how to ~ DIY bow seat lacing on canoe

hello there paddling community,

i am searching for some plans/mathematics of how to re-lace, with leather, an already drilled wooden bow seat…specifically the bow seat…17 holes across & 7 holes down…on a beautiful old cedarwood canoe…

please advise…


One idea

– Last Updated: Jul-30-12 10:24 PM EST –

Look at diagrams for how to lace traditional snowshoes. It's probably a lot easier to find instructions for snowshoes than for canoe seats, but all the "leather"-woven (rawhide?) canoe seats I've seen had a weave pattern exactly like that of snowshoes.

I just looked at the seat that came with my Novacraft canoe, which is laced with string, but with the same basic pattern as that of rawhide snowshoes. Though the basic pattern is easy, it looks like it might be tricky to figure out on your own exactly how to make ALL the "turns". If I were doing this on my own, I'd do a practice run (or as many practice runs as it might take) using string, as undoing string and starting over would be a lot easier than with rawhide. I'd take notes along the way, so once I got it right, I'd be able to exactly duplicate the final pattern with rawhide.

Oh by the way... You say this is for the bow seat. Does that mean the stern seat is in good shape, and if it is, is there some reason you can't use that as a guide?

great idea
a practice run with string or twine is a great idea before lacing the rawhide, thanks for the thought!

but the problem i’m having is that all the lacing techniques i find on the internet are for a square pattern for the back canoe seat, about 10 x 10 inches…i’m not able to find a lacing pattern for the front seat which is 9 x 15 with 17 holes across & 7 holes down…

any suggestions?


Try asking on I think someone there could help…those wooden canoe folks are very knowledgable about stuff like this.

good site!
great resource, thanks!