Every year at the end of the paddling season I make the effort to give my boats a thorough check and take care of any maintenance work required – that’s in addition to any repairs as the season progresses. A little bit earlier than normal this year but while waiting for my paddle moulds to cure fully I thought I’d take a good look at my Tiderace. It’s in good shape but I pulled the seat out anyway just to check for any wear at the hull/seat interface and check for cracks etc. The Tiderace seat is really well designed, mine is adjustable fore and aft (not sure if that is true of newer boats) and it has strips of rubber added underneath to avoid abrasion between seat and hull as the boat and seat flex or move with respect to each other. I didn’t think I would find any problems but interestingly some larger pieces of grit had become embedded in the rubber and were beginning to wear through the hull laminate. It’s not serious enough to warrant a futher layer of cloth, rather I have just laid on an epoxy patch. I’m also replacing the rubber strips on the seat underside.
The seat/footplate rails in my Tiderace are made of aluminium alloy, powdercoated.. they’re starting to look pretty scruffy as the powdercoat is flaking off and the alloy shows some inevitable corrosion. I think I’m going to make myself some replacements out of strips of polished stainless steel. Bit heavier but they’ll look nice :-)