Put a middle seat in a Reflection 15?

I’m selling my Mad River Adventure 16 and getting a Reflection 15…mostly due to weight. I was wondering, is it possible to replace the carrying yoke with a web seat, like the bow and stern seats?

I ask because I sometimes canoe with my 13 year old daughter and she would like to bring a friend along once and awhile. Are there any negative affects to the balance or structural safety of that particular canoe if I install a middle seat? Can it even be done?

I’m not too worried about not having a yoke, since I really never have to portage that much.



– Last Updated: Jan-11-13 8:30 PM EST –

But you should probably add a thwart between the center seat and bow seat. It would be best to suspend the seat from the gunwales on hangers. A suspended seat will not add as much rigidity to the boat as a yoke mounted directly to the gunwales will.

You also need to decide where to mount the seat. If your daughter and her friend are much lighter than you, you might use the existing gunwale holes from where the yoke is mounted for the front cross piece of your center seat frame. This will put the center passenger's center of mass forward of center in the boat which might be what you want for trim. If you wanted to use the center seat to paddle the boat solo, you would want to put the front of the center seat several inches (4-5" if kneeling, less if sitting) to keep the boat in trim.

Dagger originally made the Reflection 15. They offered a center seat as an option to allow the boat to be paddled solo. This is a link to an archived Dagger catalog: http://dagger.com/assets/images/uploads/files/DG96.pdf

If you go to page 11 you will see a photo of a Reflection 15 with a center seat. Note that the seat is canted (front of seat lower than back) to facilitate using it for kneeling. You can also see the thwart between the center seat and the bow seat.

If you want to use the center seat to paddle the boat sitting you probably want the seat level and a little farther forward. If it is just going to be used to carry a light passenger, you might mount it as I originally suggested. Mount the bow thwart far enough forward to allow leg room for the center passenger if sitting.

You can get reasonably priced canoe seats and thwarts from Essex Industries and Ed's Canoe.

Factory set up
If you can wait a week, I can probably get you measurements from a Reflection that was set up by Dagger with three seats. A woman in my canoe club has one. Dagger may not have perfected the set up, but if you follow their set up, you probably won’t go hideously wrong.

Personally, I think I’d add the thwart behind the center seat so it would be less in the way. However, I am not a canoe designer.


Good Boat

– Last Updated: Jan-11-13 10:26 PM EST –

My friend and I both had the Dagger version, which is the same boat Mad River makes. I took tandem seats and set mine up as solo, and had my yoke detachable. A friend had one and set his up with 3 seats. Here's a few pics that might help. WW

Have one

– Last Updated: Jan-12-13 6:47 AM EST –

stock 3 seat set up. No thwart in center, seat instead. I removed the forward thwart as well, as i pole this boat backwards, and haven't noticed any flexing of the hull as a result.Heaviest royalex ever.
As long as the girls are light, stability shouldn't be an issue. I put my dad and me at 210 apiece, as well as my son who was around 100 pounds at the time, in the boat and it was like paddling a bobber. Amazed we didn't flip.
pix here/Aarons poler...a bit over 100 pounds haha.
Short portages aren't so bad. I use the angled center seat as a yoke.
I'll get you measurements if you need....just have to clear the snow off the hull and flip her over ;-)

For all the advice and photos. I really appreciate it.