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 Post subject: Solo seat placement
PostPosted: October 11th, 2005, 5:57 am 
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Location: London, Ontario, Canada
Greetings, at present I am finishing my solo (Osprey) canoe.
I just have a question on the best seat height placement.

I will be placeing my seat 2" back from the center line and the yoke on the center line.

Because of the proximety of the seat & yoke, I have a concern about how far below the gunwales my seat should be placed.

My thoughts are to place the seat about 4" below the gunwales.
This would keep my "center of gravity" low to the water.
It would also keep it a way from my (removable) yoke.

Any thoughts are appreciated,
Doug

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PostPosted: October 11th, 2005, 6:48 am 
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I would place it as low as possible while leaving enough space so that you feel comfortable when kneeling (ie: so you feet don't feel trapped).

I don't kneel very often but when I do I want to be able to switch to kneeling easily and without the feeling that I'll be trapped should a bailout be neccessary.

Ben

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 Post subject: Re: Solo seat placement
PostPosted: October 11th, 2005, 7:27 am 
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Location: Grand Haven, Michigan U.S.A.
Doug wrote:
Because of the proximety of the seat & yoke, I have a concern about how far below the gunwales my seat should be placed.

My thoughts are to place the seat about 4" below the gunwales.
This would keep my "center of gravity" low to the water.
It would also keep it a way from my (removable) yoke.

Any thoughts are appreciated,
Doug

.


Doug, I would place the top of the seat relative to what feels comfortable to you when paddling. So the important measurement is the height of the front of the seat above the bottom of the canoe. I'm tall, I kneel, and I feel comfortable in even very narrow canoes (24-26"). So I generally end up with the seat 9-9.5 inches above the floor of the canoe. That leaves 1-2 inches even on the shallowowest canoes above the seats to the rails..

Two inches back from the centerline seems a bit tight, though if you actually sit on the seat it might work out. I'd take the nearly finished hull to the lake before it freezes and see where the boat trims out and then place the seat appropriately as opposed to guessing based on inches from midships.

If you carry the canoe with the bow forward you can overlap the back of the yoke (I'm assuming it is removable) and the front of the canted seat if that's where the canoe balances. Don't assume that the middle of the boat is the balance point.... check it, and place it so that the canoe balances as you would want when you portage. A properly balanced yoke is as important as a properly balanced seat.


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PostPosted: October 11th, 2005, 10:13 pm 
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I also think that 2" from center is slightly too forward. You should try it out before you mount it that way. If I remember right the Osprey paddles nicely from a kneeling position, so make sure you have room to kneel for the height of the seat as everyone has said before me. I actually have the seat in my Wildfire jacked all the way up to the gunwales, but most everyone else that paddles it thinks it feels too tippy. I think responsive is the term I've used.

I'm curious. I always balance my canoes so they are slightly bow light for portaging. Is this how everyone else does it? Or do you like it more balanced?


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PostPosted: October 12th, 2005, 8:51 am 
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Location: Bancroft, Ontario Canada
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I always balance my canoes so they are slightly bow light for portaging. Is this how everyone else does it? Or do you like it more balanced?


I installed the yoke so that it's balanced level most of the time and no-hands carries are possible when the flies get bad under there.... more often, it's one-handed, alternating arms with no real effort needed to keep the canoe level.

I carved the yoke to fit, and it's wider than the typical deep-dish yoke sold on the market so that there's some room to shift the canoe backward a little for it to ride slightly bow-light. This seems to make for easier carries going uphill. Also on long portages, changing things around for variety adds some comfort, so carrying two-handed, one-handed, no hands, level, bow-light, etc, and resting an arm or two when catching a breather seems to help.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: October 12th, 2005, 9:07 am 
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Location: Wenatchee, WA
The seat in my Wenonah Argosy is two inches back of the center of the boat. I find that when I am kneeling, I am actually bow heavy, which really threw me, when I first got it. A tail wind would make it pinwheel. I was tempted to move the seat, but decided that if I was really going anywhere I could always put some weight behind the seat. I find that being so far forward, I do a lot of steering from the bow. I do the canadian stroke as kind of a standard. Height wise I have settled on eight and a half inches above the floor measured from under the seat. That is for the leading edge of the seat. The seat angles upward. My feet are size nine. I find that if the seat is too high, I cant perch my butt on it when kneeling.


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PostPosted: October 12th, 2005, 10:18 am 
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My Sunburst seat is a little less than 2" behind center. Like John, I'm somewhat bow heavy while kneeling. My outfitting was installed with the seat like that so I've gotten used to it. This is okay for whitewater but less than ideal on the flats. If you're not sure do what others suggest and try it out first. The location of my seat does allow it to also be used as a crude portage yoke (not recommended for portaging over 300 M). As for height, my seat is placed high. I have nearly 11" between the bottom of the seat and the hull. Helps with the size 13's but it's a little less stable. On the other hand, the hull is 16" deep in the center. For me, the extra height not only gives more room for the feet but allows me to kneel for longer periods of time without pain.


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PostPosted: October 12th, 2005, 11:16 am 
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't paddling a bow-heavy canoe make travel on flatwater less efficient, generally? IIRC, there's a higher bow wave created that the canoe is always trying to climb up and this slows the canoe down, because the bow pushes apart the water more deeply . If the center of gravity is shifted aft, the bow rides higher and creates a lower wave, and the water passes under the canoe more smoothly.

I've tried paddling both ways and in various trims, and without having any numbers or tests to back this up, it seems to be true, at least in the canoes I've used. Maybe there are other designs which overcome this, but a bow immersed deeply and pushing apart water with higher waves being created, doesn't help with paddling efficiency.... JMO.

Rick

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: October 12th, 2005, 11:21 am 
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Quote:
but doesn't paddling a bow-heavy canoe make travel on flatwater less efficient, generally?


I'd agree, and also add that it has a negative impact on tracking.

On the other hand, I think it makes the canoe more responsive in whitewater.


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PostPosted: October 12th, 2005, 11:25 am 
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Location: Grand Haven, Michigan U.S.A.
Bryan,

Yeah, I'm with you. The Wildfire is plenty stable regardless of where the seat is. Heck, it's easy enough to walk the length of the hull and not worry about it tipping. I have a Flashfire with the kneeling thwart set about 3/4 inch below the rails and it too is fine.

Now the Sunburst, two people should be able to walk the length of that simultaneously... that boat surely isn't a problem with a high seat placement.

Rick, I'm not sure that it's the height of the bow wake that makes it less efficient to paddle a canoe bow down, or if it is just that it's harder to keep track of the stern and when light it weathervanes in the wind. When paddling bow light, you are pushing a blunter bow through/over the water but it's easy to watch where the bow is going and point it where you want it to go. So I'm tempted to believe we erroneously believe a bow light boat is more efficient because we can correct more naturally before the boat gets too far out of whack and that saves energy by requiring less corrections.

PK


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: October 12th, 2005, 12:29 pm 
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Location: Wenatchee, WA
PK-
Good point about a bow heavy boat not necessarily being slower. I certainly cannot see any differance in the speed I can paddle when sitting versus kneeling. Sitting the boat is slightly stern heavy, and kneeling it is slightly bow heavy. Making the boat go in a straight line with a bow heavy boat is not a problem except in wind. Even a light wind will make it weather vane. I do not have a yoke for my Wenonah Argosy. I find it quite comfortable to carry it around balanced on my head or with the front edge of the seat on my shoulders, however I have not done any long portages with it.


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