Poling, trim, and thwarts.

My OT Camper has a thwart between the rear seat and the center (carrying) thwart. A kneeling thwart, I suppose? It isn’t much use to me for that, as the Camper doesn’t paddle solo well anyway. I’m not anywhere near the ability that I can hop over that thwart to adjust trim. Poling from the other end restricts me from getting back far enough to lift the bow when I need to.

Is there any reason why I should not remove that extra thwart, so I can move freely between the rear seat and the center thwart?

Third thwarts
Third thwarts are usually installed to stiffen hulls, and the OT Camper, Rx lite w/ rubber rails, can use all the stiffening help it can get. That said, you could unbolt the thwart and see what happens. It can always be re-installed.

Take It Out
I pole my Explorer with no thwarts at all. My portage thwart. Clamps in and comes out quick.

Like Charlie said, worst case you can always put it back in.

Make Dust
Yes, get creative. Just for laughs, measure the distance gunwale to gunwale at several points along the boat, before you start. Write 'em down and tuck 'em away.

That carry thwart has to go. It’s in your way. Hopefully, McCrae will soon discover and post the perfect strap carry system, so you don’t need that thwart. That seat in your way? Rip that out, too. Install a seat or kneeling thwart somewhere back of the center for when you when you want to paddle. Definately use a truss hanger. Now you have a nice open area where you can walk around to adjust trim on the fly. If you find out the hull twists or wobbles, add thwart somewhere where it is not in your way. Refer back to pre-dust-making measurements as needed to keep the hull near its original shape. I assume Old Town figured out the best shape for that piece of plastic and I’d try to hold to it.


I often pole with the stern forward. I move around to adjust the trim without having to cross over a thwart.