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    Solo Seat Position

    Hello all,

    I've recently decided on my next build - John Winter's Osprey. I'm planning on positioning the seat more towards the stern than I've seen it in pictures of the boat. Here's my reasoning: I've done most of my soloing from tandem canoes sitting in the bow seat. That places me more towards the stern than traditional solos and I've really felt comfortable in this area. I feel I have great control. My boat tracks great as each stroke doesn't push the bow much. A moderate J-stroke here and there and I'm on my way efficiently, and comfortably. I also want a yoke centered for portaging. I'm not into this over the shoulder thing on grueling portages. Which would mean, the seat couldn't be there. I think I could also plan on my canoe frequently having a load of gear in addition to the paddler that I would place towards the bow.


    My other soloing experience comes from a Wenonah Rendevous, which I've heard described as "paddling like a wild stallion" and I can tell you, I am compelled to agree with that. From the center in this canoe, I felt like, with each stroke, the bow wanted to jump away from the pressure of my stroke.

    One of my canoe buddies advised me that John Winters would know what he was doing and not to mess with it, put the seat where he intended. However, I just don't know if that's for me.

    I'm here for some thoughts and insight.
    1000 Solo Miles through the Wilderness
    1-35 Allegheny R
    36-88 Au Sable R
    89-?

    #2
    Originally posted by yetii View Post
    I've recently decided on my next build - John Winter's Osprey. I'm planning on positioning the seat more towards the stern than I've seen it in pictures of the boat. Here's my reasoning: I've done most of my soloing from tandem canoes sitting in the bow seat. That places me more towards the stern than traditional solos and I've really felt comfortable in this area
    I also want a yoke centered for portaging. I'm not into this over the shoulder thing on grueling portages. Which would mean, the seat couldn't be there. I think I could also plan on my canoe frequently having a load of gear in addition to the paddler that I would place towards the bow.


    One of my canoe buddies advised me that John Winters would know what he was doing and not to mess with it, put the seat where he intended. However, I just don't know if that's for me.
    I am with you 100% on personalized seat placement. Manufacturer or designer seat placement is their best guess at typical user height, weight and paddling preference. A one-size-fits-most best guess that usually doesn’t work for me.

    I too started and paddled for years bow backwards in symmetrical tandems, and it feels “natural” to me to have a solo seat a little further back of center than “usual”. I am also an endomorph paddler, with big feet, thick legs and considerable belly as a front porch overhang. I typically want/need my solo (or soloized tandem) seat further back than usual, especially if I ever hope to (briefly) kneel.

    Even at that further back than usual solo seat placement there isn’t room in front of a “center” seat for a fixed yoke. For short carries an always-there permanently affixed strap yoke does the trick. Good quality side-release buckles work on lighter weight canoes.

    PC180134 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

    Or a beefier connections on heavier boats; doubled D rings work well in that guise. The long side of the strap rolls up and Velcro tucks away under the inwale when not needed. And, again, always there to use, no “Crap, I forgot to bring the clamp-on yoke”

    P2100009 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

    For a long, arduous carries I would still bring a rigid clamp-on yoke. For a long smooth truck-racks-to-launch carries I bring a portage cart, leave it behind in the truck and fetch it after the first gear loadout when I return.

    Comment


      #3
      I'm a huge fan of the Osprey. I'm on my second one and I think it's my favorite solo canoe ever. I think your plan will work just fine...because the Osprey has very little volume in the bow area plus it's not fat in the middle so most of the volume is towards the stern. I find myself positionIng my sliding seat pretty far aft of center. I do think the Osprey is more sensitive to trim than many solos so you might consider a sliding seat...maybe even the adjustable seat offered by Hemlock. You've also got the option of going with a removable carrying yoke.

      http://www.hemlockcanoe.com/hemlock-seat.html

      I also agree that the Rendezvous is quite a unique boat that sure likes to spin. It's a boat that demands that you put your pack/load behind you. With my Royalex Rendezvous I replaced the rear thwart with a kneeling thwart so I could take the dog without spinning out. The composite boat is similar.

      Comment


        #4
        I have built nearly all my solos, with the leading edge of the seat, 5 - 6" aft of center.

        My seats are also built deeper than factory seats, allowing me to shift forward or aft, a few inches comfortably.

        If you want to alter, maybe make a temporary seat that you can adjust on the fly.

        Jim

        Keep your paddle wet, and your seat dry !

        Comment


          #5
          I have two Kites, in water twins to the Osprey.
          Don't install your seat until you paddle it but you’ll likely end up where it’s shown on the plans.
          I built both my seats to be adjustable fore-aft to trim out when moving gear is not enough.
          See stripperguy's photos

          Comment


            #6
            I not much of a technical paddler and I know even less about canoe design, I have a symmetrical Prospector that I rotate for solo and except for the width like the position of the seat in this canoe. I dislike kneeing in a center seat and hate a detachable Carry Yoke.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Mike McCrea View Post

              I am with you 100% on personalized seat placement. Manufacturer or designer seat placement is their best guess at typical user height, weight and paddling preference. A one-size-fits-most best guess that usually doesn’t work for me.

