Has anyone had experience with replacing the molded seats of an OT with mesh or cane wooden seats?
I got to thinking last time I was out, how would I solo this thing and sit on that d**n molded front seat backwards. It didn't look too comfortable. I just got my 15 8 this spring and have had my son with me every time I have had it out so far, so it hasn't been and issue yet.
Anyway, I see a mesh seat kit on OT's website to fit it, but am wondering if changing the seats will have any effect on the handling characteristics of the boat. Mind you, this is keeping in mind that it doesn't handle like a sports car in the first place.
Swap em right out. You'd want to find out how far down the seats on your particular canoe are dropped down below the gunwale so you know how long you want the dowels to be.
Unless you are a reall el cheapo like me, you'd be better off to buy the kit from Old Town as you get the long screws and the inset washers that go on top of the gunwales. I have bought dowels, drilled them out, bought long screws and made my own seats with cording in place until I retire and get time to learn how to cane a seat. I do have a 8 hour amateur video on canoe repair from a shop in northern Ontario that has a section on caning if you are interested. It actually details how Chestnut caned their seats vs. Old Town. Can't wait to try it someday. Caning supplies can be ordered from a shop in the Niagra area. Nylon webbing can be bought locally, at Wheelers in the Fredericton area. I can post some pictures if you would like.
I don't think I will be ambitious enough to cain my own seat! I would surely be floating along and have me ass go right through it and never live it down.
That and I will expect that the mesh would be more durable.
I was looking at the mesh seat kits on Old Town's web site, and thing that is the way I will go. I am a cheapo too (according to my wife), but I have learned the hard way that sometimes it is better to leave the duct tape and bailing wire on the shelf. Gotta love when your contraption end up costing more than just buying it in the first place.
I will have to inform my wife that my birthday is soon approaching.