Clamp - on center thwart detail

Lew's Canoes

Canoe Builder
Can anyone offer some guidance on a good detail for a "clamp-on" center thwart? I want to be able to easily remove the thwart when not portaging, and I would rather not drill holes in the inwale for a traditional bolted connection. Thanks! LEW
Clamp-on center thwart detail

Here is a clamp-on portage yoke that came with an old EM White canoe. I just went into the backyard to take these photos. There are no markings on it. Does anyone know who made it?

Jim Kirk


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Here is a cleaver little system from a 1890's E.H. Gerrish canoe.
There is a bronze bracket that is fastened under the rail. The ends of the center thwart fit into the pocket of the bracket. The sides of the boat have to pushed out a bit to be able to fit the thwart into the bracket.
A metal hook is fastened to the bottom of the thwart. It pivots so that hook part can swing to be hooked behind the bracket which holds the thwart in place and prevents the hull from spreading.
this can only be done if the center thwart is placed between two ribs so that there is room behind the metal bracket for the end of the hook.
There is not a lot of pressure on the middle of the hull to spread so the hook serves more just to keep the thwart from falling out. It appears that the hook is made from a section of brass stem band. The whole system appears to part of the original boat and is strong enough so that the boat can be lifted and carried from the center thwart.


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Thank You to all who contributed here - I especially like the Gerrish detail from Rollin. Any idea where to get the bracket as shown, or is this a make-it-yourself proposition? LEW
Years ago I picked up a nylon wrap around and clip carry thwart for my little kevlar solo boat. I looked on line but couldn't find this style listed anywhere. With a little more length in the straps it could fit against a wider body then my kevlar is. I think Granite Gear made it. It comes with it's own thwart hanging carry case.
Answer to Lew

I was just in the shop making my version. For the u-bracket under the inwale I used a brass drawer pull from Lowe's for $1.33 each. the long rotating arm that goes behind the thwart, I bent from a piece of aluminum 3/4" wide and about 12 in. long. The longer radius means that it will clear the bracket and corner of the thwart with ease. In making up my sample I found that if you round the corner of the thwart just a little it will turn back behind it with no trouble at all. Thank you Rollin for the photos it was just what I was looking for to solve this problem.