adding a thwart to a Guide 147 canoe?

-- Last Updated: Jul-18-15 4:10 AM EST --

Hi all. I am a backpacker who just purchased my first canoe, so please excuse any silly questions I may ask.

I have a used 2012 OT guide 147. It is in really great condition and looks like it wasn't used much. I haven't been able to take it out myself yet.
I plan on using this for anything from day trips to week long excursions with one other person. I know that this may not be as well suited as a discovery or some other canoe but my friend and I have been taking his flat bottomed 12' grumman out for 5 days at a time and we were fine. But then we maintained our backpacking habits of keeping it light- no ice filled coolers and grills.

Anyway, I hear that the guides' hulls tend to oil-can. Would adding a thwart help this? My guide has only a center yoke. It was designed that way, but if it would add to stability or minimize oil-canning I was considering buying a thwart and installing it somewhere between the rear seat and the yoke.

I'd appreciate any advice.

Will not help
Oil canning (which is flex in the floor). Nor will it increase stability. Just enjoy the boat as is. You wil find it a nice improvement over what you have been using.

Not by itself, but can be the 1st step

– Last Updated: Jul-18-15 7:58 AM EST –

Adding another thwart will do nothing to stop the bottom of the boat from pooching upward. If you add a thwart and then install a pillar between the thwart and the bottom of the boat, that combination will help a lot, but doing the same using the existing center thwart would accomplish more than doing so with an additional thwart. It would be best to have the bottom of the pillar rest on an elongated "foot" so that a longer portion of the keel line is held down. One frequent poster here (ezwater) often suggests such a method using a block of minicell foam, but in this case a single pillar pushing down on an elongated foot would conserve storage space for packs, along with being much simpler to build for the average person (all you need is a short section of a fat dowel to form the pillar, and a small board running along a foot or two of the keel line).

Speaking of storage space, this pillar might still get in the way, since stuffing a pack underneath a thwart is common practice, and is more likely to be necessary with a short boat.

I don’t know about your boat, but…
I have added, removed and relocated thwarts on various other make canoes with no harm to the canoe


When it is full of gear and paddlers,
the bottom isn’t going to pooch upward. With two paddlers and no gear is when you may notice some oil-canning. As suggested above, putting a foam pillar between the center thwart and the bottom would inhibit oil-canning. A foam pillar, done properly, could also serve as a pedestal seat for solo paddling.

The bottom can still pooch up, …

– Last Updated: Jul-18-15 11:16 AM EST –

... just not as much. That's because the weight of the paddlers on the seats is normally a more significant load than that of the packs sitting on the floor. I paddle stern position in a Royalite Mad River Eclipse (I get a good view of the whole floor area from there), and trust me, on a boat with such a flexy bottom as that, packs on the floor reduce the pooching a little, but they fall far short of stopping it.

That's not to say I think the OP should be trying to fix the problem on his boat. I think he's going to be needing unencumbered floor space for packs, and just having the packs there will help a bit.

Thanks for the input everyone.

– Last Updated: Jul-18-15 5:28 PM EST –

Being relatively new to canoeing, and a tweaker of everything, I wanted to have the best gear I can afford.

So I'm thinking maybe I'm making a bigger deal of the oil canning than I need to. However, I like the idea of adding a pillar from the center yoke. I would make it removable. Something like an extendable rod that can lock at any length. At one end would be a socket to fit with the yoke, and the other end would slip into a socket on a 18 or 24 inch long padded foot. I could use it on day trips when I don't have a lot of gear.

As for adding a thwart, one of you said it would not increase stability. By that do you also mean rigidity? I plan on using this in calm waters. But the wheather has a mind of its own. If I had to take it on choppy rough water, would the thwart provide any benefit at all?

Benefit of an extra thwart
If you think it would fit in your canoe, adding a thwart about 28-30 inches from the front edge of your seat is useful in several ways. It is a convent spot to store items needed in the cockpit of the boat while you are paddling.

Hang a thwart bag. Support yourself when you go from sitting to kneeling, The handle of your spare paddle (you have one right?) can be lashed there. Mount for a GPS. It most assuredly will add some rigidity to the canoe frame.

I don’t know that boat but concur a thwart is not likely to help much with oil canning.