Staying dry sitting in canoe bottom

Hello, all. Looking for creative, cheap ideas for keeping dry while sitting in the bottom of a [tandem] canoe, sometimes holding my 3-year old on my lap (he’d also enjoy canoeing – a new activity for him – more if his little rear didn’t get wet). Cheap inflatable cushion is one thing I thought of. More ambitious is a short “camp” chair. Any other ideas? Thanks!

Maybe a bean bag chair?
That’s one of the options that’s been suggested to me for sitting on the bottom of the canoe.

When taking our collie and or golden retriever out paddling we usually use an old cheap closed cell foam sleeping pad on the canoe bottom to keep them out of the bilge water and give them some traction. I use the same pad sometimes to put over a seat when kneeling and also use it to sit on for lunch breaks on sandbars. Maybe you could find an old icechest lid to rap a sleeping pad around.

Check out Ed’s canoe accessaries:

Know anyone with an old wooden chair you could cut the legs off of?

How about an unused pfd? (That is only of course if you have an extra one, beyond the ones your family are wearing!) I’ve got a couple of extras that are Canadian made (came with a used canoe) and thus apparently not legal here in the States, so I use them as seat pads sometimes.

Good luck and have fun. We started our youngsters paddling early and they are still at it years later.

A crazy creek
type chair, especially one with a foam pad in the bottom works well.

Another item that I have used is called roll vent. It is actually a residential roofing product designed to be used as a roof vent at the peak of the house roof. The material is actually an expanded plastic mesh, sort of like a scrubby pad on steroids. The mesh is generally wrapped in a non-woven polyester fabric. It generally comes in rolls about 11 inches wide by 30 feet long. It is very light weit and does not absorb water. It is rigid enough to sit or step on without damage. It is available from some of the big box stores or from any roofing supply house. It is a very popular product. If you time things right at a supply house you may catch a roofer there who will sell you a few feet off his roll.

Marc Ornstein

Dogpaddle Canoe Works

Custom Canoe Paddles and Cedar Strip Canoes

Turn the kid loose, and sit where you
want. Our kids both started, in easy whitewater, when they were under two years old. They climbed all around inside the boat, but if they got tired, we had foam pedestal seat extensions where they could sit in front of us.

little inlatable boat
We put one of those two man inflatible boats in the bottom of the canoe and blew it up. Worked great.

a regular boat seat
I use a regular boat seat designed for a bass boat. It normally would mount on the pedastal. I glued a little foam on the bottom that is normally used for underneath a carpet installation. $20 to $30 dollars total cost.

I can toss it in the bottom and get a comfy ride 2.5 inches off the floor, dry too. You can also use the seat on top of regular cane or web seats.

I like the …
… Bean Bag idea Yanoer said !!! … but I thought I’d suggest something also , so my suggestion is self stick Velcro added to any type of chair you might use (would help keep it from moving around) … the Bean Bag would probably be a reasonable floating thing for awhile in a pinch …

minicell seat
I was thinking about making a minicell block that our 19 month old could use as a seat. He has taken to wanting to sit in front of his mother (who usually has the food), but then he can’t see over the edge and gets cranky.

Staying Dry
I purchased a seat for the center area of my canoe from Bell Canoe Works a few years back. It is called a Duffer Seat and is made of oak I think and it has cane webbing. It has never been used so I don’t know how durable the cane seat will be. If you can’t find it I would be open to selling mine.


Thanks for the suggestions!
Since the goal here is to go “creative” (read: cheap), I’m gonna try either the flotation cushion, the short “sand chair,” or the closed-cell foam pad. The self-sticking velcro pad idea, if the seal will keep in a wet canoe bottom, is a good idea, too. Another idea I thought of for a toddler is to let him sit in his kitchen ‘booster’ seat in the bottom of the canoe; it already has rubber pads on the bottom to keep it from sliding around.

Have a great paddling weekend!

Whatever you do …
… “DO NOT” ever seat belt or strap or tie the child to anything … I’m sure you knew that but had to mention it …