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 Post subject: Solo Canoe option
PostPosted: October 2nd, 2009, 6:00 pm 
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Joined: July 26th, 2009, 10:03 pm
Posts: 151
I'm thinking of getting a Kevlar Canoe and was looking for a 16'6". Now I had this thought. I know a 14-15' is best for a solo canoe, but I was thinking of this....

Making a removable middle seat and making regular seats removable in teh event that I want to convert the canoe to a Solo for solo trips. I would make removable braces to replace the standard seats, add a removable center seat and removable yoke as the seat would be in the way for portaging.

Anyone ever done this...The way I see it is that all seats would be removable, braces would replace them for strength and I would have the best of both worlds...maybe I'm just dreaming...


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 Post subject: Re: Solo Cnaoe option
PostPosted: October 2nd, 2009, 6:39 pm 
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Mouse, I'm assuming that you are planning on mainly flatwater paddling if you are thinking of paddling a 16.5' kevlar solo. I think tha's totally doable. I did that for a few years. It was plenty fun, and got double duty as a solo and tandem. We even did weeklong tandem trips. Personally, I wouldn't plan to take the seats out. A 16' 6 canoe solo is plenty big to paddle with a month of gear without pulling the seats out. The seats add plenty of structure to a canoe, you don't need to replace them with thwarts, that's just un=needed work. In tandem form you might want to pull the center seat out solely to install a portage yoke. But we've did several canoe trips to Wabakimi, Lake Superior, Obatanga, and other places with the center seat in place with no problems, even complete with 1.5 km ports. Plus, having the center seat is great when one paddler wants to explore the other side of the lake when the other wants to fish, read, or sit on the rocks watching the loons. It just opens up possibilities

PK


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 Post subject: Re: Solo Cnaoe option
PostPosted: October 2nd, 2009, 7:52 pm 
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Well the more I read, teh more I want to do this. You are right not removing the seats. I think my only concern os solo portaging the canoe with the center seat...I'll have to explore this more.


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 Post subject: Re: Solo Cnaoe option
PostPosted: October 2nd, 2009, 8:39 pm 
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Location: Grand Haven, Michigan U.S.A.
Porting the canoe on the center seat has never been a problem for me. I have 5 solo canoes and nary a one has a yoke. The most critical aspect for me in carrying a solo canoe is that it balances, not that it has a yoke. But then again, I must admit that a yoke makes longer ports more comfortable, especially if your canoe is heavy. Removing the one middle seat to install a yoke is a reasonably simple job. But unbolting the two end seats and installing thwarts is nuts.

PK


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 Post subject: Re: Solo Cnaoe option
PostPosted: October 3rd, 2009, 10:13 am 
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Joined: June 30th, 2008, 10:08 pm
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Location: NWSC
Oddly enough, I'm looking into putting a center seat into my Morningstar. Kneeling just isn't an option for more than an hour, and a kneeling thwart doesn't work well with the yoke in place. Though, the KT did allow me to take some weight off of my knees!

Just bought some .5" closed-cell foam padding from Lowe's to install as kneeling pads (I'll probably double them up to get 1" of thickness under the ol' knees) I have to run down to the store to get some Barge Cement for the installation.

No yoke needed for structural integrity? That's good to know. I was thinking I would at least need a thwart behind the center seat to stiffen the hull in the middle.

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 Post subject: Re: Solo Cnaoe option
PostPosted: October 3rd, 2009, 11:14 am 
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Vaughn, Your MorningStar should work great with a center seat, though getting good vertical cross strokes could be a challenge unless you have monkey arms like I do. I love paddling the MS solo from the center seat.

As to a kneeling pad. I've got a few. The commercially available ones from Bell, Granite Gear, Cooke Custom Sewing are great. I use a thick pad I bought at Toys-R-Us that has jig-saw edges so it can be intalled on the floor of a kids play room. It's thicker and softer than the pads available at Home Depot for use as anti-fatigue mats. I glue a layer of rubatex to the surface using the spray automotive trim adhesive available at most auto supply stores. It's been together for nearly 10 years now and it offers plenty of comfort for all day paddling, and just the right amount of release and friction of most paddling.

PK


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 Post subject: Re: Solo Cnaoe option
PostPosted: October 3rd, 2009, 11:35 am 
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Well you are sure answering all my concerns. Thanks. Most of my portages are under 600m with the odd one being 2 km (but rare). I think the seat and some padding is the way to go. Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Solo Cnaoe option
PostPosted: October 3rd, 2009, 7:57 pm 
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Location: NWSC
PK, the foam I bought has that jigsaw edge, too. It was specifically labeled for kids' gyms and the like, so it might be the same stuff. The had two packs of garishly-colored padding, and black, so I bought the black. I wish I could have found some dark green padding to match my MS's hull, but no such luck. Sad, that.

