Placid Boatworks Seat

Does anyone know how PBW fastens their wooden seat option to their canoes? Epoxy? Drywall screws? Nails? I’m considering a similar seat setup for my Bell Rob Roy. No answer at PBW today. Thanks, Joe

PB material for attaching seats
I’m just guessing, but I think they use Plexus which can be found at Jamestown Distributers. Confirm my guess with a phone call to PB before ordering the Plexus.


Thanks Dave

– Last Updated: Mar-03-10 6:11 AM EST –

I'll call PBW again tomorrow. Joe

Hung seat?
I would guess they use machine screws, finish washers, washers, and a nylock (in that order).

Thanks Kanoo
I should have specified floor mounted seats.



– Last Updated: Mar-03-10 6:40 AM EST –

use an epoxy to attach the wood to the boat. Prior to attachment they install nuts into the wood. I'm not sure what type, but I would think Tee-nuts for wood would work good. I believe they use Plexus epoxy, but I'm not sure the exact type. They cut a lot of slots across the seat rail on the bottom about 1/16" deep to give the epoxy something to hold on to. They use Dymonwood for the rails. Below is a link to the seat and modification I've made to my Rapidfire.

The seat at the end of the post is a custom unit ordered from Edscanoe. It is just a little deeper and is very comfortable. I used the existing bolts for the front and center attachments and added 2 screws for the rear.

My impression is that Plexus is not an
epoxy. If one wanted to use an epoxy, West G-flex would be the best choice, the easiest to use, and the least expensive, at about $16 for the two 4 oz bottles. Mixes 1:1, outstanding adhesion, and just enough flexibility to make cracking under stress less likely than with other epoxies.

But try Plexus. I’d like to try it myself.

I talked with PBW today and yes they use Plexus to bond the seat supports to the floor. They also use inserts in the supports and bolt the seat into the inserts. Thanks for all your responses. And chethro, that’s a great looking setup for your Rapid. Gave me some ideas for the Rob Roy.


Pb wooden seat system

– Last Updated: Mar-05-10 8:03 PM EST –

The Pb wooden seat system features wood micharta risers that are Plexused to the hull. Plexus is a methacrylic adhesive. The version Pb uses is flexible, mixes 10:1 and sets up in eight minutes at 72dg F. The micharta is a key material selection, as wood bonded to canoe bottoms invariably rots and requires replacement, whereas the micharta is inert. The risers have stainless inserts glued into their tops, so the seats can be removed for maintenance by removing four stainless machine screws.

That said, Placid sells only a handful of wooden seats annually. The three height-sized glue in carbon bucket seats are lighter, more comfortable and zero-maintenance compared to the cane option and outsell it ~ 25 to one. New this spring is a carbon slider that, in it's most advanced form, will allow vertical and tilt adjustment.

Rapidfire backband considerations
Something to be considered is how you use the backband. The most efficient paddling is done sitting upright with your back off the backband, utilizing considerable trunk rotation. It’s hard get as much rotation when leaning on a back support.

Everyone is different and of course there are many factors to consider. I’ll leave the discussion of all possible factors to consider to those who like to expound on such things, and restrict my comments to my experience with the PB molded seats.

When I use PB’s lowest glued in molded seat, I find that it angles me back against the backband. Not as efficient a paddling position, but welcome when my aging back is talking to me. The mid height seat fits on top of the low seat and this one tilts me forward off the backband- facilitating a more efficient paddling position. The highest PB seat tilts me even more forward at the expense of some tracking unless you have a very powerful stroke that’s lifting the bow as you approach hull speed. Works for Joe’s racing stroke, IMHO it is less useful for mere mortals.

What’s great with the PB molded seats is that I have a choice: low seat for when my back is tweaked a bit and the mid seat (moves me off backband) for those days when I still think I’m 40 years younger than I really am. The highest seat would be useful if I deluded myself into thinking I was a racer. I don’t suffered from those delusions so I don’t own the highest seat.

A last consideration is how “wide of beam” you are and how that “beam” does or doesn’t fit in the molded dipression on the seat top. They work fine and are comfortable for me at 6’1" and about 205 lbs. but one should personally try their personal “butt fit” if considering the molded seats.


Thanks again Dave
I was really asking about fastening a wooden seat to the floor of my Bell Rob Roy but the backband issue is relevent for the Rob Roy and any other boat for that matter. Laying back into the backband is fine for lazin’ but one has to be off the backband to efficiently put the mustard to it. I would definitely try to put a little forward cant to be able to get off of the backband on whatever seat ends up in the Rob Roy.

And of course it’s feast or famine regarding obtaining canoes and I’m feasting this early spring. I’ll soon be acquiring a previously owned Rapidfire. The first thing I’ll do is obtain a middle height seat for it.


Have both the Lowest

– Last Updated: Mar-05-10 10:13 PM EST –

height seat and the mid height seat for my Rapidfire.

The lowest height seat is permanently mounted in the boat - IMO best height for tripping.

And the mid height seat, which I use for fitness paddling, can be secured over the low seat, and then removed as needed.

I have chosen to replace the stock PBW back band with a more low profile model:

Your experiences may, and will likey, vary.


Rob Roy vs Rapidfire

Off topic from your inquiry about fixing seat to bottom, hope you find observations interesting.

I owned and liked a Rob Roy. I wasn’t looking for another canoe when I test paddled a Rapidfire. Sold my Rob Roy to a friend who always admired it to help pay for the Rapidfire.

You will find the Rob Roy faster in shallow water and the Rapidfire faster in deep water. Charlie explains that as being due to the Rob Roy having a “Delta Hull.” My limited understanding is that the rear width of the Rob Roy hull pushes water wide-faster in shallow and more drag in deep water. The Rapidfire’s narrower and more symmetrical hull pushes water down, causing more drag in shallow water, but faster in deep. It’s quite noticeable. Charlie can explain it better.

The only thing I miss about the Rob Roy is the moderate reduction in paddle drip from the decking. I just wear water proof pants in cold weather and use a sponge.

Enjoy exploring the contrast between two good and different hulls.