Replacing OT-169 molded seats with webbed cane seats help.

I have a 1990 Old Town 169 that I want to remove the molded seats and install a webbed seat.
OT sells a bracket, BUT the bracket does not eliminate the problem that the molded seats create…and that is not allowing the paddler to move their
hip/body to the side next to the gunnel. The molded seat causes you to slide back to the center, and the new brackets they sell blocks you from the getting close to the
gunnel. HELP! Wondering what the solution is and how some of you who may have changed this set up.
Thanks for any help.

Without a photo, I’m speculating on this suggestion. I am assuming the molded set is hung from the gunnels with machine screws

Remove the molded seat. Obtain webbed seat with the proper spacing to fit the center to center spacing of the gunwale machine screw holes . Ed’s Canoe can help you with this. You shouldn’t need the OT bracket, I think.

Cut seat length to fit between the gunnels, drill holes for the machine screws. You’ll probably need different length machine screws for the new seat.

Lastly, seal cut ends and holes (pipe cleaner/ quip) with 3 coats of spar urethane to prevent rot.

You’ll also need spacers to place between the gunwale and seat top to have the seat suspended to what ever height you want. These are commonly wood dowels with a hole drilled in them to allow the machine screw to pass through.

Determine how high off the bottom of the canoe you want the lower seat edge to be to determine the spacer length. Either purchase long spacers from Ed that you can cut down to proper length, or if you know precisely what you want have Ed cut them to your specified length.

I installed wood-framed seats in an Old Town Discovery/Allagash/Penobscot 174 that had the polyethylene seats. I’m pretty sure I used the holes in the gunwales for the original seats and got the seats from Ed’s Canoe. Ed sells seats that have a couple of different center to center frame spacing.

Waterbearer has covered the basics but just to mention a couple of fine points. You do have a bit of wiggle room when it comes to the seat frame spacing. You can cheat off-center about 1/4-3/8" when you drill the holes, so you could adjust the overall spacing by about 1/2-3/4" or so.

This has probably already occurred to you but it bears mentioning: when you measure the existing gunwale holes for frame spacing, you don’t just measure hole-to-hole in a straight line along the gunwale. This is especially important for the stern seat where there is a lot of inward/outward curvature of the sheer line. The distance between the holes will wind up being considerably greater than the seat frame spacing you want because it represents the hypotenuse of a right triangle.

Lay a straightedge across the gunwales from side to side of the canoe with one edge of the straight edge aligned with the center of the pair of gunwale holes that is farthest from the stem of the boat. Tape it in place and then take a right angle like a carpenter’s angle or T-square to measure the distance from that edge of the straightedge to the center of the other hole. That distance will be the seat frame spacing that you require.

If there are any questions regarding what will fit, just call and speak to Ed or his wife. I have done so a number of times and they have been very helpful. If you plan to use the one-piece truss seat hangers that Ed sells, make sure that the hole spacing on those will work with your existing gunwale holes. You can enlarge those drilled holes a bit to fudge-fit your new seats, if need be.

All told including seats, hangers, hardware and finish for the cut ends of your seat frames and the holes you drill in them, you are looking at at least $100 and probably more to install the new seats.