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Make a Self-Adjusting Backrest

This backrest is based on Peter Hornbeck’s design (Hornbeck Boats). I bought my first Hornbeck Boat 30 years ago and loved its practicality and simple elegance. Since then I’ve been sold on double paddle canoes for lightness and superior handling in wind.

· Round-over the top edge of your backrest thwart.

· Build a bending jig with the same radius as your backrest.

· Decide on the size and shape of your back support and make two identical pieces to laminate (glue together). I use West System epoxy or Titebond III piece. Solid, one-piece back supports tend to spring-back and thus are hard to fit.

· Bend the pieces in your jig.

· Attach the back support to the backrest with 3 or 5 five 8” electrical ties. Snug them up enough to be allow the support to tilt but not be loose or floppy.

· If you would like a padded backrest, use adhesive spray to glue closed-cell foam to your backrest support.

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