Light, Strong, Beautiful Custom-Built Kevlar Canoes

Seat and Yoke Options

Nighthawk offers a number of fixed and adjustable seat options


Webbed Seats, XL (standard): Ash Frame, super strong and comfy.

Notes: This is a simple, comfortable, extra large, and strong seat with good appearance.   10” x 16″ seat area (larger than most other canoe seats).  The seat is made from an Ash wood frame with super comfy and breathable black webbing.  Double coated for superior weather resistance.  Can be paddled forwards or backwards depending on canoe set-up and balance.

Bucket Seat: Formed plastic seats

Notes:  These seats are relatively comfortable, and offer the advantage of being lighter weight than the webbed seats.

Lightweight Contour Seats:

Notes: A lightweight webbed seat with a curved seat area. A smaller, lightweight alternative to the standard webbed seats.

Level Seats (Standard) Traditional seat placement.

Notes:  Simple and comfy, this is the seat position you are probably used to.

0818021452Tilted Seats (Option): A slight forward tilt to the seats, for better comfort and less lower back stress.

If there’s one secret to making a canoe more comfy for hours of paddling it is the tilt seat option.  For this option, the back of the canoe seat is raised by about 3/4″ (I.e. leans your butt forwards).  This position dramatically reduces the strain on your lower back and helps you get more of the strength in your legs and back into your paddling stroke.  I couldn’t believe how much I liked this set-up the first time I tried it.

The tilt seat option is installed with a simple spacer system, so if you order the tilted seats and decide you do not like them, the tilt can be removed simply by unbolting the seat and reattaching it without the spacer.

Notes:  This option can make a world of difference for some paddlers. The tilt helps your posture so your back is under less stress, and puts just a little weight on your feet, so you feel more stable and can get more power out of your paddling stroke.  You may also request to have one seat tilted and the other level.

Low Seats: This option increases overall stability by lowering seats 1″ for a seated surface around 8.5″ above the floor of the canoe.  Low seats can be raised by adding a seat cushion and standard seats can be lowered by 1″ by removing them and re-bolting them to the bottom of their brackets.  

img_2719-2Sliding Front or center seat:

Notes: This option makes it easier to adjust the balance and handling of the canoe.  Especially helpful if you will sometimes have a small and light bow paddler (like a kid) and a full sized stern paddler.  The front seat is mounted on square rails and can be set farther forward or farther back with a simple peg adjustment.  + 3 lbs.

A front seat with an adjustable position bracket allows the seat to be placed in a variety of positions.  An adult paddler may want the seat further back to take advantage of the generous leg room in a Nighthawk Canoe.  A child paddler may want the seat further forward, making it easier to reach over the gunwale to paddle.  Placing a lighter paddler further forward than a heavier one also helps balance the canoe.
A canoe tracks best if the average weight distribution is just slightly behind center.  This balance can be achieved my moving gear in the canoe forward or aft, or by adjusting the position of the paddlers.  Balance is somewhat sensitive to conditions.  A canoe that is bow-heavy will track less will in ordinary conditions, but will be desirable if trying to make progress into a strong headwind.  In addition to accommodating different paddlers, a sliding seat allows minor balance adjustments while under way– where it may be difficult to reposition gear.
The sliding seat adds about 3 pounds to the canoe.  A sliding seat is an available option as s front seat in any of our canoes, or as a center seat in the Columba or Cygnus canoes.  The Nighthawk Canoes sliding seat option is assembled over a square-railed aluminum frame, and a pin holds seats securely in position.  Position is adjustable in 1″ increments.

Extra Seat:

Notes:  Add a third (or fourth) seat for an extra passenger.  With extra seat(s) the Leo 17 can carry up to three adults, and the Pegasus can carry up to four adults.   This option is for a fixed seat, but you may also select removable seats for a more flexible configuration. +3-4 lbs.   Click for more info

Removable Extra Seat:

IMG_5546Notes: This upgrade is a special mounting system for an extra seat.  The seat mounts securely, though it can be removed or replaced in less than a minute without any tools.  This is a handy feature if you generally are using the canoe with family and friends, but occasional want extra room for gear-intensive trips.  The mounting of the seat affects how the canoe balances at the yoke.  If you chose this option, the canoe will be balanced with the seat in, but will be a little more difficult to carry with the seat out. Chose a removable seat if you want the option to remove a seat, but will generally have it in.  If you will generally NOT have a third seat, but occasionally want the option, I encourage you to use a drop-in seat that clips to the gunwales.  +3-4 lbs.

Removable Yoke

Notes: The removable yoke is an extra hardware kit attached to the standard yoke that allows it to be securely installed or removed in less than a minute.  When using this feature in the Cygnus or Leo model canoes, the removable yoke allows a third seat to be placed in a more centered position, providing better balance and easier solo paddling.

IMG_4729The removable yoke is a unique Nighthawk Canoes optional feature.  It allows a the carrying yoke to be included on Cygnus and Leo model canoes that have a center seat.  Generally, the yoke would be in the way for a center paddler.  With the removable yoke, the canoe is transported with the yoke in, and the yoke is then easily removed so the center paddler has all the leg-room he/she might need.  Having the yoke be removable also allows the center seat to be placed in an ideal paddling position, improving utility all around.




The yoke can be removed or reinstalled in about 1 minute.  It requires no tools, and a cord is included that prevents loose hardware from getting separated or lost in the water.  The installed yoke is bolted through the gunwale.  When it is installed, it is as secure as a standard yoke.

Also, the alignment holes in the gunwale mean that the yoke is always reinstalled in the same place–the correct balance position needed to carry the canoe.  Because it is fit, balanced and installed specifically on your canoe, our removable yoke does not have the slop or complication of an after-market yoke with adjustable clamp mechanisms.  It’s a perfect solution for a center-seat canoe.

The removable yoke can be fitted with yoke pads if you choose.


Drop-In Seat:


See Drop-In Seat for more information.







Combination Yoke and Center Seat:

2487See Combination Yoke and Center Seat for more information.




More options are available on our Accessories menu.


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