Canted?Angled? Solo canoe seat?

I normally paddle my touring solos kneeling with my body angled app 20dig. to my onside. I have been looking for a seat that more comfortably acomidates this,but wondered if anybody had ever tried installing a seat at an angle to the straight fore-aft line? This is for touring where I paddle on one side 98% of the time. I have tried slightly canting-angleing and old seat by mounting an old seat slightly angled by drilling new holes in the seat and adding extensions,but it doesn’t gain me much. Ideas?


Why not…
Just put longer drop downs on one side. You could even get creative and use wing nuts on the seat bolts and carry different size drops. Adjust for the circumstances. All you would need to do is drill the bolt hole in the seat a little bigger to allow for the bolts to go through at a slight angle.

Get a Dogpaddle or Conk seat
I’ve never seen such an angle seat and think it would be counterproductive. Even touring, don’t you ever paddle on the other side?

Anyway, Marc Ornstein often paddles the way you describe, with his legs and body angled to his on-side. He does that on his curved-lip wide solo seat, made of hand-woven artificial cane, which allows a variety of weight and body shifts. Much more so than the Ed’s seat.

Pnet’s Conk makes a similar but less expensive seat out of webbing and a lightweight cedar-ash lamination, which Dave Curtis sells. I installed it in my Wildfire and think it is the most comfortable and functional solo seat I have ever used. I can easily paddle the way you describe, though it’s not one of my preferred positions.

What I meant
I see I didn’t explain well enough. I didn’t mean tilted(not level),I meant angled so I could comfortably sit/kneel with my hips angled to my paddling side. A lot of people do this by sitting sideways on the seat. It gives me a more comfortable and stronger less tiring correct foreward stroke. I have seen instructors advise narrow shoulderd people to sit like this in wide boats to get their top hand out beyond the gunnel.I still havn’t seen Conk’s seat.


Conk’s seat
It’s a bit of a long shot, but I think you can get an idea of it here:

and here:

I’ve thought about a pedestal seat that
would pivot between the paddler’s knees right under the center thwart, and allow one to make a modest shift from side to side. Some knee action would be included. It would have to work on a shallow arch surface. I don’t like having my big feet under any kind of thwart or seat, but I’m very used to pedestals.

If one wanted to get very idiotic, one could have a mess of gear as a counterweight out ahead of the pivot point.

Funny, I hardly had anything to drink this evening.

Closeups of Conk’s seat

– Last Updated: Jul-20-10 8:10 PM EST –

The first two pix are the laminated model; the rest seem to be the all ash:

At your weight, Turtle, maybe you could go all cedar to save even more weight.

BTW, what boat are you thinking about modifying? Not the new Colden.

There’s no need to bastardize your canoe. If you remember our discussion last week in Ray Brook, the simple way to get your hand over the gunwale and gain leverage in a solo canoe is to turn your body at an angle to the onside. This technique has been used by advanced solo canoeists for years. It is achieved by bringing the offside knee forward and a bit toward center and the onside foot a bit forward. If adopting this position however, one must also learn to return easily to a center position for crossbow maneuvers. I would much rather see anyone work improving technique rather than altering a good boat. Doing what you suggest would result in a standing heel to the onside during forward travel and thus contra efficient. Additionally it almost negates crossbow moves such as the strongest stroke for emergency offside turns, the crossbow draw. What happens if convections starts up and creates big waves? Altering a hull is no substitute for good technique.


Turtle was messing with the seat, not
the hull. Some of the seats folks suggested would permit the shift you describe. Cross stroke ability will depend on paddler size and boat width. I can snug over to my favored paddling side and still easily do all my cross strokes, but none of my solo canoes is wider than about 28 inches.

How about a trapezoidal or arced …
… front edge on a wide solo seat.

The trapezoid shape (down being the bow direction):


would allow you to sit on a straight edge in the middle of the seat, but on an angle on either side. Your leg may get pinched between the side angle and the hull, but this could be turned into an advantage. You could use it to heel the boat.

As a refinement, the front edge could be a complete arc or semicircle.

I was thinking a 3-legged barstool.
3 legged stool don’t wobble.

OK it was a silly idea
I tried sitting sideways in all my boats and my Swift Osprey was by far the most comfortable that way. I may order a Swift countouered uncut seat and install it square. At least I’m thinking out of the envelope! I’m trying to compensate for some physical limitations and still paddle as I want.


OK it was a silly idea
I tried sitting sideways in all my boats and my Swift Osprey was by far the most comfortable that way. I may order a Swift countouered uncut seat and install it square. At least I’m thinking out of the envelope! I’m trying to compensate for some physical limitations and still paddle as I want.


Conk’s Custom Contoured Canoe Seats
Check it out with Conk or Dave Curtis. Saw one in a Curtis Kestrel this past weekend.

I fully understand what
he intends. My point is that a seat slanted down to one side impedes or deters ones movement toward the uphill side. We all know that you have special ability so, please exempt yourself from my remarks.


hey Turtle
Have you tried a kneeling thwart?


Not silly, and you were smart to bring
it up. Finding ways of quickly adapting to a better position on either side is a worthwhile goal, but perhaps technically challenging.

I would like a way of adapting to solo paddling on either side of our 17’, 34.5" wide tandem. Its hull makes “Canadian” adaptations unworkable. So like you, I’ve been fooling around with ways of making quick and adaptive adjustments. Kneeling thwart? Solo seat? My feet are too big. I want a pedestal that will, almost effortlessly, shift a little to one side or the other.

Why not install a
Carriyoke. This is what Mad River used to hold the center seat in several of their canoes. The seat is at an angle & has a removable yoke with a place to store the yoke when not needed.

I recently installed Carriyoke brackets in my Mad River 17’ Explorer. The center seat I installed is a contoured cane seat.