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Outfitting a Canoe - Removable Kneeling Thwart

What is a Removable Kneeling Thwart?
A Kneeling Thwart offers an alternative solo paddling position than a fixed seat. It is positioned closer to the centre yolk of the canoe in a preferred position of the paddler. Fixed kneeling thwarts are believed to raise the risk of entrapment in a pin situation and have been the subject of much debate on the matter. Removable kneeling thwarts alleviate much of this risk of entrapment as you fit them with a quick release mechanism. Being removable also allows you to better load kit when tandem paddling or long expedition paddling.

Removable kneeling thwart, nice and comfy and quick & easy to remove.

You Will Need

  1. 1.2m of 80mm x 20mm Ash wood. (If you purchase pre-cut hangers then you only need 1m)
  2. 4 x 150mm Stainless steel seat bolts with gunwale washers and nylock nuts.
  3. Masking tape
  4. Drill
  5. Jig Saw
  6. Sandpaper
  7. Pencil
  8. Tape Measure
  9. 3mm HSS Drill bit
  10. 6mm HSS Drill bit
  11. 9mm HSS Drill bit
  12. 16mm Wood Drill bit
  13. 2 x 30mm x 5mm threaded rod with panel clamp nuts.
  14. 4 x 10mm round head screws with plastic washers.
  15. 2 x Cam buckles
  16. 2 x 50mm lengths 25mm webbing strip.

1. Mark out one end of your length of ash with the following measurements as shown. Cut along the lines indicated and this will produce you 2 x thwart hangers set at the 16 degree norm angle.

2. On the straight end of each hanger measure and mark as shown. The drill 6mm holes all the way through at each mark.

3. Cut 2 x 60mm long pieces of ash. These will be the plinths fixed to the underside of your hangers to sit your thwart on.

4. Place your hangers on one end of each of the plinths ensuring you have set them in the right direction for how they will be place in the canoe. The longer end of the hanger faces forward. Then insert a 150mm stainless steel bolt in each hole and tap gently to mark the plinth. Remove the bolts and then drill 6mm holes in the diagonal line that the bolts will be placed through them.

5. Measure each plinth as shown and then drill a 6mm hole at the mark. Turn the plinth over and drill out the hole to 9mm 2 thirds of the way through. This is to recess the panel clamp nut in.

6. Place masking tape on each gunnel above the approx. position you will be placing your kneeling thwart. Measure from the centre of the yolk screw to the front edge of the hanger you will fit.

7.Using your hanger mark where the holes will be drilled.

8. To get the outer edge of the hanger to centre where you will drill the gunnel. Place your hanger against the inside of the boat and measure from the face of the hanger to the edge of the gunnel. Transfer this measurement to the masking tape.

9.Your final marking out should look similar to the image shown. Drill 6mm holes through the gunnels.

10. Using the 150mm bolts fit your hangers. Don’t forget to use the washers and ensure you fit them in the correct direction.

11. Using the 30mm threaded rod and panel clamp nuts, fit them as shown. These will form the seat posts.

12. Take measurements between your hangers at the front and rear of the hangers. This will give you two different measurements and allows for the shape of the boat.

13. Cut a length of ash wood to the measurements gained between your hangers. You should end up with a piece of wood in the shape shown.

14.Measure in 15mm from each end and one third up from the long edge and drill a 16mm hole two thirds the way through as shown.

15. Place the length of ash into your canoe, locating the holes underneath over the seat posts.

16. Loop the webbing strip through the cam buckle eye and pass it under the thwart and fix as shown using the 10mm round head screw and plastic washers.

17. Your finished keeling thwart should look similar to the image below. The loose ends of the webbing strips can be used to release the buckles and ultimately the thwart seat.

That’s it your done and you are ready for safe comfy solo kneeling paddling position.