Sliding Bucket for Vagabond?

Has anyone replaced a Vagabond’s web (or cane) seat with a sliding tractor seat? Is this possible? Wenonah offers this as a low-cost option for new canoes.

you can’t
modify a Curtis boat, it’s a sin


Here’s an idea you can play with.
Take out the hung seat, and put in a minicell pedestal that has a contoured butt seat for sitting with legs out, and (with a modest shift forward) a kneeling portion, with suitable knee cups on the bottom of the hull. If the pedestal is designed and placed right, you will have a bit of bow-up trim when kneeling, OK if you are doing easy whitewater, and when you sit with your legs out, the bow should drop so you are running almost level. For sitting, you want to have some knee pads on the sides, under the gunwales, and some foot blocks toward the bow. For kneeling, you can use a thigh strap if you want, but I find it unnecessary. The pedestal is held down by a single thwart at its back edge, and you can glue it in place or use d-rings to hold it to the bottom.

I made such a pedestal back in the early 70s, using it in a 13’ Mad River Compatriot, and it worked very well for kneeling, but I did not have the smarts to use a thwart at the back edge of the pedestal. Instead, I used one across my thighs. This made throwing my legs forward for sitting rather difficult.

Years later, I bought a Mad River Guide that was already outfitted exactly as I have described. The pedestal had been purchased from Mohawk, had a broad sitting spot at the back end, was carved on the sides to support the knees, and had an aggressive thigh strap at the front. I took out the thigh strap because it just is not needed in a boat unlikely to see use above class 1-2. The previous owner had put in knee cups, knee pads at the sides, and foot blocks. The whole pedestal is glued in, and held from above by a thwart at the rear edge. The way the sides of the pedestal are carved, and the knee cups are placed, one gets plenty of thigh support.

Something I also did on my '73 Mad River Compatriot was to extend the front of the pedestal forward to provide wings for portaging, with a space in between for my head, which I usually bring along.

So you see, you can do a lot with a pedestal. You even get some added flotation, and the support from thwart to the bottom of the boat stiffens the hull significantly.

Thank you. I’ll need to
research this some and try to digest it. But the unfortunate fact remains that, except for brief intervals as a when-all-else-fails tactic, kneeling just isn’t something I can manage any more.

Sorry, I must not have been paying

– Last Updated: Dec-12-08 9:32 AM EST –

attention on that point. Got your email. I think I have been confusing this thread and the one on a canoe footbrace. The originator of that thread is a 99%+ kneeler.

You could ask Wenonah to make sure the don’t put any extra fabric under the sliding seat, but there shouldn’t be any particular reason why you couldn’t put one in. Wenonah will sell you one, and they are easy to install.

Ed’s Canoe
Take a look at the cane bucket seat offered by

I have converted all my seats to the cane bucket whether I sit or kneel. Placing about 1/2" cant on the seat makes it so comfy for sitting and still allows for very comfortable kneeling. These are the same seats used by Placid Boat Works. The good news is they are unbelievably inexpensive especially compared to the Mad River crap.