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Dream canoe dream rigging

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I've been wearing out the SRT youtube video as I am enamored with the SRT as a potential expedition river tripper. To that end, in addition to daydreaming about owning an SRT, I'm daydreaming about my ideal rigging. Given the rigging expertise on this forum, I'm happy to have others contribute to the dreaming :)

Seat: Given I kneel 90% of the time, my preferred seat rigging is actually a Northwater adjustable saddle: adjustable saddle
The saddle is can be adjusted for and aft the length of the daisy chains secured to the bottom of the hull (I do not like the method for adjustment, as it's slow and clunky, so am trying to figure out a better solution than the Northwater design). Any suggestions appreciated.
I was also pondering the addition of a kneeling thwart at the back (high) end of the adjustable saddle, thus making a more secure platform for sitting (thwart combined with level sitting are of pedestal), with an added bonus of increased structural integrity?

End bags: I'd like to put flotation in the bow and stern ends. Recommendations welcome. For this to work, I assume I'll need a few d-rings in those spots for anchoring (I've never used float bags).

Other d-rings: I'll be tying in gear, so I'll need some more d-rings or other means of securing packs/barrels low in the canoe. Was looking at these double d-rings: Double d-ring or cam buckle anchor. Suggestions/ideas welcome.

Knee pads: Currently, I've used closed cell foam but I've heard that neoprene is perhaps less slippery? Links/suggestions welcome.

Painters: I'm assuming bow and stern painters can be secured to the deck via bungee dealie bobs or shock cord. My plan is to also have a CCS spraydeck, which will allow bow and stern painters to be secured to the spraydeck.

In addition to bow/stern painters, I like to affix a throw rope to the stern deck of the canoe. In the event of a swim, I grab the rope and swim to shore.

Thwart mods: I'd like a few shock cords to secure loose items. Any expert advise? (Chamfered holes, anyone?). I should note that I'm not very handy.
I'd also like to be able to affix a compass to the thwart....

Other mods/ideas? Thanks all in advance.
 
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Don’t know if it’s possible, could you take the adjustable part off the saddle and glue just the block in place?
How’s about a couple of d rings in your sitting area for tying down a water bottle, or hat in case of an upset and keeps stuff from rolling around.
A coffee cup holder some where in that area is nice as well.
Ive upgraded my swim rope/throw bag so that it’s attached at my bow, and then it runs down across the top of my spray deck, held in place with Velcro tabs to just in front of my cockpit. A couple of strategically tied knots helps keep it from sliding around. Accessorizing the spray deck could probably be a whole other thread!
Does the SRT come with grab loops? I had to install these on my Clipper, crazy they don’t come from the factory with them.
Ive put some other personal touches on my solo, like some stickers with sentimental meanings, and of course the boats name is on its bow as well.
 
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I like the adjustability, but not the means of adjusting (unthread and rethread cinch thing).
Was thinking about this from NRS for water bottle.
The SRT has grab handles on the end and scuppered gunwales that can be used to tie things in.
I like the suggestion for other d-rings near the sitting station. Interesting about your throw bag. That would make it more immediately accessible. Thanks for passing along!
Tugeyes or no Tugeyes for lining rope?
 

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Tomo, while you virtually rig your fantasy SRT, in case you want to see pictures of the SRT in action, here are some sources:

1. This site has several pictures and descriptions of SRT's on trips, including mine, Waterdog's and Conk's. Use the search function. I have mine rigged with a fore-aft adjustable Deal bucket seat, D-rings on the floor at both ends placed to tie down 30" long float bags and/or gear, a foot bar, thigh straps, and Bungee Dealey Bobs on the thwarts and decks.

2. Dave Curtis has SRT photos in several places on his Hemlock canoe website—for example, here, here, here, here and here.
 
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Glenn,
I thank you. I daresay at this point I’ve read most of the threads and seen most of the pictures. Appreciate your consolidation, and yet I’m still interested in the ongoing discourse.
 
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Thats a gorgeous boat. I'm going to look and see how much it costs, if you can load it for a month that works, but I would feel bad dragging it over a couple hundred miles of ice. Too pretty.
 
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Tomo, I’ll offer some suggestions, recommendations and ideas.

