Canoe Seats

Going to order some seats for an OT Tripper from Ed’s Canoe to replace the factory molded “bucket” seats to allow more comfortable sitting in reverse in case I want to go out alone. Anyone have preferences as to the seat shape? Contour, symmetery, or plain flat. Haven’t called them yet so I don’t even know if those designs will fit a tripper.



He will have something that fits
Before you call determine the spacing you will require between the front and rear transverse seat frames. You can estimate this by measuring the distance between the bolt holes in the gunwales where the seats are mounted, but be aware that because the boat tapers toward the stems where the seats are mounted (especially the stern seat) the distance between the gunwale holes will be greater than the seat frame spacing you require (by a little bit). If you have a couple of yardsticks you can lay them across the gunwales with their edges lined up on the holes and measure the distance between the yardsticks to get a good estimate.

Although Ed’s sells “Old Town replacement seats” I have seen Old Town Canoes with different frame spacing. Since the seats are not cut or drilled, and the holes in the seat frames do not need to be exactly centered, you have a half inch or so of “wiggle room” if your measurement does not exactly match the spacing on Ed’s seats.

As for what type of seat I find the cane bucket seat most comfortable but it would be no good for sitting backwards on. It also has less space below it for your feet if you kneel.

Some find the contoured seats more comfortable. I don’t appreciate too much difference between them and a flat, symmetrical seat. Webbing is more durable than cane in the long run.

You should check out Ed’s factory specials page as there are quite a few canoe seats listed there right now. I have found, however, that even though they are listed they might not be available. Go to the “Factory Specials” tab in the navigation bar at the left of the home page, then click on “Cleaning out the Closet”, then open the drop down menu box to the right side of “Ash” to see what is listed.

The molded plastic Old Town seats have their own drops built in. You may not want to mount wooden seats all the way up at gunwale level. If not, you should consider ordering some hangers to suspend your seats and you may well require some new stainless steel hardware with machine screws long enough to go through the gunwales, hangers, and seat frames. Ed’s Canoe sells hangers and hardware. Make sure the spacing of the hangers is appropriate for your seats.

You can also make your own simple hangers out of hardwood dowels but they won’t be as rigid or strong as a truss-style hanger.

I bought a contoured web seat
from Ed’s recently and love it. I find the webbed seats much more comfortable than cane for long stretches and, as stated above, webbing is more durable. I do find the contoured “dip” in the middle more comfortable than the flat seats.

This seat replaced a flat one and is angled with the same spacers. In spite of the contoured drop, I don’t have any problem kneeling (and this is not a deep boat I’m talking about).

I recommend…
…trying Essex Industries of Mineville, NY, for your seats.