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We need something to go under our butts in the cockpit, and something like those "Sport-a-seats" are just the ticket. My options: buy the name brand sport-a-seat for $100 a pop, plus shipping, or go with the West Marine knock-offs for $65/each. The West Marine variety seem perfectly fine for what we want to do with them, but the sport-a-seat websites warns me to "beware of cheap immitations!". I don't really care if they're made from Sunbrella---when we're not using them, they're not going to be in the sun, and when we are, they're going to be nicely shaded by our bums. Any reason not to go with the West Marine version?
 

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Telstar 28
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I have the West Marine versions, and they're pretty good.
 

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We've had the WM knockoffs for 3 years. They get carried back and forth from the forward berth to the cockpit for every use. The handle on one of them ripped off sometime in year 2 and the stitching has come un-done in a few places on both. I don't know how much better the originals would have fared considering the abuse I give them :confused:
 

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I bought a couple of the original Sport-A-Seats at a boat show and I've been happy with them. The owners of the company were nice and the product is made in the U.S. versus the WM brand (allegedly) made in China. That distinction means more to me these days than in the past.
 

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WM knockoffs

I've had my WM knockoffs for 3 years, and the mechanism on one isn't working right. They fit my boat pretty good as cockpit cushions. So mostly they lay out flat I do use them at about 90 degrees when in the cockpit, but they wouldn't stand up to supporting me without a bulkhead or something behind it. The stitching is already coming undone, and I keep them stored below decks when not in use. They aren't quite as comfy as the original sport-a-seats, but they're ok for the money. I've never owned the originals, just sat in them at the boat shows, so I can't tell you if they're better or not. I picked mine up when they were on sail for around $40 each.

Dave
 

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All I can say is that we have 4 of the Sport-a-Seats and they have served us well for 3 seasons with no issues. No stiching problems and yes they will support me with nothing behind them. This is our favorite thing to do; turn the seat facing forward, lock it in as a backrest, sit facing forward nicely tucked under the dodger, put your feet up on the coach roof, and relax with a good book or magazine while keeping watch.
Never a problem and they are what they are advertised to be.
 

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We also have the sport-a-seat version, purchased in Annapolis several years ago. They work well, all stitching in place. We use them inside the boat for good back support when reading etc. Used them in the cockpit as well as on the deck top for late afternoons watching the other boat go by.
The position stays put and they do not need to be leaning on anything.
 

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We used to use the WM versions, but after a couple of years of use you started to feel the frame through them. We bought the sport-a-seat's at the show this year, and you can tell they have a much - much - better build. I like how thin the West Marina seats are, but that's what has led to their failure too.
 

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I have each make. You can tell the difference in the quality. You can't feel the frame on the sport-a-seat like you can on the WM. If you want lasting quality get the sport-a seat.
 

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I have 2 of each, the ratcheting system on both the WM version gave up the ghost first, but they make good CP cushions along with the port a seats which still work fine.

What's cool is you can get replacement covers in any sunbrella fabic color from port a seat that obviously fit the WM brand @ 35 bucks a pop; I've gone from Forest Green to Dark Blue to Burgundy
 

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We bought 4 WM knockoffs at the Annapolis boat show ten years ago. An hour or two later we went by the Soprt-a-Seat booth where they had cut-aways of both theirs and the WM seat. No comparison at all we immediately returned the WM and bought SaS. Ten year later, having used the seat every day of the six- months a year we are on board the SaS seats are great, foam, hinges and all.
 

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SportASeat for 3 seasons.

The quality makes them easily worth twice the WM price. I'm sure the WM units have their place, but my comfort and eye for value tells me I'd spend the extra money again.

Murph

S/V Amalia
Cal 30, 1965
 

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Do you really need the backrest? I didn't, so I spent a total of $40 for two, two-inch thick, custom cut pieces of closed cell foam from here...
Foam cushions

They work great, double as tossable flotation devices, and both of them together cost about one-third the price of a single sport-a-seat.
 
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