I have a Merlin II which I usually solo but occasionally I’ll take my two kids along. What could I use for a saddle and/or seat in both the bow and stern for the little ones when they come along? I don’t want to install anything permanent. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Small folding beach chairs
kids beach chairs. The low folding ones. They won’t be fastened in, but they should fit.
possibly . . .
A waterproof cushion from someplace like BoatUS? My main criteria are that they need to be waterproof, comfortable, and they need to get the kids a couple of inches off the floor so they won’t be sitting in water.
Look at the Sportspal canoe seats
Sportspal/Radison makes eathafoam floor seats that sit anywhere in the canoe for 44.95 they are also flotation if needed in case of a mishap. See them in "popular options" at http://www.castlecraft.com/sportspal_double-end.htm
You could make them from minicell yourself but I don't think you could make them any cheaper than the Sportspal seats. I think they would fit the bill nicely.
I used this sling seat for my 7 year old daughter on a 4 day trip on the Allagash. It worked great.
How about a cut-off 5 gallon bucket? Cut it down to the height you want and flip it over.
How about a beanbag chair?
They would be very comfortable.
I use a cut off milk crate
All milk crates are not equal. The ones that they sell in wally world are junk. I’ve had one give out (collapse sideways) early in a long trip. I was sitting on it with my boys in the seats of a tandem. That was an uncomfortable trip.
Try to get a good one that was actually used commercially to handle milk. The ones with horizontal lines that can be cut along (rather than honey-combed) are best. I then attached a closed-cell gardening kneeling pad from Lowes to provide a water-proof cushion.