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using Old Town back rests in canoes with floor racks?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by ken.kelly, Sep 14, 2014.

  1. ken.kelly

    ken.kelly LOVES Wooden Canoes

    What did Old Town advise (or devise) for using their back rest in their canoes with floor racks? I hate to cut the bottom of the back rest to go over the floor rack. And I've never seen one cut to do that. Was there another solution? I've thought about notching it to fit in between each floor rack slat, but haven't done that either. Seems like OT would have bumped into this enough times that there would be an 'official' or recommended solution....but then I think we would have seen those customized seat backs...
    Who knows what the best solution is?
  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    I don't know of an 'official' solution but my experience is that gravity and an average person's back side are usually sufficient to hold it in place. These even work in plastic canoes with no ribs at all. Am I missing something?

  3. JClearwater

    JClearwater Wooden Canoe Maniac

    Ken, I had the same problem last summer when I wanted to take along a passenger - with a floor rack the back rest will not engage the ribs and does not stay in position. My solution was to go back in the barn and get a different canoe. Problem solved. In so doing I found another reason to own multiple canoes.

  4. OP

    ken.kelly LOVES Wooden Canoes

    Jim - I like your solution.
    Benson, I may the one missing something. It seems like all styles of backrests made by many builders used bracing against the ribs to hold the backrest in place. Though gravity and body force might keep it in place without bracing against the ribs in a canoe with a floor rack, it doesn't seem consistent with the basic design idea. With all the options Old Town offered on so many different aspects of the canoe it seems like they would have developed a modification to retain the bracing. As you know other canoe builders sold backrests with the two end posts lower than the bottom of the backrest center so it spanned over a floor rack if there was one and maintained bracing on the ribs
    Where this of practical interest to me is at boat shows where there isn't any body force to keep the backrest in place and it is not secure sitting on top of the floor rack.
    Thanks for considering and commenting.
  5. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    I also like Jim's suggestion of yet another excuse for multiple canoes. A back rest certainly works better when braced on a rib and a boat show is a bit of a special case. I don't recall ever seeing an Old Town back rest with any modifications to fit around a floor rack but this wouldn't be a difficult change. A small bit of tape, fish line, rubber band, or a pillow could also work well if you don't want to make any permanent alterations. Let us know what you decide to do.

  6. Craig Johnson

    Craig Johnson LOVES Wooden Canoes

    how about a couple of rib thickness blocks attached to a couple of the floor rack slats in just the right spot to keep the backrest from slipping?

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