Canoe seat ?

I got a lot of info from the earlier thread but still have a couple of questions. I have a Dagger Sojourn and I have size 12 feet. I cant get my feet under safely for kneeling. Would the boat be too unstable if I raised the seat all the way to the gunnells? I want to redo my cane seat with webbing. What webbing is standard and how best to cut the pieces?

seat webbing
I’ve built a half dozen wood frame / nylon webbing seats for various of my canoes. I’ve always used 2" wide nylon webbing and got good comfortable results. To cut the webbing; heat up a putty knife blade with a hand torch until the tip glows red, put your webbing down on a board, and bring the knife blade down on the webbing to neatly burn through and seal the edges. Reheat the tip for every cut you make.

Seat Height, Seat Webbing

– Last Updated: Oct-11-09 10:13 PM EST –

I don't know how high the sides are on your canoe, but when kneeling you can get by with a pretty high seat. The seat on my Supernova is about 9 inches off the floor at the front edge, and a couple inches higher at the back edge (in that boat, the seat could be quite a bit higher, but there's just no need). My size 12 feet will fit under a much lower seat than that though because I don't mind pointing my toes toward the rear of the boat. A lot of it has to do with what kind of shoes you are wearing.

As to webbing, Duluth Moose's cutting suggestion sounds good, but without such tools, it works just fine to cut the webbing with heavy-duty scissors or a jackknife and then melt the cut edge with a candle.

One other thing: Tight webbing is SO much nicer than the "halfway-tight" webbing on many commercially made seats, because it eliminates that "high spot" where the front rail of the seat passes under your butt. here are three hints for making the webbing tight.

#1. Before you cut your stock of webbing, pre-stretch the whole length by pulling it with a car or a hand winch and leave it tight overnight. That may add as much as 3 feet to a length of webbing that is initially about 30 feet long, so I'm sure that eliminates a lot of future stretch.

#2. Lace only parallel straps first, making them as tight as practical. That way, once you weave the straps which run the other direction through and pull them tight, the first set of straps actually becomes even tighter.

#3. After you fasten a strap of webbing at one end, grab the other end with the kind of Vice-Grip that is made for gripping and bending sheet metal, and PRY that Vice-Grip with a screwdriver against the seat rail to pull the strap tightly into place before fastening it. It helps to have another set of hands helping you, but I manage to do this myself, even when attaching the free end of the strap with sheet-metal screws (which would NORMALLY be a two-handed operation by itself, but it can be done with one hand). It may sound like this will make the webbing way too tight, and I suppose you could, but if you don't over-do it it's actually just a super-easy way to make it a good bit tighter than what you ever could simply by pulling on the strap before you fasten it. When you are done you will have nicer seat than any I've seen in the paddling stores.

Consider replacing the seat with a
pedestal. You would have to add a thwart or two to maintain stiffness. The right sort of pedestal allows kneeling with easy exit, AND is wide enough at the back to allow sitting when conditions allow.

In a narrow boat like the Sojourn, sitting can be made more stable with foam foot blocks and with some minicell attached under the gunwales to make partial thigh hooks.