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Tips, Tricks and Troubleshooting

TPS Jacks    

Maintenance and Care

Regular Maintenance

Features and Technology

TPS Jacks
Adjustable Rocker
Lateral Trim Adjustment
Rolling and Re-entry
Keder and Storage System
Other Features

Durability and Construction


Storage, Set-Up and Pack-Up 

Specifications: Seeker ST 16






What’s the trick to inserting the jacks?

For starters, use one jack to separate the ribs and expand the frame. You can do this by placing the jack rib to rib along the bottom in the center (there are dimples on the face of the ribs to place the jack tips), and jacking it until you can see that the side pillars are at least one inch (2.5 cm) apart (separated). At this point, you can insert one of the side jacks. Jack the side jack out by 5 - 6 pumps. Then insert the third jack in the gunnel. Jack it out by 5 - 6 pumps. Then you can remove the center jack from between the ribs, and insert it in its proper keel position.

NOTE: The stationary end of the jacks should be inserted first as the piece that slips into the frame tube at this end is slightly longer.


The keder is so tight, how do I close it all the way?

It could be a few things: make sure the coaming seal is not stuck anywhere around the coaming. Once you’ve pulled the keder up 80% of the way with no or little tension on the jacks, try adding some tension 8 - 10 pumps (up to 12 if necessary) on both side gunnel jacks to help stretch and straighten out the back deck. Once you’ve added tension to the side jacks, you should be able to pull the keder up all the way and lock it into the coaming.

NOTE: Do not force the keder into place. Be sure to create a nice parallel track for the keder before pulling it up and into place. If you have the keder all the way and are still having trouble, make sure you tuck the coaming seal in at the back of the coaming, and then pull up and in to lock it in place.



How do I remove the coaming?

There is a little button on the inside of the rib to the left. Push up on it and it will release the coaming from the front bow rib.

How do I release the frame from the shell?

You need to go to the front of the kayak and grab the tip, and then twist it back and forth, using the hard plastic tip in the end of the shell to force the frame out of the shell. We call this “breaking the nose” but it does not harm the kayak in any way. Once the frame is separated from the tip of the shell, you can pull it out with ease.



What are the airline travel restrictions?

If you plan on traveling with your TRAK on a commercial airplane, there are a few tips and tricks that will have your experience be smooth and have you fly without a hitch. The kayak in its pack with all accessories weighs approximately 66 lb (30 kg). The objective is to get two bags to check that are both under 50 lb (23 kg).

Carry your TPS jacks in their carrying case, all accessories, and the seat in a separate bag or pack. Combine these with your personal luggage. Most airlines accept two pieces of checked luggage for international travel. For domestic air travel, you will be charged on a per bag basis. This is usually less than an overweight charge.

You should review the checked luggage guidelines with the airlines directly before travelling.

For more perspective on travelling with your TRAK, check out this TRAK Video.


Tri-active Performance System (TPS) Jacks

What is Negative / Reverse Rocker?

If this happens all you have to do is release the tension from the side gunnel jacks, and increase the rocker by pumping the center keel jack until there is no longer negative rocker (we recommend 6-10 pumps at minimum in the center keel jack). To simply add tension to the shell, we recommend you put 3 - 5 pumps of pressure on each of the side gunnel jacks. Negative rocker is likely the result of too many pumps on the side jacks, and not enough with the center keel jack. For a heavier paddler, you may need to apply 5-6 pumps of pressure on the side gunnel jacks to increase your freeboard.

Oil / Fluid on rams / Jack not functioning properly

A thin film of oil on the rams is normal, however if there is an excessive amount it could result in a malfunctioning jack. If the ram extends less than 7” (18 cm) the jack is malfunctioning. If this has happened, you can use this jack on one of the side gunnel locations, and use another jack on the center keel location. If your jack has malfunctioned, please submit a Request for Service.




Regular Maintenance 

How do I remove scuffs and marks from the hull?

