After paddling around in the S1 I can see some ways of improving it. So I did.
Replace the inflatable backrest with a plain foam backrest. The backrest which came with the boat had already been repaired twice and, unless it’s at the back of a packraft, who needs an inflatable backrest anyway? It’s more about support than weight-bearing comfort, like a seat base. As on my Seawave, a foam backrest (£12 on ebay; 200g) does the job and is one less thing to blow up. The press-pivot clips from the old backrest fitted on easily, and even though it only has 4 straps, not 6, it works fine. I trimmed about a foot of excess from each strap.
I bought some mesh zip pockets about 6” x 10” off ebay costing next to nothing from China. I zip-tied one to the back of the backrest. A handy way to ensure the airbag, K-Pump adapter and a couple of zip ties are always in the packraft.
I fitted an Anfibio footrest cushion. You lose some inflating time there, you gain it here but the Nomad’s seat is too far from the bow for efficient bracing, even for me, and moving the seat has its limits. I’ve since found the broad flat resting edge makes a more comfortable footrest than having them jammed in the bow. For flatwater I may not even need the thigh braces.
Top-up pump. The Nomad’s large volume takes a lot of tempering (topping up) to get it firm, but I can only do so much by lung. With a bit of hose on the end, the £3 pump
(left) should have enabled a higher pressure, it’s the same one Alpacka were selling with some boats at one stage. But it didn’t work – or would take forever. I think it just hasn’t got what it takes. By comparison, my bulkier K-Pump Mini also with a hose nose (below), effortlessly packed in enough air to firm up the Nomad like a drum. So if it’s that important, the K-Pump it will have to be.
Quicker detach seat base. I replaced the knotted-in laces with long, thin unzipped zip-ties threaded through the holes to make the seat easier to remove for land use or for drying and cleaning the boat. Any similar plastic wire-like thing will do, as long as there is no puncture risk. But it’s still not clip-off easy. I have a better idea.
I replaced the blue MRS airbag with a brightly coloured Anfibio one. Visibility is the rationale: because packrafts lack somewhere to stash this important item (but see below), with a neon green bag I’m much less likely to forget it when packing up (done that before). It could also be handy to wave as a rescue aid if stuck on a stormy skerry in the North Atlantic (not done that yet).
For the same reason I stuck some hazard tape on the skeg. I also threaded a reusable zip tie through a hole in the back so it can be securely attached to the boat when packing up, but in fact, unlike my IKs, on the Nomad a skeg is not essential to make it track well.
I added some sidelines; handy handles when manhandling the boat, and also useful to tuck in the paddle securely across your lap while controlling a sail. Or course having the mounting points pre-fitted makes all this much easier.