The plastic area where it hits your shins is extremely uncomfortable. Dont mess with the bulkhead, but the rest you can tinker with. The boat has only been paddled 5-6x by her friend on a lake since its birthdate. I don't have knee pads in mine I'd just move the seat back a bit so your shins aren't as crammed and glue some thin foam against the shell.
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A two day trip down the Kern with Gilbert piloting the raft and a bunch of amigos in kayaks.
We used packers to carry down our gear, including my kayak (I carried the raft frame instead).
It's damn near impossible to get out of because your feet get stuck.
Im not worried about swimming really, as I paddle pretty conservative rivers with this thing (everything else I have a nomad) but in the event, I don't want to drown haha.