Try just plain water, natural cleaner and some elbow grease, but rubbing alcohol works for tougher stains and scuffs. You can also use mineral spirits, which is a natural form of paint thinner. It works well on bigger stains and will help cut any grease.

How do I care for my kayak when I paddle in salt water?

We strongly recommend that after paddling in salt water you thoroughly rinse your kayak with fresh water. Allow the kayak to dry fully before packing it up for any length of time. This is especially important for the TPS Jacks: Rinse the jacks at full extension and with the release valve open. Dry with a soft cloth. A wipe with a light lubricant, like Inox MX5 or WD-40 is also recommended.

How do I care for my TPS hydraulic jacks? Take special care of your TPS Jacks. They are a very important component on your TRAK kayak. Store them away in a dry and secure place. Don’t store them in extremely hot or extremely cold conditions. For those of you living in winter climates, store the TPS Jacks inside.



Is it difficult to repair the shell?

In the unlikely event of a rip or a tear in the shell, it can be patched with a product called Tear-Aid that is included in your Owner’s Manual. It is like a band-aid: simply peel and stick over the tear. This will get you home. When you get home, contact TRAK or your dealer, and we will review the issue and help you find a more permanent solution. One product we recommend is using McNett's Aquaseal with their Cotol 240 accelerator to improve the bond.




Terms and Components

Tri-active Performance System (TPS) Jacks

Is air used in the jacks?

No. It is a self-contained hydraulic jack, so there is hydraulic fluid inside.

How do I access the TPS with my spray skirt on?

We have a custom-designed spray skirt which allows watertight access to the TPS jacks in the cockpit. It is a pocket that allows you to reach the TPS jacks and make changes if needed. You can also store a water bottle, a waterproof camera or snacks in that pocket.

How does the TPS actually work?

The basic idea behind any hydraulic system is very simple: force that is applied at one point is transmitted to another point using an incompressible fluid. Our TPS jacks are self-contained hydraulic jacks and work the same as other hydraulic equipment. The TPS jacks put pressure from the frame to the skin, to create tension and rigidity, but can also be used to alter the shape of the hull.

Can I over-jack the boat and damage it?

No. Each jack is set to a pre-determined number of strokes. At a certain point (15 - 20 strokes) you will not feel any resistance on the handle. You will have reached the end of the jack’s extension. It is recommended that you only maximize the keel jack while on the water. The buoyancy from the water holding up the tips of the kayak requires less pressure in the system to maximize the rocker. On the water, it is impossible to damage the frame with the TPS system.

How much pressure are the jacks putting on the skin?

The jacks deliver significant pressure at maximum rocker (over 1000 lb), but the bursting strength of the skin is thousands of pounds/kilograms. It is impossible to stretch, damage or burst the shell with the TPS.

How do I know when it’s straight?

Each jack is set so that each pull is the same. If you put 3 pulls on the left, you’d want to put 3 pulls on the right. Best way is to paddle a few strokes in calm conditions and see if the boat tracks straight. If it pulls to one side, add a pump or two to the side gunnel jack on that side until the kayak tracks straight.

What’s actually happening inside the boat when I jack it?

The TPS Jacks first connect and add tension to the bow and stern frame sections inside the shell, and then with continued pumps on the jack you can actually change the shape of the kayak, flexing the frame even further into the shell.

What happens if the jacks fail?

If the one of the TPS jacks were to fail it would simply affect the speed at which the kayak would be able to travel, as the shell would not be as tight in this area. You always want to paddle with some tension in the shell for optimum paddling performance. Each jack should give you 6 - 7.5 inches (15 - 19 cm) of “travel” or extension. If it happens to be less than this for some reason, please submit a Request for Service. For extended trips, it is recommended that you purchase a spare TPS jack.


Adjustable Rocker

What advantage is no rocker?

Zero or minimal rocker (6 - 10 pumps on the jack) in the hull allows for a really straight, really fast kayak. This flat hull option is great for calm water and long crossings.

