Old Town Mast Seat


Curious about Wooden Canoes
The few pictures I can find from early (1921 OTCA) Old Town sailing canoes all appear to have the mast seat hole forward in the bow. Bradshaw's "Canoe Rig" indicates that mast seats generally have the hole to the rear and that's what all his illustrations indicate. (Benson/Dan - your authoritative guidance is appreciated.)
Old Town's mast seats were usually mounted with the mast hole forward. Todd's book has a good description of how to balance the center of effort with the center of resistance so there can be circumstances where it is best to move the mast and sail back by reversing the bow seat. If the primary use of the canoe is for paddling then it will often be more comfortable for the bow paddler if the mast hole is in the back, especially if they commonly keel and lean against the seat. Your mileage may vary,

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Yep, either can work. Most boats will sail best with level trim and the sail's C.E. pretty close to the center of the hull. Depending on the size and type of sail used, and the fore and aft location of its center of effort, you may find one seat/step orientation works a bit better than the other.