Hung seat vs sliding bucket in a Magic?

Joined
Jan 22, 2012
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405
Location
Wyoming
Howdy all,

Thinking seriously about a new canoe, leaning toward a Magic. The boat I'm looking at doesn't have the seat installed and the shop will do the standard Bell hung seat or they'll put in a Wenonah sliding bucket.

I kneel more than I sit generally but I have been paddling from a sitting position more often these days as I work on my single blade technique. Let's call it a 50/50 kneel/sit scenario these days. I'm not a sit' n switch paddler, prefer to paddle from one side or the other, straight shaft paddles.

I've never paddled from a sliding bucket and never considered one since I kneel so much of the time. Assumed the bucket slider would be a poor platform for such style. The shop is very enthusiastic on slider buckets - bunch of older competitive paddlers. They say kneeling is no problem from the bucket, they do it all the time in rougher waters or wind.

The ability to easily adjust trim on the fly is very attractive but I'm not convinced I want to wander from a nice hung seat for my style of paddling. Unfortunately I don't any way of spending a decent amount of water time in a sliding bucket boat to help make a decision.

I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has experience with the sliding buckets and kneeling with the same. I just can't imagine its as comfortable as a hung seat.

Thanks.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Have them put in a Conk Contoured Seat and be done with it. It's a hanger.

I have no experience with the buckets but they look awful for kneeling unless maybe they were canted forward and then I'd question how good they'd be for sitting.

The guy on here that could sell you on that for sure is Glenn. His SRT has the bucket and he's mainly a kneeler.

I think you need to test this out, or go with your gut. Even if someone says they like a bucket for kneeling, you may hate it. Personally I'd like to try one some day, but it's hard to find a setup to test.

I can tell you for sure the Conk seat works good for kneeling and sitting.
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2014
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NW Iowa
This is what I replaced my stock Magic seat with when I first got it:

http://www.rutabaga.com/eds-canoe-cane-bucket-canoe-seat

At the time (6 or so years ago) I didn't find either of them comfortable but my canoe posture is much better now. I find the Ed's seat plenty comfortable but I also find the stock Bell seat that I have in a couple of my other boats comfortable enough too.

I like sitting, I like bucket seats, and I like sliders. I've been meaning to install one in my Magic for years but never got around to it and I'm glad I didn't. When I built my woodstrip Kite I put in a narrow sliding bucket on a pedestal figuring that I could kneel around it. That works fine but it's bit of a pain, I just need a thick cushion to boost the seat up to a more comfortable height.

20120717_003 by Alan Gage, on Flickr

But the one thing I didn't anticipate, and that I really don't like about it, is that if you have the seat slid back very far (which I usually do to balance out the dog in the bow) the pedestal is in the way so you can't pull back one or both legs to sit cross legged, which is what I'm usually doing if I'm lazy paddling.

There are ways to rig up a sliding seat, which can be nice to have, that don't involve a pedestal but that's starting to get custom. You can use a standard (non bucket) seat though.

At what height will the seat be installed? When I bought my Magic the previous owner had it setup for kneeling with the seat just below the gunwales. Not very comfortable sitting that high in a Magic. I lowered it to the standard sitting position (4" below gunwales if I remember right) and haven't knelt in it since. That's only about 6" above the floor and seems a bit tight. The point being I don't know how practical it is to set the seat height for kneeling as well as sitting on the Magic. I suppose I'd still be comfortable with it raised a couple inches. Depends on foot size too I guess. With my Kite, on the other hand, I plan on redoing the seat this winter and raising it to gunwale height so I can easily sit or kneel. The boat should have plenty of stability to raise the seat.

By all means, no matter what seat you get, if you plan to sit at all put in a foot brace. I honestly don't know how anyone can stand to paddle seated without one.

Alan
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
405
Location
Wyoming
Have them put in a Conk Contoured Seat and be done with it. It's a hanger.

I have no experience with the buckets but they look awful for kneeling unless maybe they were canted forward and then I'd question how good they'd be for sitting.

The guy on here that could sell you on that for sure is Glenn. His SRT has the bucket and he's mainly a kneeler.

I think you need to test this out, or go with your gut. Even if someone says they like a bucket for kneeling, you may hate it. Personally I'd like to try one some day, but it's hard to find a setup to test.

