modifying canoe seat drops

I would like to make it easy to change my RapidFire from a canoe to a kayak. Right now, I can do it in five minutes with a screwdriver, but it’s awkward to do it on the water. I want to automate the process a little.

The boat has a cane seat hung from the inwales with one-piece drops. I have to move the seat far enough out of the way to mount the kayak seat on the floor, roughly underneath where the cane seat was. My idea (I am open to alternatives) is to hinge the back attachment of the seat, so the front of the seat can arc downward and backward. I imagine I can find a hinge that is small enough and strong enough (suggestions?). The trickier part is to find a suitable clamp/clip/wingnut for the front attachment of the seat. I want something that is strong enough to hold my bountiful 215 pounds, smooth enough and small enough that I won’t get gouged too much in the event of a quick and unplanned exit, and easy to operate in, say, ten seconds.

Can you envision what I am up to here? Any ideas?

– Mark

The obvious solution
is to replacwe the hung seat with PBW’s nesting pedestal seats - a tall one for canoeing and a low one for kayaking. Are you kneeling when single-blading?

I have not gicven this much thought, but what about hinging the rear seat member so that it rotates upward and forms the backrest for sitting?


Why not just do this

– Last Updated: Jul-15-08 9:05 AM EST –

Drill a hole through the drop bolts below the seat where the nuts go and simply slip a key pin through the hole for the seat to set on.

To change, pop the pins and the seat drops out. You could even put nuts above the seat to hold the seat drops in place when the seat is removed.

kneeling, yes
Unless Placid has yet another seat, the hung cane seat is still much higher than their tallest bottom-mounted seat.

– Mark

considering this
I have thought about this possibility. It would do the job, but I think I would need a very small bit and a powerful drill to put a hole in the bolt without compromising its strength. Never tried it. Am I being too cautious?

– Mark

What size bolt??

– Last Updated: Jul-15-08 1:39 PM EST –

I re-drilled and put 1/4" bolts in my boat. Considering a low grade (grade 2) has a breaking strength of over 1 ton. You are compromising the strength. If you compromise by 50% it will still hold..

You are in pretty much pure tension. No shear load. Besides.. if it does break.. then you have your kayak mode until you get a new bolt...

A drill press makes it much easier. You could always replace the threaded rod with solid rod, just Heat the top with a torch and pound a flare end with a hammer so it holds when you drop it through the hole.
You could put small screws in the spacer to hold the rod when the seat drops out so the spacers don't fall.

Not knowing this boat and with only…
a vague idea of what you are up to, I won’t hesitate to offer a solution.

Seat drops are often dowels. What if the seat drops were telescoping tubes? Replace the dowel with tubes, one affixed to the …um, does this boat have gunwales? well, whatever it attaches to at the top. A telescoping tube could be affixed to the seat. Drill holes in the tubes to accept a pin, locking the seat in place. Pull the pin, drop the seat to a lower position, where a second set of holes would accept the pin again.

I don’t think it would work too well in my boats because on the bottom of the hull, the seat is too wide to fit all the way down on the hull. Then again, you want to be sitting on the hull, so maybe this wouldn’t meet your objective even if it worked.