              I too started and paddled for years bow backwards in symmetrical tandems, and it feels “natural” to me to have a solo seat a little further back of center than “usual”. I am also an endomorph paddler, with big feet, thick legs and considerable belly as a front porch overhang. I typically want/need my solo (or soloized tandem) seat further back than usual, especially if I ever hope to (briefly) kneel.

              Even at that further back than usual solo seat placement there isn’t room in front of a “center” seat for a fixed yoke. For short carries an always-there permanently affixed strap yoke does the trick. Good quality side-release buckles work on lighter weight canoes.

              PC180134 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

              Or a beefier connections on heavier boats; doubled D rings work well in that guise. The long side of the strap rolls up and Velcro tucks away under the inwale when not needed. And, again, always there to use, no “Crap, I forgot to bring the clamp-on yoke”

              P2100009 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

              For a long, arduous carries I would still bring a rigid clamp-on yoke. For a long smooth truck-racks-to-launch carries I bring a portage cart, leave it behind in the truck and fetch it after the first gear loadout when I return.
              That strap idea is fascinating. Haven't seen that before.
              1000 Solo Miles through the Wilderness
              1-35 Allegheny R
              36-88 Au Sable R
              89-?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by stripperguy View Post
                I have two Kites, in water twins to the Osprey.
                Don't install your seat until you paddle it but you’ll likely end up where it’s shown on the plans.
                I built both my seats to be adjustable fore-aft to trim out when moving gear is not enough.
                Testing it out in the water-- that's a pretty sensible idea...
                1000 Solo Miles through the Wilderness
                1-35 Allegheny R
                36-88 Au Sable R
                89-?

                Comment


                  #9
                  After completing your hull put some temporary thwarts in and paddle from your intended seat position. Use a milk crate or something similar.

                  The Osprey is swede form and very sensitive to trim.
                  I predict that with your stroke the bow will wave even worse than if you are more midships. That you had trouble with bow yaw in a river boat that is actually straight tracking indicates you will have more trouble with weight even further back in a more maneuverable boat.. And you will lost any control over the bow at all. You can paddle a tandem pretty far back as its mass is slower to react but a solo will respond right away with less mass.

                  I suspect that you follow the shape of the gunwale and carry your paddle far back necessitating a lot of correction.. Making the stroke follow the center line of the boat ( but of course parallel off the side) will make less yaw and less correction necessary

                  Also the Osprey has a v shape stern to aid in tracking and you will dig that in so hard that the bow will be even wilder. as it will be less submerged. Measure your paddling station in your current tandem and compare to the width of where you would like to sit in the Osprey. You may be surprised. Remember that if your head gets over the gunwale while enroute for whatever reason ( daydreaming, waves ) the rest of you will follow over.

                  The result I think is that you will do as most of the rest of us do and carry a detachable yoke. I see very few people over shouldering a tripping solo that is over 30-40 lbs. And not for a long distance. It is a technique that works ok for 20 lb boats over short distances.

                  There are threads here about detachable yoke design.

                  The good news is that seat is one of the last things you have to worry about. Placement can be changed any time.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Right on yellowcanoe ,On my osprey I slid the seat foreword when using my double blade paddle to calm the wobble down an slid it back when using a single blade or when I wanted more maneuverability. When the seat was back you could literally skid the bow around tight corners on the osswagochie. I have one of those seat belt type yokes on my flashfire. it's lite ,stowable, and works well if the carry isn't too long. I think I got it from mohawk canoe.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Yeah the black strap yoke pictured above is from Mohawk, I have one in my XL14 that was factory installed. I hate portaging so I generally drag for ports under 200m, longer when the terrain is really bad (ie: swampy with deadfall). That means I only use the strap yoke for long portages (500 - 1000m). On it's own it not very comfortable but with the addition of one of these it's reasonably comfortable.

                      Click image for larger version

Name:	Screenshot_2020-01-11 Level Six Helium Yoke Pad MEC.png
Views:	177
Size:	201.2 KB
ID:	103338

                      As far as seat placement, I like the front edge of the seat to be 5 or 6 inches back from the centre, when I kneel with my butt on the edge of the seat it puts me right in the centre which is where I want to be when running bigger rapids.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by recped View Post
                        Yeah the black strap yoke pictured above is from Mohawk, I have one in my XL14 that was factory installed. I hate portaging so I generally drag for ports under 200m, longer when the terrain is really bad (ie: swampy with deadfall). That means I only use the strap yoke for long portages (500 - 1000m). On it's own it not very comfortable but with the addition of one of these it's reasonably comfortable.

