Help! I’ve been looking online for hours and hours, and have been on the phone with coleman - - - I’m looking for the T shaped support beams that are in the middle of my red 17’ coleman canoe. Any suggestions?
Build your own
Electrical conduit would be good enough as a material to use. I haven't given more than a passing glance to a Coleman canoe in decades so I don't know the details about how the hardware is shaped and fitted. I think originally, there would have been one pipe running nearly the full length of the boat, within that groove down the center of the floor. I'd have to see your boat before I could suggest exactly how to replicate the hardware with your own materials. However, if all you need is a 'T', with the top of the 'T' resting in the groove in the floor, you could use electrical conduit for the stem of the 'T', and a fat wooden dowel for the top. Just drill a hole in the side of the dowel, at a right angle, and insert one end of the conduit, and you have an instant 'T' joint that will bear weight.
If you don't mind paying more, you could use copper pipe. One advantage would be that you could connect pipes using standard fittings that are available.
Speaking of fittings, PVC pipe might be better than nothing, and with the available fittings, it's super easy to work with.
Coleman Canoe Frame
The frame used to keep the single layer polyethylene hull of the Coleman/Pelican canoes from flopping about is essential and has several weeknesses. The vertical strut you need stiffens the tubular aluminum keelson by tying it to the thwart and thus to the gunwales. The problem with a rigid strut is when the hull passes over a solid object (most commonly a riverbed rock)the weight of the canoe and its load is applied to this thin aluminum strut and the thwart. Usually leading to a failure of the keelson between the struts, but occasionally to a failure of the strut and thwart.
A better solution is found in the center-rib layup used by Wenonah for years. Those hulls have a center- rib running the length of the hull similar to the keelson tube in the Coleman,but the connection between the center-rib and the thwarts is via a telescoping spring loaded shock absorber. This allowed the hull to flex upward under impact, but kept the hull rigid during paddling.
You could accomplish the same thing by using the Wenonah struts or an automotive spring loaded tailgate or hood strut of the appropriate length.
The connection to the thwart can be easily fabricated from aluminum stock.