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Old 07-23-2008   #11
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 63
seat cushion option


I had a similar situation and needed to make a surface my dog would not slid on. I ended up using those foam workshop flooring squares that have interlocking edges (sorry I can't remember the exact name, they are usually dark gray, they also make similar things for kids rooms that are multi-color with alphabet & numbers). I cut them down to size, using a flexible waterproof glue I glued the foam to a piece of marine plywood. I cut holes for straps and voila perfect table on one side and cushioned seating on the other. The foam flooring is actually pretty comfortable, only 1/2 inch thick, and is very durable. I got 3 well used seasons out of them and they still had not needed to be replaced.

You can get the foam flooring at home depot or costco for around $20 for four, well that's what they were last time I checked.

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Old 07-27-2008   #12
Eagle, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 12
Thank you for all of the suggestions. After all of the positive comments about Paco pads, I think I will put one on my Christmas list. I can't imagine ever giving up rafting. We just got back from Lodore. It doesn't get any better than that. SYOR

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Old 07-27-2008   #13
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SE, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,098
Main problem with homebuilt cushions is water getting between the cover and the foamó stinky and it rots the board. The advantage of a Paco pad is that the foam is sealed so water can't get in.

One easy setup: there are foam cushions (a lot cheaper than a Paco Pad) that snap onto the top of Igloo marine coolers, in a wide range of sizes. To mount one to a deckboard, get the right size snaps and some countersunk screws (not too long).
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Old 07-27-2008   #14
Crested Butte, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 13
Im not advocating this but a friend has liberated a few lift tower pads from a ski area once.... they work great, but may need some xtra glue or seam sealer.
he says they were definetly worth the 5 days in jail.
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Old 07-27-2008   #15
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 683
aire landing pad

Originally Posted by airhead View Post
Thank you for all of the suggestions. After all of the positive comments about Paco pads, I think I will put one on my Christmas list. I can't imagine ever giving up rafting. We just got back from Lodore. It doesn't get any better than that. SYOR
if you are interested in a Paco on the cheap, check out the Aire Landing Pad:

when I compare them to other's Paco's they seem just as good if not even heavier PVC. great product at half the cost. It may not be a Paco but it's a serious pad. Also keep an eye on the Maravia pads, sometimes they go on sale in the fall (Cascade) and are a great deal.
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Old 07-27-2008   #16
hojo's Avatar
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,234
Originally Posted by airhead View Post
I have seen some awesome seats made of close cell foam and plastic covering that come out looking like a Paco Pad.
Try EVA foam (Ethylene Vinyle Acetate). It's used in a great deal of applications for padding and even flotation. It comes in various densities and thicknesses. Look for EVA foam for athletic padding as you can sometimes find pads that come with softer and harder densities layered together.

Then just go the fabrics store, get some nylon (gore-tex like) material, and put on your sewing hat. I'd go with a porous fabric to allow water to evaporate rather than plastic to keep the water out (it'll eventually get in). The major difference between this application and the Paco Pad is packing size as the Paco Pads will pack much smaller.
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Old 07-27-2008   #17
Renaissance Redneck
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Huson, Montana
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 986
I hauled a huge old PVC truck tarp out of Deso last week. You could cut that up and use it for a cover. We left it by the dumpster at the takeout because it was too heavy to put in.

"You're gonna be doin a lot of doobie rolling when youre LIVIN IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER"
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