wenonah tractor seat N bell rob roy

thinking of putting a floor-mounted wenonah tractor seat in my bell rob roy. i’ve been sitting about 6 inches off the hull already. i’m going to contact bell about the idea soon. any thoughts?

what kind of seat do you have now? If its’ the same height I’d say go for it. The wenona seat is perfect for most use,

current seat
is a homemade foam job. it’s pretty flat and is about one foot square. it works OK, although i find the backband to be less helpful each time i’m out. my outrigger canoe has a bucket-type seat that i really like. i’m thinking the wenonah seat would help with ass and hip positioning and help with form too. it will cost about $85 or so to do the upgrade. i’m sure it will also add a couple of pounds too. any other bucket seat makers out there?

Check measurments
Raising the seat up to much in a Rob Roy will drasticaly change the performance and handeling of the boat by changing the center of gravity. The Rob Roy seat is close to the floor and that’s the way it was designed. Changing it to much will defeat the design. It’s your boat so do what you want but keep in mind that once you make drastic changes like that you will devalue your investment. If it were me I would sell the Rob Roy turn the money over into a new boat that fits better…like the Magic which is basicaly the same hull as the Rob Roy only a little longer and with a higher mounted seat.

a magic can’t handle the waves and wind i paddle in in the coastal everglades and gulf of mexico. i wouldn’t want to paddle an open canoe with three and four foot breaking waves in 25 knot plus winds with current. there’s also surf landings and swamping to think about. also, being that it’s a similar design to actually the merlin boat, the rob roy can handle a higher seat. i’ve had it much higher than the standard seat for years. it’s still a canoe hull. and, six inches from the hull isn’t that high for a canoe. i’m not real worried about devaluing the investment. i plan on keeping the boat. i know i like the seat height. just wondering if there are any special considerations i should make.

Go for it. Or, hang a cane or web seat from the wood gunnels and then put a foam block under the seat for support. The hull of a Rob Roy is NOT a Magic…it is a Merlin II. And, if you look at the Merlin II seat placement, it is higher than 6 inches, so you should be OK. I paddle the orginal Merlin which is a bit more tender than the Merlin II. My seat is mounted almost at the gunnels and I have had very few tips with it that way. Sooooo, go ahead and experiment and find what works best for you. Let me know, Chad, as I am thinking about buying a Rob Roy and having Ted set it up for me with the cane seat 7" off the floor and braced with foamblocks.

rob roy/merlin
you’re right, it’s a decked merlin with less rocker. the seat height works fine for me. six inches isn’t all that high for a canoe hull. i like bucket seats though. i’m hoping to do it within the next couple of months. i’ll let you know how it goes.

Pungo 140
this is the market these guys were going for,kind of mini Krugers. I wonder if WS will sex up the Chesapeake Pro for more of a robroy look?

sure makes CD Pachena sound attractive.

Chad, are you putting in a sliding bucket seat or fixed? Seems to me that it would be nice to have a slider for trim & shallows.

i’m definitely going for the sliding version. i really wish bell would offer sliding and bucket seats in his canoes. i think it would be a great option. but what do i know, i’ve been trying to get him to build a 16 foot rob roy for years.

Someone should check this out
I’ve been told be people who are in the know about this that the Rob Roy “is” a scaled down Magic. I won’t mention any names because I don’t want to get the “mill” started but I think the guy who designed it could be contacted and clear that up.

Ted Bell
Standing outside his plant in Zimmerman, MN, I asked Ted about whether or not the hull was a scaled down Magic because I had always thought it was not. He said definitely not! Also, a little common sense would say that a hull one foot shorter than another hull is not the same hull. It’s a Merlin II. But call Bell and ask.

How about DY ? who designed it?

– Last Updated: May-13-04 8:17 PM EST –

I know it's shorter but that means nothing. What was it patterened after. I looked a Tophers and it looks more like a Magic to me than a Merlin.

Both Magic & Merlin II are DY designs whereas the original Merlin was a Bruce Kunz design and was 15 1/2 feet. As for royalties, that’s a business contract I am not privvy to. Sorry.

All three…Rob Roy is also DY

Other seat makers.
If you want a very effective seat go with the ones the racers use. Several sites have them. ZEV used to, but think they stopped. Look at Savage. The most comfortable seat I have ever sat, and best performing too has been the Kruger seat. Mark said that he would sell some separate when I asked, but you will have to contact him as they are not listed on the site.

Hope you find what is best for you.

Too bad we are not closer as I have a couple of designs you could try.

Happy Paddl’n!



bell folks
told me it was in fact a merlin hull with less rocker. i’ve also heard the rumor that it was a scaled-down magic hull. my thinking is it’s a merlin, but i’m not 100 percent sure. i don’t know that anyone other than yost is.

I bought mine used…so I don’t know
what original seat comes with the Rob Roy, but mine has a small tractor seat in it. Not adjustable. A bit too small for my “stern” but pretty comfortable. I’m interested in the answers you’re getting because I was thinking about putting another seat in it if I could find something that was a better fit.

bell reps
bell people told me over the phone today that a 6-inch sliding tractor seat would work great. the rob roy, they said, was designed for kayakers who want rock-solid stability or skilled canoe paddlers who trip. the rob roy, i was told, is basically a mix between the merlin and the magic hulls. either way, the boat can definitely handle a six-inch high seat with a canoe paddle. i went out with it again today with 20 knots and 2 to 3 foot rolling waves. never once felt as though i was going to tip, even when beam to the seas. the merlin seat, BTW, is about 7 inches or so from the hull.

other sources
Clipper/Western Canoe and Kayak make a seat that is supposed to be very comfortable. I don’t know if they sell it separately or not.


The current stock Wenonah seats are larger than the older composite seats, which is what I assume you have.

As Mick mentioned, Savage River sells seats, but I think they are probably the small racing style. They also sell the sliding footbrace that attaches to the seat.


Another source for the sliding footbrace is J&J Canoe in New York. It’s a bit pricey, but here’s the link:


Zaveral sells seats, but they don’t show them in their online catalog. If you have them send you the catalog you’ll see them in there.


I’m just guessing here, but I think that the Wenonah and Clipper seats will be the most generously sized, although you could always ask the other folks if they offer a larger size.

For what it’s worth . . .