Canadian Canoe Routes

Sliding Seat ? (in a solo canoe)
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Author:  Doug [ December 13th, 2004, 5:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Sliding Seat ? (in a solo canoe)


Is a sliding seat in a "solo" canoe a MUST?

I'm planning on building a solo cedar strip canoe (Osprey) in the spring.
My intentions are / where to install a sliding seat.
I've always realized the importance of balancing the canoe for the best performance.

After talking to several builders / paddlers I'm getting the impression that having a sliding seat in a "solo" canoe may not be all that big a deal.
-Stating that the reason for not having one, is because once it is set, it is never (rarely) moved.
-Balance can be adjusted by load (pack) placement.
-not having one reduces the weight of a canoe.

Any thoughts on this?

I am building the canoe, primarily for "non" white water use.


Author:  recped [ December 13th, 2004, 6:05 pm ]
Post subject: 

Might be nice but hardly required, if you mostly talking flatwater then seat position changes would primarily be made to adjust trim which can easily be done with gear. In a whitewater tripping situation an adjustable seat makes some sense as the ideal location for the flats could be different from that for running the bigger rapids.

I paddle my big tandem bathtub solo (from the bow seat) most of the time, I have adjusted the position slightly but once I moved it I have not felt the need to change the position, only in Class III+ do I feel the need to be more toward the centre of the boat but I accomplish this by switching to the kneeling poistion which also makes the boat more stable.

My final word....if itr's not too much trouble to make the seat adjustable then by all means do so but hardly a "must".


Author:  pknoerr [ December 13th, 2004, 6:30 pm ]
Post subject: 


As Ben says, it's surely not necessary... infact if you run whitewater, it would likely be considered undesireable due to the fact that most sliding seats are pretty rickety affairs that add little structure to the canoe despite that one can adjust trim to allow the bow to be trimmed up in whitewater.

My advise is to place the seat such that the boat trims correctly unloaded. I personally like the boat to trim level when at rest, as the boat under power will be trimmed just barely up in the front. One can always trim the boat with gear when tripping. Give some thought as to if you will paddle mainly kneeling or sitting. This will effect seat ploacement somewhat.

I recommend that you talk with other Osprey builders and see where they placed their seat (measured from the tip of the bow). Then mark it with tape on the rails. Then get into the boat on the water and move around until the boat feels best to you. Then hang the seat where it will suit you best. You might find that you want to move the seat up or down a little too, so you might not want to spend alot of time on your seat hangers until you know exactly where the seat will be.


Author:  Tommy [ December 13th, 2004, 6:41 pm ]
Post subject: 


A sliding seat adds weight from the additional hardware. I recall you mentioning you wanted to build light.

With my Huron I found it very unstable if the seating position was too close to the bow and/or stern. The canoe feels less stable when sitting in the narrow V-shaped ends. I have the seats closer to where the hull becomes more full. Also be careful not to place the seats too high. I have noticed that effects from seat position are more noticeable on a narrow wobbly hull than on an inherently more stable canoe.

I have one permanently installed seat about 15" from the centre thwart (notice how close my knee is to the centre thwart/yoke in my avatar). This is my solo seat. If I go on my knees with my butt leaning against the seat frame I am pretty much in the optimum control position. This seat doubles as a bow seat when tandem. It is not ideally placed for a bow seat but I solo more than tandem in that canoe. Solo or tandem I adjust packs to adjust trim. This Fall I installed a removable stern seat but I haven't had a chance to try it out yet, nor to post pics.

Author:  Ted [ December 13th, 2004, 7:11 pm ]
Post subject: 

My Shearwater came with a sliding seat.
Removed it this summer and replaced it with a fixed seat 13inches behind the balance center of the canoe. Works well.

Cheers, Ted

Author:  Guest [ December 14th, 2004, 6:36 am ]
Post subject: 

Hello Doug,

didn't your Osprey drawing came with a seat placement plan for the Osprey? My drawings included an overview of where to place the seat... depending on paddling kneeled or sitting..

I can check the actual recommended locations if you want.. but I would guess you must have the same spec's along with the drawing.

Michel, The Netherlands

Author:  Doug [ December 14th, 2004, 7:12 am ]
Post subject: 

yes they did, but I was just questioning the need for the sliding seat.
Are you or did you put in a sliding seat?


Author:  No need to log in anymore [ December 14th, 2004, 7:21 am ]
Post subject:  Seat type

I like my sliding seat in my Shearwater because I can adjust it to sit the canoe balanced on the top of my pack when portaging. No need for any kind of yoke = less weight. Good for adjusting trim when traveling light without enough gear for adjusting trim when wind speed or direction changes occure.

Al Baars

Author:  Guest [ December 14th, 2004, 7:30 am ]
Post subject:  depends on trim possibilities

I think a sliding seat in a "solo" canoe is a must IF you don't have
another way to get a good trim. Good trim is important if you want
the best results in terms of speed, tracking, maneuverability and

Dirk Barends

Author:  Guest [ December 14th, 2004, 7:39 am ]
Post subject: 

Think I mentioned this before...but....I built my osprey about five years has logged a few thousand kilometers of trips....the seat has been fixed in place with the front of the seat about 12 inches back of center....when i tripped with soft packs (seal line or canvas) trim wasn't a problem, as the packs could be stuffed and moved quite easily. However, recently having switched over to barrels, I am rethinking the sliding option, and may install it. Also, traveling heavy this summer has made me see the usefulness of the slider....on the other hand, I have gotten along fine for the last five years without it. Maybe try to find someone with a slider in an osprey or a shearwater and give it a whirl.

Author:  RHaslam [ December 14th, 2004, 7:41 am ]
Post subject: 

Darn! That was me, can't get used to this guest thing again!

Author:  Guest [ December 14th, 2004, 10:40 am ]
Post subject: 

Oh Oh :cry:

Author:  Idiot Guest [ December 14th, 2004, 1:26 pm ]
Post subject: 

Let the fun & games begin! :doh:

Author:  choire_dog [ December 15th, 2004, 10:28 am ]
Post subject: 

only thig I would add is that if you do go for a slider, make sure it slides enough to make a difference.

My Wenonah Prism has a slider, but if trimming into a head wind for example I have to use both the seat position and kit to get the desired effect. :x

Author:  mobax [ December 15th, 2004, 5:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Seat type

Al Baars wrote:
I like my sliding seat in my Shearwater because I can adjust it to sit the canoe balanced on the top of my pack when portaging. No need for any kind of yoke = less weight. Good for adjusting trim when traveling light without enough gear for adjusting trim when wind speed or direction changes occure.

I too have a Shearwater with sliding seat and Al has expressed my sentiments exactly.

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