Need some advice.Just bought a solo canoe.When I go to a kneeling position for whitewater the seat is still supporting part of my weight, increasing instability. If I move forward so that I’m ahead of the seat, I loose my trim. I have only paddled tandem boats in the past and you can knell in in front of the bow seat(when paddling the boat backwards)and still be centered in the boat. I like to knell very low,actually sitting on the back of my legs to increase stability. Would moving the seat back 4 or so inches make that much difference? Any help is appreciated.

Do you want to sit at all?
Most whitewater paddlers want something supporting their butt even if it is quite low. If you don’t, then moving the seat back 4 inches will likely get it out of the way but may result in the boat being quite bow light when you are sitting.

In a longish boat say 13’ or more, that might not make much difference, or you may be able to adjust the trim with some gear. A lot of people don’t like seats in whitewater boats because the kneeling position requires your feet to go under the seat creating an entrapment hazard.

If you plan on paddling much whitewater in this boat and don’t care about sitting, I would consider losing the seat an installing a minicell pedestal. This can be made as low as you would like, allowing you to sit on your heels if you wish, and doesn’t require you to put your feet under a seat.

If you want to be able to sit now and again, you could consider a minicell pedestal “backed up” by a wooden thwart wide enough to sit on. I have done that in a couple of boats and it makes a reasonable compromise allowing one to stretch their legs periodically on the flatwater stretches.

Another option would be to install a sliding seat amidships so that you could slide the seat back out of your way when you kneel.

Thanks for your advice. I think a sliding seat might be my answer. My typical trip is miles of mostly flatwater, then running the fallsline rapids and I really don’t like wedging my feet under the seat, just need it out of my way for short stretches. My boat is a Mohawk Odyssey14. Any ideas on a good easy install slider?

Essex Industries has a kit
As you can see, this requires 2 cross members for support that go athwart the canoe in front of and behind the seat:

You may be able to make something on your own along the same lines using just one cross member behind the seat at its extreme limit of travel and mount the front of the slider rails to the gunwales as is shown here:

I had a Mad River Traveler with a sliding seat mounted amidships that relied on 4 long stainless steel machine screws and dowel spacers to suspend both of the slider rails from the gunwales such that there were no cross members. The slide rails had a central channel routed out through which machine screws passed from the seat frame and were secured with wing nuts. It worked reasonably well, but the lack of cross members allowed for a bit of flexibility.

Canoe Saddle

– Last Updated: May-10-11 8:43 PM EST –

Perhaps this fits your application

Easy to custom fit with rough sandpaper
or a Surform® tool

I’d think twice about using a lowered…
seat in WW. Saddles exist basically as a safety feature to mitigate the possibility of foot entrapment during a broach or otherwise. In big gnarly WW seats are a danger.