Homemade Canoe Problems

I hope someone can help shed light on my canoe issues!

I bought a used 15’ canoe on craigslist for $50. Since I’m a grad student, I’m very happy about it. I’ve taken it out a couple of times, and it floats, paddles very well, tracks super well, and is great in wind and current. Mostly, it’s ugly as hell but a sweet boat. Some specs:

Bottom: mostly flat, or slight shallow arc

Profile: Tumblehome

Rocker: Straight (or none)

Material: Thin wood gunwales, seems like canvas body with fiberglass on outer sides of boat, outside coated in truck bed coating, inside painted in black. The bottom feels flexible.

If you want more details, let me know!

My main problem is there are about three thwarts too many (5 total). You can definitely tell which two came with the boat. No yolk, perhaps that’s why they were put in? There wasn’t a lot of information that came with the boat. You can tell on the starboard side that the natural curve of the boat flattens unnaturally at the points two of the homemade thwarts were added. These two are fastened between the two original thwarts, and between these two new thwarts is a seat that is fastened to the bottom of the boat via two wooden crossbars and two metal bars, and you can see it go through to the outside of the canoe, where there’s was clearly a hole made and then covered over with some kind of sealing goop so it’s water tight. So, question A is will removing the new thwarts compromise the structure of the boat? Question B is will removing them compromise the homemade seat (which I don’t hate…see other questions below)?

I like the seat, since there’s a stem going down the middle of the boat, like an inside shoe keel. What I don’t like about the seat is that it’s smack dab in the middle of the boat, which makes it fine for paddling straight, but my arms are not long enough to effectively turn the boat, so it would be nicer if it was sitting back another foot or so. Also, I’d like to have others sit in it too, and without the thwarts, there would be more room.

If you want pictures, let me know! Not sure how to post pictures.

Any advice or tips? Or any information about my boat you might have?

For $50
I’d say do as you please with it. Take thwarts out & try it. Put them back in if you don’t like the change. Same thing for seats.

The easiest way for pictures is to post them somewhere the you can give public access and then post a link. Poke around here to see examples.

Enjoy but be sure to wear your PFD.

Grad Student
I’ll probably end up taking out those thwarts…but remember, this canoe has to last me through another year and half of grad school! So, $50 = $300!