Canoe Seat Designed to Fit Your Bottom

If you know a good tip or technique to help get through a construction "stumbling block", please post it here. If you have questions concerning building problems, please post them on the "Builders' Forum".
Post Reply
User avatar
Cruiser
Posts: 611
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:21 am
Location: Bowmanville, Ontario

Canoe Seat Designed to Fit Your Bottom

Post by Cruiser » Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:30 pm

I haven't seen any posts on designing and building your own canoe seat, I am sure they are around here somewhere (most stuff is), I just didn't find any posts to add to.

I put off my second build a bit to complete some modifications to my Freedom Solo, which I have been enjoying immensely this year. The commercial seat I used on my slider, was well made, looked good and finished fine. However, the curve it sported was 13" across ... that just doesn't fit my bottom comfortably. Plus, the boat is so well balanced, that I deemed the slider unnecessary. I decided after my first trip, that this was the only thing I hadn't built, and that I could do something simpler and more comfortable.

I will say upfront, I "borrowed" the weave pattern from a site I found and adapted it for my purpose.

This a picture of the rear horizontal strut mold for steam bending (and epoxying up) the cherry strips I used. It features a total deflection of about 1" over 22".

Image

This the front mold, featuring a deflection of about 1.75" over the same 22" width (the width is wider, that just the bent part). Also you will notice that the 2x4s are older and weathered, they are just some left over treated lumber ..... waste not, want not.

Image

That gives us the front and rear struts, the spacers run between the struts and are just cut from stock cherry to match the struts. Before assembly, I laid out all the holes I would require, in the pattern I needed for the weaving. Drilled and counter bored each, so that rope would have a more gradual transition as it exited each one. This is a pic of the pieces before assembly, you can make out all the pencil layout lines for the holes.

Image]

Pieces assembled and shaped.

Image

And finished with 3 coats of varnish.

Image

Now the moment of truth, I had selected 3 mm marine cord in red, to match the hues of the boat. This was somewhat nontraditional, my better half pointed out black would be best or biege .... those were not on the option list, so I took a chance .... and risked the "I told you so scenario" ... well best to get it started.

Image

And the weaving progressed, personally, I liked the colour with the cherry.

Image

This is installed, while I wait for the extra roll of rope, I had to order when the weaving went 5 feet short >.< , but it is close enough to complete to install and test. If you look closely, in the upper right seat section, you will see the missing weave section.

Image

I have had the boat out for extended trials this year, including a trip to Quetico for a week, the seat is comfortable ( and fits my bottom), and I find the open weave to provides good ventilation, on a hot day. It may not have been clear, but the final shot shows clearly that the front strut dips much lower than the rear, the angle approximates a straight line from where my feet hit the deck to the rear of the seat .... so the front strut doesn't dig into the back of my legs when I paddle.

I will likely build my own seats from now on, patterned on this type.


Brian
Last edited by Cruiser on Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:26 pm, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
Jim Dodd
Posts: 1162
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:08 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Canoe Seat Designed to Fit Your Bottom

Post by Jim Dodd » Sat Aug 23, 2014 9:07 am

I too make my own seats.
Mine are similar, except I use nylon snowshoe cord.Image
The cord is incredibly strong, and will likely outlast the canoe.
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

User avatar
Cruiser
Posts: 611
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:21 am
Location: Bowmanville, Ontario

Re: Canoe Seat Designed to Fit Your Bottom

Post by Cruiser » Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:21 am

I like the integrated spacer, I think I will borrow that idea Jim.

I suspect the materials for the weave are going to be locale specific, I found the 3 mm marine cord, which doesn't stretch and that was the optimum size for what I wanted. Totally overkill from strength perspective, but I kind of do that when I put something together.

Overall, it was a fun project and I learned quite a bit from it. I did make 1 mistake with the construction ... I will make it a game, see if you can find the mistake, not a flaw, a mistake. I won't make it a second time.



Brian

User avatar
Jim Dodd
Posts: 1162
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:08 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Canoe Seat Designed to Fit Your Bottom

Post by Jim Dodd » Sat Aug 23, 2014 4:00 pm

Hi Brian
Yeah I've been putting that decorative strip in everything since I started. I feel it adds dock appeal . HA !

I'm guessing the mistake is, you ran out of cord on one side. You could still easily fix.

For the snow shoe cord, I found it online. Do a search.

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

User avatar
Cruiser
Posts: 611
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:21 am
Location: Bowmanville, Ontario

Re: Canoe Seat Designed to Fit Your Bottom

Post by Cruiser » Sun Aug 24, 2014 9:14 am

Hi Jim,

This is an older pic, the weave is complete now, I have been out a lot more this year and am I am posting from late spring. I just ordered a second roll, and completed the seat.

The mistake I made was the 2 spacer (ones that run fore to aft) have a specific staggered hole pattern (pics 3 & 4), they are supposed to be installed as mirror images, the right one is reversed. It doesn't make a big difference, but I will be more careful next time, so I don't have to figure a work around.

I brought it up, just in case anyone decides to try this ...


Brian

Snowman
Posts: 229
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 6:21 pm
Location: Gatineau, QC

Re: Canoe Seat Designed to Fit Your Bottom

Post by Snowman » Sun Aug 24, 2014 7:42 pm

Awesome seat (Brian and Jim)!
Snowman back East

User avatar
jimlgordon
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:57 pm
Location: Bainbridge Island, Washington

Re: Canoe Seat Designed to Fit Your Bottom

Post by jimlgordon » Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:24 am

great seat design! thanks for sharing

User avatar
Jim Dodd
Posts: 1162
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:08 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Canoe Seat Designed to Fit Your Bottom

Post by Jim Dodd » Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:24 am

A little more detail to mine. I mortise the joint.
This little notch adds a lot of strength to the frame !
Image

Image

Image

Image

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

User avatar
Cruiser
Posts: 611
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:21 am
Location: Bowmanville, Ontario

Re: Canoe Seat Designed to Fit Your Bottom

Post by Cruiser » Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:16 pm

Jim made that suggestion to me when I completed this posting, I have adopted it as part of the design, it was a good improvement.


Brian

User avatar
jimlgordon
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:57 pm
Location: Bainbridge Island, Washington

Re: Canoe Seat Designed to Fit Your Bottom

Post by jimlgordon » Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:04 pm

how much cord does it take for a seat?

User avatar
Jim Dodd
Posts: 1162
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:08 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Canoe Seat Designed to Fit Your Bottom

Post by Jim Dodd » Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:02 am

jimlgordon wrote:how much cord does it take for a seat?
Roughly 50'. I cut two pieces, at 25', and always have plenty left over.

Several years ago, I bought a big roll of 1/2" cord from. Seemed like it was a 300 yd roll.
.http://snowshoe.com/index.cfm?pageid=60&productid=TD#TD

Just cut 6 more frames. I like to have them ready ahead of time.

Jim
Keep your paddle wet and your seat dry!

User avatar
Cruiser
Posts: 611
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:21 am
Location: Bowmanville, Ontario

Re: Canoe Seat Designed to Fit Your Bottom

Post by Cruiser » Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:27 am

Hi Jim,

Depending on which seat you are asking about, mine takes about 60 feet, I like to use a polyester based cord (low/no stretch) about 3 mm, takes about 60 feet to do a seat in one go.

If you are interested, I can post the weaving pattern I worked out .... it's not a fancy drawing, but it does guide you through doing it all with a single piece of twine.

This is sort of a funny coincidence, I am just installing a seat in my solo and just completed the new seat.

Although on this one, I am trying a cleat for mounting to save weight on the gunnels ...



Brian

Post Reply