What advantage is a lot of rocker?

The amount of rocker in the hull determines how easy a kayak will turn or spin. Having a lot of rocker would be great for some ocean paddling, rivers or whenever you want added manoeuvrability. It is also helpful for beginners as it offers more stability and makes it easier to turn without extensive paddling skills.


Lateral Trim Adjustment

How does it prevent weather cocking?

It doesn’t prevent weather cocking, but it allows the paddler to adjust for it. If you find the kayak being pulled, you can adjust the appropriate side gunnel jack and compensate for the affect on the kayak. This would normally be used only on a long crossing, so you don’t have to continually be adjusting.



Does TRAK have sponsons?

No. Our kayak was designed with no sponsons. The sponsons were developed by a competitor predominantly to improve the aesthetics of the kayak (i.e. keep the skin from wrinkling). Because we use a totally different system (TPS) to do this, our kayaks do not require them. We have other solutions for secondary floatation.

What do I use for floatation since there are no bulkheads?

We supply 2 gear floatation bags with each kayak. It is imperative that they are used with the kayak each time you go out, whether you have gear or not.

How do the gear floatation bags work?

The floatation bags work by simply filling the bags with air like a balloon and placing one in the bow, ahead of the foot pegs, and one in the stern. The gear floatation bags are designed to displace water in the event of a capsize, and also as your drybag solution to carry gear for an extended trip.

What is the purpose of a sea sock?

A sea sock fits tightly around the kayak cockpit coaming and loosely around your legs. The sea sock can replace the use of the floatation bags for longer trips, as it ensures that in the event of capsizing, water only enters the sea sock and not the rest of the kayak. This will keep the kayak afloat in this scenario. The added benefit of the sea sock is that for cold water paddling, it helps to keep the inside of your kayak clean, warm and comfortable. It is an added accessory to the kayak, purchased separately.


Rolling and Re-entry

How easy is it to roll?

If you’re skilled enough to roll a kayak, you can roll this one. Check out this TRAK Video.

Is this boat suitable for Greenland style paddlers?

Yes with a larger amount of rocker, it is a great Greenland style kayak.

What types of re-entry can I perform in the TRAK?

Any type of re-entry you are most accustomed to. There are no special restrictions, only a few unique techniques. Check out this TRAK Video.

Where do I place the paddle for re-entry?

Narrow paddle blades can fit right through the keder handle on the back deck. Larger paddles with wider blades can be tucked under the lifeline on both sides of the boat. This is the recommended approach for paddle float re-entries. For more information about safety and re-entry, check out this TRAK Video.

How dry is the TRAK?

The only place where any significant water can get in is the open cockpit without a spray skirt on.


Keder Storage System

What does a Keder Storage System mean and how does it work?

The entire back deck of the kayak opens up by sliding the keder back. It is like a zipper but better.

Is the keder watertight?

A properly closed keder is designed to prevent any water from entering the kayak.

How is gear stowed in the boat?

The kayak comes with two gear floatation bags that work as both floatation in the bow and stern of the kayak as well as acting as waterproof dry bags. Simply load your gear in the gear floatation bag and inflate the remaining space in the bag with air. You can load the bags through the cockpit easily. The stern bag can be loaded through the open keder at the back or through the cockpit before inserting the seat.


Other Features

What are adjustable thigh braces?

They are located in the cockpit and can easily be set to your preference by simply flipping the coaming over and removing 4 screws (2 in each thigh brace) to reposition them to fit you optimally.

What about the seat?

The seat system TRAK has developed is unlike any other folding kayak seat. It is a rigid seat that gives the exact same feel and comfort as any other touring kayak seat. It also has ample padding and an adjustable back rest. The seat back sits at the same height as the coaming, giving great comfort and allowing clearance for layback rolls.

Do you have foot braces?

Yes, standard adjustable foot braces are on every kayak. If you are under 5’2” feet (157 cm) tall or over 6’4” (193 cm) tall, you may need to adjust the positioning of the foot pegs on the frame.