I can tell you for sure the Conk seat works good for kneeling and sitting.

I believe I'm going to play it safe and go with the hanger. Alan brought up a point I hadn't thought of regarding the pedestal.

I'll look into that Conk seat - I've heard nothing but high praise for them.

This is what I replaced my stock Magic seat with when I first got it:

http://www.rutabaga.com/eds-canoe-cane-bucket-canoe-seat

At the time (6 or so years ago) I didn't find either of them comfortable but my canoe posture is much better now. I find the Ed's seat plenty comfortable but I also find the stock Bell seat that I have in a couple of my other boats comfortable enough too.

I like sitting, I like bucket seats, and I like sliders. I've been meaning to install one in my Magic for years but never got around to it and I'm glad I didn't. When I built my woodstrip Kite I put in a narrow sliding bucket on a pedestal figuring that I could kneel around it. That works fine but it's bit of a pain, I just need a thick cushion to boost the seat up to a more comfortable height.

But the one thing I didn't anticipate, and that I really don't like about it, is that if you have the seat slid back very far (which I usually do to balance out the dog in the bow) the pedestal is in the way so you can't pull back one or both legs to sit cross legged, which is what I'm usually doing if I'm lazy paddling....

....At what height will the seat be installed? When I bought my Magic the previous owner had it setup for kneeling with the seat just below the gunwales. Not very comfortable sitting that high in a Magic. I lowered it to the standard sitting position (4" below gunwales if I remember right) and haven't knelt in it since. That's only about 6" above the floor and seems a bit tight. The point being I don't know how practical it is to set the seat height for kneeling as well as sitting on the Magic. I suppose I'd still be comfortable with it raised a couple inches. Depends on foot size too I guess. With my Kite, on the other hand, I plan on redoing the seat this winter and raising it to gunwale height so I can easily sit or kneel. The boat should have plenty of stability to raise the seat.

By all means, no matter what seat you get, if you plan to sit at all put in a foot brace. I honestly don't know how anyone can stand to paddle seated without one.

Alan

That sure is a purty Kite you put together there.

I've got a couple of Ed's contour seats and like them. One is in an Old Town Pack I use for photography - that seat has a lotta butt time logged :)

I'm not sure what length drops come with the current production Magic but I'll be making my own anyway to get a bit of angle. Your comment regarding crossed legs was like a light bulb turning on - hadn't even thought of that aspect.

I've decided to stay with what I know if I decide to jump on this boat. And I will be installing foot support. I'll paddle it a bit before I decide to use braces or a bar. I like the clearance in the boat that braces afford but the bar offers a variety of foot rest positions.

Thanks for the comments, gentlemen.
 
G

Guest

Guest
The Conk seat is pricey, but it's pretty comfortable. It's also very stiff, which is something you definitely want for one that you sit on. I don't think he really intended it mainly as a sitter, but for 50/50 it's a good enough compromise IMO. And now I don't know about the gunwales on the Bell, but I'd look into using the drops from Conk as well. They make those significantly stiffer than most, again a good thing for sitting. As they are they might be a bit wide for a Bell gunwale though but I'm just guessing on some stuff I read here. I'd check for sure.

Best and possibly only way to get them is from Hemlock/Canoe Country.

I tried a plain old flat seat when I bought my solo and it didn't do it for me. I wanted more angle for kneeling but it would have been too much for sitting. That curved front bar gives you a better effective kneeling angle and you can actually sit without feeling like you are going to slide forward.
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2014
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Lower Saranac Lake, Adirondacks
The first year of production we outfitted Magic with an intermediate seat that worked both ways. The stock dropped seat can be improved by switching to Ed's contoured cane bucket, a Conk's custom or Swifts's standard laminated seat. Ed's has a pronounced center hump and is cut away for betted thigh relief. Conk's and Swifts seats are very similar with relieved front edges for kneeling but not as comfortable as Ed's unit for sitting. The Swift seat has Dacron web and laminated frame, so is lighter. All hang from the rails with long machine screws, hopefully through one piece seat drops or trusses. The stress on a hull with 3" tumblehome each side is problematical and the seat can sway side to side. For dedicated sit down, bent styx paddlers a floor mounted sliding pedestal would be an improvement. Wenonah makes an alu framed slider that can be Plexused in place.
 

