Another Sojourn question

Ok, so I bought the sojourn I was looking at last week and after a short period of getting used to the boat I think I may like it but I still have some questions.

The boat has seen very little use but it is the R-lite version and I love the weight but is there anything I should do to baby 15 yr old plastic and could it be repaired if the need arises?

I have another question about the seat. The boat has a cane seat like a MR Explorer which sits well enough but I like to sit and kneel at times but I cant get my feet under the seat safely. What options do I have? I am mostly a ww and touring kayaker and I know little about these solo canoes. I bought the boat just to knock around a little maybe even try a little freestyle. It seems I could heel it over better with the boat turned backwards and me leaning back into the thwart.

asymmetrical hull
I’m quite sure the Sojourn is an aymmetrical hull with little or no stern rocker, so you probably don’t want to paddle it backward, it would be a totally different canoe.

Does the canoe have a cane seat suspended from the gunwales by hangers at a slight down angle toward the front? If so, just shorten the 4 hangers a bit to make more room for your feet. Having the front edge of the seat at a downward angle generally makes it a bit more comfortable to prop your backside on or against when you kneel. If your canoe has aluminum gunwales and an aluminum seat hanger, you may need to buy or make some spacers and buy some long stainless steel flat head machine screws to suspend it higher.

The seat should be positioned so that when you are in a comfortable kneeling position sitting upright your navel is about at the centerline or your hip bone about 4 inches behind centerline. Your knees will extend in front of the centerline.

You will want to glue in some knee pads, or get one of the big blanket style or T-shaped removable pads to kneel on.

Sojourn…part II

– Last Updated: Jun-01-09 4:40 PM EST –

If your Sojourn is like mine; it has the seat mounted on wooden seat hangers, which hang down from the gunwales. Mine is wood trimmed.

To get a little more space for your feet: If the seat hangers have not already been resized(trimmed down), you should be able to trim the seat hangers down a couple of inches by trimming off both the top & bottom of the seat hangers. This will result in the seat being a couple of inches higher. Hopefully a couple of more inches of space will allow you to easily get your feet out from under the seat in a capsize.

I have had "practical experience" in getting one of my size 13s hung up on a low hanging Bell Wildfire seat & getting dragged downstream for a couple of boat lengths.
Not that much fun, and a bit disconcerting, especially if it occurs in a fast moving section of a river which has a bottom layer of stones & small boulders. Luckily, my pfd helped padded my back. Another good reason to "always" wear a pfd; even in shallow water, in summertime, and no matter how great a swimmer you are.

Be aware that raising your seat will raise your body, and thus change your center of gravity. The Sojourn is not known for rock solid initial stability in the first place.

As stated previously; the Sojourn is NOT known for being able to withstand a lot of abuse to it's bow. This might? be especially true of an older boat; especially if it has been directly exposed to a lot of UV, and/or cold/outdoor storage over the years.
If you are not opposed to them, skid plates might take care of that particular concern.


P.S. As stated by g2d..........a change in footwear may help too. I was wearing stiff soled shoes with little flex in them when I got caught.

First thing would be to raise the seat
a little bit, just enough that you feel you can whip your feet in and out comfortably. You could also put in a Bell or similar large pad, and wear minimalist footwear.

My feet are size 14-15, so I end up putting in a foam pedestal, but this might not work for your “freestyle” trials where you have to transfer weight.