back support and leverage to lean into. I have a lot of back pain/chronic injury problems. Early last year, I tried a low-back, and was practically blown away by how much better my back felt by being able to move around, and I could throw my weight around more since the back of the seat wasn't preventing me from leaning further back. Now I use low back on both my raft and cat, and love them. I also wear a high float pfd and did not like how it bumped into the high back, getting in the way even more, and on the low back the pfd clears it.

I'm amazed now watching really good catboaters with high back seats, it just goes to show you there are so many different ways to rig, and the best solution is what is best for you for your specific needs and issues.

The only downside to the low back is that I don't have a nice back to lean on, which I think has actually been good for me as I'm forced to maintain a good spine position on my own, which ends up strengthening my back in ways I need.

Key note, I use the old style low back, the newer gray NRS ones I do not like AT ALL.

What kind of frame are you going to have, and where are you going to sit? Sitting on a drybox all the time is going to be quite a bit of extra weight that you won't need on day run (and crap to rig), and also hang down low and might get in the way of straddling rocks or other stuff. I don't recommend doing that as a first choice, I'd say go with the cross bar. I put a drybox behind me on multi-days, and that works well. You give up some storage space not sitting on a container, but it depends on the primary purpose of the boat, and for me and my lengend it's day trips, and if you're talking about a small legend it's not a gear hauler anyways. I use the open compartments next to the seat cross bars as storage bays also, so they are useful on day trips, and a lot of people put various containers there.
I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 11-29-2009   #6
Down by the River, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 197
Thanks for the input. I'm going with a low seat. Keep me and the boat as low profile as possible. Additionally, for now at least, I'll be sitting on the cross bar seat set-up to keep things simpler.

Upper A and the Piedra are the only day runs I would be doing. Multi days on the MFS and more specifically Marsh Creek are my concerns with regards to rigging. Plan on putting drop rails down the center(ish) of the frame to drop small cooler and dry box on instead of dop bags. Figure the strength to weight ratio would be worth it.

Yes, I am doing an NRS frame to keep things consisten with my other frames. Plus, I love the ability to move things around. 14 Sotar Legend is going to kick ass up in Idaho!
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Old 11-29-2009   #7
Rainy Northwest, Washington
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 459
I just bought a high-back foldable fish-on seat for my 14' Aire Cat. I don't like that I can't lean back into a stroke with my whole body. . It takes my torso out of the picture, so I'm rowing with just arms and shoulders. Great for a workout, but I think I'd rather have a low-back.
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Old 11-30-2009   #8
raftus's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
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Posts: 1,128
The low back is great for a lot of things. Probably better for class V overall, but you can't lock nearly as securely going over big drops (a really good footbar helps out here too -see Madcatr's design). Regardless for a trip like the Grand a high backs superior comfort is where it's at. Nothing like lounging with your feet kicked up, leaning back with a cold beer in your coozie.
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Old 12-08-2009   #9
Engineer Civil Structural Hydraulic, Evans CO
Paddling Since: 68
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Originally Posted by boatmusher View Post
Just wondering if I should go with a high back or low back seat for my Sotar Legend Cat? Pros and cons? Also, should I use a flip seat bracket so I can sit on my dry box and move the weight forward or stick to the traditional cross bar seat and keep my weight lower?


GS Low back or no back. When you go upside down, its the seat that gets beat to shreads

Gary Strome
Friends Don't Let Friends Drive PVC Boats
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