newly acquired canoe - refurb ideas

Hi folks,

I am new here. I just acquired and old Mohawk canoe from a buddy. It currently only has 1 seat and it looks to be dry rotted.

  1. Has anyone build their own seats for a canoe? I was thinking of getting some of those flip-down padded seats that can be strapped to the existing seat; would it be appropriate to simply install a piece of 2x10 or something like that to strap it to?

  2. What sort of paint would you recommend I use on the canoe?

  3. Any other cool refurbishment tips or ideas?



You might want to tell us which Mohawk
we’re talking about. Fiberglass or Royalex? Gunwales are aluminum, or vinyl plastic, or (less likely) wood?

We can tell you sources where you can order replacement seats for cheap.

Mohawk canoe
Yes, I guess that would be helpful information.

It is a 16’ fiberglass Mohawk. It looks to be fairly old but still in pretty good shape.

Also, the gunwales are aluminum.

Also, I just learned a new word. Gunwale.

Cheap rep seats - where can I find them?
Hi. I just came across this forum. I also just recently bought an old Mohawk canoe 18 ft. Fiberglass with aluminum Gunwales (I also just learned that word). Could someone please tell me where to find replacement seats?

Also for the OP, I just finished painting mine. I went to lowes and got bottom side marine paint. It says fiberglass on the can. Here’s a link to the Mohawk painting instructions.

One such place is Ed’s

Another is Essex Industries

– Last Updated: Jul-22-12 9:45 PM EST –

Sure, you can make your own canoe seats. But by the time you buy some decent ash (or other hardwood), dowels (for joints), wood glue, webbing and fasteners, or cane you won't save any money at all. Don't forget to add in the cost of some varnish, or polyurethane to finish the wood.

Unless of course, you just want to mount a solid 4 inch wide thwart and sit on that, which might come out a little cheaper, but be a lot less comfortable.

making seats vs. buying
I have begun making seats. I made the frame for the first and just need to add the webbing. All it cost me was $10 for a 1"x2"x10’ piece of red oak, $1 for an oak dowel, and $18 for 30’ of nylon webbing. I already had the wood glue, stain, and polyurethane so no cost there.

I should be able to get 2 seats out of the piece of oak. I think that would be a pretty good savings over buying them. Also, I just kinda like doing that sort of thing.

Thanks for the links. Since I’m new to this, I have a question. The seats that came in the canoe are aluminum, most of the replacement seats seem to be wood… can I replace the aluminum seats with wood seat? If so, how would I mount them. Thanks!

mine has aluminum as well
Mine came with 1 aluminum seat and there was nothing where the front seat would have been. It will be easy to remove the old aluminum seat. I will use the existing brackets for the aluminum seat to connect my new wood seats.

In the front where there are no existing brackets, I am simply using 3" “L” brackets from Lowes to hang the seat. It seems like it should work out fine (but has not been tested yet).