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Old 04-28-2021, 09:19 AM   #1
Neil
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Canoe seat problem.

We had new seats put in our canoe but there is a problem in that they are too narrow and you often find yourself sitting on the wooden bar, which is a pain in the butt. We plan on changing the seats but aren't sure with what.



I have uploaded a picture of our boat's bow seat along with several screen shots of other types of seats. Our boat is the first image. If you have any observations or suggestions please share them.
Thanks!
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Old 04-28-2021, 10:10 AM   #2
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Are these custom made seats or stock? Do you also kneel with your feet under the seat?
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Old 04-28-2021, 11:19 AM   #3
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Are these custom made seats or stock? Do you also kneel with your feet under the seat?
The guy who put them in made them previously and had them on hand when we took him the canoe two years ago.

We sit and kneel. Also sometimes one knee down with the butt on the seat. But probably mostly we sit. As close to the side we're paddling on as possible. It's more uncomfortable for the bow paddler because the stern seat's webbing extends closer to the side of the boat.
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Old 04-28-2021, 12:31 PM   #4
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Contact Conk. He makes excellent seats and mounts.
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Old 04-28-2021, 12:43 PM   #5
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Contact Conk. He makes excellent seats and mounts.
I'm in Canada. But I will.
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Old 04-28-2021, 12:44 PM   #6
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One thing is that webbed seats work better when the seat surface comes off the top of the frame, instead of halfway between top and bottom like in the picture. I have a small webbed seat made with rope threaded through holes drilled in the frame, something I learned about from Stripperguy. What makes my seat comfortable even though it's small is a Wenonah Super Seat which I have buckled onto it. I think mine was around $40 and I have been using it now for 7 years with no deterioration. It straps on top of your existing seat and can be opened up to provide lower back support or you can can leave it shut and have twice as much padding to sit on.

I looked them up and the bench style is what I have, I don't recall the bucket style being available back then. Here's a link: https://wenonah.com/Items.aspx?id=49
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Old 04-28-2021, 12:49 PM   #7
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I'm in Canada. But I will.
I believe they can be shipped. Not sure about now... but I know Dave was shipping whole canoes to Europe pre-Covid.

The seats themselves are pretty light.
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Old 04-28-2021, 09:58 PM   #8
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https://www.essexindustries.org/cont...rn-canoe-seat/

Webbed seats are very comfortable plus this one is contoured to help eliminate that "pain in the butt"

I do not have any personal experience with this particular seat or Essex Ind. but have heard positive things.

If the borders ever open up they are just a short drive from Keene.
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Old 04-29-2021, 01:33 PM   #9
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Contoured webbing

I replaced the two seats in my Old Town Penobscot some years ago. Very happy with contoured webbing style. They may be from Essex. I can strap or hook on several styles of seat backs when desired.

Your seats are both narrow and, unfortunately, have the fill material recessed. You'll both be happier with an upgrade. I find that the wider nylon webbing material is more comfortable than cane or the stringy stuff you have.
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Old 04-29-2021, 04:48 PM   #10
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I have the traditional cane seats from Essex Industries, based in Mineville, NY, and have been happy with them.

About Essex Industries:

Essex Industries is an integrated workplace where people with developmental disabilities work alongside others with no disabilities to make high quality canoe accessories, sold to many top canoe manufacturers and suppliers in the United States and internationally. A work center such as Essex Industries allows people to perform and be paid for work that is valued and contributes to their self-esteem and sense of personal accomplishment, even if they would not be able to meet the productivity standards to be employed in a purely competitive business.

Mountain Lake Services, our parent agency, advocates strongly for integrated and non-discriminatory work opportunities for people with developmental disabilities. We see Essex Industries and other work opportunities like it as a valuable way to come as close as possible to meeting those goals for people who are unlikely to find a similar opportunity in the world of purely competitive businesses.


(Source.)
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Old 04-29-2021, 05:26 PM   #11
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Neil, the seats from Essex are hard to beat.
For modern canoes rather than go through the trouble of re-caning I simply buy them from Essex. When I make a set of seats it takes me about three days to knock them out. I saw the wood, dowel and assemble, drill 4 million holes, varnish, sand, varnish and then weave. With Essex I provide my credit card number and a few days later the seats arrive. I trim them to fit and install them in literal minutes. The quality is good and the price is right.
I do not like the gut seats done the way yours are done but they are quite common. They don't support your butt. If you look at the ones woven by Walter Walker they were woven like cane seats so they are actually quite comfortable.
I never recommend web seats for one simple reason. Your rear end cannot slide on them. Any seating adjustments you need to make require lifting your butt off the seat. Lurching up and down in a tender boat in crappy conditions is not my cup of tea. I have that type of seat on my Swift and absolutely hate them. They also hold heat and sweat on long days..... go with the cane. It's been used on canoe seats for 130 years....there is a reason for that.
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Old 04-30-2021, 06:25 AM   #12
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The cane seat from Essex, although looking more comfortable, looks as narrow as what we have now. It's OK if you sit right in the center of your boat but we like to sit as close to the side as possible, my wife up front and myself in the stern. What we are looking for is a seat that extends laterally as close to the gunwale as possible so as not to have to sit on the narrow wooden bar. This is more of an issue for the bow seat than the stern.
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Old 04-30-2021, 07:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil View Post
but we like to sit as close to the side as possible
Neil, unlike most folks, you have learned the correct way to sit in a C2 canoe, with your butt right up against your paddling side gunwale. With paddlers on opposite sides the canoe is actually more stable against tipping than with both centered, plus you are better positioned and able to perform proper vertical shaft (stacked hands) near centerline strokes for straight line travel.