Adjustable saddle. Too subjective without knowing your preferences and paddling intentions. Do you kneel most of the time? Can you (could you) sit comfortably atop the 11” high back end if you needed a brief knee break in the flats?

As a compromise I’d prefer a canted/contoured seat with enough room underneath for my feet. I am a sitter 95% of the time, and have size 12 feet, so the seat height for that becomes the compromise part. And I wear stacked heel mukluks off season; no way those are fitting under the seat, and if they did I don’t know how the hell I’d get them back out.

I have big foot friends who occasionally kneel. Skilled WW paddlers, they are most likely to risk capsize in some flatwater run-out pool while trying to extract their feet. If you are a size 8 and wear flexible kneeling shoes or booties a canted bench seat may work for you.

End bags. No brand/model recommendation, although generally you get what you pay for with floatation bags. The better ones, bag material aside, will have tie points at the stem tip as well as the wide ends, and in other places for caging and lacing restraints.

As important as anything the float bags should be properly sized for the canoe. Too small and they aren’t occluding enough water, and may try to squeeze their way out. Too big and they end up tucked and folded not fully inflated, and may proceed to bulge awkwardly under water pressure in a capsize. The manufacturer, or a reputable paddle shop, would know the best size end bags to use.

Blue Mountain Outfitter in PA keeps a list of which size float bags best fit which canoes. If you ask them for a size recommendation please buy from them; that kind of knowledge needs to be kept in business.

D-rings. Absolutely, located for the stem float bags they can also be used for gear. I can see no reason to use anything other than Northwater’s double D-rings; you can use the double D as a pass through ladder lock with a naked end webbing strap, or use one D with a ladder locked webbing strap for the stem bag and the second D for another webbing strap, over gear in the opposite orientation.

PB270024 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Once assured that I have the best location for D-ring pads I install them with G/flex, cover them with sandbag weights and pull the bags every half hour to press down any bubble or edge lift on the pad. I have yet to have even a hint of lift or failure with G/flexed pads. Of course removing them would be near impossible, so I better be sure that is where I want them affixed.

D-ring pads or minicel, G/flex or contact cement, any of that benefits from some weight or compression while the adhesive sets up. Sand bag weights were gravity assist is possible, clamps where it isn’t.

PB240010 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Yeah, minicel “knee bumpers”. I’m a sitter, and a comfort seeker; I want some cushion for the knee pushing on that hard inwale edge.

PC080011 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Other D-rings. Not actually “D-rings”, but the simplest, stoutest and least expensive tie down points are webbing loops with a 3/16” holes melted through the ends, stuck on the bottom of existing machine screw ends under the washer and nut. A 20 penny nail heated with a propane torch makes a perfect, sealed 3/16” hole.

PB210017 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Knee pads. I don’t find minicel that slippery, even less so if you rough up a bit of shape on it. I have covered minicel with neoprene; contact cement works fine, they look “dressy” and are less wear and tear prone than naked minicel. The N1S neoprene, which is rubbery coated on one side, has worked well with contact cement.

PB180062 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

If you need to secure seams on neoprene Melco Tape is made for that purpose. Used on wet suits, it simply irons on and holds very well. Neoprene covers can become a challenge. You’ll want to make a template covering the size and shape before cutting up the neoptrene. Pretty straight forward template making.

PB160036 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Looks a little Red Cross-ish. If you have angled edges it get trickier, and you end up with something more Red Baron-ish.

PB160038 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Painter keepers. There are a myriad of ways folks prefer securing their painter lines. An arrangement of bungee cord works well for my purposes. With a large enough deck plate I use a single line of bungee cord, run over-under-over in a sideways Z pattern, so on top of the deck plate I have a / \. Put the painter line in sideways, held by bungee on both sides, and grab it from the middle it. It can’t inadvertently end up under one bungee, oops stretching it out.

PC150024 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

I have started putting a beefy cord lock on one end of the bungee under the deck plate, so if it eventually stretches out, or I want to switch to thicker painter line, I can adjust the bungee tension.

On canoes with winky 4” long deck caps you don’t have a lot of bungee keeper pattern choice, maybe a short single run, and the bundle of painter can stand awkwardly tall. On some of our canoes I installed a flat plate, under the inwales, between the winky deck caps and carry handles, so I had more area to drill for bungees. That also serves to keep the painters secured largely below the sheerline.

