Moving the seat on my canoe

I’m looking to move the bow seat on my canoe a little to the stern, just a few inches.

Will this cause any problem of stability or integrity? The reason I want to move it is because I will be using my canoe mostly for solo trips, I know about the kneeing position in the middle of the boat but I do see myself in that position for 6 or 7 hour trips.

Thank you,


You’ll need a wider seat.
I don’t know how it will effect stability.

seat options
What kind of canoe do you have?

For solo use you could add a center seat. They’re usually installed just aft of center, replacing the center thwart.

If your canoe is symmetric, you can paddle stern-first sitting “backwards” in the bow seat. Is that what you were planning? A little bit of weight at the opposite end(a jug of water is easy) will help trim the canoe level do it handles better.

One good source of seats and parts:

Moving the seat aft a bit won’t have much effect on stability. Raising or lowering it can make a big difference.

Homme made seat

– Last Updated: Mar-29-09 8:35 PM EST –

Well I will be building the seat myself out of wood, moving it maybe 6 inches forward. So I will have to live it at the same height? Will it make it more stable if I lower it or raise it?

Thank you


lower is more stable
A lower seat will make the canoe feel more stable. If you make it too low it starts getting harder to have a good stroke without banging into the side of the canoe.

It is possible to install a minicell
pedestal seat in the center of the canoe which will allow both comfortable kneeling and sitting.

Moving your existing seat may actually improve stability, because where it is originally will tend to leave your trip a bit bow-up unless you load the boat to level it.

Here’s what I did
On my Novacraft Pal I installed a slanted seat just behind the front facing rearward to paddle solo. The position works perfectly solo and the origanal front seat is usable.It wouldn’t have to be slanted.but I wanted to kneel.I mounted it so the seats actually share a mounting bolt and drop,so I only had to drill 2 extra holes.


Suggest you add
a seat in the center so you preserve the integrity of the tandem use. Place it so that when you are sitting or kneeling the boat is trimmed level. This is usually achieved by having the front edge of the seat about 4-6 inches behind center, but not knowing what hull you are using, just get in it and move to a position that levels the hull…have someone stand on shore and spot you.

will not be a problem, unless you raise the seat height. Trim is what you need to worry about - weter the boat is level in the water, or is down at one end. Your proposed modification will improve trim and may actually help stability.

The lower it is the more stable it will
make it.

It won’t hurt one bit to move it forward or backward, but the key is to keep the canoe trimmed.

Why not make it a sliding seat and then you can adjust it until you get it perfect.



to clarify
With the seat where I put it,It is app like where a kneeling thwart is put.I paddle it leaned Canadien style.and the paddle reach is fine.It’s trimmed heavyer to the (my) rear but paddles great that way.


The sliding option
I love the ideal of a sliding seat (thanks jackl).

I’ll start working on that project tomorrow. Thank you all for the great input.