I'm looking for some advice on installing a center seat in a 16' penobscot. I want the seat for two reasons: 1, for solo paddling and 2, for my 5 y.o. daughter when she, my wife and I go out. We/I mostly paddle local streams and the occasional lake, nothing too technical, but I'd like to improve my technique with this boat. My local shop recommended flipping the yoke and adding hardware to make it removable and adding the center seat just fore of the yoke, paddling facing aft with the yoke removed when soloing. My question is, is this the best option and if so how far from the center of the boat should the middle of the center seat be for the most efficient solo paddling? Thanks in advance for any insight, I don't want to start drilling holes then decide it's not right later on.
Recreational Kayak Paddle
URCHIN Portable Anchor
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The Penobscot is not an efficient solo|
Posted by: kayamedic on Sep-28-12 7:47 PM (EST)
but I think your question is akin to "what is the best I can do"
Posted by: pgeorg on Sep-28-12 8:13 PM (EST)
that usually comes up regarding solo seat placement is to put the leading edge of the seat about 4 inches aft of the center of the boat.
Posted by: Wisconsin_FF on Sep-28-12 9:15 PM (EST)
I guess I think it'd be a good idea to try the seat 4 inches off center as you said Peter. That way there should still be enough room for me to sit in the bow seat backwards if I try soloing in the center seat and don't like it. For now I think I'll just take the yoke off (2 screws) when attempting soloing and hold off on the removable hardware until I'm sure the center seat works for me, returning the hardware if not. With the seat off center I can still use the yoke (backwards) when needed.
Posted by: Wisconsin_FF on Sep-28-12 10:29 PM (EST)
In the spirit of "I'm not out anything for trying", let's say the center seat position is, as kayamedic suggests, too wide to use effectively solo. I'd certainly be up for trying a kneeling thwart but have no experience with them. I'm guessing I'd be replacing the existing rear thwart? They look simple to make out of some chunks of oak and a trip to the hardward store. Is there a guideline for fitting them for height from the deck, width, position fore and aft, etc? Could I be really cheap and try it out with a gardener kneeling pad at first or is it pretty doable without a pad?
Maybe not, but a friend twice won the|
Posted by: ezwater on Sep-29-12 12:40 AM (EST)
downriver cruising class on the Nantahala, paddling a Penobscot 16. But then, he's kind of a machine. Also won the one and only downriver open canoe race on the middle Ocoee, in a Blue Hole OCA. Also not an efficient solo craft, but it inaugurated many ww runs in the SE.
Soloing tandem canoe|
Posted by: old_user on Sep-29-12 12:19 PM (EST)
Is the Penobscot a symmetrical hull?|
Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Sep-29-12 2:26 AM (EST)
Posted by: yatipope on Sep-29-12 8:32 PM (EST)
Yes the Penobscot 16 IS SYMMETRICAL so either end can be the bow with exactly same performance with same trim!
My favorite Penobscot picture…|
Posted by: eckilson on Sep-29-12 10:41 AM (EST)
…actually my only Penobscot picture.
Actually, maybe 8" to 10" |
Posted by: eckilson on Sep-29-12 11:02 AM (EST)
...is too much. That would probably be OK if you kneel, but would probably need to be closer if you sit. Someone else will probably chime in.
I'll chime in|
Posted by: pgeorg on Sep-30-12 9:03 AM (EST)
Having said above that the number which is usually thrown out regarding seat placement is to put the leading edge 4" aft of center, I will also say that I prefer to set them further off center than that. This is because I like to have a light bow that I can trim with ballast. And, because the ballast is in front of me it is easy to adjust it as needed. I find that moving ballast around behind me is a tricky deal that leads to swimming. So, Eckilson is not far off with his suggestion of 8" to 10" in my opinion. Beware, this is opinion and not common wisdom in regard to seat placement.
Posted by: PJC on Sep-29-12 12:50 PM (EST)
You could rig it as suggested...|
Posted by: steve_in_idaho on Sep-30-12 5:37 AM (EST)
...but then if you used it as a "third" seat for kids, it would likely be out of trim. Just mount the seat about 4" behind center. Use the removable yoke setup. It's a cheap and easy mod.
Center Seat Penobscot - Recent Project|
Posted by: waterbearer on Sep-30-12 11:16 AM (EST)
Not too long ago finished adding a center seat to my 16 footer. Got lots of good advice here.
Posted by: Wisconsin_FF on Sep-30-12 11:46 AM (EST)
Saturday I installed the center seat so we could all go out for a paddle in the new (to us) boat. I installed it 4" off center in the bow as recommended which lets me use the yoke (backwards) and still leaves enough legroom for my daughter now and for the immediate future. She loved having her own seat btw.
Posted by: bushwacker on Oct-02-12 2:32 PM (EST)
I have been solo paddling my 17 penobscot for years from the front seat facing the rear.
Posted by: bushwacker on Oct-02-12 2:40 PM (EST)
before you buy or drill, don't overthink this, just turn the boat around
If you're satisfied, fine, but |
Posted by: ezwater on Oct-03-12 12:00 AM (EST)
I wouldn't be. Sitting backwards on the back edge of the bow seat is ok as an improvisation, but the more intensively you use the boat, the more important it is that you are firmly positioned and close to the center of the boat. See Big Spencer's post below. If sitting near the center, one's paddle reaches closer to the bow and the canoe needs less correction.
Posted by: bigspencer on Oct-02-12 7:43 PM (EST)
That can work, but if you also want to |
Posted by: ezwater on Oct-03-12 12:03 AM (EST)
maneuver in whitewater, your weight needs to be at the pivot point of the boat. If you're there, you'll still have enough "cab forward" reach to get good acceleration, and also (somewhat depending on the boat) to ditch your J stroke. I can accelerate my boats straight ahead with a single stroke and no correction at all.
Solo in Penobscot|
Posted by: ppine on Oct-05-12 5:24 PM (EST)
I agree with bushwacker. Canoeing is a very traditional sport. People have been turning symmetrical boats around and paddling from the bow seat for a very long time and it works. Especially with some dunnage or a trained dog to control the ballast. If your boat is empty and you have a head wind you may have to kneel once in awhile which is no big deal.
Many things "work" until you try |
Posted by: ezwater on Oct-05-12 6:50 PM (EST)
a better approach. You can support mediocrity if you wish.