Super Nova: Moving a Seat

Recently we asked advice on the correct choice for our next canoe purchase. Thanks for the input, we purchased a 2003 Nova Craft ‘Super Nova’. We are considering moving the seat a bit forward and was wondering in anyone has done this with a Super N or has any tips for this process. I feel capable in doing the work, just thought any extra advice would go a long way.


There’s not much to say about it

– Last Updated: Jul-29-10 7:46 PM EST –

The usual advice is to move the seat forward so that the rear bar of the seat is mounted in the same location at where the front seat bar was originally. I moved mine "almost that far" the first time I moved it forward, but last year I moved it the last two or three inches so the seat is one front-to-back seat-width forward of original, and am happier with that position. I installed a new seat, and trimmed the frame to match the wider gunwale width of the more-forward location, but there's one p-netter (sloopsailer) who used the same seat in spite of having a few inches of extra width at the new location. However, the dowel joints to the gunwales and seat frame will be pretty catywompus if you do it that way unless you angle-trim the hanger dowels at both ends to match the non-right-angle fit that you've created, and the bolt holes through the gunwales might need to be elongated into slots to allow the resulting angle of the bolt that passes through. Starting from scratch with a new seat would be easier than doing all that, and would be much neater looking than if you don't.

Did you Modify a Super N?
If not, I think your advice would work with any boat. The Super N we have has aluminum seat brackets that are riveted through the gunnels, not bolted from the top down. I thought of trying to reuse those brackets with a new seat (for the reasons you provided), but was unsure if the top of the brackets; that are inside the gunnel; were just flat or had a 90d bend to bolt through (top to bottom). I sent an inquiry to Nova Craft regarding the seat bracket design, but haven’t heard back yet. But either way, I don’t think I’d move the seat to far, I don’t want my weight to be too far forward when I kneel.

Yes, it was a Supernova

– Last Updated: Jul-29-10 9:24 PM EST –

The subject of moving the Supernova seat has come up several times here, because the factory seat location is pretty far back, unless you habitually paddle with a single big gear pack in front of you (which actually is a halfway-decent idea when doing trips). Too bad my advice isn't suitable to your particular seat bracket.

As far as moving the seat "too far", the distance I suggested has been recommended by a number of people here, and it should result in the seat STILL being a reasonable amount behind center.

Not sure what to do about those seat hangers that you have, though. One option might be to simply cut them off (leave the connected part inside the gunwales) and hang the seat on wood drops. That assumes that there's enough inboard width of the gunwales for such an arrangement. I hope Nova Craft gives you a better answer (and I hope they are better at answering inquiries than some other canoe-makers I could name).

By the way, I would be pretty sure that you could just drill out the rivets that clearly go through that aluminum plate, as well as enough rivets forward of the plate to allow you to slide it forward to a new position. It shouldn't matter if the aluminum plate wraps over the top of the hull or not. Then, carefully drill into the existing gunwale holes to create new holes in the aluminum plate, and install pop rivets. Maybe I'm missing something, but I can't imagine there are any connections inside the gunwales that you can't see. Somebody else here will probably know.

The Gunnels
Yes, they do wrap completely around the hull, they more or less “box” or “cap” the hull with very little ‘looking’ room - I’ve tried to look under it. I don’t mind using drop down supports, it looks like their new models have the seats installed that way. Although I would like to reuse the existing brackets. We’ll see what Nova Craft and others have to say.

I’d take and post some pics

A number of folks here have moved Supernova seats, but to my memory, none have had the kind of gunnels and brackets you are describing. When I bought my Super used from c2g here, the seat was already moved on hole position forward, just as guideboatboy describes. The seat position worked out very well like that.

Got a camera handy?