The Harmony Roto Explorer Seat offers superb durability and surprising comfort. The seat bolts directly to the gunwale providing added stiffness to the canoe. The slightly dished seat is comfortable facing in either direction for fishing, conversation, or paddling solo.
I bought this to replace/install a missing bow seat in an old Old Town Tripper. The primary feature I liked was the ability to sit facing either forward or backward. The original Old Town seat is contoured for facing forward only. This Harmony seat was about 1" wider than where the original seat was located in the canoe. Unless I wanted the front paddler to sit another 6-9" further back, I had to cut it down to size. I was initially very nervous about sacrificing strength by cutting off the ends, but my fears were unfounded as the plastic roto mold material turned out to be at least 3/16" thick everywhere, and up to 1/4" thick in places. It's a similar material and thickness as used on plastic 55 gallon drums, and I know how strong they need to be to hold liquids and put up with rough handling by forktrucks. I further cut into the bottom ends by about 2" with a hacksaw to give my fingers room to hold washers and nuts, then drilled the tops of the seat as far apart as possible (frontmost and rearmost to minimize rocking), and mounted the seat using the same size hardware (Harmony Yoke and Thwart Hardware Kit - Aluminum) as I used for replacing the thwart and yoke. Opening up the bottom ends made it a lot easier to drill since I only had one drill hole to line up, and only one surface to secure to the canoe. This also meant I didn't have to hunt for extra-long screws to accommodate this fairly thick seat, and eliminated the question of how much the seat can/will/should compress without working loose prematurely or being crushed by the screws. My family members are all under 200lbs, so I have no concerns about strength even after cutting and trimming. I think it can still handle a 250lb person without much trouble - the rest of the seat construction is very sturdy and the plastic material is thicker than the original Old Town plastic seat. I would have given it 5 stars if there were better instructions, or if I didn't have to cut it down to size and worry about its carrying capacity. But as a DIY substitute it was perfect for me.
First, This is an excellent product. I like you can sit forward or backwards. The dimensions provided are wholly inadequate so: Bow seat: 31" at trailing edge. 28.5" at the leading edge by 9.5" by 2" thick. The drop is approx 2.25" so the seating surface will end up about 2.25" below the underside of your gunnels. Stern seat: 23" at trailing edge. 26.25" at the leading edge by 9.5" by 2" thick. The drop is approx 2.25" so the seating surface will end up about 2.25" below the underside of your gunnels. I went to the local salvage yard and got some extruded aluminum. You can probably get this at home depot. I used 5/8" c-channel. I cut four pieces to 11" then hit it with a wire wheel to remove burrs. I then drilled a hole about 1/2" from each end. I put the bolts down through the gunnels and into the aluminum. The seat rests on these like a saddle. This is very sturdy and was a very convenient way to do it. This way I did not need to perforate the seats. If you are going to use aluminum I would do it this way and not drill through the seats because if you need to drill the seats and the gunnels and the aluminum you may find your drill bit is too short. I found this out the hard way and it was a major pain trying to line it all up. Trust me on this one. I suspect it would work completely well to just drill the gunnels and seats and put fender washers under the seats. In that case you may be able to get away with 4" finishing screws which are easier to find. I am a bit heavy and wanted to be extra sure so I went with the aluminum as above. I used the harmony screws kit see my review. have fun!!!