Build-up foam bulkhead in plastic boat?

I’ve been thinking of building-up the foam bulkhead on my Tempest 170 as it seems easier to do than having a bar b/w the sliding foot pegs installed.

However, I’m afraid that the bulkhead will eventually come off from my feet pushing it during paddling. Am I just paranoid about that or is this something that will happen and I just need to live with it and re-glue periodically?

I deally I would like to preserve my foot pegs as I’m not the only one using the boat, plus they work well enough for me for bracing. But I was thinking of building-up the middle of the bulkhead to allow me to position my legs in the middle to facilitate leg action and torso rotation, where my knee would stick-up thru the keyhole on each stroke. Tha knee sticking-up kind of wokrs with the foot pegs, but the foot position is not optimal, plus the foot pegs are not very comfortable after long use…

I wouldn’t do it
Foam BHs flex quite a bit. I wouldn’t trust them or their sealant to hold up under the pressure of a leg push.

no way!
it’s not unheard of people punching through fiberglass bulkheads (rare and in rough conditions).

A foam bulkhead has a hard time trying to stay in place on it’s own… imagine putting pressure from your feet on it.

I had to build a few fibreglass bulkheads to replace leaky foam ones on friends’ kayaks (fibreglas hull) so I would hate to see what happens with you applying pressure on it.

No go.


What about a board across the footpegs?
I am not familiar with how to do this myself, but there have been descriptions on this board on how to put a board between the footpegs (running across the boat). It still provides a wider and more comfortable surface for the feet but will work when you have to rely on the footpegs.

Thanks - seems like no go
I will see if there is an easy way to put a cross-member on the foot pegs or somehow use the rails to attach platform infront of the bulkhead.

The fott platform looks like a bulkhead in size in my WW Pyranha Burn is adjustable and it is attached to the hull with rails just like footpegs are. I could I suppose make one of these and remove the footpegs as the whole thing will be adjustable. However, I do not trust the plastic rails used in the WS boat for this - they look like they might snap if twisting pressure is applied. So I would at best be safe with attaching a narrow (3-4" max) cross-member to the foot pegs (seen a post on this before so I have an idea how to do it).

foam bulkhead

– Last Updated: Aug-06-08 11:50 AM EST –

I did this in a plywood/fiberglass BBK boat, but I'm about to try it with my plastic avocet. I pushed the footpegs 3 inches forward of where I would normally have them, then cut 3 inch dense, closed-cell foam to fit the space snugly (first I made a cardboard template to fit). After tying a piece of webbing around the middle of the foam for easy removal, I slide the foam to rest against the pushed-forward footpegs. This way I can easily pull the foam out and have the footpegs available when I want to lend the boat to someone with longer legs. But most of the time, the foam is there for me, keeping excess water out of the cockpit (which is wonderful for those reentry and rolls) and making life a lot more comfortable for my feet. The footpegs support the foam, so it's not placing pressure on the boat itself.

I can't claim credit for this idea; someone else on this message board suggested it 4 years ago. It has worked really well for me.

maybe something like this

the light aluminum bar is attached to the foot pegs with SS bolts and nuts. The hole in the bar is slotted to allow movement of the footpegs (for different size paddlers) since the hull is tapered.

My aluminum profile is generally used for shower enclosures; it has a nice soft edge for my feet.


If you modify your Avocet
then please post some photos. I’d love to install something like this in mine



Speaking for WS … please do not push on
the bulkheads.

An alternative from our website:

Non-rudder users. We also have a Foot Plate Kit ( not shown ) that allows you too to unwind your hips, knees, ankles as above and lets your feet be where they evolved to be. It is much more solid than foam or similar bulkhead modifications to pump and brace off of. The kit takes all of 15 minutes to install with no cutting foam, gluing, or modification to the boat. Full, fore / aft adjustment range of the stock foot braces is retained. Foot plate angle is also adjustable and entire kit could be pulled without leaving a mess if you wanted to put it in another boat.

And here’s the link:

How easy it is to transfer the non-ruddered version from boat to boat? Does it click in the existing rail or mount on the existing pedals?

Is it a matter of couple of minutes or more like 20 minutes? I have 2 boats and if it would move easily enough …


Valley RM bulkheads
My understanding is that bulkheads in Valley RM boats are ‘welded’ in place. I have read of folks bracing off foam directly on them as confidently as with composite bulkheads.

Somewhat custome sized …
But would go from boat to boat within say a 2" range difference between them. Could be wider with minor customization if you wanted to put it in a single AND a double for ex.

Boat to boat change over would be a couple minutes only.

That’s good to know. But for my purposes (loaning this second boat out to friends with longer legs), using removable foam propped against the existing footpegs would work better than removing the pegs and building up the existing bulkhead (it’s a long way off in the boat–I have short legs). For the tempest, using that nifty kit mentioned above seems even better yet!