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Sail canoe seat replacement

Discussion in 'Canoe Sailing' started by Tsuga88, Nov 11, 2020.

  1. Tsuga88

    Tsuga88 Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hi all,

    I recently rescued an Old Town Penobscot (1980's model) that had been rigged for sailing. I assume this was an after-market sailing kit since I can't find any evidence of any other royalex boats from that era being sold as sail canoes. I posted about it on the paddling.com forum and a few folks referred me here.

    The bow seat with the mast bracket is totally rotted. Does anyone sell sail canoe seats with the built-in mast bracket? Otherwise I'm thinking I will try to rescue all the hardware and recreate the wood parts of the seat myself, assuming I can find some decent ash lumber around. Thoughts?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Welcome, sailing rigs were advertised is some of the 1980s Old Town catalogs but I don't know of anyone who sells wooden mast seats now. Most of the restorers listed at http://www.wcha.org/builders-and-suppliers-directory would be happy to make one but you can probably find some ash and rebuild it yourself for less. The book at http://www.wcha.org/store/canoe-rig-essence-and-art may help if you want to know more about sailing canoes. Feel free to reply here if you have any other questions. Good luck,

    Benson
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Tsuga88

    Tsuga88 Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Hi Benson,

    Thanks for your quick and helpful reply! I must admit I'm just dipping my toe here - up to now I've been a modern, composite boat kind of guy (mostly for the sake of being able to car top solo easily and on a slim budget). But, I'm looking forward to digging in and learning more as I try to get this boat back to sailing.

    Thanks again,
    Alex
     
  4. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Feel free to post some pictures of you aren't sure what you have. The Old Town rigs are fairly distinctive and didn't change much over the years. The images at https://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?threads/old-town-canoe-sailing-rig-evolution.4107/ show the early evolution of Old Town’s sail rigs as shown in the catalogs. See https://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?threads/12413/ for the mast seat ring on a canoe from 1919. Yours may be similar although it would have a manufactured cane seat instead of hand woven one.

    Benson
     
  5. Craig Johnson

    Craig Johnson LOVES Wooden Canoes

    You might consider a mast thwart which clamps onto the gunwales. Easier and sturdier.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Tsuga88

    Tsuga88 Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Attached are some pics. Thanks for those links, Benson. The bow seat does look like the one you posted.

    I haven't heard of/seen a mast thwart, not that I've seen a lot of sail canoe rigs. I can imagine what it is - where does one usually place them - just behind the bow seat? For better or worse, there's a mast base glued in place for the mast to be in front of the bow seat - not sure how easy that is to move or replace, relative to the easier path on creating a mast thwart vs rebuilding the bow seat as shown.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    That looks like a factory sail rig for an ABS canoe from that period. The diagonal aluminum braces added some extra support since the ABS hulls are not as stiff as the wooden ones. Moving the mast step in an ABS canoe is usually not easy since they were secured with a good epoxy glue. The mast step in a wooden canoe is held in by screws so these are not as difficult to move. The picture at http://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?attachments/29073/ shows a removable mast thwart in a wooden boat. The simplest and most sturdy solution for you will probably be to just replace the broken parts of your existing mast seat.

    Benson
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2020
  8. OP
    OP
    Tsuga88

    Tsuga88 Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Very helpful to have a clear course of action, at least for this piece of the puzzle. Thanks again, Benson!
     

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