Wildfire seat question

I have raised the seat in my royalex wildfire to get my feet under it when kneeling.I still think it needs to be raised a little more.I was also thinking about moving the seat back toward the stern some.When I do kneel the bow seems to be a bit heavy.I have gained a “little” more weight since I bought the boat a while back.It seems to turn easier when I sit and lean my weight back some.But then I seem to loose some stability in moving water.Have any of you other wildfire owners(and I know who you are)had this problem?If so, how did you go about fixing it?Thank you for your help.


Wildfire seat

I have lifted my royalex wildfire seat. I drilled out the rivets, switched sides with the aluminum brackets to that the metal 90 degree flange now faces inward, and mounted the wooden seat on top of the flange, rather than below. Despite that, I find that my ankles, in prolonged flexion under the seat, become numb, then just plain painful. So much so, that I have given some thought to replacing the seat with an Adirondack pack boat type of arrangement on the floor of the canoe to use with a double-blade paddle. I weigh 180# and have noticed like you, that I can unship the bow some by leaning backwards and in doing so, gain some maneuverability. Right now, I don’t really have an answer for myself, so I am in no position to advise you. I’ll watch this thread with anticipation.


Wildfire seating

– Last Updated: Aug-21-05 8:07 PM EST –

This may not help, but here it goes.

My first (used) Wildfire was Rx with the aluminum seat drops (I did not know any better). My 10.5 feet did not fit under well - kind of felt like entrapment waiting to happen. If I had planned to keep that boat, I definitely would have had to do something about that seat.

My current Wildfire is BG with the nice wooden seat drops. The seat clearly is higher than that in my Rx, from the factory, as I have plenty of room underneath with the same feet.

Sorry, I have not really noticed changes in stability with fore-aft positioning, but I would think that the small difference in trim could be easily offset by repositioning a pack, yes?

And I am a fan of pack boats, but I have to think that resorting to sitting on the floor of a Wildfire and using a double blade paddle just sounds a bit sad. It's too nice a canoe. There's got to be a better way.

I have wooden seat drops…
thank goodness.The only reason I do is because some people here let me know that they were optional.I can’t remember if Bell advertises them to be optional or not.Anyway,I could trim the boat with a pack but sometimes I don’t carry one.When I have my air bags in is one time I don’t.It would be easier to carry some sort of pack or something to trim the bow up as apposed to moving the seat.I still have room for a pack even with flotation.I was just wondering if anyone had moved their seat back any at all.As for putting a seat on the floor…I think there were one or two someones here that either installed or thought of installing a ww saddle.Thank you for the tip bonasus but I do love the way the boat looks with the seat and I still like to sit on it at times.Thanks guys for the input.


no saddle…
I was one of those someones who gave some thought to putting a WW saddle in my Wildfire. That lasted for about 2 days of paddling. The boat just isn’t designed for water big enough to neccesitate a saddle (those low sides can let in a LOAD of water…). And, besides, it paddles beautifully (and I dare say more comfortably) with the stock seat.

My rx boat came with the short wooden drops standard. I’ve had no problem fitting size 12s under it (as long as they’re just in neoprene boots). I haven’t noticed a need to move the seat either fore or aft - trimmed fine from the factory.


Agree w/ Coyotequip…

– Last Updated: Aug-22-05 12:09 AM EST –

Meant to post a reply earlier, but have been busting my butt(playing catch up), doing yard work(now taking a break) so I can go out & play next week.

My Wildfire is Royalex with wooden seat drops.
I raised & tilted my seat(front edge down approx. one inch), to accomodate my size 13s, and also because that is the position I like for kneeling, which I do about 75% of the time I spend in my Wildfire.

I would "not" move the seat forward or back to adjust trim; I personally like it just where it is. I would not put in a saddle, for the same reasons stated by Coyotequip. If I have gear I'm taking along, I try to trim my Wildfire so that it as level as possible from bow to stern.

If I'm doing a peel out, and "feeling frisky", I might lean back a little & get way out over the gunwale to get the bow to break free & turn a little quicker(just for grins), but I feel like forward momentum, proper angle, and proper strokes are all that is really necessary for that, or any manuever.

I love the Wildfire, and I love to watch people who paddle more stable boats test paddle it in moving water........


P.S. I just broke the 200 lb mark recently for comparison to your body weight.

Hi Jarvis!!!!!

Hey bob…
Hope ya been doing o.k.I know the story about the yard work.I guess it’s just me.I don’t know.I really never had any problems before except for when I first got it.I have’nt been doing too much paddling in my Wildfire this year anyway.I’ve been working unusually long hours and extra days and nights with the thunder storms and micro-bursts we’ve been having.I’ll just leave the seat where it is and knock off the rust I guess.If your not having any problems at 200# then it can’t be the extra weight I’ve put on.Are you gonna make it to Nanahala this fall or have you already been?Thanks.


Hi Wayne…

– Last Updated: Aug-22-05 9:09 AM EST –

Glad to hear you're still "kicking".......
haven't seen you pop up too much here lately.
Get some more paddling time in that Wildfire buddy, and the problems will probably work themselves out. I know what you mean about getting busy, even though I'm retired. Got myself involved with 2 organizations I'd had interest in prior to retirement, and the next thing I knew, my free time started to disappear.
I have hung in there with the caving club I've been a member of for 20 years, but I do more paddling than caving now. I don't let much of anything interefere with paddling anymore; so I finally had to bail out of the other 2 organizations.
Our annual trip to the Nantahala was done in August. We(3 of my local whitewater paddling buddies, and 3 pnet paddlers just getting into whitewater) did three days of paddling on the Nantahala, and one day of rafting on the Ocoee.
Had 1 tandem canoe team, 2 kayaks, and 3 solo canoes. Also had 2 others there who paddled with us a couple of days; they were friends of one of our regular crew. It was a great trip; we plan on being there again next August.


Wildfire seating set-ups raise passions
… whenever the topic comes up. Any theories on why that is?

Why debate the Wildfile seat
As someone who recently purchased an RX Wildfire for moving water, I also became quickly alarmed by the height of the stock, non-adjustable seat. At 6’ 195lbs and size 11 shoes, I really struggled to get my feet out from under after kneeling (which I generally do). After following the thread here several months ago, I elected to install a removable saddle (a la Northwater) AND an adjustable Wenonah drop seat (which is usually out of the boat). I love the saddle in both flat and moving water up to Class II+.

But as to why all the controversy this boat - I think Bell just set the seat too low for this shallow boat, probably aiming this at seated, rather than kneeling paddlers.

I don’t know… but it’s sure easy
to change one to whatever you like. Wood drops are simple to make and even the stainless steel drops drill right out, four holes in the gunwale and you’re in business. Mike’s right though the new Bells have awfully long drops. And the Wildfire just loves to be paddled from the kneeling position and responds to every move much better.

Just change it, but keep the old parts.