Anyone lower a seat in your canoe?

-- Last Updated: Nov-02-06 8:01 AM EST --

I bought a Mad River 15 Explorer RX. I was thinking about lowering the seats a little more. Would that be good or bad or make any difference?

wait a while
Since you just got the boat, it would be a good idea to paddle it a few times before you do anything with the seats. I’ve adjusted the seat height on solo canoes, but have never found it necessary on tandems.

definitely, but …
… I have but I also advise you to wait and don’t do it until you learn the boat.

I did it in my venerable OT Discovery 164 which is a round-hulled touring canoe I only use for recreational paddling. As it’s intended usage was for hauling two paddlers and gear, the seats are set too high for paddling when empty.

Set it up so you can change heights.
Mowhawk seat hangers work well for this. We’re getting ready to do it in our Penobscot16.

Lowering a seat in a Canoe
Lowering the seat in a canoe has its advantages and disadvantages. It will lower your centre of gravity, however if you are a white water paddler and/or often kneel you may find that you do not have enough room to comfortably place your feet under the seat. You end up rotating you feet outward and this is some uncomfortable.

Norm Black

might be dangerous
lower seat is good if: you are only sitting, you are taller than average, you have small feet (if you kneel)

is bad or even dangerous if: you have larger feet and tend to kneel once in a while-you should be able to slide in and out without bending your feet/twisting your ankles

Agree with
the possibility of getting your feet caught under a lowered seat. I dropped the stern seat in my OT. Like it better for the bit more stability, but also find it a little low for sitting in normal position. See how low you want to put it and then sit on something the same height and see if your knees come up to high for your comfort.

The good thing is, if you don’t like it you can always put it back where it was or adjust it in either direction.

I tried it and…
I lowered the seats 1.25 inches and it felt good. I can get my feet under the seat just fine and its still high enough that I can paddle sitting just fine.

You did good. It’s just a matter of
individualized fitting. I suspect your experience with that old Perception had to do with seats being too high.

would anyone want pictures?
I can take some pictures if you are interested?

Actually yes, I’d like to see that.(NM)

Did you cut the screws and dowels
down? Or, maybe your seats weren’t hung like that. I’m putting a sliding seat into a tandem, and I had to scrounge to find really long screws and hollow core dowels.

here are the pictures and How I did mine
I had a hard time finding screws that were long enough to use. The longest I could find was 6 inch screws and thats what came in the boat. I ended up buying threaded rod and Stainless steel T-nuts with no teeth. I cut the rod to 8 inches and I have a tap and die set so I cleaned all the threads on the rod and the t-nuts. I used red locktite on the T-nuts. Also I used Stainless steel T-Nuts and Rod. I Painted the tops of the T-Nuts so they would blend in. I used Oak Boards thata are 1.5 inches wide and cut it to the length of the stock hangers. I then used Irwin clamps to hold them together and drilled the holes in the Oak board. I used washers on the bottom of the seats and Nylon Nuts and used the little rubber caps on the bottom of the threads.

Here are the pictures:

Nice job. Will you trim off excess at
the bottom? Might snag your pants in a spill.

I cut that off already
I ned to update the Pictures Thats only sticking down about .25 inches now

on your knees
Try getting on your knees when it is rough

Try adding a footbrace
. . . not just lowering the seat if you want to increase stability and efficiency. This is especially comfortable and it increases to points that connect you to the canoe. Remember, the only thing that pushes that canoe through the water is the friction of the contact points between you and the boat. Take a look at the setup used by Clipper Canoes.

If you prefer to kneel and it works for you, then make sure you have good foot clearance.

Mary Bayes

Clipper Canoes

when its rough
I do get on my knees but I have some knee problems and cant stay like that for really long periods