Where are the seats?


LOVES Wooden Canoes
I just picked up a late 60's, early 70's 16 foot old town.

It has no seats, judging by the hole free inwales, it never had any, just 3 strategically placed thwarts.

I spend a lot time kneeling, but have never paddled anything other than a birch bark that didn't offer me a chance to rest my knees.

Are there a lot of seatless old towns? Any thoughts on why?
Seatless Old Towns are around. Many summer camps ordered them without seats to teach the young folk good paddling technique, and of course, any individual could order one that way. It's probably noted on the build record.
After seeing the build record, canoe is making more sense. 1962, no keel, no seats. Makes me thinks someone was looking to run some rivers, not cruise flatwater.
The Old Town catalogs even used to list an option called the "Boy Scout Special" which was a 16' guide with thwarts instead of seats and the hull was painted aluminum color! Nothing better than a fake aluminum canoe!

That's what Camp Widjiwagon has used for many years, grey or platium.
I don't know, but suspect, that originally they tried to make their W/C look like alum from a distance, and now it's their color and a tradition.

BTW, it's likely Widji now has the largest W/C fleet, with more then 100 canoes in the fleet, as they have added a number of canoes sense the fleet list was compiled. Now that they have Joe's mould and other tools, they plain to make 2 new "Seliga" canoes per year. For the last few years, they have had two 1/2 time canoe "masters" working maintaining the fleet, and it's really looking good. Most of the canoes are now recently varnished and painted and look very nice. A walk in the canoe barn is amazing, there are 4 or 5 "bays", with canoes 3 or 4 high and 3 long on both sides, or maybe 18 canoes per bay, Seligas, Old Towns, Chestnuts everywhere. :) I was told that when all the canoes are in for the winter, not only is the barn full, but the outfitting building floor is also filled with canoes.

The B.s.a. Reference Makes Sense W/ My 1941 Hw. The Build Record Indicated Thwarts In Place Of Seats,low Ends, And Aluminum Paint!
I Couldn't Understand That One ,pre-wwii And All. It Was Shipped To A Dealer In Albany Ny And The Original Paddles Have "focbsa" Branded In Each Blade (i Almost Stripped Off The Old Town Decals When Removing The Paint When Purchased In 1983) Previous Owner Must Have Purchased It From "fort Orange Council Boy Scouts Of America" According To My Ex-scout Dad. The Lack Of Seats Have Not Been A Big Issue Since I Set It Up For Rowing/trolling With Removable Oarlocks. A Recent Long Distance Paddle W/ My 12yr Old Son Has Got Me Thinking About Adding Seats For Traditional Tandem Paddling. My Knees Can't Take Much Kneeling. My Biggest Concern Is Losing Rough Water Stability Gained By Sitting On The Floor (thats Where I Put Jr. For Periods Of White Caps). There Are Alot Of Ways To 'rig" A Temporary Seat, From Cushions To Stadium Seats, Etc... But I Haven't Found A Truly Comfortable Setup That Allows For An Efficient J-stroke While Sitting On The Floor. When Conditions Permit, I Generally Throw A Cushion Across The Narrow Rear Thwart And Just Sit Up High.
But I Haven't Found A Truly Comfortable Setup That Allows For An Efficient J-stroke While Sitting On The Floor.

I like the Saddle Seat made by WCHA member Tom Seavey. Assuming you have an open gunwale canoe, the seat hangs from the gunwales and is very adjustable for height, and can be shifted from side to side (which is helpful if you are paddling amidships and want to paddle in a heeled position). Very versatile.

Nice Seat

Thanks Dan, That's Just What I'm Looking For. Its A Beauty And I Agree, The Leather Would Look Great In A Wooden Canoe. I'll Have To Wait A Bit As My "slush Fund" Is Being Used To Finish My D.e.boat Restoration Next Year. Would You Know If The "solo" Seat Would Fit In The Rear, Or Should A "bow" Seat Be Ordered For Both Ends?
Would You Know If The "solo" Seat Would Fit In The Rear, Or Should A "bow" Seat Be Ordered For Both Ends?

That would be a good question to ask Tom when you are ready to order...