What is a life line?

A life line is a strong rope that runs around the deck of the kayak. If you were to capsize this is great for holding onto for rescues and re-entries.



What are the differences between the T-1600 model (up to 2013) and the Seeker ST 16?

The overall system is the same, however several improvements were made based on user experiences and feedback over a 5-6 year period. This is a big advantage of buying a TRAK Seeker. Some of these improvements include:

  • The urethane cross ribs have been made stiffer and stronger, and we have added an inset hole (0.25 cm deep) in the face of both the large stern rib and the large bow rib (to use the jacks to push the frames into the skin), improving the ease and time of set-up
  • TPS Hydraulic Jacks - many small improvements to the tolerances, sourcing of components, and the look and feel have been improved over pre-2012 models of the T-1600
  • Seat back height has been lowered slightly (approx 3 cm) to best address comfort and ability to roll (specifically layback roll)
  • Overall, the weight has been reduced by about 2-3 lbs (especially the deck fabric)
  • Seeker logo on the bow/starboard and overall 'look and feel' has improved

Do you make a double/tandem kayak?

Not currently.

Can I add a sail on my kayak?

Yes. There are a few kayak sail kits available on the market that can work with the TRAK kayak.

Can I put my paddle and/or PFD (life jacket) inside the pack?

Yes, there is room for both, but it is tight. We recommend strapping these to outside of the pack for day trips.

Are the Gear Floatation Bags interchangeable between bow and stern?

Yes, they are the same size. We recommend rolling the top of the bags more times to stow in the bow, making it 'adjustable' for paddler height and gear stowing options in the front storage area of the kayak.

Are there any other accessories available?

There is a sea sock available for additional safety, warmth, and to keep your kayak clean and dry when paddling solo or in big or cold water. You’ll find more Accessories in our store.

What are the current coast guard requirements for kayaking?

Depends on where you live. Each country and sometimes even each individual state or province will have different regulations.





How tough is the shell?

We have not found anything in nature that can puncture the shell. Sharp glass, sharp metal and other unforeseen objects can potentially cause damage. However, we’ve only had one kayak come back to date on warranty from that type of damage. As with any other kayak, you have to be careful around coral, but sharp rocks have never caused a problem. The material was designed to be this tough. For more perspective on durability, check out this TRAK Video.

Will rocks puncture the shell?

No. This material was built for the US military for portable fuel bladders. It was engineered to provide puncture-resistance, abrasion-resistance and high tensile strength.

Will coral or oyster beds damage the TRAK kayaks?

It is possible. Our experience so far is that some deep scratches can occur when a weighted down kayak rubs across coral. Like in any other performance kayak, you have to be careful around coral and oyster beds.

What is the shell made out of?

The shell is an expedition-grade polyurethane material. It is one of the strongest materials that is possible to use in this application, and TRAK is the only company to construct kayaks with this formulation.

Are the deck and the hull made of the same material?

Yes, they are actually very similar but the hull is just thicker material.

What is the life expectancy of the shell?

The 5 year warranty offered is unconditional, but the shell will likely last a lifetime.

How strong are the welds?

Each weld is reinforced on both the inside and outside of the shell making for the strongest welds possible. The welding process fuses the material together, making it a lifetime bond.



Will the frame rust? (Corrosion resistance?)

The frame is constructed from anodized aircraft-grade aluminum. It has the same properties as used in the Boeing 777. The entire frame is treated (anodized) to withstand salt and corrosion, if cared for properly. We also pre-apply a coating of Inox MX5 at our factory before it gets delivered to you. It is recommended to reapply Inox MX5 periodically, especially when exposed to salt water.

What are the ribs made from?

The cross ribs are made from moulded urethane. They offer the robustness required with a bit of flexibility to take any abuse they may sustain on or off the water.



What is the custom spray skirt material?

