Just bought an Old Town Pack

Well I’m big and forget about getting my feet under the seat and it isn’t even lowered from the manufacturers position.

Should I simply take out the seat and just kneel or maybe sit on a cushion or something?

Or buy some kind of seat/chair with a back rest?

I haven’t even gotten it into the water to see if I can actually stay upright in the thing.

Maybe just sell it for what I paid?

many possibilities
Don’t give up hope just yet. Staying upright probably won’t be a problem, once you learn not to overreact to slight twitches of the boat.

You could lower the seat (or leave it as is, for that matter) and plan to sit with your legs out in front, rather than tucking them under the seat.

You could raise the seat (if there is room to raise it) in order to kneel and fit your feet underneath.

If you were wearing shoes or sandals when you tried, try it wearing just socks. This is what I do in my somewhat confining boat. I mean just socks on your feet; you can continue wearing your clothes :slight_smile:

I don’t recommend you plan to kneel on a cushion. Only a small minority of canoeists can maintain that position for very long. If you do decide to remove the seat entirely, consider getting a proper kayak-style seat for sitting on the bottom, possibly with a back brace.

– Mark

I would install a thwart a bit forward
of center, and then I would put in a minicell kneeling pedestal behind the thwart. I did this 35 years ago in a 13’ Mad River Compatriot, and the result was a comfortable kneel, plus great control of boat stability so that I actually could paddle the boat in class 2 whitewater.

My pedestal (possibly one of the first foam pedestals in use at that time) was wide enough that I could throw my legs forward, over the thwart, and paddle sitting on calm stretches.

Lower the seat and buy a Crazy Creek
cushioned canoe seat with backrest. Tried the Sitbacker seat and it gets a might uncomfortable after a few hours, can’t recommend it.

paddled one for years…
First thing I did after my maiden voyage was to raise the seat an inch or two and move it forward about 6-8 inches. (I don’t remember for sure, but I believe I had to order an new cane seat from Piragis, because moving the original seat forward was impossible because the canoe got wider.) Doing that helps in tracking and makes strokes like pries and draws more effective. I think I also moved the thwart in front of the seat forward enough to keep plenty of room between seat and thwart.

Rig the OT Pack as a Pack
You didn’t say how big, but the OT Pack is a mess needing a little re-outfitting. The seat is so high and aft as to be counterproductive.

Lets try re-rigging as a pack canoe - sitting low, with foot pegs and a back rest and using a 240-250cm kayak paddle.

You can get an adhesive backed foam seat from Surf to Summit, and they also have several backband options.

You’ll want the rear thwart to be positioned with holes bored at ~ a 56" arc from the stern.

The front edge of the adhesive backed seat should be about 74" distance from the bow.

The S t S Performance backband straps around the rear thwart. You can locate the front adjustment anywhere from 80-85 inch arc from the bow. Send me a self addressed, postage paid envelope at Placiod boatworks, 263 Station Street, Lake Placid, NY 12946 and I’ll send you two strap grommet, which provide the ultimate pivot point. You can find 10-24 SS machine screws at the local hardware.

Footpegs - find Smart Track from Wild Sys or Keepers from Perception, which are actually the same company now; drill and through bolt so your foot in in the middle range on the throw.

Eventually, you’ll get comfortable in the pack canoe, except getting out. You need to be able to get your heels under your fanny, then grab the front thwart and pull to stand up! At that point, saw the legs off the seat you saved, Make two risers tapering from 2" front to 1" rear, screw/bolt the seat to them and install on the boat with Plexus from Jamestown Distributors.

pretty easy to make a decent boat!

Or like you suggested, sell it…
take the money and get a boat that fits. Trust me (or not) you will be more likely to paddle a comfortable canoe that suits your size than one that requires so much modification and special care to get in and out of. On top of that, by the time you alter the boat from end to end it may not be worth much.

what a good idea
I have a Pack Solo sitting in the porch attic, been there for many years since the kids outgrew it. I had it rigged for tandem, for the kids. I should rig it kayak style instead and use it for a spare. My version of course, would be: lower the seat, buy a coleman backrest for $12.99, and glue a couple of blocks on the floor for footbraces.

N. T.
Sounds good. Will try it a bit and if I don’t get to feel comfortable I will sell it. At 6’2" and 250 lbs I have my doubts about it working out.

I must have been crazy to buy it, but it was cheap.

Well I would not pass up any deal
that was to good to be true. Even Grumman or beat up livery boats are fair game with me for resale. Even the Pack has a loyal following, but it’s not a serious canoe for someone as big as you or I. They run 750.00 new

Keep it
I rigged mine out similar to the suggestions of C. Wilson. I installed a second thwart, took out the seat and use a duffers canoe chair (the wood and cane seat that sits on the floor of a tandem for a third person), no foot brace, use a 260 cm double blade from Foxworx.

I’m roughly your size and the canoe is fun to use, not tippy, easily maneuvered, moves smartly along with the double blade. I don’t use it as much as I use to since I got my Prism however.

Ah…Gee I wounder why
The two boats are worlds apart as far as performance goes.

The Prism is my dream canoe; fast, comfortable, huge load capacity, light as a feather. But, the Pack served me well until I could afford the Prism. I still use it when I fear I may smack that kevlar hull into some nasty rocks.

Thank you very much for your interest and suggestions.

Will try out a few of them before giving up.

Thanks again!