Essex I believe at one time did make custom woven seats. I've seen wider webbing coverage in the past, and just found this:
https://www.oakorchardcanoe.com/oldt..._web_seats.jpg
here:
https://www.oakorchardcanoe.com/canoeseats.php
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ot_heavy_duty_web_seats.jpg (53.2 KB, 62 views)
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Old 04-30-2021, 07:19 AM   #14
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I had the same issue but I also wanted a contoured seat. I had Conk make me a custom seat with wider spacing between the spar supports. Maybe he has adopted this design?

If you like to sit and kneel, I recommend a half contour, or rather the front support beam is contoured. This allows a more natural kneeling position with the seat mounted flatter in the canoe for better sitting angle. In my tandem, I actually prefer the double contour, but I don't kneel much in it. My solo I use the half.

Keep in mind any of this you may have to change your drop (mounting) blocks. The angle and drop will have a big impact in how the canoe handles and how easily you'll be able to use sitting or kneeling. Too high, the canoe is easy to kneel in, but can be a little tippy when sitting. Too low, you won't be able to kneel easily due to restricted space under the seat. The canoe will feel very stable sitting though. Same applies to seat angling or using contours.
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Old 04-30-2021, 08:24 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil View Post
The cane seat from Essex, although looking more comfortable, looks as narrow as what we have now. It's OK if you sit right in the center of your boat but we like to sit as close to the side as possible, my wife up front and myself in the stern. What we are looking for is a seat that extends laterally as close to the gunwale as possible so as not to have to sit on the narrow wooden bar. This is more of an issue for the bow seat than the stern.
Understood now.... often the entry lines and location of the bow seat location don't give you exactly what you want. I also like to be able to get tight to the rails. It's nice to be able to hitch around to find the right spot where you aren't being forced to reach with the paddle or banging away on the rails. It's hard to tell from the one image how that bow seat is located but it may be too far back? Avoid contoured seats since they pull you to the middle.
If you make your own you can make then exactly as you want them. It's a very simple process. You will need a table saw to rip the stock to size, a dowel drilling jig, a hand drill or router (depending upon whether you weave or use prewoven cane) and a bit of tightbond TB3 glue. If you are OK with the webbed seats you can avoid the hole drilling or routing.
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Old 04-30-2021, 08:30 AM   #16
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Looking at this picture:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/827637...7719046837114/

It looks as though the seat is installed upside down by the way the webbing is tied.

Also looking at this picture I see you have aluminum drops. Like in the pic, you can simply use wood shims to change the angle and height. I'd measure the drop and use this to figure out what you might want to use for your new seat in terms of height and angle.

Last edited by montcalm; 04-30-2021 at 08:45 AM..
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Old 04-30-2021, 09:55 AM   #17
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If you use a Super Seat you can slide it to either side, and if you leave the straps a little loose you may be able to slide it 'in the moment' if you switch sides often. It might be worth trying one just to see if it works.
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Old 04-30-2021, 10:31 AM   #18
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Avoid contoured seats since they pull you to the middle.
So I've not had this issue in either my solo canoe or tandem, and I often paddle in the bow on the tandem.

I have quite a wide, nylon webbed, double contoured seat in my tandem bow. No issues being to one side or the other - it is a little tacky so you really don't slide down and I find the contour more comfortable. In the stern I actually have a rogue compound contour seat. That one is really nice as the front of the seat also radiuses down on the leading edge to keep pressure of the back of your thighs sitting or kneeling.


On my solo I sit or kneel in all sorts of different positions fore/aft and side-to-side. For me, the single contour is the best. It's not perfect for sitting, but it's better than a flat seat at a forward tilt. Personally a tractor seat is my favorite for sitting, but not for kneeling or sitting off-center.
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Old 04-30-2021, 11:02 AM   #19
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If you use a Super Seat you can slide it to either side, and if you leave the straps a little loose you may be able to slide it 'in the moment' if you switch sides often. It might be worth trying one just to see if it works.
I did wonder about that. We don't switch sides all that often. About every 45-60 minutes I would say.

We both like the looks of the webbed seats here:
https://www.oakorchardcanoe.com/oldt..._web_seats.jpg

and the seats in this image:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/827637...7719046837114/

We think the heights of our seats are fine simply because we have never felt there was a problem with them. I rarely drop onto one knee but when I do my seat might be a tad low but I think I would prefer to keep the lower position for seated paddling.

Btw, as well as changing seats we plan on switching the center thwart for a yoke. Our Swift Otter weighs just over 40 lbs. and in the future I'll be doing all the carrying. Any comments re: the yoke? Are there different shapes with their pros and cons?
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Old 04-30-2021, 11:54 AM   #20
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Those seats will work and surely alleviate your current issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil View Post
Btw, as well as changing seats we plan on switching the center thwart for a yoke. Our Swift Otter weighs just over 40 lbs. and in the future I'll be doing all the carrying. Any comments re: the yoke? Are there different shapes with their pros and cons?

Really depends on your pack and if you will be carrying with one.

A contour yoke without a pad works well, but if it's not a perfect fit to your shoulders it will be horrid. Adding a pad fixes some of that but causes other issues, mainly the pad slipping around which is a PITA. Minicell foam can be glued on and may help hot spots.

Flat yokes you can use a contour foam pad, which I find the best, or metal suspension pads, which are comfortable, but I have issues with them getting tangled in my pack. The foam pads are closed cell and can be trimmed to fit your pack straps if needed. There's also old-style non-contoured foam blocks.



An ash yoke should be plenty strong enough.

Last edited by montcalm; 04-30-2021 at 12:17 PM..
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