Aquatherm fabric has 360 degree stretch, instant memory return, and has 80% less volume and weight compared with traditional neoprene products – without compromising performance. It is comfortable, durable, supple, UV stable, waterproof and fast drying.

What is the sea sock material?

Aquatherm fabric - see above.

The sea sock is sold as an add-on accessory. Is it really needed?

Our Aquatherm Sea Sock is a great addition to the Seeker ST 16 kayak for additional safety, comfort and protection. If you plan on doing a lot of solo paddling, paddling in rough water conditions, or cooler temperature conditions, the sea sock would be a smart purchase. It keeps the water in the sock in the case of a capsize, making the re-entry much easier. Watch Episode 2 of The TRAK Files video series for more information.





Can I use a roof rack?

If you want to car top your assembled kayak, there is no reason not to.

What is the best way to store it?

Dry and in the pack, but if you have the space, keeping the kayak assembled is not a problem either.

Can I leave my kayak fully assembled for storage?

Yes. It is best to release the tension in the jacks when stored, and make sure that the kayak is properly covered.



I can’t program my remote or assemble IKEA furniture. How hard is this really?

It isn’t. There are only 8 pieces, no tools, and once you’ve learned how to set it up, you will understand how it all works…and there are a few little tips and tricks that will help make it go even more smoothly.

How long does it take to set-up the kayak?

With practice, you can easily get the set-up time down to 10 minutes or less. The first few times should take you 20 - 30 minutes. Once familiar, it is uncommon for someone to take longer than 15 minutes. The record is just over 4.5 minutes. We’ve also learned that if you actually want to set-up your kayak in less than 10 minutes, you need to hide from the general public. It does attract a crowd!




What is the size of the pack?

Pack size: 52 x 16 x 12 in / 130 x 40 x 30 cm

Is it a back pack?

No but you can strap it to your back for short distances with the straps. It has wheels for rolling. We are working on a backpack style bag that will be sold as an accessory.

How long does it take to pack-up the kayak?

It takes less time to pack-up than set-up. With practice, you will be packed-up in less than 10 minutes.






What is the maximum storage capacity?


190 litres

50 US gallons








What is the maximum height of a paddler?

We have TRAK owners who are up to 6’6”. Anyone over 6’4” or 193 cm tall should have their foot braces moved on the frame to accommodate their height. The most important consideration is shoe size.

Will I fit in it?

We have had owners from 5’0” and 100 lb to 6’6 and 250 lb paddle the kayak comfortably. The best check of this is whether it feels good to you personally.

What is the maximum payload capacity?

The maximum payload (how much weight the kayak can carry) is 300 lbs (136 kg). That weight includes both the paddler and the gear. The payload area is calculated from the foot pegs to the bow and back of the seat to the stern.

What is the beam (width)?

22.5" or 57 cm. The beam on a kayak is equivalent to the width at the widest point (ie. the cockpit area). The narrower a kayak is in general, the less initial stability there is, but the faster it is (long and lean).

What is the size of the cockpit?

16.5” x 30.5” or 42 cm x 77.5 cm

Will the cockpit fit standard spray skirt sizes?

Most likely yes, it is a pretty standard size.

What is the water line?

This varies depending on payload. With no rocker (or very minimal) the water line is just under 15 feet (4.5 m). With maximum rocker the water line is reduced significantly to about 12 feet (3.5 m).

What is the maximum storage capacity?

300 lbs or 136 kg. Take this number and reduce it by the weight of the paddler to give you how much gear you can pack in the kayak.

What is the weight of the kayak packed up?

63 lbs or 29 kg. If you split the components into two bags or packs, you can get the weight under the standard 50 lb (or 22.5 kg) for checking on an airline as oversized luggage.

Can I do a multi-day trip or is it just a day paddling boat?

Yes, we have customers who do more than two week trips in these kayaks. However, it is ideally a day or weekend touring kayak as far as storage capacity is concerned. Check out these TRAK Videos.