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 Post subject: Hanging canoe seats
PostPosted: June 16th, 2008, 8:02 pm 
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Joined: July 30th, 2006, 1:31 pm
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Location: Hamilton ON
My brother has been making a beautiful wood strip canoe for my daughter. He has built several kayaks and this is his first canoe.

He has made cane seats and is about to hang them from the gunnels.

He has asked me how wide should the seats be, Should they butt up against the sidewalls? Should they hang with a millimeter to spare? Is so, will they swing around?

Please advise.
Jim


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PostPosted: June 16th, 2008, 9:19 pm 
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Joined: October 20th, 2006, 12:15 pm
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Location: calgary
I just finished a stitch and glue canoe.My rear seat fits snug and my bow seat has about a half inch on each side(cut it then decided to move seat back) My thought was by being snug it would act as a thwart and not move around and stress the hangers,will let you know wich one is better by the end of paddle season


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 Post subject: Re: Hanging canoe seats
PostPosted: June 17th, 2008, 6:44 am 
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Location: Grand Haven, Michigan U.S.A.
jcw41 wrote:
He has asked me how wide should the seats be, Should they butt up against the sidewalls? Should they hang with a millimeter to spare? Is so, will they swing around?


JCW41, The easy answer is... cut the seats a little shorter than the width where the seat will hang. The reasoning is that the sidewalls of th canoe hull, the rails the seats are hung from, and the seat drops( bolts and dowels/trusses) flex a little. If the seat is too long it can rub against the hull interior. It may not be enough to cause damage, but it might squeek. I have one boat where I cut the seat quite tight as the hull shape at the rail, and very short drops required it. But the combination of the short drops having less flex than longer drops, and the hull at the rail being quite strong combined to make a doable option. The more curved your sidewalls, or the presence of a shoulder or tumblehome make the top of the hull much stronger. But tall flat sidewalls have alot more tendency to flex. Thin rails exacerbated the problem. Wenonah's kevlar canoes often have this issue, and that's why the company sells a huge majority of their canoes with the web/cane seats attached to an angled aluminum riveted through the hull.

Hope that helps. I'd take the canoe out with the intended paddlers once before putting in the seats to confirm the locations. Then cut the seat down to near the width, and slowly remove material until you get the fit you'd like. It's always easier to cut off another 1/16th than to cut them too short and then be faced with having to either move the seat towards the end of the canoe or make a new one.

PK


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 Post subject: Re: Hanging canoe seats
PostPosted: June 17th, 2008, 8:35 am 
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Joined: July 30th, 2006, 1:31 pm
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Location: Hamilton ON
pknoerr wrote:

JCW41, The easy answer is... cut the seats a little shorter than the width where the seat will hang.

PK


Thanks for the advice. I passed it on to my brother and he will do that.
Jim


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PostPosted: June 17th, 2008, 8:56 am 
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Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada
Hi jcw41,

I don’t make canoes, but I sure do use them a lot! My tripping boats have hanging traditional seats, hung by seat bolts (factory installed). They are spaced away from the side. They do move and flex.

There is a small tumblehome on my boats, which accounts for some of that gap. I don’t have a measurement, but when I am re-oiling the seats, I can get a finger and rag in behind the end piece to dab more oil on the end grain. So that might give you an idea of the gap.

If you are using seat bolts, it is essential that you drill the bolt hole far enough away from the end so the end does not split in the future. Therefore you want to measure several times before cutting! :D A little longer is better than too short!

Because the seats move, the bolt is flexing. Use stainless bolts! And eventually bolts will break with metal fatigue. After a few thousand km’s paddling my expedition boat, I have busted one. I always bring replacement bolts in my repair kit. No big deal. If you ever found flex was too much, you could probably rig a bumper pad of some sort on the ends, like a piece of rubber or something that would wear before the hull does.

Note: Mad River used to make seat bolts with a slight bend near the top for their straight-sided boats. This would hold the seat out from the hull to prevent rubbing. So if your sides are straight, you may want to investigate MR’s hardware. Or you could bend your own in a vice perhaps. Tumblehome boats generally would not need a bend in a seat bolt.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: June 17th, 2008, 9:31 am 
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Location: Grand Haven, Michigan U.S.A.
HOOP_ wrote:
Note: Mad River used to make seat bolts with a slight bend near the top for their straight-sided boats. This would hold the seat out from the hull to prevent rubbing. So if your sides are straight, you may want to investigate MR’s hardware. Or you could bend your own in a vice perhaps. Tumblehome boats generally would not need a bend in a seat bolt.


HOOP, sorry to drag this slightly off topic, but... Have you every actually bought replacement SS bolts from Mad River that were pre-bent? I have two Mad River Canoes and on one the rails are seriously canted in, and the bolts came out of the boat during maintenance with a major bend just below the cap. The other has vinyl rails and much more vertical sides and the bolts are still straight. So I just figured that the bolts were bent on installation on the wood railed canoe. I've never bought replacement bolts from Mad River. I just bought replacement SS hardware locally for the one broken bolt I've had.

PK


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: June 17th, 2008, 6:28 pm 
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Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada
Hi PK,

No I have never purchased the seat bolts from MR. Where I saw their bent seat bolts was on a seat I disassembled from a wrecked royalex Explorer we found on the Missinaibi River. The boat was trashed, but the stern end was in good shape, so I salvaged the stern seat. I don't believe the seat had been beat up and bent by the forces that wrecked the front end. Otherwise the seat would have been busted, but it was in fine shape. Still have it at home, in case I need a new stern seat. I recall the 4 bolts were all bent on an angle right where they exited the gunwale,, and my assumption is for the reasons I mentioned in my previous post. I find it hard to believe that SS bolts would bend on their own with use. The bolts are fairly large gauge. I can't recall if the boat had wood or vinyl gunwales. I would think that gunwales would break before the bolts bent like that? So I concluded they were pre-bent?

I threw out the bolts eventually because they were rusty, and I figured I would never use them, since I would use new bolts, due the metal fatigue issue I mentioned above. So I can't get a picture of them. MR's website does not show any hardware, so I guess you would have to contact the company to find out if they make them, or ever made them.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: June 18th, 2008, 6:31 am 
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Location: Grand Haven, Michigan U.S.A.
HOOP,

OK, that mirrors what I know. I assume that the bolts are either bent by the installation of the seat or more likely they are custom bent for each canoe by the guy installing the seats.

PK


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: June 18th, 2008, 4:07 pm 
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Location: Guelph, ON
I just raised the front seat in a Royalex Prospector a couple of days ago and the bolts were all bent. It has wood trim and I suspect that the seat flexes a bit from side to side causing the bolts to bend. I straightened them all out in a vise before reinstalling them and they seem to be OK.

So I think they just happen to go that way after some intense use.
I use this canoe solo a fair bit, which puts my 200#'s in the front seat facing backwards, so I think that might be a lot of stress on the long bolts.


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