The new 13.75″ wide saddle bracket a.k.a. ‘Relaxed Fit’

About the ‘Classic’ saddle bracket

Kayaks from the W500 series are designed to have their twin hulls located at a 12.5″ distance from each other.
The ‘Classic’ saddle bracket that we’ve been offering until now is designed to keep the kayak’s twin hulls exactly at this distance, which is why the bracket’s two legs are 12.75 inches apart from each each other.
We’re now introducing a second, wider bracket –

The new ‘Relaxed Fit’ broader saddle bracket

The new type of saddle bracket is nicknamed ‘Relaxed Fit’ and its two legs are located at a 13.75″ distance from each other.
This slightly wider bracket takes advantage of the natural flex offered by the Polyethylene resin from which most kayaks today including the W500 are molded.
The ‘Relaxed Fit’ bracket allows the W kayak’s twin hulls to splay about 1/2″ more to each side, and by that have the user gain from a slight increase in the kayak’s lateral stability, as the kayak’s bottom width increases by one inch, from 29″ to 30″.

What does the difference mean, practically?

The following list summarizes the differences the kayak’s users experience with the new ‘Relaxed Fit’ saddle bracket is applied instead of the ‘Classic’ bracket:

1. Stability – When outfitted with the classic saddle bracket, the W500 is already the world’s stablest kayak, and the new bracket makes it more stable by about 6%, which is a noticeable but not a huge amount.

2. Comfort – With the ‘Relaxed Fit’ bracket on, the saddle’s bottom becomes wider by an inch, so some small-size passengers might feel slightly less comfortable in the riding and standing positions, but such passengers don’t need the new bracket in the first place.

3. Paddling Speed – Because the kayak’s twin hulls are no longer totally vertical, their wetted beam (width at waterline) increases by a few percent. As a result, some paddlers might might feel a very slight decrease in speed as they paddle, although this effect is theoretical as the increased distance between the hulls also works to reduce turbulence and possible drag, and by that increase the kayak’s speed.

4. Motorizing Speed – The extra stability gained by the application of the ‘Relaxed Fit’ bracket makes it easier to drive the kayak at higher speed with a powerful outboard gas engine or a powerful electric motor.

5. Storage – Being broader than the classic saddle bracket, the new ‘Relaxed Fit’ bracket takes more space at the entrance of the rear hull tips. This makes it harder to store there objects that are both big and rigid, such as a plastic cooler.

6. Load Capacity – The recommended maximal load for the kayak is the same (360 lbs). However, due to the increase in its stability with the ‘Relaxed Fit’ bracket on, the kayak is easier to paddle for tandem crews, and when loaded with a single heavy passenger and/or with heavy fishing and camping gear.

7. Tandem – W kayakers who plan to paddle or motorize in tandem would benefit from outfitting their W kayak with a ‘Relaxed Fit’ bracket rather than a ‘Classic’ bracket.

8. Paddling and Fishing Standing – For most people, the W500 outfitted with a Classic bracket offers all the stability they need for both stand up paddling and stand up fishing. Users who are very tall (over 6’2″) and heavy (over 250 lbs), and/or suffer from an impaired sense of stability due to old age, inner ear problems, knee or hip replacement etc., could benefit from installing the ‘Relaxed Fit’ saddle bracket in their W kayak.

9. Sailing – Any amount of added stability is beneficial to sailors, which is why they would prefer to have their W kayak outfitted with a ‘Relaxed Fit’ bracket rather than a ‘Classic’ bracket.

10. Outfitting – Like the classic saddle bracket, the new saddle bracket can serve as a structural element in building bases for poling platforms, dog platforms, tables, high seats, etc.
More about the various applications for saddle brackets >

5 thoughts on “The new 13.75″ wide saddle bracket a.k.a. ‘Relaxed Fit’”

  1. I’ve been using my w yak for years without any bracket – did I miss something? 😉
    FW

  2. I still don’t get what this saddle thing is about, but maybe it’s cause I’m kinda slow 🙂

  3. Lake, you’re probably not heavy enough to have problems with your w kayak, and this is why you don’t understand what the bracket does. I guess it’s better this way…
    Pete

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