                        Click image for larger version

Name:	Screenshot_2020-01-11 Level Six Helium Yoke Pad MEC.png
Views:	177
Size:	201.2 KB
ID:	103338

                        As far as seat placement, I like the front edge of the seat to be 5 or 6 inches back from the centre, when I kneel with my butt on the edge of the seat it puts me right in the centre which is where I want to be when running bigger rapids.
                        Looks pretty comfy.
                        1000 Solo Miles through the Wilderness
                        1-35 Allegheny R
                        36-88 Au Sable R
                        89-?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          recpef, does this stay in place and not roll?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by yetii View Post

                            I've recently decided on my next build - John Winter's Osprey. I'm planning on positioning the seat more towards the stern than I've seen it in pictures of the boat. Here's my reasoning: I've done most of my soloing from tandem canoes sitting in the bow seat. That places me more towards the stern than traditional solos and I've really felt comfortable in this area. I feel I have great control. My boat tracks great as each stroke doesn't push the bow much. A moderate J-stroke here and there and I'm on my way efficiently, and comfortably. I also want a yoke centered for portaging. I'm not into this over the shoulder thing on grueling portages. Which would mean, the seat couldn't be there. I think I could also plan on my canoe frequently having a load of gear in addition to the paddler that I would place towards the bow.
                            I don't agree, empirically or theoretically, with any of your reasoning.

                            Paddling a canoe designed to be be a solo is not the same as paddling a tandem canoe backwards from the bow seat. The seat position in the solo canoe has been placed by the designer very specifically to maximize proper (boat empty) trim and paddling control. The backwards bow seat position in a tandem paddled solo is a klutzy accommodation to the existing seat positions. You don't have "great control" when there is too much stern trim and too little ability to reach forward for efficient bow and cross-bow strokes.

                            A solo canoe is best controlled when the design waterline is the actual waterline. This occurs when -- to use simplistic terminology -- the center of gravity is over the canoe's pivot point. In a canoe empty of gear, this occurs in most solo canoes when the center seat is about 6"-9" behind the pivot point, depending on whether you are a sitter or kneeler and your size and weight. When the COG is over the pivot point, the empty canoe will be properly trimmed and you will be able to reach all paddling quarters of the canoe for maximum control. That is, there are forward, reverse and turning strokes you can learn that are most properly placed in the on-side bow quarter, the on-side stern quarter, the off-side bow quarter, or the off-side stern quarter -- no matter whether you are switch-side paddling or single-side correction stroke paddling.

                            All watercraft designed for solo paddling have the seat placed so that the craft, when empty, will have the COG very close to being over the pivot point -- e.g., solo touring canoes, pack canoes, touring kayaks, rec kayaks, whitewater canoes, whitewater kayaks, outrigger canoes, surf skis, and all racing canoes and kayaks.

                            A sliding seat can help adjust trim when you have gear in the canoe. or when you deliberately want to go bow light or stern light to induce bow skid or stern skid turns on twisty creeks or just for fun.

                            It makes little sense to me to place a seat in a solo canoe in anticipation that there may be a bow paddler. Of course, a 15' canoe such as an Osprey could be paddled tandem by two light paddlers, but then you should decide whether you are building it as a solo, for which it was designed, or as a bastardized tandem and place the seats accordingly.

                            Finally, no dedicated solo canoes have a center thwart. Everyone uses some sort of attachment portage thwart. Here's a video of another idea that incorporates the Level Six Helium Yoke Pad:


                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by yetii View Post
                              That strap idea is fascinating. Haven't seen that before.
                              Originally posted by recped View Post
                              Yeah the black strap yoke pictured above is from Mohawk, I have one in my XL14 that was factory installed.
                              Those strap yokes are a Mohawk idea, and we have them in every solo canoe. Some are Mohawks

                              https://www.mohawkcanoes.com/collect...s/webbing-yoke

                              Most are DIY’s using 2” webbing and some kind of strap connector piece. I don’t trust Mohawk’s new (no longer ITW-Nexus) Chinese made side-release buckles with a boat much over 50 lbs; I had a couple buckles shatter into flying plastic shrapnel. An instant before the canoe hit me on the head.

                              A quality 2” Nexus side release buckle, two D rings or even a toothed cinch buckle provides more cranial confidence.

                              I do like the fact that the strap yoke is permanently installed outfitting. The long strap end rolls up and Velcro’s away under an inwale, and I don’t have to remember to bring it. Or be SOL when I forget to bring a clamp-on yoke; I am not a big fan of most clamp-on or removable yokes, but I’ll bring one if I feel the need. And if I remember.

                              Comment

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