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Thread: Solo kneeling seat position

  1. #1

    Default Solo kneeling seat position

    Hi, I'm making a kneeling seat for my NC Prospector 16 SP3. How far back from the centre of the boat is a good rule of thumb to place the leading edge of the kneeling seat? It is currently set up with bow and stern seats, a yoke and a thwart. We paddle it tandem using these and I solo using the bow seat facing backwards or a bag of foam beads as a moveable kneeling thwart. I do not get on with kneeling thwarts. I am planning on moving the existing thwart the other side of the yoke to maximise leg room in the various seating options. I will fit the new seat and remove the central yoke. The new seat will do the structural job of the yoke. With no yoke I will be able to put my seat where I like. I have done some online research, including this site. Some say 10-14 inches, some say in the centre and some say a couple of inches behind. I think this is complicated by the type of boat people are talking about. If you have a central yoke in a longish trad boat then you are constrained by how close you dare put the seat/kneeling thwart to the yoke. Does this account for the estimates of 10-14 inches? In shorter solo trad boats there is not always a central yoke. Does this account for the recommendations for putting it more central? I want to put the seat in the optimum position to make the trim neutral. Thanks, Alex

  2. #2
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    If you use a bag of beads, why not use it to determine the correct position, then locate the seat there?
    Big Al.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    I put my kneeling thwart 15" behind the yoke, in a 16' boat. The previous owner had it 20" behind, which was too far back. I might have put it a bit closer if I'd taken out the yoke, but I use it for carrying.

    It's not clear from your post whether you're planning to use the new seat to kneel or to sit on. Kneeling and using the front edge of the seat probably moves you forward 6" to 8" compared to sitting, so you need to take that into account.

    If you want the seat to act structurally as a thwart, you'll need to make the joint between the seat hanger and the seat strong and rigid.

  4. #4

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    If you use a bag of beads, why not use it to determine the correct position, then locate the seat there?
    With the yoke in place I can't sit or kneel in the middle. I know from kneeling on the bag of beads that the trim is more neutral when I slide forward and have my knees under the yoke.

    I put my kneeling thwart 15" behind the yoke, in a 16' boat. The previous owner had it 20" behind, which was too far back. I might have put it a bit closer if I'd taken out the yoke, but I use it for carrying.
    That's why I'm planning on removing the yoke, so that I can be further forward. I'm probably not planning on yoking the boat around if I can avoid it and can always make a removal yoke if I need to.

    It's not clear from your post whether you're planning to use the new seat to kneel or to sit on. Kneeling and using the front edge of the seat probably moves you forward 6" to 8" compared to sitting, so you need to take that into account.
    I'm planning on both. A mix of sitting on the seat to stretch my legs and kneeling for better control when needed. Pretty much what I currently do using the back of the bow seat.

    If you want the seat to act structurally as a thwart, you'll need to make the joint between the seat hanger and the seat strong and rigid.
    I'm making hangers like the seat braces on my existing seats and not just dowling. I'll find out if this is rigid enough!
    If you use a bag of beads, why not use it to determine the correct position, then locate the seat there?

  5. #5

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    In general, are people putting wooden kneeling thwarts 10-15 inches behind the yoke because this is as close to the centre that they can get without having problems getting out from under the yoke? What's a rough distance to be behind the centre with no yoke?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexN View Post
    In general, are people putting wooden kneeling thwarts 10-15 inches behind the yoke because this is as close to the centre that they can get without having problems getting out from under the yoke? What's a rough distance to be behind the centre with no yoke?
    I'd say yes, as the vast majority of people will leave the yoke in as they need it for carrying, and for structural strength (as above, you'll need a stronger than normal joint on a seat to retain this or you'll get likely some flex in the gunwhales)

    If I didn't have yoke, I'd probably put it so my body is just behind the centre line and my knees just in front (assuming you're kneeling), as if you were kneeling under the missing yoke. Moving back and forth a bit on the seat will allow some control over trim with body weight. Don't overthink it, in a big Prospector the precise position will have more tolerance than in, say, a 10' OC1 so an inch or two either way won't make an enormous difference. I'd err on the "bow light" side, as you reach forward to plant the paddle the bows will drop anyway, and if they're already low, it can hamper your turning (slightly!).

