Oiling webbed seats?

I’m at wit’s end. Has anyone figured out how to oil webbed canoe seats? Do I have to remove the staples and webbing? Someone please tell me there’s a better way.

I’m relatively new to these message boards. My apologies if this has come up before.

Aren’t they varnished?
Even if they are, I’d just treat the visible/accessible parts if they need it and not worry about the rest. It’s the cut ends of the rails that mostly need to be sealed anyway. Exposed endgrain is where hardwoods tend to absorb water.

Oiling has become oblsolete
these days. Even those restoring old wooden boats prefer epoxy, varnish or paint to oiling. Oiling doesn’t protect the surface from mechanical damage and poorly protects from water ingress. The only place where oiling is still used (by some people) is a paddle.

I had a boat with polyurethane on the rails (applied by a previous owner). Once water got under the finish, they mildewed from the trapped moisture and disintegrated. Never had that problem with oiled rails. I believe seats have some type of varnish, though.

spar varnish
If it is put on correctly and refreshed every few years it will not allow moisture to pass through. Urethane will get damaged by the sun and allow moisture in. Oil will work if you are willing to reoil every month.

Ryan L.

So, if he’s supposed to varnish them
instead, he’s still got the webbing in the way.

I can only hope that his webbed seats, like mine, were very well varnished when they were made. I haven’t ever had to refinish a webbed seat.

Rather than fussing with refinishing, on a seat that can probably be replaced for little money, why not look at some of the curved, shaped webbed seats as replacement?

I was just answering the objection to urethane. Yeah if you have webbed seats it sucks to refinish. In fact I agree to just buy new ones.

Not only
you have to re-oil it every few months, but also wash your pants more often. The oil gets transferred from wood to your skin and clothes for the first few weeks (know this after oiling my paddle).

Yes, urethane isn’t a proper cover. Spar varnish (marine varnish, whatever) is the way to go. And yes, it has to be repeated every 1-2 seasons depending on wear of particular part.

I wouldn’t worry about re-finishing the seat if the boat is under cover when not in use, or if I would - I would just sand lightly and varnish over the old coat, ignoring the inaccessible areas.