Legs & feet got sleep!

The sore but thread got me thinking about how sometimes my feet will go to sleep while I am canoeing…I have a Bell merlin w/ the contoured seat set in the lowest position and find that after a 1/2 hour or so my feet will go to sleep in pretty much any position I put them in.I have tried kneeling but the seat is too low and requires the contortions of a cirque de soleil performer to get back out from under the seat and Gawd do my joints hurt after doing that for an hour.

So I am stuck right now with sitting my but on my seat with numb feet…any suggestions on how to alleviate this problem? or is this one of the things that goes along with the territory?

5 suggestions…

– Last Updated: Apr-27-07 6:34 PM EST –

1. Raise the seat.

2. Get a Bell kneeling pad.

3. Switch from sitting to kneeling on occasion.

4. Stop for breaks occasionally; get out & relax.

5. If none of the above works; sell that ugly, overpriced, uncomfortable, piece of junk, Bell Merlin II to me...... "real cheap".
I'll suffer for you. I love to suffer in ugly, overpriced, uncomfortable, piece of junk boats, and I don't have a Merlin II yet.

If you are actually talking about a Bell Merlin(not a Merlin II); ignore #5,I already have a Merlin.


P.S. I like those butt ugly Blackhawks too.
Got any of those barges you want to sell cheap?

Yeah I thought about raising the seat…
But I was concerned about the secondary stability

I haven’t dunked myself with it yet but I have come pretty close.

I would have no idea how to raise that seat without screwing it up.

Yes it is a merlin II in kev-lite

actually…I don’t think I could ever part with it

went from using a solo-plus (barge) to the merlin and will never touch another wenonah as long as I live.I shouldn’t smack talk wenonah the solo plus just wasn’t for me…

Blackhawks came & went before I got back into canoeing but their fish form hulls are intriguing…

I have bookmarked a gallery where someone is freestyling a blackhawk…pretty canoe.

Seat hangers?
What type of seat hangers do you have in your Merlin II?

All I said about the Merlin II was strictly “tongue in cheek”.

If I had one; I wouldn’t turn it loose either.

Beautiful canoe!

Maybe this year is the year I add one to my little fleet?


From what it looks like…
I have a contoured web seat…I just don’t see on the anchor where you could raise the seat unless I unscrewed the wooden anchors from the gunnels…Am I even going in the right direction here?

Yeah I knew you were kidding everyone seems to love the MerlinII and with Bell in transition who knows when they will be producing their hulls i’ve been reading on this board that they are having customer service issues…

Don’t know if they are shipping their hulls again or not to their dealers. I know my dealer when out of buisness in Georgia this year so I don’t know where I’m going to get my yellowstone solo.

You are on the right track.

– Last Updated: Apr-27-07 10:28 PM EST –

I just got myself a Kevlight Merlin II back in March, and before the ice was out, and a couple weeks before I ever set foot in the boat, I raised the seat to suit my preferance for kneeling.

Yes, you have to unscrew those wooden hangers from the gunwales. The you take a saw and make 'em shorter. I made my seat hangers a LOT shorter. That boat had the lowest seat I've ever seen in a canoe. I think maybe they made the seat so low so that "nobody" would want to lower it, only raise it (remember, you can't make the hangers longer). On mine, the rear of the seat is now 7/8ths of an inch below the gunwale and the front of the seat is 2 inches below. I have the "angled" aluminum gunwales, and if you have wood gunwales, you'd probably have to take the rear of the seat up to flush with the bottom of the gunwale to get the same height. Anyway, this puts the space between the floor and the bottom of the seat at 8.1 inches at the front, and 9.5 inches at the rear.

Because the seat hanger is a single piece, shaped like an arch, you end up sawing off a couple of really wide hunks of wood to get this amount of lift. You'll probably need to widen the holes that go through the hangers too, to account for the fact that the hangers in their original position don't hang straight down because the distance across the seat from hole to hole is not the same as the distance across the gunwales from hole to hole. Alternatively, you could get a new seat and put the holes where they need to be to match the hole position on the shortened hangers.

Really it's not as hard as it might sound. Just start doing it and you'll see what is needed.

Yeah, I might just buy a new seat and…
cut the hangers.How is your secondary stability with the seat being that high? I really like the idea of a higher seat height because I would rather kneel than sit.I found the Merlin II very tippy when I first got into it but I got used to it pretty quickly I can imagine with that seat height I might be taking a swim!

I’ve read that the Merlin II is not a good canoe to kneel in I have to disagree!

It is a different canoe when you are kneeling I feel more connected to the canoe and find that with my less than perfect strokes it seems to track a little easier.When I am sitting i have to

pay close attention to my tracking as it becomes wayward quite quickly.

Bell seats…

– Last Updated: Apr-28-07 12:05 AM EST –

I have two Bell solos and had the same problem. I ordered contoured seats from Piragis in Ely, Minn. Made a world of difference in mine. My legs don't go to sleep anymore. One of mine is the C25000 and the other is the C25100. I like the C25100 the best. I am almost always kneeling, or have one foot out front and one under me.


I’m still new in the boat, but …

– Last Updated: Apr-27-07 11:57 PM EST –

... I think it works just fine when kneeling. I made the seat the same height as my two other solos, got in, and started paddling. I don't think there's any issue with stability. Even though the seat is a lot higher now, it should actually be a lot more stable because most of my weight is on my knees. I can lean it pretty far over without feeling like I'm gonna flip.

remember to heel the boat
and keep your head up and your body perpendicular to the water.

Sink those rails!

This’ll sound
stupid, but I find that feeling is restored if I periodically flex my calf muscles, as well as my buttock muscles. Getting out of the boat and walking around a bit and touching my toes helps, too.


dead feet
sounds as if you have pressure on a nerve. No two people are quite alike so what works for one may not work for another.

I have a flat seat on the Merlin II; think it was a model pre fancy. Changing your position helps as well as walking around. You might consider a seat that allows you to sit as well as kneel. You can also do a traveling kneel; sit on the edge, on one knee with the other foot outstretched.

Ants in my pants…
That’s what it probably looks like with all the shifting I do in my seat to prevent myself from getting uncomfortable…and the seat I use is bell’s contoured web seat…Pinched nerve? never thought of that…

my seat is so low that kneeling is almost impossible…is my hull going to be ok if I unscrew the seat hangers from the gunnells? I assume it should be allright since someone in a previous thread ordered their magic without any seat at all.

I can’t imagine my MerlinII not retaining it’s shape along the gunnells after I take out the seat to raise it up.

Fiddling with seat
Fiddling with seat heights is done all the time.

You probably will not have to take out the thwarts.

If you are going to saw off bolts, try a little at a time. I would consider leaving the bolts long until you find the height that works for you. You can pad the ends so they dont hurt you.