sliding seat design for a canoe is based on material taken from
a 1947 article published by the First Aid and Water Safety Service
of the Red Cross by Waldemar Van Brunt Claussen. It is a simple,
inexpensive approach for the entry level rower to utilize one
boat for a double function. This kind of a varsatile rig is, of
course, not as fast as a true rowing shell; however, it will provide
the equivalent exercise with a lot more forgiving equipment at
a far lower cost.. The seat frame is made from spruce or pine
with a Few strips of oak for rails. In lieu of the seat
shown, I used a Latanzo rolling seat at about $60.00.
This required fabricating a couple of angle brackets for hold
drawing shows a sliding seat unit that can be readily placed in
a boat and outriggers that can easily be clamped to the gunwales
with wing bolts. The lightweight oars are made from dimension
lumber and plywood.
seat frame, a rectangular affair 49 (55 suggested) inches long,
9 1/2 inches wide, and 4 inches high, can be made from the planking
of a light packing case. If you wish to keep the outfit really
light cut the lightening holes indicated. Any of the modern plastic
resin glues make for excellent assembly, although screws may be
used if desired. The seat, the foot-plates, usually called boots,
and the tracks may be purchased from:
RECREATIONAL AND RACING BOAT PARTS AND SUPPLIES
P.O. Box 21042 Philadelphia Pa. 19114 (215) 334-3508
couple of wood cleats 8 1/2" long are Fitted between the
side rails and Fastened to the floor boards of the boat to position
the SEAT unit. Use 3/16" line lanyards from screw eyes in
the rails and tied under a convenient rib.
oak tracks, guard rails, and hold-down present a little work in
sawing end planing if no power tools are available, because these
parts should be true and smooth. The commercial seat hold down
arrangement hooks under the edges of the slide rails and makes
the center hold-down bar unnecessary.
sliding, or rolling, seat portion is interesting to make. The
part you sit on maybe flat, if a pad of some kind is used with
it; but a more shipshape job cells for gouging this 12" by
8" by 1” piece of soft wood into a typical saddle-seat
form. The gouging job can be done with en ordinary straight 3/4-inch
gouge chisel Followed by rubbing with coarse end fine sandpaper
on an oval-shaped cork rubbing block (or a wooden' block faced
with felt or foam rubber). Lightening holes again are drilled
and it might even facilitate the gouging to drill them first.
are obtained by dismantling the casters from some old article
of Furniture. Even the wheels from roller skates or some inexpensive
toy may be adapted to the purpose.
iron rod may be used for the axle; but for a durable rig for adult
use, a mild steel axle is better. The axle may be bought in 3/16-inch
diameter stock and 12-inch lengths, at model shops where it is
sold as shafting for model motorboat construction. Simplest manner
of keeping the wheels on is to use washers and cotter pins after
cutting the rod to proper length and carefully drilling the ends.
axle-keepers and bearings are designed to provide 3-inch travel
for the axle; these may be iron or brass. They may be attached
with offset bends in the keeper, or the bends may be eliminated
end washers or spacers slightly thicker than the diameter of the
spacer plate, which keeps the axles in parallel alignment, should
be about as thick as the diameter of the axle. The plate is held
to the axle by light brass or tin clips bent around the axle and
riveted to the plate.
"fingers," or "claws," to engage the hold-down
rai1, and the rail itself are not strictly necessary for use of
the equipment when rowing, but they are a worthwhile convenience
because they keep the seat permanently attached when the frame
is lifted into or out of the canoe. One or two pairs of claws
may be used; these are readily bent and then riveted to the spacer
plate. They should fit the hold-down rail snugly, without binding.
end of both tracks should be provided with "stops" to
prevent the seat wheels from over-running. The two at one end
may be permanently glued but the other two should be held by screws,
which will make it easy to remove the seat for repairs or refinishing.