Yes. I use a kneeling mat, but it isn't thick enough to make kneeling on one of those ribs comfortable for more than a minute.
I thin I might just drop the idea of using the S-II for anything else than tandem use. Paddling from the stern seat, there is a flat spot for kneeling
I am kind of old and never kneel...just not possible for me. So what I do is lower my seats an inch or two to make to canoe more stable...lower center of gravity. That might help too, if you eliminate the need/desire to kneel.
Yes that is a great boat Mem. We were back in the Mattawa this weekend and it sure felt twitchy compared to the Spirit two. It took a bit to get used to it again
I like those tractor seats. Leave the stern seat intact and replace the bow seat with a web or cane seat if you want to paddle solo from there. There is a 3" difference in bow/stern heights so that will effect handing in wind when paddled that way.
Have fun with it. I like the Spirit !!.
Always keep acetone around.
I just repaired an OT Canadienne from 1989. It was faded, scraped up and needed repairs in 3 places. After some repair and sanding I painted it with Rustoleum topsides enamel. It looks like a new boat.
I've had a 44 lb (kevlar 49) Spirit II for 15 years. It is a terrific tandem for lots of gear and fishing. I seriously love the design for mostly sit and switch with a load. I do not have the skills to comfortably solo it in any kind of wind, absent a boat-load of ballast, and even then, ...
In August, my cousin and I did 6 nights on Lake Lila with it. I will post a trip report when: My cousin sends me the pics he took; and 2) when the weather turns non-paddling friendly.
I ordered a new Spirit II once from Wenonah when I lived in Wyoming. The boat came on a truck and the hull was really wavy. I sent it back for a refund. A friend rented a Spirit II for a week on the Willamette River. The boat did really well, but they did manage to capsize it once. A good all-around boat.
I have been repairing fiberglass and kevlar boats for 40 years. Some were beat up when I got em and some got cracked up in rivers. I have had very good success with painting them. The old gel coat is hard to bring back. I just sand em and paint em.