Introduction: Adding an Extra Seat to a Canoe

About: Professionally I have been a summer camp counselor, a Draftsman/designer, salesperson, bicycle mechanic, laminate flooring machine mechanic, teacher, and designer of the OP Loftbed. Personally I am a human tha…

I have a couple of canoes. One was a solo canoe, with one seat. You could take an extra person in it but they had to sit on the floor. I have a bigger canoe that had two seats. I added an extra seat to make it a three seater. I only had to drill two new holes in the gunnels. In this Instructable I will show you how easy it was to add an extra seat to a canoe.

Step 1: Tools and Supplies

The tools I used were:

A Philipps screwdriver and a proper size wrench to fit the nut.

A drill and drill bit to make the holes for the screws.

A piece of sacrificial wood to use under the wood of the seat to keep it from splintering.

I had a saw and sandpaper that I ended up not using, because the seat was the perfect size!

I also used a few clamps, but you could have a friend hold everything in place if needed.

The main item you need is the seat.

I bought a cane seat to match the other two seats in the canoe like this one:

If your canoe has web seats you would want one like this:

The fastener hardware was all stainless steel (It will get wet)

(2) #10-24 x 2-1/2" long screws

(2) #10-24 nylon lock nuts

(4) #10 finish washers

I could not find stainless steel fender washers in stainless steel so I used (2) 3/8: washers

There are special screws and washers that match the original fasteners on the canoe, but they were much more pricey and the screws and washers I used matched the look of the originals pretty well.

Step 2: Taking Out the Thwart

I determined that the best location for the extra seat would be where the carry thwart was. I removed the carry thwart by taking the two nuts off the two screws and pulling the thwart out.

Step 3: Fitting the Seat

I was pleased to find that the new seat was about one inch narrower than the thwart. I was originally thinking that I would have to cut the seat cross pieces and match drill the holes from the thwart. Instead I was able to put the seat in the canoe and mash the sides of the canoe in about one inch and the seat would fit perfect.

Step 4: Spacers

A canoe will flex as it is floating in water. Because of this flex I did not want the seat to touch the sides of the canoe. I taped a piece of an old yard stick to each side, to act as temporary spacers, to get even spaces on both sides of the new seat. Once the new seat was secured to the gunnels, These spacers were taken out.

Step 5: Drilling the Holes and Fastening the Seat

I was able to use the two existing holes, from the original thwart holes. I centered the front crosspiece, of the seat, under the holes and matched drilled them into the seat cross pieces. I used a piece of sacrificial wood, held under the seat cross pieces, to prevent splintering as the drill passed thru the bottom of the wood. I used the same two screws, washers, and nuts, that held in the thwart, to fasten the front cross piece of the new seat to the gunnels.

For the back cross piece, of the new seat, I had to make two new holes in the gunnels. I centered the drill over the back cross piece and spaced it the same distance from the inside of the gunnels as the existing holes in the gunnel (to make everything look uniform). I used the same technique, with the sacrificial wood, to prevent splintering. I then used the new stainless screws, washers, and nuts, to fasten the back cross piece of the new seat to the gunnels

Usually you would use dowel spacers to "hang" a seat a couple of inches under the gunnels. Since I was using the new seat to replace the thwart, I mounted the new seat directly to the gunnels, as it was going to be providing the structural rigidity that the thwart used to.

Step 6: Video

As usual, I made a video.

I figured out how to do "picture in picture" in the editing, so It has dual perspectives.

Thank you for watching.

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