Center seat for a canoe


I want to add a seat to my 18ft Grumman canoe, and am trying to figure out how to go about it. I plan on positioning it about 2/3rds of the way toward the rear(in front of the rear thwart.) I have seen a number of drop in seats advertised, and I have also considered using a set of seat hangers and a wood/web seat.

I am going to use the center seat to paddle solo with a double blade paddle.

Does anyone have experience with this sorts of mod? How did it work out? What kind of seat did you use? Would you do it the same way again?

Since no one is replying, …

– Last Updated: Sep-05-12 11:44 AM EST –

... here's what I'd do. I'd get some aluminum angle stock from the hardware store. 1" x 1" or 1.5" x 1.5" would be fine. Cut two pieces having a length slightly greater than the front-to-back dimension of the seat you will use. Bolt those pieces to the inside of the hull, so that each one forms a level "step" on which to lay the new seat (use fender washers on the outside of the hull. Also, it might be nice to place something like gasket material between the aluminum angle and the hull so you don't "flatten-out" any slight curvature that might be present in the hull at that location). Order a wooden seat from Ed's Canoe (make sure you get one that's long enough in the side-to-side dimension). Trim the ends of the seat supports to fit the available space, and bolt the seat supports to the "steps". Pretty simple.

For an 18 footer, you might almost want
to consider a rowing rig. Of course, rowing rigs are for lakes and open rivers, not tight spaces.

In the old Red Cross canoeing manual, circa 1950, they describe a seat for double blading that sits on the bottom of the boat. That seat probably shortens the needed length of a double blade. I’ll have to see if I can scan it and make it available.

drop in seats
the Old Town molded plastic seat works well on wide hulls like the Grumman. It hangs on the gunwales and is flat across the top. The seating surface runs almost from side to side, leaving just enough room for the hangers to flex to adapt to different width hulls.

The old fabric sling seats work well for kids, but not so well for adults. Its hard to get the ropes tight enough so the seat does not sag too much under the weight of an adult. The heavier you are the more it sags and presses against your hips.

The advantage to a drop in seat is adjustability. Its easy to slide fore and aft to find the best balance spot. And if you need the center room for a trip its easy to leave out of the canoe.


thank you
for the suggestions.

I had looked at using a set of hangers bolted to the underside of the gunwales. Bolting angle to the the hull is another good suggestion.

I have been looking at dropins of all stripes. The Old Town variation looks simple and practical. I have also been looking at this site;

This design has it’s appeal as well.

I have been thinking that I would like to have the seat sit fairly low in the hull to make things ultra stable. How low is too low? I am 6’2" and a bit on the heavy side(top heavy). Does anyone have an opinion on the inexpensive double paddles sold at Bass Pro Shop? What should I look for in a paddle?