    In principle, what you're doing makes a lot of sense and will position you in the best place to control the canoe. You can get/make clamp on yokes too for carrying (though there may be issues of the seat being in the way but hopefully there would be enough clearance)
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  7. #7
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    From helping carry various of my mates canoes I found that having the yoke up to about 200mm forwards of centre frees up useful space for trim etc. The boat still carries well enough as you can use throwbags etc as some ballast to partially compensate. A 16 ft Sp3 may be the one hull that might be too heavy for that scenario though.
    I like canoes ......

  8. #8
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    Feb 2008
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    Is this not a simple physics problem. With no yoke, your centre of gravity should be in the centre for 100% neutral trim. Now I understand that you don't really want neutral trim, having the boat a little stern heavy helps on rivers by 'weathercocking' on the current, helps keep you straight (although this doesn't hold if you are going faster than the current...) For flat water the same holds true when you are running with the wind but when you go upwind, you should move forward a little making the boat a little bow heavy to weathercock the right way! However if you throw in some weight such as throwbags, water bottles, huge backpacks full of lunch and they are at the extremities then that's going to mess with your calculations.

    I carry a lot of stuff which sits in the bow so my seats are about 16/18" from the yoke which gives me a little stern heavy trim. When paddling up wind I get on my knees under the yoke to make me bow heavy. I also find the yoke too useful to get rid of although Barelyafloat's idea to move the yoke forward is a good one.

    tbh doesn't make a huge difference to me, you should move about anyways, anything from 10 to <20" should be ok depending on how much you carry and how much you are happy with moving about.
    Cheers,

    Alan


  9. #9

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    Thanks for the help. I'm ending up putting the front edge around 15 inches behind the centre of the boat. I had intended a little closer to the centre but I hadn't realised that the yoke wasn't in the centre of the boat (I was using this as a centre reference point) and I have now committed to drilling holes and trimming the seat struts. I'm planning on leaving out the thwart which was where the back of the new seat is and I will move the yoke to a new off centre position between the front of the new seat and the back of the bow seat. Thanks, Alex

  10. #10
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    On a Wenonah 15ft Prospector (along the gunwales) I put the front hole for the kneeling thwart 15" behind the rear hole of the yoke, but after moving the yoke forward by one hole (about 1 1/2") - if that makes sense... so that I only had to make one new hole for the yoke. Moving the yoke forward made it slightly rear heavy and the front tilt up when carrying, which is what you want, so you can see where you're going. I found there was plenty of room between the yoke and the kneeling thwart, so I had no worries about entrapment. I followed the measurements recommended by the shop that supplied the canoe. (I think you might regret not having a yoke, but it's your canoe.)
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  11. #11
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    I have a tilted kneeling seat in a solo canoe with no yoke. It carries reasonably well on my shoulders but if I wear a helmet, the boat sits partly on my head as well and it is quite stable. I guess the seat is a lot closer to the centre than is being suggested here.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Grey View Post
    Don't overthink it, in a big Prospector the precise position will have more tolerance than in, say, a 10' OC1 so an inch or two either way won't make an enormous difference.
    This can be very dependant on the hull shape. Some 15' canoes, like prospectors, can be full in the middle and fine at the ends so might trim like a short boat. The Bob Special might fall into this category.
    Last edited by Adrian Cooper; 7th-May-2019 at 09:55 AM.

  13. #13
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    Here's how I answered the thread Positioning a middle seat

    Mount two longitudinal aluminum pipes between two thwart, approximately one meter apart. There you can make a adjustable seat. Then you have to find a way to lock the seat when carrying the canoe.
    See picture on canoe C1-52 http://www.sf-canoe.se/sv/kanot/bilder/kanoter/

    Svante

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