Seating: It’s all about creature comforts

Excerpt extracted from an article in the October-November 2023 issue of International Boat Industry magazine.

With a continuing shift towards open day boats, advances in seating systems have focused on climate controls, including the adoption of heat-reflecting upholstery and integrated heating and colling hardware.

Michigan-based seating manufacturer Promethiant used the recent International Boat Builders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) in early October to officially launch its new Thermavance seat cooling and heating technology. Thermavance electronically cools and heats seat surfaces using thermoelectric devices and graphene. In addition to being energy efficient, Thermavance is durable with the ability to withstand a wide range of temperatures and marine environments.

“The marine industry is a natural fit for Thermavance,” said Bill Myers, CEO of Promethient. “Our advanced cooling and heating system can be inserted into all seat designs that are exposed to the elements, allowing people to achieve comfort in any environment, now including those on the water.”

“Thermavance seat cooling enhances comfort by directly and conductively cooling or heating the person, rather than trying to cool or heat the air around them. Most people are familiar with temperature-controlled seats in their cars that have little perforations in the upholstery, through which air is blown. That’s called convective heat transfer because you’re heating or cooling the air. We use conductive heat transfer technology which transfers heating or cooling through physical contact. Because it doesn’t require holes in the upholstery, it can be used outside without any concern at all.”

The seat temperature control technology was initially developed for off-road vehicles and motorcycles, he says, and has now been extended to applications like boats and outdoor stadium seats. “The surface is weather friendly, and easily cleanable,” he says. “You can even power was it if you have to.”

Myers notes the company is focused on developing its network of boatbuilders to work with as an OEM supplier, having now signed a supply agreement with Oregon, US-based water sports tow boat manufacturer Pavati Wake Boats. “The product is currently available in all Pavati models, and we have a couple of other boatbuilders that wear in close discussions with. Right now, we believe the OEMs, and the seat builders, are where we can most quickly grow the business. In them we can look at aftermarket and refit business but initially, we are focused on the boatbuilders.”

Installation, he adds, is easy requiring an under-seat power connection. Controls are imbedded in the seat base, with simple, automotive-style low-medium-high adjustments for heat or cooling. NMEA-compatibility further allows the seat to be controlled remotely by a multi-function display.

You can see the original article here at the International Boat Industry website: