Aluminum Wen-no-nah Seat Hangers

-- Last Updated: Apr-21-15 7:24 PM EST --

I prefer wooden seat drops to them and I've removed these before by drilling out the rivets and sliding them down. But, on my new Prospector 15 they will not move. Almost seems like they're glued? Unlike Mohawk's hangers, Wenonah didn't used to have a "Lip" on it as I recall, either? Don't want to break a gunwale. Thought I'd see if anyone has removed them recently since it's too late in the day to find someone in the shop at Wenonah? Thanks!

Try turning them as if they’re threaded.

I think I’m not picturing the aluminum
seat hangers properly. For some of us, a description or picture might help in suggesting why they aren’t moving for you.

Picture this

– Last Updated: Apr-21-15 11:01 PM EST –

These hangers are used with vinyl gunwales. Each hanger is a rectangular piece of sheet metal, with a 90-degree bend about one inch away from one edge. The side of the sheet of aluminum having the 90-degree bend is the bottom of the seat hanger. The front-to-back dimension of this sheet of aluminum matches the front-to-back dimension of the seat frame.

The top edge of the hanger is crammed up alongside the hull into the space where the inside portion of the gunwale contacts the hull, and it is held there by the same rivets which go through the outer gunwale flange and the hull. The inner ends of the rivets are hidden behind the "taller" inboard edge of the gunwale. The lower edge of the hanger, where the sheet of metal is bent 90 degrees, forms a shelf upon which the ends of the seat frame sit. The ends of the seat frame are bolted through the sheet-metal shelf in the conventional way.

Burs around the drilled holes in the hull and the sheet metal can cause the hanger to be firmly stuck within that narrow slot, even after the rivets are gone. Terry is wondering if there might be something else going on, like another 90-degree bend at the top of the hanger, overlapping the inside edge of the gunwale or perhaps the top of the hull. There's no easy way to see in there and find out.

If there's a lip overlapping the bottom inside edge of the gunwale, shoving a scrap piece of sheet metal up into there should tell the tale, if I'm picturing that part properly.

Here You Go

– Last Updated: Apr-21-15 11:23 PM EST –

I thought of posting a picture earlier but then forgot when I was finishing the post. Here you go, the black plates. I drilled out the rivets, and the two times I've done it previously to Wenonah boats, they easily pulled off:

BTW, Eric, thanks for taking the time to describe it in detail for me!

If it’s just burs,
you might be able to clear them with an inserted hacksaw or similar blade.

If it’s a flange, you might have to remove rivets upstream and downstream of the hanger, so that you can pry the inner side of the vinyl gunwale to release the flange. A firm twist of the hanger might help. Not an attractive option. It would help to talk to Wenonah.

I will be
taking out a Wenonah center seat over the weekend so I’m interested in what you find. Also interested in what size rivets you use to reattach the gunnels.

Thanks EZ et al
Just got off the phone with Wenonah and they do NOT have a lip on it. They said there were probably a few “Burrs” from the rivets? They said to just use a rubber mallet and they should come on off.

As for the rivets, I’m not certain of the size? I asked Wenonah to send me some when I ordered the boat. I’ll take a closer look in a few minutes and see if I can figure it out.

Just back from
my local dealer. He said 3/16" and then gave me a handful.

Had to rush off to Dr’s appointment. I’ll have to get some more, they only gave me enough for replacing the one seat. Hangers came off with a few raps from a rubber mallet


air bags are pricey.

I wuz abt to email Nathan…

What’s the situation on replacing stock seat thwart bracing after removing that structural advantage ?

For air bags ? On a Solo Plus Royalex, add thwarts over the bags ?

STrange to mention this the day after we lost Rosie the Riveter, but rails are attached with tempered [pop rivets. The mild alu. ones available at hardware stores deform and fail pretty rapidly.

Thanks CW
I’ll order some from Wenonah. No hurry since I’m not allowed to paddle yet anyway.

temper rivets
are then steel rivets ? steel rivets require an air gun ? Or are we reading tempered alloy…aluminum alloy in bicycle parlance that is all ‘alloys’ are aluminum.

a rivet with a large head ?

local noise sez replace the seat with a thwart.

I actually had them deliver a thwart when they delivered the canoe. I’m toying with the idea of getting a second thwart though, for behind the seat.

In the past, when I’ve modified hulls, I find it works better to add a thwart behind the seat also to stiffen the hull. With the Mohawk Solo 14, it did not have a thwart behind the seat. But I modified mine and my friends Solo 14’s and it really “Stiffened” the boat and made it feel more solid? SO, I’ll probably add TWO when all is said and done?

Looking forward
to seeing the finished product.

I Will Post…
…before and after pics. Since I’m pulling in the gunwales a bit, I have an old yoke that I’ll cut down and bolt it on with wing nuts. It will need to be removable as the seat is closer to center.


– Last Updated: Apr-24-15 2:52 PM EST –

rivet shafts, used a nailset/screwdriver pressing straight forward into the gunwale...pryed n banged on the aluminum seat shelf,,,the vertical maybe moved 3/16ths...

so we moved to Plan B....fairing the seat shelves with 1x4" and Lexan sheet.

Here You Go Clement
Here’s the modifications. I carry my odds and ends pack in front of me, so I didn’t trim much from the extra thwart I instelled. Will “Tweak” it a bit, but here’s the bulk finished. My replacement rivets from Bryke Racing Co. in Arkansas were more substantial than the replacements and originals from Wenonah.

great! I was thinking you’d put a thwart behind the seat as well.

Did you run a tube through the bow for that grab loop or just drill holes and run the line?

Also, I like the flag. I use bike stickers for that.