sqare stearn

David McDaniel

Canoe Dude
Hello to all;
I am working on a Old Town 16' sq. stearn, and the seats
are missing. Can anly one tell me how wide and thick are
the seat boards? Also how are the center seat braces attached
to the seat. Hope maybe some one might have some pics?
Thank you for any info.
Later Dave
Hi Dave,

I restored a 1951 18' OT sponson sqaure stern not too long ago. It was for someone else and it's gone now, but I can tell you a bit from memory. I didn't measure the seat boards, but they were about 3/4" thick and made of fir or spruce. All 3 seats were mounted on cleats and only the center seat had brackets.

These brackets (see "before" photo) as well as the blocks at the junction of the inwales and transom and the one at the junction of the transom and keelson, were all attached by through-bolting with brass machine screws and square nuts. The seat blocks (two total, one on each side of the seat) were bolted at the top through the gunwale and at the bottom through the seat. Heads were countersunk, or course. machine screw a the gunwale was inserted from the outside of the boat through both outwale and inwale, and the nut was countersunk into the block, the excess shaft cut off, and then both the shaft and the nut were filed to be perfectly flush with the curve of the bracket. The bolt at the bottom (i.e., through the seat) was inserted from the top (head countersunk), and nut applied below the seat.

Can you picture this? I don't think I have detail photos.

Hope you're doing well,


  • McRae_01_before_crop.jpg
    41.9 KB · Views: 406
  • McRae_10_final_stern_sm_crop.JPG
    97.7 KB · Views: 428
  • McRae_09_final_bow_sm_crop.JPG
    138.9 KB · Views: 381
Pic of square stern

There is a photo on my website on the restoration page of a 1938 OT Square Stern Paddling Canoe. www.littlelakescanoe.com As I recall the seats are of spruce and about 1 inch thick. The middle and stern seats were supported by cleats under each side as well as a breasthook mounted below the inwales on the middle seat. The bow seat was caned.
Last edited:
We recently restored a 15 foot square stern, as I recall it was built in the late 40's. This one had what appeared to be fir seats, about one inch thick but with no braces to the keelson. The seats were attached with two wood screws at each end into the cleats that were attached from the outside with a screw through each rib that they crossed. I don't recall the width of the seats, but you could get a close estimate from the pictures by noting how many ribs each seat spans.

Good luck with the square stern.

Steve Lapey


  • Motor Canoe Complete 001.jpg
    Motor Canoe Complete 001.jpg
    771.3 KB · Views: 914
  • Motor Canoe Complete 006.jpg
    Motor Canoe Complete 006.jpg
    203.7 KB · Views: 363
Dave, I'm a Newbie, but I can say w/ certainty that the seats and how they were made, supported & mounted vary greatly according to what year your canoe was made. The one I just acquired is a 1924 and the seats are maple (as per build record) and are mounted to a (approx) 1' x 1" strip that is mounted the entire length of the canoe. The center of the seat is supported w/ a leg w/ a small dowell end and a shallow hole was drilled into the keelson to the to accept the dowell like tab. My seats were screwed into that continuos rail but I know that was not factory. I suspect they actually just rested in place. But the real issue is what year is your canoe. If it's a similar vintage to mine than I could send some pics but all others that I looked at from 30's, 40's and 50's were completely different. Mine is also a sponson sguare stern and they may vary also. My email is tim.clancy@verizon.net if yours is a 20's vintage I'll try to send some pics. Tim Clancy