The squeaky seats

My Nova Craft Super Nova and Mad River ME both squeak!

Both have wooden seats and are dropped and angled for kneeling. Whenever entering or exiting and when shifting position or even just paddling I get squeaks. Anyone else have this? Are my bolts loose? Is there anyway to eliminate this if the bolts are tight and I am not rubbing against the hull (which I am fairly certain I am not)? I know I am a big guy 275lbs and 6’4" am I destined to sound like an old rocking chair?

One Idea

– Last Updated: Oct-10-12 1:57 PM EST –

Check to see that connections are tight, but don't over-tighten them, as that can dent vinyl gunwales. If that isn't the problem, try taking the seat hangers apart and gooping all contact surfaces with some sort of anti-squeak material. Yes, I'm serious. On my rowboats, the seat-frame ends simply rest on wood rails, and are secured against forward-backward movement with ropes. This doesn't totally eliminate movement of the seat, and the boats flex a bit too which also causes slight motion at the seat-support points, and sometimes that leads to squeaks. If I rub the squeaky contact surfaces with paraffin, there's nary a squeak for the rest of the summer. There might be better materials to try than paraffin too.

Seat hangers.
The seats on my Old Town Camper squeaked a lot. The seats on my Nova Craft Prospector squeak some too. Doesn’t seem to make a difference whether the seats are caned or webbed with cord. Both boats came with similar seat hangers. The OT has drilled dowels and the NC uses drilled rectangular sticks.

My MR Malecite does not squeak at all, and neither does the Penobscot that I made new seats and hangers for. The kneeling thwart that I installed in the Prospector also does not squeak. The difference seems to be the “truss-style” seat hangers in those. They are stiffer and limit flexing and shifting at the junction of wood to gunn’l.


– Last Updated: Oct-10-12 3:09 PM EST –

Same experience here. And, here's a link to the aforementioned truss hangers. The flat edge goes under the gunwale. You can make 'em yourself.


P.S. You're also lees likely to break the bolts with truss hangers as the do not flex much.