P1220442 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

I dunno about “affixing” a throw rope to the stern deck, I’ll straight up say bad idea. I’d rather have the throw rope easily (quickly, instantly) accessible if I need to toss it to someone. And I really don’t want or need fifty feet of throw rope flailing around if I’m trying to swim while holding it, the painter line has always been sufficient, and even then sometimes longer than I needed.

Thwart mods. I like having a run of bungee across the thwart, often run through a drilled dowel or ball so it is easier to grab, especially with cold wet fingers or gloved hands. Yes, chamfer the holes to reduce wear on the bungee cord. Doesn’t hurt to use a cord lock for adjustment there either.

PB210014 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

If you want a flatter than round ball hold, for maps or etc, a piece of old gunwale stock works well for flat surface to flat surface.

P3200673 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Beyond thwart modifications the “utility” thwarts in our canoes have deck hooks for attaching a compass, and other gee gaws including a sail mount. When sailing or just map & compass navigating I really like having an easily visible deck compass mounted there.

P3200676 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

The deck hooks (J-hooks) are for the compass and the toothy geared thing is a sail mount. The open cam cleat is there because, with spray covers attached, it is a long damn ways to grab a painter line held Velcro’ed on the bow stem. Well, 8 feet away, a lot can happen in the time it takes me to get out and splash stumble 8 feet to the bow. In a deck covered guise I want a painter in hand before I step out of the canoe.

CCS spray deck. Yeah buddy, right there with ya! Ours are mostly custom Cooke Custom Sewing spray covers; partial covers with fore and aft drainage baffles, leaving an open easy access/egress “cockpit”.

IMG019 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

With a snap riveted spray deck you need to back up each pop rivet with a washer. Or you can use mini SS D-rings on some, and have tie down points every six inches for float bag or gear lacing.

PB260004 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

One more thing I have found helpful with spray decked canoes; the carry handles will be inaccessible under the covers, and stem loops, even using something like 5/16” rope, are not especially hand kindly. I’ve started cutting the ends off bicycle hand bar grips and running the painter loops through those.

P1130028 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Caveat with using painter loops as grab handles on spray covered canoe; make sure the loop is long enough that your fingers have clearance past the deck cap. Really don’t want to crush your fingers or get your hand stuck there.

P1130030 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

Other mods/ideas? Jeeze, you went and got me started on a day when I was waiting for an epoxy repair to set up and a canoe project untouchable immovable.

The above of course is all personal outfitting preferences. YMMV

Tomo, when you have your dream canoe, SRT or other, please bring us along for the outfitting ride.
 
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Hi tomo,

While outfitting my canoe of choice for a Moisie River trip; the was seat paramount. I considered a saddle, yet thought of all the non whitewater areas. Long stretches of flat river and large lakes returned my attention to a solid seat. The ability to paddle on both sides convinced me toward a flat seat. Thoughts of heeling the Caption (loaded or un) with a tractor seat did not appeal me.

Suggestion: consider all paddling conditions and outfit for such. And, think beyond the present trip. Can you reverse the past outfitting with ease?

Friends from Old Town Canoe sent me seat hangers to outfit my Dagger Caption as a solo whitewater tripper. Addional outfitting included Tugeyes, Northwater spray deck, Northwater toe blocks with Dagger toe cups... or other name. And clips to hold the bilge pump.

I wear a throw-rope on my waist (NRS throughout the paddling season- cold to warm) and bowline painters to the bow and stern.

Unfortunately, photos would not load. Per se, I am better with a canoe paddle many times than this electronic stuff.

Be well!
 

Glenn MacGrady

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Unfortunately, photos would not load.

Dirigo, if the photos are on your computer, click the Insert Image icon (mountain) in the reply box toolbar, click on the browse image box that opens up, find the photo on your computer, and then open it. The image will insert into the reply box where your cursor is. You can then resize it or leave it the size it is.
 
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Hi tomo,

While outfitting my canoe of choice for a Moisie River trip; the was seat paramount. I considered a saddle, yet thought of all the non whitewater areas. Long stretches of flat river and large lakes returned my attention to a solid seat. The ability to paddle on both sides convinced me toward a flat seat. Thoughts of heeling the Caption (loaded or un) with a tractor seat did not appeal me.

