Ed's Canoe Kneeling Thwart

Anybody used one? I need a kneeling thwart sturdy enough to sit on occasionally, or at least stick a leg forward. Ed’s looks wide enough. Is it going to work for me?

By way of context, I paddle an Esquif Avalon that came stock with a sliding bow seat and kneeling thwart. The sliding bow seat is really neat, but less than ideal for soloing the canoe facing the stern (the canoe is symetrical). I like to use the kneeling thwart, but my legs need a break once in a while. The skinny little OEM kneeling thwart is rather dicey trying to support ALL my 250 lbs. I thought about adding a center seat (and I still might), but it doesn’t look like there’s enough space between the yoke and the stern seat without really cramping the rear paddling station. And I’d really like to minimize the number of holes I need to drill in the gunwales. Hence, a wider kneeling thwart seems like it might be the hot ticket to do what I want to do. But I’m open to input from the wise folks here.

Should do
Ed’s kneeling thwarts are solid. Order the drops with double holes; use 2 10-24 SS machine screws each side with nylock nuts, maybe ss washers, and all will be well.

It’s easiest to just replace the third thwart with the kneeler, running the second rail holes either in front of or behind the third thwart bores; usually aft to increase spacing to the center thwart.

Mine’s not an Ed’s…
…I made it myself. But the dimensions are close to the same. Not familiar with your boat. I have mine in a 16’ Prospector. I installed mine with the third thwart holes at the rear of the kneeler. But I’m a bit smaller than you, and I think it’s going to make a difference depending on your size and the size of the canoe. You may find putting one foot forward feels a little “stretchy” if you’re in need of limbering up. Anyway, I can sit on mine hard without hurting it at 165lbs. Really hard.

Ed’s should to fine
I have seen that skinny Avalon kneeling thwart in photos and my first thought was that someone had a bad idea attack. It appears to be supported by only a single #10 machine screw on each side. I have seen homemade kneeling thwarts hung on a slender hanger like that break before, and sometimes damage the inwale when they did so.

I have not used Ed’s kneeling thwart but I have used some which are virtually identical, 3-4 inches wide and suspended from a solid ash hanger and 2 #10 stainless steel machine screws and they are every bit as solid as an ash framed canoe seat, probably more so.

If you can lay your hands on a 3.5" wide ash plank and you have a drill press you can easily make your own angled hangers out of the excess you have to trim off the ends of the plank to fit the boat. The #10 x 24 tpi (#10 x 32 tpi work as well), #10 stainless finish washers, locknuts, and flat washers can be purchased at many hardware stores, although if you need 5" or 6" long stainless machine screws they can be hard to come by.

If you are ordering the kneeling thwart from Ed’s check and see if it comes with the hardware. If not, you might want to order this as well: http://www.edscanoe.com/stsehakit.html

The 6" long machine screws can be shortened with a hacksaw if necessary.

Ed’s stuff is always good…but the drops shown with the kneeling thwart dont look nearly long enough. I would say they’ll need an additional 2 or 3 inches in drop so you can actually rest on the thwart and have your knees touching your pad on the bottom of the boat.

Ed’s drops
may well be all you need. I’m of the opinion that kneeling thwarts should be set higher than seats. If you do feel you need longer ones, you might possibly have enough material left over after you trim the thwart. It is 35" long when you get it. As others have mentioned, with fours screws holding it, it should be strong enough to sit on.


Thanks for comments everyone. I’m gonna go for it. I’m sure I could whip up something myself, but Ed’s stuff is pretty cheap and I know he is a WAY better carpenter than me.

The Avalon is a 16 ft. Royalite boat - a flatwater design with a V-bottom and good bit of freeboard, similar to the MR Explorer. The OEM kneeling thwart was a nice touch, but it really is just a regular thwart hung down a few inches. In fact, it was uncomfortably low when new, so I’ve already raised it up a couple inches. The hangers that come with Ed’s thwart look like they are a good length for me.

Extra varnish
on Ed’s kneeling thwart will serve you well. The woodwork on Ed’s stuff is good quality, but he does skimp a bit on the varnish. And, if you cut the thing to length first and then give it another three coats, or so, you’ll seal the raw ends as well.


Walnut Kneeling Thwart
I have a new seat on it’s way from Ed’s, they make good quality stuff. If you’re interested, though, I bought a boat with a walnut kneeling thwart. It will not be used, as I prefer a seat, even though I kneel 90% of the time. If you’re interested e-mail me. Here’s a pic of it. BTW, probably was made by Ed’s, since they made components for Bell.


I wouldn’t use that thwart too much
until you get your new one installed.

A thwart suspended by only a single machine screw and a dowel spacer on each side is not only too narrow for comfort, it allows way to much flexing at the point at which the hanger and machine screw meet the under surface of the inwale.

You really do need a solid wooden truss with two machine screws running through it to resist the forward and backward rocking that your body weight subjects the thwart to, especially in any wave action.

Usually the guy’s at Esquif do a pretty decent job of designing but this time they get an “F”.

Definitely interested. Sent you an e-mail.

Kneeling thwart…
is on the way. Along with a couple seats to adjust the seating arrangement for my kids. Pam at Ed’s Canoe was super awesome to work with. I’m jazzed.

That much?
Mine are only about 3 inches to begin with. Home brewed lumber yard special.