Cane Seat for Canadienne

I recently had new cane installed on the seats of my Canadienne. After the second day I ripped through the seat. At 160 lbs, I am not a big guy! I was curious and pushed on the front seat with my thumb and it went through too! Needless to say, I was either ripped off by the cane shop or maybe cane is not the best solution. Any suggestions?


Polypropelene web seats. Not as
spiffy looking, but comfortable and strong.

cane can be strong enough
I sat for 11 years on a cane seat in a Bell WildFire. Okay, so it sagged a little under my 200 pounds, but it never tore.

Placid Boatworks apparently uses seats from I’ve only had mine for a year now, but it’s doing fine.

– Mark

Had cane seats in my Mohawk, same
ones for 20 years. My son and a friend finished the m off. The didn’t realize the cane would not support a foot.

ripped off
Cane lasts longer than that. It might need replacing every seven to ten years and needs to “breathe” (varnish on top only)

I agree
I would either look for them to replace the seats, or give you a refund.

If they don’t, you might want to post thir name here.



Sharp edges
You don’t say whether it was hand caned or pre-woven and where it broke. I’m assuming pre-woven and it may have broken next to the rails of the seat.

If the caner left a sharp edge on the seat next to the groove or a sharp edge on the groove itself, this can easily cut the cane field. Before installing the new cane it is good practice to round these sharp edges over some with a piece of sand paper.

Don’t ask me how I know this :slight_smile:

You might also try a pre-woven pattern made with a heavier (larger) cane.

Cane Seat for Canadienne

– Last Updated: Dec-11-07 7:23 PM EST –

The cane is prewoven. I had it done one year ago but kept the seat indoors until I refinish the canoe. When I picked up the seats from the people who recaned the seats, I thought it looked brittle--they assured me that it's normal.

The cane broke in the middle. I took the front seat and was able to put my thumb through it without much effort.

The person who suggested that the varnish be on top only so that it breathes makes sense. I varnished both sides…. Maybe that's another reason why it became extra brittle?

It may be cheaper to just buy
new seats. That depends, of course, on what you were charged for the re-caning.


– Last Updated: Dec-11-07 8:21 PM EST –

You can easily recane these seats yourself. The hardest part is getting the old cane out. Installing new cane is literally a 20 min. effort. Directions can be found on the net, or search this site, because I know I posted directions before.

If you varnish the top, thin the beejeezus out of the varnish. I have promoted varnish only on the top in the past based on my discussions with a pro caner and some of my own seats, but I think too thick a coat of varnish, even on the top only, contributes to this brittle problem.

It also sounds like your cane is too small - consider a heavier ("common" cane or heavier) weave of pre-woven cane.

Just a Couple of Thoughts
I just redid a cane seat for my Canadienne and also have one waiting for me to do on my father-in-law’s Mad River.

Installing is pretty easy as has been said.

Getting the old spine out was pretty tough as has been said.

Whoever said buying a new seat might be a fix, hit on what I told my father-in-law. By the time I had to order seat cane twice and then the chair cane company shorted me on quantity and never replied to my email, then counting the time to fool with that and figure out the tool to clean out the old spine, I’d have been better off ordering a seat, even though that sort of irks me as more throw away society stuff. Neither place I ordered the cane from impressed me with customer service. One shorted me, one took FOREVER.

Good tip on only varnishing the top, wished I’d known.

One bright spot is that recaning the Mad River seat will give my father-in-law and I something to escape outside and do at some helpful point in our family holiday togetherness :-).

Plastic Cane
I have built a couple of canoe seats and used plastic cane that I ordered from the HH Perkins company. It looks like real cane and probably will last as long as the plastic boat it was installed in. It requires drilling lots of holes in the seat frame and hours of lacing. I think real cane will last as well, if the canoe is stored indoors and well maintained.