Glenn MacGrady

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Oct 24, 2012
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I'd recommend a hung Deal-Hemlock bucket seat for an efficient seat designed for both sitting and kneeling. It was designed by a kneeling canoeist and whitewater champion, Harold Deal, and has no platform contraptions underneath to interfere with your leg or foot positioning. It's also curved over the front seat bar so it doesn't cut into the back of your thighs as a Wenonah bucket seat might.

The Deal bucket in my SRT is mounted on adjustable Deal-Hemlock-Conk seat drops. You can't slide the seat on the fly, but you can adjust the fore-aft position for different loads by repositioning the bolts along the perforated rail. I rarely do that, sticking with one preferred position. You can adjust height with various thickness shim wedges.

You could just mount the Deal bucket seat on regular seat drops. I'm sure Dave Curtis at Hemlock could make a Deal bucket seat in any gel coat color to match your canoe. The purpose of my bathtub friction tape on the seat is to cover some stainless steel bolt heads and to make the gel coated seat less slippery.

IMGP0113.JPG


I also have an 8" deep Conk Custom Crafted Comfort Curve Contoured seat for the SRT. This is a custom variation of the standard Conk seat, which is 10" deep. Here is the 8" version next to Conk's personal Deal bucket for his SRT, which he has covered with Ridgerest foam like Harold Deal does. I don't think that's necessary or particularly aesthetic, but I don't have a boney bottom. My Deal bucket is more comfortable for seated paddling than the 8" Conk seat.

Conk%2520Comfort%2520Curve%25208%2520inch%2520seat%2520for%2520SRT.JPG


I have the standard Conk 10" deep Conk seat in my Bell Wildfire, and it's the most comfortable wooden web or cane seat for kneeling I've ever used. Much better, in my opinion, than the Ed's bucket seat. All the Conk seats are laminated with ash and cedar for both higher strength and lighter weight than a solid ash seat.

IMGP0193.JPG


The 10" Conk seat is more comfortable than the 8" Conk seat for seated paddling, but neither is as good for sitting as the Deal bucket, which has a back lip to prevent aft-butt-sliding while pushing off a footbrace.

One benefit of the Conk seat over the Deal bucket seat, and the Ed's cane bucket, is that you can slide all the way over to the gunwale. But that's not too important in a narrow solo canoe, as it is when soloing a wide tandem canoe. With a Deal bucket you can heel the canoe with slight butt pressure on the side lips of the seat while maintaining a centralized center of gravity position.
 
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Joined
Jan 22, 2012
Messages
405
Location
Wyoming
What great info gentlemen - thank you. I've never seen a Conk in person thus the pics are most helpful. And that Deal bucket looks to be a very nice way to go, too.

As strange as it may seem I have two seat/hanger set ups for a couple of my canoes. One is a set of short hangers cut to a 3/4" differential which is my kneeling/sitting seat used during the nice weather. The seat is an Ed's contour and it gets drilled at an angle and then counter-bored so my hardware is straight and seats square. The other set up is the same style seat but drilled for straight longer hangers that I use during the cold water weather when I'm wearing boots and a drysuit. I become a seated paddler during this weather due to the boot bulk and my paddling sessions are just short day excursions.

I've an extra Ed's contour I took out of a wider canoe and several pair of hangers in the parts bin that just need a final sanding so that's what I'll use for the remainder of this season. I'll be looking into the Conk and Deal seats this winter while our waters are frozen so I can have it ready to go come spring.

Thanks again for all the info - its a big help.
 
Joined
Aug 23, 2014
Messages
129
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Sherburne, NY
Both of my Magics have breaks in the inner gunwales. Those rails are thin, and the gunwale screw and seat hanger bolt are too close. Both boats broke with stock seats and hangers. One of them suffered more stress from a home built cantilevered yoke, hung off of the seat. I made new walnut hangers that are styled like Bell's, but much longer (front to back.) I added wood screws between hanger and weakened gunwale to "splint" it up. The repairs are doing well, I will put off redoing the rails as long as possible. The pedestal seat on my GRB classic xl looks like a better design.
 
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