Originally Posted by Domar Dave
I sat on coolers/boxes early in my rowing career, but got tired of getting knocked off my seat in big water hits. So I went ahead and got an NRS padded tractor seat. Expensive, but sensible. Comfortable, too.
I am worrying somewhat about raft seating and keeping a low center of gravity and staying in the boat in bigger water. I currently run a padded high back NRS type seat mounted on a custom DRE seat frame that swivels over a dry box - see photo.
In 5 seasons of boating, I have always rowed from this type of seat or one similar and while I have never flipped my boat and have never been pitched out of the boat from the seat, I have had one or two close calls. My decision to go this way rather than sitting directly on a padded box or cooler top are because those options appear so uncomfortable, but it also seems to be the better position in regard to keeping a low profile and to avoid being pitched out from a higher riding seat. I've seen some gnarly pressure blisters and chafing on peoples butts from rowing for several days from a flat box, even with padding and it dont look comfortable at all and caused major problems and limitations as the trip progressed on, I cant imagine finding myself in that situation for 277 miles of Colorado River through GC
With that said, and without trying to hijack this thread, I am curious about any opinions on which is better, rowing from a high back seat or sitting directly on a flat box that has a lower profile in the boat? Friends I row with suggest that at some point, particularly for Grand Canyon scale trips, I may want to convert from the high back to rowing from a box top in order to stay in the boat more securely.
I go back and forth with the idea because I truly enjoy the comfort and view of river obstacles that is presented from rowing from a high back seat such as mine, I believe that I can read the water easier and see some obstacles ahead without having to stand up to see over the bow and passengers etc. and I also feel that I have an advantage to solid bracing from the back of the seat along with the footbar and the seat seems to hold me in place more solidly than sitting on a flat box, I feel like I can lock myself in position when things get wild, so in a way I seem to agree with Dave's post about getting tossed out more easier from a position on the box top, and disagree with my experienced friends who seem to doubt my seating arrangement.
I am planning to row the Colorado through Grand Canyon next year and if needed, I want to reconfigure my set up and geometry to start rowing from the box top now for practice and familiarity while we are having such big water season if that might make a difference on such bigger water but it seems like there are pros and cons of each and I really do enjoy the high back seat and am not real keen about the idea of rowing for almost 300 miles from a flat top box but am a little spooked about having a higher center of gravity and dealing with GC scale water. Can anybody relate?