Sliding seat for Magic

In the “Department of I Cannot Leave Well Enough Alone”, I have been doodling with my CAD program and have gone through about a half-dozen designs for a possible sliding seat for my Magic.

There have been several times when the boat’s natural weather-cocking trait made running with the wind difficult, so I thought this would be a good winter project. Idle hands and all that.

Be forewarned! I will be taking pictures and asking advice at Raystown. But for now, a couple of questions. Charlie Wilson might be the final arbitrator of this one: How much fore/aft seat movement should I aim for? (I weight 280, so a little movement should offer much trim change). Two of my designs offer from 6" to 12" of adjustment.

Has anyone fabricated a hanging slider-seat for a wood-gunwaled boat? Any suggestions?



slider in a bell
i installed a wenonah sliding seat in my rob roy. works very well. about $50.

I forgot to specify
that the brightwork is ash & mahogony. I won’t install an aluminum slider.

MUST be supported from gunwales too.


essex industries


Simple enough I would think. The bars that you wonder why they are there are there for the photo only. They would be in the way for paddling.

essex industries
The wood slider from Essex Industries looks much like the bow slider that is stock in my Swift Winisk. Hanging from the rails, it has a slight sway from side to side but otherwise we have had no problems.

I’ve never noticed any extreme weather cocking or otherwise in the Magic. It’s always been a point and go canoe for me regardless of wind speed/waves. How are you loading it?

Hanging slider and HS physics

– Last Updated: Sep-27-07 7:37 AM EST –

Curtis, now Hemlock, did a neat hanging slider, and yes, being a delta shaped hull, Magic could use a slider, but, the laminate just isn't there to support such magnifitude from the rails.

The greater the tumblehome, the greater the hinge factor, and Magic has quite a bit of inset. Multiply that times paddler weight, and we are headed for disaster. The sidewalls need more stuff, preferably carbon, to resist bending and the potential of failure.

The easy way out is an elegant wood or dymondwood framed pedestal with, say, six to eight inches of throw. After all, DY hulls are seldom trim sensitive - just DY Special, ShockWave, Magic and RobRoy.

A better solution is side pods, as per Mike Galt of Lotus, or later, Phil Sigglekow of Blackhawk. Phil's had dual tracks for height adjustment, and both offered good trim range with the pod running rail to chine to support the tumblehome. It'd probably cost $250 today, and add 4# to the hull, but who cares - the price of perfection.


The Essex Industries looks a lot like the slider in my Osprey. The rails hang on drops from the inwales.

In the Swift boats there is stainless hardware that goes under the rails and is screwed to the seat.

For that to work the rails must be parallel which might be a challenge depending on the inwale geometry.

In my Osprey the slider does work reasonably well and I do use it to trim the boat. But it sticks when I want to move it and there are no stops or detents so it tends to move back as I paddle. If that was big problem for me I’d probably try to improve the underseat hardware to eliminate the sticking and scallop the top of the rail to stop the sliding.

Made one for the bow of my Malecite
It’s varnished ash with a cane seat, the front edge is tilted slightly downward for sitting or kneeling, slides about 18”, hangs from the gunwales by wide-at-the-gunwale-end ash hangers to minimize fore/aft sway, and it’s mounted on stainless steel hardware with long stainless hanger bolts.

My wife likes it since she has several seating/kneeling options at her paddling station. After years of use, it doesn’t show much wear although the hardware must be periodically tightened to eliminate squeaks and sway. The setup is a bit heavy because of the SS hardware and the probably overbuilt ash pieces. The seat itself doesn’t slide fore/aft very well on the slotted horizontal supports since the wood pieces sit varnish on varnish and the seat must be squarely aligned to slide without binding; however, that causes the seat to stay put once located where the paddler desires.

I’ve often thought that if I had a Magic I’d install one on it, although for a solo I like Charlie’s pedestal or side pods idea. If you want to buy a set of plans in order to modify a bow slider, you might look at Martin Step’s Green Valley Boat Works design:



“Hinge Factor"
Thanks for the response Charlie.

I have already experienced “hinge factor” with my Magic - after returning from the BWCA, and having been in conditions where the loaded hull slapped the troughs soundly I noticed an obvious stress crack inside the tumblehome curve in the Kevlar fabric at the center rib. Having no CF, I added three tapered (4”, 3", 2") layers of e-glass atop the rib, bonded with epoxy. This seems to be doing the job. BTW, the stress cracks were invisible from the exterior.

The “side pods” seem interesting. I hereby extend an invite to both you and DY to stop by my (and Doc’s) site at Raystown for a brew (probably limited to Yeungling or Guinness) and describe the sustem to me. Or you are welcomt to stop by and critique my mods to the Magic.

Even though I would like to have a slider to tweak the weathercocking (which is not severe) I have had a ball with the boat this year. An absolute ball.


PS: The Magic won out over a Souris River Tranquility Solo as my new boat this year. I would never ask your opinion of the SRTS here on P-Net, but I might ply you with alcohol at Raystown to elicit a response.

I have seen that on GVBW
He does beautiful work.

His carry yoke design was the inspiration for the first of my four yokes this year (long story).


What was I thinking???
“Limited to Yeungling or Guinness…”

How could I not mention Blantons?

And Doc will have something interesting as well. Maybe Balvennie.

We will also have instant drink mixes. Have you heard Pyker’s recipe for the “Magic” toddy?