Suggestion: consider all paddling conditions and outfit for such. And, think beyond the present trip. Can you reverse the past outfitting with ease?

Friends from Old Town Canoe sent me seat hangers to outfit my Dagger Caption as a solo whitewater tripper. Addional outfitting included Tugeyes, Northwater spray deck, Northwater toe blocks with Dagger toe cups... or other name. And clips to hold the bilge pump.

I wear a throw-rope on my waist (NRS throughout the paddling season- cold to warm) and bowline painters to the bow and stern.

Unfortunately, photos would not load. Per se, I am better with a canoe paddle many times than this electronic stuff.

Be well!
A64DECA9-59B6-4C1A-97DB-87DE1CD8D00C.jpeg
Dirigo, if the photos are on your computer, click the Insert Image icon (mountain) in the reply box toolbar, click on the browse image box that opens up, find the photo on your computer, and then open it. The image will insert into the reply box where your cursor is. You can then resize it or leave it the size it is.
Thank you Glenn. Photos are not on the lap top, yet are on an album my phone.

tomo, please let me know if different photos may help you in the outfitting of the SRT.

Shots of my SRT with no additional outfitting. Thinking of adding thigh strap anchors on the floor and up on the sidewalls. I do enjoy a clean floor. Presently using a Cascade Design Ridgerest for knee comfort.
8D726E68-6161-4804-81FE-7F9BF68A7D75.jpeg
 

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Thanks all for weighing in. I hear ya about all day comfort regarding the saddle. I'll have to give this some more thought. I have the above Northwater saddle in my Swift Osprey, though admittedly I've only used it on a five day trip so the verdict isn't quite in yet, but as a person that kneels 90% of the time, I found the saddle comfortable enough to sit on to get breaks from kneeling...I have size 11 feet and do worry about getting my feet stuck underneath the seat in the event of a whitewater capsize. I realize the SRT is a deep boat, but I figure that any seat high enough for my feet to easily fit under is likely to be too high for me to feel secure sitting on....anyway, my thinking about the saddle isn't geared toward whitewater performance, but simply as a way to safely and comfortably kneel as my primary paddling position.

Throw rope affixed to deck: This is for solo self-rescue. Given that I have nobody to throw me a rope or nobody to throw a rope to, I affix the throwrope to the stern deck, and in the event of a capsize I grab the rope and swim to shore to (hopefully) haul in the canoe (if I'm near shore I can skip the throw rope and grab the shorter painter instead).

Mike--your outfitting is something to behold! Love the grab handle idea and other gee gaws.

Dirigo--that Moise rigging looks great. You are ready to run some serious water.
 
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My MadRiver Outrage X currently has the same type of foam pedestal seat described by the OP. I dislike it and have never adjusted it. My previous white water outfitted boat was a Bell Prodigy with Mike Yee outfitting and Bob Foote Pedestal. The BF pedestal had adjustable foot braces and was much nicer but still, the pedestal itself wasn’t adjustable to bow/stern for trim. Neither of these boats are for tripping. They are short enough that you can adjust the trim by leaning forward or backward. I will be putting a full Mike Yee outfitting system in it this Spring.

In my SRT, I sit 70% of the time and kneel about 30% of the time. As mentioned it‘s a pretty deep boat so I can sit through most rapids just fine and I think it’s got plenty of stability sitting. I kneel to gain some more control when carving eddies and dropping into hydraulics, ect and am comfortable. I have size 11 feet and never felt like my feet would get hung up under the seats. IMO adjusting trim by moving a saddle would be time consuming and frustrating. In a 16’ or shorter tripping boat why not just pack in a manner that lets you push pull gear fore and aft while on the fly? Or move your dog! 😊 As an aside the SRT has foot braces (for sitting position) which i like a lot. I’m putting them on my Bell Rockstar this Spring as well.

My SRT has scuppered gunnels and I recall is an option. I will use those for bag lacing and terminate the cage opening with a d-ring or similar on the floor. I need the space for packs so my plan is if I go to bags I will get fairly small ones made by Fall Line and instead of a d-ring at the floor I will glue a length of daisy chain instead and I can collapse the bag and bag gage towards the stems
as needed to fit gear. That’s my thought anyway. This is all subjective of course to you own experience, tolerance to kneeling, and tripping style.

