Build Foot Brace Against Foam Bulkhead?

-- Last Updated: Apr-26-09 9:58 PM EST --

I purchased a plastic Current Design Sirocco. The foot braces can not be adjusted enough so they have been removed (long legs 6'4"). I'm considering building out against the foam bulkhead the new foot braces using minicell foam. Is that stupid against a foam bulkhead? I'd hate to break the bulkhead.

Would appreciate other thoughts how to install a footbrace with 1" or less gap between the foot brace and foam bulkhead.

My options seem to be a custom designed solution at this point.

PS- I've not found any commercial foot braces that can be adjusted all the way to the end of the foot brace mount. In each case they consume 2-3" of space.

creek boat
I would take a look inside a couple creek boats and examine the movable foot rest/bulkhead system they have, with a metal backing bar that is bolted to the hull.


– Last Updated: Apr-26-09 11:49 PM EST –

I thought the Sirocco had plastic bulkheads, I may be wrong. I have minicel footrest against plastic bulkhead in a composite boat and it's been fine..
May be once you are happy with the footrest you can Lexel them to the hull for more strength.

Some options, one is to remove footrests and tracks and replace the screws or just remove footrests and leave the tracks. Easiest is just pull footrests all the way toward you (what I do), they are out of the way and easy to reverse or ready for a shorter person to use.

Just checked and they list foam bulkheads..

and foam bulkheads are NOT sturdy enough to stand on, especially for a bIG guy!

that boat has a molded in seat too, eh? you could cut it out, get another seat and move it back, but that sounds like a royal PITA.

you could, again a R-PITA, move the b/h forward. would involve removing and shaping down to fit a tad fwd, then remount the footpegs fwd.

or…a new boat?



Call bay creek paddlers
I got good customer service from them in rochester,ny My bulkhead leaked after I pushed with my feet. www.jjcanoe makes excellent adjustable footbraces for canoes. Suggest you try them for your kayak

Similar problem - my solution

– Last Updated: Apr-27-09 9:40 PM EST –

On a Perception Sonoma 13.5 the foot rests are about 2" too short for me as well (36" inseam, size 15 shoe, 6'4" overall). I could paddle with them but my feet would be at a 90 degree angle and in a very tight V.

So, I basically created a version of what (as mentioned above) many white water boats have - a movable or at least bolt-mounted foot rest. I removed the rails temporarily, put an aluminum 1" wide by about 4' long strip bent in the letter pi that goes across the kayak forward of the rails and mounted the rails back, in case someone else wants to use them. On the aluminum plate so positioned I riveted a thin board and just taped on it with weathersealing tape a large yoga foam block. This was to experiment with placement for a more permanent solution but it has held just fine for the past almost 6 months including a few rolling sessions in the pool.

I do not think I would ever again want to paddle a kayak without a center foot board -;)

That said, I'm about to remove this contraption and build a front bulkhead of ABS plastic - lighter and adds more buoyancy. Not sure that is a solution for you since your hull material is different from mine (mine is thermoformed plastic/ABS/Airalight/whatever that is easy to glue to, where yours is probably a polyurethane that wont hold glue well for something that would be subjected to considerable pressure occasionally).

Realistically, you are not supposed to push against the foot rest too much while paddling. I put the most pressure on mine when exiting the boat at a dock as I need push myself out and over the seat edge with one foot so I can bend the other and take my one knee out to begin to step out of the boat... That's probably taking the equivalent of my full weght right there in one spot where the ball of my foot pushes - foam might come loose over time with this pressure. So, if your cockpit is longer or you do not exit at docks, then you should not really be pushing too much, unless you are doing really really rough stuff...

foot braces
I used to paddle a Sirocco, nice boat, just got too wide (the boat, not me ). The bulkheads are foam and not stong enough to brace against. You won’t break them btw, you’ll just break the glue joint between the foam and the hull, no biggy.

I’d recommend remounting the foot braces further forward. They are just thru bolted into the poly, easy to drill. Just plug the old holes with new bolts.

Bill H.

Foam on foam
Installed mini-cell (3" thick) bulkheads in strippers I’d built. Shoved the bulkheads into place with a fair amount of force before caulking into place. Mini-cell compresses, but only only so much.

For foot braces, I used a couple 1" thick pieces of mini-cell cut the same shape as the bulkhead, just slightly larger at the perimeter so as to be snug when in place up against the bulkhead. That’s 5" of foam. you’ll have to press pretty damn hard to push this forward.

Cut an oval shaped hole in the middle, creating something of a doughnut, leaving 3" (or so) of foot rest at the sides and 2" at the top & bottom. Sanded/sculpted the edges to eliminate corners.

The hole is large enough that one can stick your toes in that space and get a couple inches of stretch. Cheap & relatively quick way to experiment. If you should break bulkhead’s seal, a little Lexel will take care of that.


THANKS FOR SOME GREAT IDEA’S ! And the thoughtful responses.

I’ll report back after my research is complete.