Wenonah Solitude original seat height

I’m hoping someone with a Solitude in original condition can tell me the distance from the seat to the the floor.

I’ve come into possession of a Wenonah Solitude in need of a little TLC, but not so bad off that it’s beyond my repair capabilities. It came without the seat, which had been on a pedestal. Instead of replacing the pedestal, I’m planning on putting in a web seat, which I prefer. But I’d like to set it near the original seat height if possible.

From experience I know how drastically it can change a canoe’s performance having the seat set too high. Once I cut the aluminum drop plates and install them, it’ll be a little harder and/or a little more expensive to correct it. So I’d like to get pretty close the first time.

I know it’s an older model, but I’m sure there are still a few of them out there for someone to get me a measurement.

Thanks for the help.

Old Orchard Csnoe online can help

But I would go paddle the canoe and build up nest of cushions off the floor to sit on until I hit the spot I like. And drop my new seat to about that height personally. FWIW, in most canoes I personally like a drop of 4-5 inches. But I’m tall. I fail to see the magic in stock height seats unless that height just happens to be right for the individual, rarely me.

stock Solitude
All of the Solitudes I have seen have come with Wenonah’s floor mounted sliding Kevlar tractor seat.

If you plan to replace it with a wood-framed web seat suspended from the gunwale line, be aware that the sides of some Wenonah boats did not have sufficient thickness and strength to prevent the gunwales from being pulled inboard distorting the hull, by the weight of a paddler sitting on a seat suspended from the gunwales.

Seat heights of other Wenonah Canoes
Congratulations on the new Solitude.

I have a Kevlar Voyager, and a Tuffweave Encounter and I hope that you’ll find their factory seat heights useful. My Voyager’s seat is a tractor seat riding on Wenonah’s floor mounted aluminum frame and sits 6.5 inches off the floor of the canoe. The Encounter’s seat is mounted the same way and sits 7.75 inches off the floor. I have found that for my height (6’2”) a seat height of 6.5 inches works best, and is perfectly suited to using a 52 inch bent shaft paddle. For a seat height of 7.75 inches, as with my Encounter, I prefer a longer paddle and switch to a 54 inch bent shaft.

I installed adjustable center/solo seats in a Solo Plus and in a Champlain, and in both cases I used Wenonah’s adjustable seat hangers and DIY mounting brackets to achieve a seat height of 6 ½ inches at the lowest position. So with my the seat in the lowest position I can paddle either of them with the same paddle and stroke that I use in the Voyager, canoe width aside. The adjustable hangers give me just over an inch of non-inclined seat height adjustment, which allows me to re-position the seat perfectly for use of either a 52 inch or 54 inch paddle.

I know that’s not a direct answer to your question, but I hope that it gives you some food for thought and helps you zero in on the optimal seat height for you.

that’s a great idea

– Last Updated: Aug-13-14 11:48 AM EST –

I hadn't thought about the "nest of cushions" idea to try and find a best height. What kind of cushions do you use? I don't own anything that jumps to mind that I could use to build an incremental height seat. I love the plan though. I have a milk crate that would give me that base, but I'm thinking that's too high.

The only magic in stock height seats is a place to start. And a height that, presumably, had been given some careful thought and testing by the manufacturer.

I'm tall too, and agree that the standard doesn't always fit the outliers. I've lowered some seats with no adverse effect on performance (and even positive impact), but once I raised a seat about 2.25" to get some more foot room for kneeling. Kneeling was fine, but in raising the seat, it took a very stable platform to one that was very precarious.

What about oak orchard canoe? I looked at their site, which has a lot of nice stuff, but didn't see anything online that would give this info. Or did you just mean to contact them to see if they know? I have a note into Wenonah, but this is the busy season and they indicate that an response could be slow in coming.

hadn’t considered that
and I will be applying considerable weight when I sit on this seat. Maybe I should consider adding a thwart behind the seat to keep the gunwales where they belong.

Excellent observation. I should have thought of that. Thanks.

adjustable hangers
how well do they hold their position? I’ve looked at them before and wasn’t sure if I could depend on them not getting bumped out and dropping down.

People either love them or hate them

I personally love them and don’t have any issue with them holding their position, but I say that with three caveats. 1) I’m not the lightest paddler at over 200 lbs, 2)I replaced the stock 1 inch L brackets that the seat rests on with 2 inch aluminum angle stock, and 3) I always check to make sure the seat is locked in the desired position before I paddle off. I paddle flat water with a bit of wind chop and boat wake, but I have never had anything cause the seat to move with the larger L brackets. Seat remains rock solid even under the most aggressive paddling that I can muster. Before I replaced the stock L brackets I had the seat slip once, but admittedly on that occasion I didn’t check it before I paddled off.

My only issue with the adjustable brackets, as mentioned many times already in this forum, is that they chatter loudly when the canoe is car-topped and you’re underway.

The link below has a few images that give you a sense of how I use the adjustable brackets and how the larger brackets sit compared to the stock brackets. The black L brackets shown on the red canoe are stock Wenonah brackets.


The adjustable height seat from Wenonah is so sensible. For me, if the seat is high enough to kneel, it is too high for sitting, and vice versa. The adjustable seat solves the issue. Yes, it chatters sometimes. Nothing is perfect.

good news
looks like there is already a pretty substantial thwart positioned right behind the seat.

It might need more than just a thwart
It makes sense that the gunwales could be pulled inward due to a heavy load on the seat if the sides of the canoe are weak. You might want to keep another method of sidewall failure in mind. I’ve already seen one canoe where the gunwales didn’t pull in due to seat weight, but but simply sagged downward. This can happen pretty easily if there’s some tumblehome, so that the supporting portion of the canoe sides is tilted inward rather than being closer to vertical.

I hadn’t thought of that
Do you have any suggestions to prevent that, aside from not mounting the seat at all?

It seems like this was a mounting option from Wenonah, but that question (is this a stock option, are there any issues mounting a seat like this) was in the message I sent them. I guess I’ll wait to see what they say.

The good folks at Wenonah
have gotten back to me with the seat height and assurances that hanging a seat in this model is not a concern.

I appreciate all the comments and advice.