Folding Seat?

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After reading the 'Kevlar Worn Toes' thread (http://www.canoetripping.net/forums/showthread.php?599-Kevlar-worn-toes) I started thinking about my experience in my canoes. For me anyway, kneeling is a whole different animal from sitting. Even in a plastic boat (a DY Wildfire BTW) the tops of my feet really suffer just from sand tracked in the boat. My problem is that my legs go numb after a while due to the nerve damage caused by Lyme Disease. To help with this, I switch from kneeling to sitting to kneeling on one knee with the other knee up near the thwart in front of me. This helps me a lot and is 180* from when I used to paddle 10-12 hours either sitting on kneeling constantly. I usually wear wool socks because I think they feel a little less cold and slimy as the day progresses. I can't wear shoes because my size 13's barely fit under the seat as it is. I sometimes worry about the possibility of being trapped in an overturned boat but so far this has not been an issue.

So...do you guys think it is practical to make my seat hinged in the back and simply resting on a set of stops in the front so that I could flip it up in order to kneel without my feet being under the seat. This would also allow me to lower the seat a little to where I feel it should be for me. Maybe someone else has tried this and has a good reason not do this. Any insight would be welcomed.

Alright dag-nab-it...I'm secure enough with my manhood to admit, or should I say proclaim, that I too wear Crocks. I used them a lot as a hiker for camp shoes and that's mainly what I use them for when paddling. I don't do much portaging down here but I wear cross trainer shoes when I do. A heavy load balanced on wet feet slipping and sliding inside a pair of crocks can make for a very eventful and exciting carry. They work well on the water because they float and can strap to your feet for entry and exit in rough bottomed areas and are easily kicked off once in the canoe. Laugh at my shoes if you must but they work well for me and at this point in my life, that's good enough. :rolleyes:
 
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Shearwater could answer better than I but I think he is away for a month canoeing. His seat is hinged in back and rests on blocks in front. He too is concerned with entrapment due to ankle fusion (it does not bend and he cant bank on it twisting sideways as usually people do when they dump) Nothing special other than that. He kneels occasionally on his seat and sits on it without adjustment. Kneeling you need some butt support and flipping the seat all the way up you wont get it.. If you move too far forward your Wild Fire will be a drunken sailor. The bow will plow and the boat hard to steer.

I might not have envisioned your proposal correctly though. Btw is your seat height comfortable now for kneeling.? You might have to saw the drop bolts. Its legal. My husband has size 13 but the seat is nine inches off the floor.
 
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Despite your Croc usage I feel inclined to try to help. Getting away from your proposal on the other thread and to your original problem I'd like to understand the situation better.

As far as I can tell you would like three things to happen -

1. A low seat so you can sit with your feet out in front of you.

2. A seat/thwart for kneeling in which you just need to keep your butt off your heels.

3. A combination of 1 and 2 that will not cause you to be trapped when using it in configuration 2 and allows ease of sliding your feet under when kneeling.

I am envisioning a ways to do this, but I'm not sure how practical any of them would be. If I have the constraints right, let me know and I'd like to sketch something up.

Wenonah makes an adjustable seat configuration that might almost work for this.

I suspect it still would not provide any more clearance in the highest position for kneeling. It would however lower the seat for sitting and even allow you to (forgive me for proposing this) use a double blade if you wanted.

The other way might be a completely hinging seat which flips all the way back and the the simple gunnel clamp on thwart for kneeling. Switching would simply mean flipping the seat back and attaching the other end of the web strap to the gunnel, then to go back, removing one half the web kneeling and flipping the seat forward.
 
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You read my mind on your last suggestion. I never considered a kneeling strap before. It sounds like it might just work. The seat bracket is interesting but, like you, I don't think there is quite enough travel in it to give me good clearance. That might be something I could look into later and fabricate myself to have more movement. The double paddle is an option and might be a welcomed change for my arthritic hands especially in high winds on open water. From what I understand, historically many canoes were powered by double blades. Now I'm gonna have to try and prototype something this week end to try out next week. Thanks!
 
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Well I think you had put the idea of a removable thwart and hinging seat out on the other thread.

The strap designs I have seen just used a piece of webbing, maybe 1-1/2 thick sewn to a couple pieces of slotted PVC. The slots obviously large enough to be slipped over your gunnels. I'm not sure how the webbing was attached on the one I saw but I am guessing it was looped and sew on the inwhale side of the PVC. That seems like the way you would want it to keep it secure with your weight on it. I was looking for a picture or plans but I couldn't find any.

I don't see any issues with hinging the seat. I would think you would want to extend the seat frame back far enough for the hinge to be behind where your heels will be. That would most likely mean a longer seat frame.
 
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The pvc idea is clever although sometimes when I am tired or not paying attention I have a tendency to rub my hand against the gunwale as I paddle. The cut edge could be heated and smoothed but it would probably still not feel too good to rake across it. I guess I could use it to break my bad paddling habits. If it worked well enough for me I would be willing to cut a small slit through the royalex of my canoe so that the strap could wrap the gunwale.

Good catch on the seat hinge. No need to tilt the seat if it is still in my way. Thanks.
 
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The pvc idea is clever although sometimes when I am tired or not paying attention I have a tendency to rub my hand against the gunwale as I paddle. The cut edge could be heated and smoothed but it would probably still not feel too good to rake across it. I guess I could use it to break my bad paddling habits. If it worked well enough for me I would be willing to cut a small slit through the royalex of my canoe so that the strap could wrap the gunwale.

Good catch on the seat hinge. No need to tilt the seat if it is still in my way. Thanks.

I do the same - I actually pry off the gunnel everytime I J like Bill Mason does. I find it the most comfortable way for me to paddle. I have a lever in my hand and a fulcrum on my gunnel, why not use it? Oh because it destroys paddles... well yes, my relatively new Fox has already cracked the poly there and exposed bare wood. Also it is noisy. I clunk off the gunnel everytime I J. Not so annoying with wooden gunnels but with aluminum or plastic it gets loud.

But I can see where the PVC would hinder that. It might be worth riveting/bolting a hanger under the in whale i.e. just a piece slotted wood on both sides loop the strap to it. One side you use a large belt clasp so it could be unattached and re-attached quickly. Just an idea...
 
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