I bought some of that 3M #77 spray adhesive to use in layering the 1/2" mats together. Think that will be good enough? I'll attach it to the hull with Bare cement, though. I don't really know where the placement will be best, so I'm going to make the pads large enough to give me plenty of room to move around.

Still have to find a decent center seat for it, too.

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 Post subject: Re: Solo Cnaoe option
PostPosted: October 3rd, 2009, 9:12 pm 
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VaughnT wrote:
Oddly enough, I'm looking into putting a center seat into my Morningstar.

Vaughn, I recently used a Northstar with a center seat installed as per factory recommendations (slightly downward angle with 2" drops and the front edge of the seat 8" behind the center thwart location) and I think it's the bomb.

Having the seat set up that way, it feels like one of those ergonomic seats that chiropractors are always recommending. You don't really feel so much like you're kneeling as just tucking your feet under you. I'm going to get around to getting one for my own Northstar, as soon as I can figure out an elegant solution for an easily removable center thwart (not those ugly clamp on things).

Placing the kneeling thwart 18" behind the center thwart as it comes from the factory leaves you with bad trim and less control. Sure, you can paddle the boat, but it's nowhere near as efficient as being in the center.

I can do cross strokes in the center of the Northstar without the monkey arm thing going for me. Your Morningstar is a bit wider than my boat, but I remember that you're a pretty big dude, so you should have no problem reaching.

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 Post subject: Re: Solo Canoe option
PostPosted: October 5th, 2009, 7:45 pm 
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BK, how do you get into the seat with only 8" between the seat and center thwart? Did you drop the front of the seat to an extreme angle, or just slightly more than the 2" at the rear of the seat?

How do you portage the canoe?

Any pics perchance?

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 Post subject: Re: Solo Canoe option
PostPosted: October 5th, 2009, 10:08 pm 
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VaughnT wrote:
BK, how do you get into the seat with only 8" between the seat and center thwart? Did you drop the front of the seat to an extreme angle, or just slightly more than the 2" at the rear of the seat?

How do you portage the canoe?

Any pics perchance?


The boat isn't mine, but the owner had the center thwart attached with nuts and bolts. He had to carry tools to remove it in order to use the center seat. Obviously, he put it back in place to carry it... then back off to paddle the boat and so on. Kind of a major pain in the ass for the kind of pond hopping we do in the ADKs. I plan to attach the center thwart with some sort of locking pin arrangement which will make taking out and reinstalling the thwart a breeze. I'll post pics when I get it figured out.

I think I remember that the seat was only slightly below the rails in the back and about 2" below in the front, which is probably about a 10º angle or thereabouts. You can fuss with it any way you want, but I found it much more comfortable than kneeling with by backside planted against a lower seat like is stock in a Bell tandem.

I'm going to buy one of those beautiful contoured seats from Ed's Canoe. The front scoops drop down on that design, so I won't have to drop the seat much at all. I've tried canoes with these seats installed and they are supremely comfortable to me.

For me, most of the knee pain comes from having my legs bent at an extreme angle. By having a higher seat, you open up the knee angle enough so you actually get some circulation to the lower leg.

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 Post subject: Re: Solo Canoe option
PostPosted: October 6th, 2009, 11:45 am 
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Location: NWSC
Thanks, BK. I'll go that route, then. I have all of next week off and plan to get a lot done, but.....

The center seat from Ed's looks nice, but I'm just not keen on caned seats. The webbing they use is ugly as dirt (ya know, there are more colors of webbing than just black. Swear! Seen 'em myself!), and I've thought about buying their "Extreme Duty" seat and using parachute cord to redo the seat.

Quote:
I plan to attach the center thwart with some sort of locking pin arrangement which will make taking out and reinstalling the thwart a breeze


I'm thinking one of these would do the job nicely. Might have to hunt for the right length and diameter, or could fab one from some barstock...
http://www.tractorsupply.com/agriculture/hitch-parts/lock-pins/lock-pin-sw-pack-1833537

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 Post subject: Re: Solo Canoe option
PostPosted: October 20th, 2009, 11:37 am 
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Joined: December 2nd, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: Grand Haven, Michigan U.S.A.
Vaughn, Be careful on your colored webbing. Most of the colored stuff will absorb water and stretch. I hate for you to go through all the work of rewebbing a seat and have it sag.

PK


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