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Hey everyone - I bought an Old Town Saranac 146 off Craigslist. Nice canoe for me and the kids, except for the center seat, which doubles as a storage compartment. I'd like to just take the thing out (I assume it also adds a lot of weight) and replace it with a board to which I can wrap around a SitBacker folding seat I have.

Anyone know if the center seat is required for stability? If I put a board in it's place, will that suffice? I haven't done any surgery on this canoe yet, and while it seems like it should be fine, I'm asking those with more experience behind them.

The center seat, seen here:
http://www.oldtowncanoe.com/uploadedImages/Canoes/Recreation/Saranac_Series/Saranac_146/Saranac146_top_green_zoom.jpg?n=5975


and here: http://beta.oldtowncanoe.com/upload.../Canoe_Images/Saranac146_green_angle_zoom.png

Feedback and opinions would be greatly valued. Thank you!

Dave
 

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Looks like it has rivets through the floor as well as the sides. How do you plan to fill those bottom holes? You might be surprised how little that plastic weighs once you get it out compared to the chunk of wood you would need and the brackets you will have to add to replace it. I simple piece of plywood even at 3/4 thick isn't going to suffice it will need to be a 2x8 2x10 or 2x12 so as not to flex and pull the sides in when sitting on it. If you use ply and brace it from the floor once again you aren't saving much weight I suspect.
 

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That box may be required as a support member and may contain some floatation foam to prevent sinking. Why not contact the manufacturer and get their opinion to be sure.
 

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It's going to be required. Boats small and large require some bulk heading or "stations" to maintain shape and supply some rigidity.
Be selective with what you do. You can ruin a good boat quick altering it.
More than likely with that material, it will affect the shape and you'll probably start getting some oil canning in the bottom.
 
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