Alternatives to stock cane solo seat

Looking for ideas and sources for a seat to replace the stock cane solo seat in an older Bell Wildfire.

I primarily kneel but also like to sit for a change of pace, so a kneeling thwart is not feasible.

These stock cane seats are not comfortable for kneeling, IMO, because I always end up leaning back against the sharp wooden edge of the seat. If the seat is canted enough to get cane under my backside, it is usually too canted to sit on.

I’d like something more curved, contoured or sculpted that can be used primarily for kneeling but also some sitting. I have a carbon touring bucket in my Hemolock SRT, which I like very much, but I’m also looking for wood alternatives.

Take a look…

– Last Updated: Sep-25-09 11:54 AM EST –

Take a look at the contoured wood/cane seats at Eds, or consider one of the small seat pads from Cooke's Custom Sewing.


I put an Ed’s contour web in my Indy.
I like it, but I’m sitting more often now, and I’ve wondered about their wooden version of a tractor-style seat. There have been good reviews of Essex Industries’ products here, but I’ve no experience with them.

The pad with the side pockets is a good upgrade – it’s a very convenient place to stow small stuff.

A tractor seat in an Indy?
Aren’t you the same guy who won’t wear Crocs because they’re butt-ugly?

I might defile my feet with crocs, but I sure wouldn’t defile my Indy with a TRACTOR SEAT!

You may be trying to solve…

– Last Updated: Sep-25-09 12:47 PM EST –

... the wrong problem. Have you ever tried sitting on a canted seat with your feet on a footbrace? If you do, you may not ever want a flat seat again. It's very comfortable AND you are really "set", not prone to getting pushed around on the seat by powerful paddle strokes.

I can't say I have any understanding of one thing you said though - the part about leaning back and pushing against the sharp edge of the seat. What? Maybe your cane webbing is just loose and saggy, otherwise I can't imagine such a thing. I kneel with the cane or webbing under my butt, but sitting on a seat that's slanted enough to allow that still works fine with the aid of a footbrace (BETTER than a horizontal seat, IMHO).

Oh by the way, if you get a new seat, you might look for one that is curved instead of flat. That helps a LOT.

I sure wouldn't want to even TRY to do any amount of kneeling with a hjorizontal seat though. That's gotta be a butt-killer (and maybe that's what you are referring to - the sharp edge at the FRONT of the seat). Try the slanted seat to solve the sharp-edge problem and try the footbrace solution to your sitting-comfort problem before looking for something more complicated.

When my rear-end is on it,
nobody’ll see it. How’s that for an image? (apologies to all but Clarion)

Besides, I meant one of these:

if wood is mandatory…

– Last Updated: Sep-25-09 8:13 PM EST –

Continuing on from previous about front seat bar could also change the shape of the front bar as, planing/sanding to match for comfort.

Eds and Eds

– Last Updated: Sep-25-09 1:23 PM EST –

Back in the day, Bell had Eds custom build seats with a bigger, relieved, front bar, but Ed's contour cane bucket as used by Placid, Hemlock and Colden is the best canoe seat currently made.

I like the Ed’s Cane Bucket seat.
I installed one in my Curtis Lady Bug and it’s been working well, so far.

I just wonder what that pommel would
feel like pressed against my boney glute when heeling.

I don’t recall that being an issue.
The front edge of the seat frame still cuts into the back of my thighs just a little, but not near as much as the stock seat, which had a straight front edge.

Not for long.

Butt shifting solo kneeling seat
Hemlock Canoe has a new solo seat option that it is about to offer. A kneeling solo canoeist designed it. The front of the seat is contoured along 24 inches of its length. This long shallow arc allows the paddler to shift their position off center without encountering an annoying transition point. The back of the seat is not contoured to maximize foot space; this also gives the seat a natural cant. It will be made from Ash and use polypropylene webbing to cover a seating area that is 20 inches wide. There is a prototype being tested that uses an engineered combination of Ash and Cedar that will save a considerable amount of weight without compromising strength.

Will Hemlock Poison Ed, Ed?
As it did Socrates.

Good secret intelligence, Conk. I’ll have to ask Dave Curtis about this killer app.

And thanks to a brilliant digital photo email diagnosis by Charlie Wilson of a seemingly deal-killing resin disease, I may actually acquire the boat in question.

