Sandpiper seats and paint?

Just got a used royalex wenonah sandpiper. I weigh only 140 and a canoeing companion weighs 100, so i’m planning to install a second seat for her. I’m thinking of putting her seat just a little bit in front of my solo seat.

any suggestions what second seat to buy? I really don’t want to drill holes into royalex. silicone seal (yeah the bathtub stuff) is quite strong and durable if you get enough square inches of it.

also anything i can do to shine up hull or remove scratches on this ten year old green canoe (without big expense)? Thanks

Not sure that’s a good plan

– Last Updated: Jun-02-13 11:15 PM EST –

If you put the second seat in front of the existing solo seat, especially if it's far enough ahead to allow you to make a decent forward reach when paddling, the boat will be bow-heavy. To make this work, I expect you'll have to move the center seat back, or leave the center seat alone and install TWO additional seats. Still, a boat that's likely to be just 13 feet long overall and barely more than 12 feet long at the waterline is probably a bit cramped and overloaded as a tandem, though less overloaded with two lightweights like you than would be the case with two average-weight people (yeah, the catalog would say it's 13.5 feet, but a Royalex Vagabond is half a foot shorter than specified so I'd expect roughly the same "shrinkage factor" for a Royalex Sandpiper, and my estimated waterline length takes into account Wenonah's highly swept stems).

If you do this, I'd not hold much hope for silicon sealant as an adhesive, but others here will have advice about that. The stock seat probably rests on sheet-metal hangers, and similar ones can be fashioned, stuffed up alongside the hull into the rails and riveted (make slots at existing rivet locations and install more, or drill the old rivets out and re-rivet through the old holes, adding additional ones if necessary). The usual way for hanging a seat would be on wood dowels, bolted end-wise through the rails, but I can't recall if Wenonah rails have enough interior width to allow that. Others here will know. This could end up being the first Tandem Sandpiper ever made.

I don’t like the idea at all
The bow paddler will have virtually no legroom and an impossibly narrow station. The chief reason boats capsize is ejection of the bow paddler. Not many people are skilled enough at balance to keep their heads within the gunwales far forward in a solo…Also there is insufficient flat floor space…forcing knees together and hence loss of a stable tripod system.

The Sandpiper was designed for smaller paddlers. At 240 lbs total burden tandem, you would get better performance from paddling a log. It would fit either one of you just fine.

Before committing to this scheme… find a rough day and both of you try to paddle the boat tandem using temporary seating. I recommend the rough day because sooner or later bad weather will take you by surprise (it does everyone) and then you will find out how stable you really are.

But do pick a friendly place on that rough day, like a beach.

Narrow boat station

– Last Updated: Jun-02-13 11:43 PM EST –

Edit - I meant to say "Narrow Bow Station"

That's a good point Kim. Considering Wenonah's diamond profile (as seen from above), with the widest point being at right AT the center, with a straight-line taper from that point to each end, any place that's any distance from center will be much narrower than the seat locations in any normal canoe. The same will be true for a new stern-paddler's seat (though more for the seat position itself than for legs or knees).

Seat placement…
The Sandpiper was designed as a solo; it was never intended to be used as a tandem, and no seat placement is going to turn it into a tandem.

You can paddle it as a tandem, but I fear you will soon learn to regret that decision; as will the person acting as your tandem partner.

Any expense or effort towards making it a tandem will be wasted money and time.


Two points:
My daughter has a 13 foot Wenonah Sandpiper that I love to paddle.

  1. It is way to small for a second person or a second seat.
  2. Silicon sealant is useless stuff. Don’t ever use it on a canoe or kayak!

    Jack L

Thanks much folks
I had thought $500 for a 38 lb brand name royalex canoe was a good idea. I can heft 38 lbs by myself.

Maybe I need to look for a used 15 foot royalex or an even lighter material that’s already set up with two seats.

Appreciate all the advice.

Jim in DC

PS Good thing folks warned me off the silicon seal. I guess maybe there’s too much vibration and movement in a boat for silicone seal to stick long term.

Comment about boat weight
I’m a big proponent of “lighter is better”. Especially if your storage facility and your roof-rack are not set up for easy boat handling, a lighter boat will get you on the water more often than a heavy one. Still, it’s worth pointing out that if you are new to canoeing, you might be surprised how much boat you can lift. I’m very slender and not particularly strong, and for me, a canoe that weighs 65 pounds is well below my limit, but it’s certainly near the top of my level of comfort and convenience (part of that might be that it’s almost never that I need to carry a canoe that weighs more than that). At your weight, a canoe that weighs 55 pounds would be the same percentage of your body weight as a 65-pound boat is for me. It might pay to look for an opportunity to heft a few boats to see what it’s like. Once you get the boat on your shoulders, the hard part is done, and from that position you can lean it up onto one of your roof-rack cross bars, or a special loading bar, and you are home free (it helps so much to have a rack system that eliminates any need for overhead lifting). Many canoeing books have descriptions about how to get such an ungainly thing as a canoe up onto your shoulders easily, and there are videos online too.

No matter what, you’ll still appreciate a light boat, but one that’s kind of heavy needn’t be the end of the world.

I love my sandpiper…
Keep the sandpiper for yourself, and buy another small solo for your 100lb paddling friend. Then you can go by yourself or go together. Just be sure to get one sized properly for your friend. It’s almost as easy to load two boats on a vehicle as one.

$500 seems high for a 10 year old Sandpiper. I didn’t pay much more than that when I bought mine new in 2001.

Every time I get in my daughters
Sandpiper, it makes me want to get rid of my 18 foot J-200 which I only use a couple of times a year and get a Sandpiper.

Another one that I lust for is my Old 13 foot Blackhawk which I stupidly sold about five or six years ago.

Jack L

Jack— Question may be which
silicone sealant. Back in about 1998 I used a Dow white silicone sealant for some ww pedestal add-ons where contact cement was not feasible.

That sealant has held up all these years, even though my butt is resting on the joint, and the sealant is still somewhat flexible.

SO you ain’t wrong, but you ain’t right either, which we suspected already.