Good Luck with your project!

Barry
 
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Thanks for providing real world experience with the SRT. Glad to hear you are comfortable sitting and don't feel as though the seat placement hinders exit (forced or otherwise). Given your whitewater background, I imagine your inherent comfort level is much greater than mine...Anyway, agree about the shifting gear vs trying to adjust the Northwater saddle to trim the canoe. The Northwater system is enough of a pain that I wouldn't want to be making saddle adjustments during the day. What seat do you have in your SRT?
 

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As to adjustment, other than experimenting when I first got my SRT, I have never adjusted the Deal bucket seat fore or aft after I decided upon the optimal position when the boat is empty, which is the same place Dave Curtis recommended.

As to foot extraction, I have my SRT seat mounted low at about 9" off the bottom and have mild difficulty extracting my 10.5 feet. I wouldn't feel comfortable paddling it on that low seat regularly in whitewater.

I have thought of a foam saddle for the SRT but reject them as too space-consuming and perhaps heavy in a tripping canoe. I'd prefer instead one of the carbon tractor seat pedestals that Alan Gage makes, which can be used for kneeling or sitting (but I can't find his pictures). Stripperguy has made a similar sit-kneel pedestal seat pan that can quickly adjust fore and aft with 3M Dual Lock, as shown here:

 
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Tomo,
The seat in my SRT is the Conk Contoured seat. I find it comfortable for sitting and kneeling. Glen makes another good argument for not using a foam pedestal for a tripping canoe, weight.

The seats that Glen pointed out by Stripperguy and Alan Gage might be the perfect compromise. I kind of remember that they made them out of carbon and so maintained a light weight build.

Barry
 

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I found this picture of stripperguy's Kite with the adjustable pedestal seat. You could also kick the seat off if your feet were trapped underneath.

Stripperguy seat 3M Dual Lock.JPG
 
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I bought a new solo this fall and got a good start outfitting it.
I'm not entirely happy with what I've done so far. I tried some new things and not sure they will work.
This canoe is Kevlar and carbon fiber.
I want to get a T-Formex canoe before spring. So I have a lot of outfitting to do.
I'm looking over all the photos and tips and picking up some good ideas.
Northwind outfitted.jpg
 
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I found this picture of stripperguy's Kite with the adjustable pedestal seat. You could also kick the seat off if your feet were trapped underneath.

View attachment 128704

Glenn,
THanks for posting that photo of my red Kite.
Yes, the seat is specifically designed to avoid entrapment, but there is also space under the seat for both of my feet. In addition, there is room enough on either side of the pedestals to allow a foot and a knee, to easily and comfortably roll the hull to the gunnels.
The seat is held firmly in place with 3M Dual Lock, a sort of Velcro on steroids. The seat adjusts in an instant fore and aft by about 12 inches.
The attachment is firm enough that I can lift the entire boat by the seat frame, a 38 lb load.
Pedestals themselves are H80 Divinycell foam, 2 inches thick, wrapped in 5.5 oz carbon fiber cloth.
I paddle many waters with beaver dams, and the free space on the sides of the seat and pedestals makes for effortless movement to the bow or stern, to more easily traverse those beaver dams. Much more cumbersome to climb up and around seat frames that extend to the hull, or are hung from the gunnels.
So let’s see…safety, comfort,control, convenience, yeah, I’m happy with the design.
 
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I have been debating outfitting and seat choices for my recently acquired Blue Hole Sunburst II. Right now has a foam saddle that I actually find pretty comfortable but intention is to use the canoe for downriver tripping much like the OP's SRT rather than much technical whitewater playing so had thought the saddle could be removed and rebuilt along the lines of the Northwater adjustable saddle to allow a swap of saddle with seat depending on circumstances/trip.

I like the idea of Stripperguy's pedestal seat but strongly suspect that narrow, concentrated mounting surface would not work with Royalex hull. The saddle in the boat now has caused stress cracks in the hull over the years.

Any thoughts on how or if this system could work in a RX hull? Broad base of epoxy/glass to distribute load?
 
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Stripperguy, that seat looks ingenious. If you have other photos, I'd love to see them. After much pedestal pondering, I think I'd start with seat as installed by Dave Curtis (I like the seat Mr. Deal designed).
 
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