I want to order a footbrace for my Hemlock solo and don’t want to rivet a footbrace in. I saw the Bell carbon footbrace which is a glue in method. I suspect it’s plexus from the looks of the tube? The other plan is to buy a standard footbrace and order a tube of plexus to install. I do like the lightweight factor of the carbon. Has anyone ordered one from Bell, has it stayed on a composite hull?
I have had one in my Bell Mystic for ~3 years now and it is still fixed in place, but I’m not the one that put it in so I cannot confirm the adhesive. It is glued in with no rivets used. The piece of carbon that goes along the hull is a sandwich of carbon/thin foam core/carbon.
The real question will be if you ever want to remove it/move it.
My Rapidfire has the footbrace glued in. No problems in the 10 months I’ve owned it. I think Charlie and Joe use plexus as the glue.
Contact Placid Boatworks and see if they will sell you the footbrace they use. It has a tab that allows you to adjust it while in the boat.
I’ve had my Bell magic for about 8 yrs and installed the glue in footrest myself. It’s rock solid. The only issue I had was the carbon support had to be “shaped” to fit around the kevlar rib that was located where I wanted to put the footrest. Unless the mounting surface is completely flat in your Hemlock, you may need to do some sanding too since you want the support to be perfectly flush with the wall of the hull before glueing it in.
This wasn’t a big deal if you take your time.
footbraces and adhesive
We at Pb have installed more than 600 keeper and smarttrack footbraces, both Confluence products in over 300 hulls in the last 3.5 years.
We use Plexus 420A adhesive;unavailable to private users because the stuff comes in case lots, ~$440, and requires a $125 dual pressure application gun. It is very flexible, hardend to a color that matches Kevlar and has a twelve minute to bond window. Perfect for us. We also use iot to bond in floatation tanks and seats.
We have had three application failures, all early boats, when we didn’t scuff the plastic track and clean both it and the hull w/ acetone.
WHen sanded, cleaned and re plexused, all three have held.
You can acquire plexus in consumer quantities from Jamestown. Get the more flexible option.
Kayak footbraces seem to make more sense than the traditional canoe cross brace, but please yourself.
Lot’s to think about
I had thought at one point to just plexus the keepers footbrace kayak style to hull. I did mock up a footbrace to simulate this but did not feel comfortable especially with the higher seat. I do like to center my feet mostly to rest from time to time therefore a bar type like what I had in my Merlin 2 is more comfortable for me.
Glad to hear the Bell glue in brace is holding up to those posting. It looks like that’s the direction I’ll be going.
Thanks for all who have posted, appreciate it!
Bell Carbon Footbrace
I installed the Bell carbon footbrace in a Royalex Yellowstone Solo a couple of months ago and I’m pleased with the strength and function, but I did hit a couple of pitfalls during installation. The carbon side pieces required considerable sanding to fit the inside profile of my boat, but I was very particular to make sure they were a perfect match. The main problem I ran into was the epoxy that Bell furnished set up way too fast for me. I ended up having to buy additional epoxy to spread at the junction of my canoe and the carbon pieces. If I had been working in cooler conditions (rather than 90+) or had worked much faster, the Bell adhesive would probably have been fine. One other tip that you’ll have trouble visualizing until you get the footbrace kit. Bell recommends using a clamp at the junction of the telescoping aluminum tubes to hold them in position before you glue. I found it much better to put the footbrace in the proper position, and then duct tape the tubes together at the junction to keep them from sliding or twisting during the glueing. Once you get everything in position, mark it on your canoe with a pencil, mix and spread the glue rapidly onto the carbon pieces, and place it into position. If your canoe is level, gravity should hold it in place until the epoxy sets. You’ll understand this when you get the kit.
appreciate the heads up!
Makes me nervous just thinking about all this sanding and glueing. I’ll pay attention to instructions and take my time instead of ripping open the package and starting right away as I usually do
I glued a Wenonah footbrace into my Bell Magic last year using Weldwood and a thin strip of closed cell foam on each side. Not only is this setup strong, but if I ever decide to take it off, the Weldwood can be removed without a trace.
Here’s a close up pic:
I wish you would have posted that before I put my order in for the Bell carbon brace…