1930 OT 50# seats


Canoe Builder
I have a 1930 OT 15 foot 50 pounder with no seats. As my kneeling days for any length of time are dwindling fast so I've decided to install a couple of cane seats. Does anyone know the original seat locations for this model? Thanks, Pete


  • 1930 Old Town.JPG
    1930 Old Town.JPG
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I think the seat locations were changed a bit sometime after 1914 -- perhaps when OT went to open gunwales -- although it might be that the rib width and placement is what was changed..

Here are pictures, bow and stern seats, of our 1931 50 Pound OT at the time I bought it in 2009 -- the original cane is missing, but the seats appear to be in their original position. I am not sure that the seat hangers are original. The bolt holes in the gunwales indicate that theplacement is original.

ssm 100_2575.jpg

ssm 100_2580.jpg

Here are pictures of another 15’ 50 Pound OT, from 1934. The seat placement seems the same as the 1931, and note the lack of seat hangers except on the rear rail of the stern seat.

ssm 100_3298.JPG


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bow (with other pictures, it is clear that there are 12 ribs between the front rail and the rear edge of the front deck on this canor)

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Counting ribs can give guidance for seat location, but not certainty. In the 1931 canoe, I count 13 ribs between the bow seat front rail and the deck; in the 1934 canoe, I count only 12 ribs, notwithstanding that the deck of the 1934 canoe seems a bit shorter than the deck of the 1931 canoe. And on Benson's 1914 canoe, both seats seem closer to the ends of the canoe.

Here are pictures from the 1937 and the 1958 catalogs -- the seats seem to be similarly located to each other and to the canoes above, but note the hangers shown in the later catalog.
ssm OT Catalogue 1937 50-lb.jpg

ssm 1958 catalog 50 #.JPG

As with many elements of boat design, canoe seat placement presents conflicting interets -- having the weight of the paddlers closer to the (wide) center of the canoe tends to give more stability, while having the paddlers closer to the (narrow) ends of the canoe generally makes for easier and more effcient paddling.

Could it be that the bow seat was moved aft a bit in the 1930s and later boats to facilitate solo paddling with the paddler sitting "backwards" in the bow seat?
Thanks Greg. The later seat placement allows me to use the existing holes from the kneeling thwarts and puts the bow seat in a better location for solo paddling.