Well, alright, there’s another
Colden is working on a new Foam, Carbon and CobraSox seat that will be less than half the weight of wooden seats and will require no maintenance; ever! But that’s next spring’s project.

It requires special seat drops, nearly done, a hot box, a foam shaping mold, an infusion mold, a Silicone bag and a plenum, so no way to rush the project.

Wood is good.
Just saying.

Agree, kinda

– Last Updated: Sep-25-09 9:41 PM EST –

I like Thomas Moser cherry and leather chairs in the living room, but as a tripper who is not getting stronger, I kinda like the ultra light weight that infused CobraSox and foam rails bring to the party.

For comparison, a FlashFire with cherry rails and seat and dymondwood thwarts weighs 28lbs, the infused hull accounting for the 4lb+ weight saving from the hand laid Bell. Note it has an extra Kev layer and is stringer too.

With CobraSox rails and Ed's contour cane bucket Flash comes in under 24 lbs. The new seat and drops will reduce that to ~ 22.5 lbs. Which would you rather carry on the 3 mile Oswegatchie Traverse?

Remember that the Bell weighed 32 lbs with hand lamination. I think a 9.5 lb/ 33% reduction with a more rugged hull is pretty cool.

Then there is maintenance. Wood needs tri-annual sanding and oiling or sanding and new PU every three years or so. Cane seating is a guaranteed maintenance problem waiting to occur.

The epoxy vinyl ester fixed CobraSox seat and rails are done with maintenance when the resin gels. That takes about 15 minutes under vacuum.

Not to say wood isn't pretty, but it degrades and rots and requires work to keep it in condition and weighs an extra 5 lbs or so in a tripping solo.

Wood does have the possibility to be useful after a maximum accident- there'll be plenty of kindling from thwarts, rails and seat to get a fire going.

There's a correlation with big game rifles. Wood, particularly beautiful wood, makes a gorgeous rifle, but the guys making the 500 yard shots have gone to composite stocks: less weight, less recoil and no impact shift with weather conditions.

Wood is furniture over function.

That’s how clarion feels about his Crocs

– Last Updated: Sep-25-09 10:25 PM EST –

But there's no getting around the ugly factor.

I fully appreciate the functional aspects of an all-composite boat and your commitment to making a practical and marketable product for enthusiasts but, to my eye, the PBW composite rails leave something to be desired in the visual aesthetics department. I know that wooden components on a composite hull seem somehow quaint and incongruous, though you've got to admit, it sure made for some nice looking canoes.

The W/C purists must be biting their lips to keep from laughing out loud!

Cane seating goes bad?

– Last Updated: Sep-26-09 6:58 AM EST –

You must be getting bad cane if you'll guarantee problems. We restore, regularly, 20-30 year old canoes and in many of them, the cane is fine. Neglect is what causes most of the damage.

Wood rail vs. composite...I hear ya. But as a tripper whose getting stronger, I know wood is stronger and I can handle the few extra pounds on the carry to High Falls out of Lows Lake and know that in a worst case wilderness situation, wood rails are stronger and will survive a potential damaging event much better than composite.

Unfortunately, lots of people don't have much time anymore to take care of things, like wood rails. A sign of the times, I guess. I do love composite construction, of course. That's why we build composite canoes. Now, if I'm going to buy a new J203 racing canoe, the entire canoe, every part, will be carbon fiber. But my more general purpose canoes will need to be more tough.

Additionally, the repair of damaged wood or aluminium rails is much more easily repaired than CobraSox (not a huge fan of aluminium, but is sure does work). There are far more retailers and outfitters that offer the service than those that are set up to vaccuum bag a broken CobraSox rail. Also, Many consumers are capable of repairing their own rails and seats and the materials are readily available to them as well. When CobraSox breaks, repair time, I suspect, will be significantly extended because of the distance the canoe would have to travel to a capable repair shop. How many shops are capable of repairing CobraSox? I know of 5 or 6 that have the technology to (once trained)repair something like that (not including Placid, Swift, Colden, Hemlock, and Vermont Canoe).

As far as guys taking 500 yard rifle shots, it's like freestyle canoeing, not too many people in these parts are taking 500 yard shots.

Please keep up the great work that you do. I'm just stokin' the fire. :)