Installing Canoe Foot Bar???

I would like to install a sliding foot bar in my Osprey. I don’t sit much but seems this would be a helpful thing for when I do.

Any suggestions on where to get one and how to install?

I see that Wenonah makes one that they sell after market. Says it needs to be riveted in. Not crazy about putting holes in the boats and frankly don’t know how to rivet something in…



foam foot blocks ??
3 in. tall x 6-8 in. long 4 in. front 2 back

tools needed : sandpaper, glue, glue-proof gloves

def. rate = 4 time 10 mins

step 1 = rough up spot to apply glue

step 2 = apply glue

step 3 = place block

ps. your feet might get stuck under a bar

Have one in my Kevlar Spirit II
Hadn’t paddled that boat in a while, and took it out with a friend a couple of weeks ago. It does make a huge difference. It is installed with rivits, but it came that way so I can’t tell you anything about installation. The boat has low tractor seats so I never kneel in it.

Swift. They use kayak style footbraces. You would still need to drill holes though but they could help you through it. Is there a canoe shop near you? Most do these kinds of things all the time.

Placid glues the foot braces in their
canoes. they are plastic and adjustable .Ask Charlie Wilson what glue they use.

wenonah footbrace
I used the telecopic bar with L-angles that wenonah sells. Did try the keeper footbraces but prefer to center my legs for sit/switch paddling. Instead of rivets I drilled two holes on either side (above waterline)and used ss screws/washer/nut with a bit of silicone to seal. But you can use rivets too or try the plexus method if you don’t want to drill holes.

The footbrace makes a world of difference in comfort and more power for paddle stroke. It also helps to add another contact point when sitting in a tippy boat like mine. I don’t know how it would work for you with a sliding seat?

I put one of the Wenonah

– Last Updated: May-01-09 2:55 PM EST –

braces in my Bell Northwoods Kevlar Light layup).

I too didn't want to drill holes, so I bonded it in with PC-11 epoxy and it has held up fine to regular heavy use.

PC epoxy is readily available at most hardware stores.

Plexus is what is used by many manufacturers and shops, but I had the PC-11 on hand and I trust their products for extreme duty applications.

-edit- I should add, I have also installed the newer style brace in my Wenonah Sundowner by drilling and riveting and have had no problems whatsoever from the rivets. All the seat mounting hardware on that canoe was riveted through the hull so I figured whats four more.

I have also retrofitted the newer brace to my Voyager. I drilled out the factory rivets, removed the old style brace and riveted in the new style brace. I paddle that canoe loaded for tripping and wanted the easier adjustment of the newer design.
I don't think I have ever moved the brace on either of my Advantages, so the old style suits them just fine.

Have installed numerous footbraces
in solos & tandems I own, can’t live without them. I’ve always use the Wenonah ‘old style’ L-bracket ones over the newer style. The old style is much lighter, though the new style has an infinite adjustment range along the rails, verses the holes every 1" or so on the old style. Never had any issues drilling and riveting them on, and have never had any leaking or fracturing around holes in 15+ years. Be SURE to use the broad head rivets, and I always back them up with a bit of sealant rubbed around the river shaft prior to installation. Rivet tools are cheap and fairly brainless to use. Rivets can be drilled out in the future if needed. I always place some masking tape over the spot were I want to drill, as it keeps the outer ‘skin’ or gel from chipping while drilling, leaving a clean hole. I always drill from the outside in.

Foot braces came with
all my boats, which are all Wenonahs. Occasionally I’ll try to paddle (sitting) without using the brace, but it’s hard. They make a tremendous difference.

Different people probably apply different levels of stress to the brace. I apply a lot. For this reason, I’d feel antsy about an amateur (me) retro-fit job. Do it wrong, and you end up with more problems than when you started.

glue-in foot braces
Bell offers (used to offer?) a “carbon” foot brace that could be glued in. I believe only the mounts are carbon; the brace bar is just as aluminum as the bar in their “aluminum” foot brace. I don’t know what glue they use.

Placid Boatworks uses Plexus to glue in their foot braces. Their foot braces are kayak-style. I have them in my Placid RapidFire, and I would prefer a bar that went all the way across; I don’t like having my feet forced far apart in order to brace.


How 'bout a wet bar?

You can bolt a bar between the foot pegs
as Eric Nyre does in his boats.

That way, he has the sure stop and easy adjustment of the Yakima type braces with the Wenonah type telescoping aluminum tube between them for bracing from one side of the boat to the other.

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I added a Wenonah slider to my RX
Bell Wildfire and it makes a huge difference when sitting and paddling.

I plan to add one to my Curtis Lady Bug, which is kevlar/glass. The added weight is what’s holding me back. I’d probably rivet it in, but am considering epoxy.

I don’t like the old style Wenonah braces, which adjust by having to remove wing nut/bolt assemblies to move the brace bar, because they can’t be adjusted quickly while on the water to adjust trim when you slide the seat for changing wind conditions. I have the old style in my Advantage and plan to replace it with one of the sliding braces.

The only problem that I’ve had with the Wenonah sliding braces is that sometimes they slip in the track if not tightened down enough.

kevlar or fiberglass hull option
here is what I have in my fglass Indy.

Square of fiberglass with aluminum angle riveted to to. that assembly is then epoxied to the hull.

I use the old style Wenonah telescoping foot brace held in with pins. Only use it is I want to focus on travel, otherwise it goes back into another boat on the shelf.

the telescoping bar is better than a solid bar as it protects the hull from cracking if it should need to flex greatly against a rock.

Brace riveted to the hull is another option.

The sliding wenonah looks like a good design. Since I have a sliding seat in my boat I want something that can be easily adjusted on the water.

Has anyone tried applying this one with epoxy?

If not I guess I will have to rivet it. Don’t have a riveter and don’t know how to use one but can’t be too hard. Just don’t like putting holes in hull.


Foot brace
Wenonah makes a good product. Best setup would be to install the combo sliding seat & footbrace that racers use but haven’t checked to see if Wenonah markets it ? Both seat & footbrace slide/adjust together.

As your original post said “you don’t sit much” you could try this idea. It’s cheap, lightweight, adjustable, removable & won’t leave holes in your hull if you decide sit & switch isn’t for you - just take a length of rope & tie one end to your seat assembly. Thread or tie it thru a piece of alum conduit/PVC pipe/anything ridgid & tie other end to opposite seat corner. Presto, you’ve got a footbrace. You won’t be able to pull upwards on it but it’ll still help you get your abs/torso into the stroke & give you an idea of advantages of footbrace. Just a thought …

Don’t over tighten!
I have a Kevlar Curtis Nomad that had the Wenonah aluminum foot braces that was installed with rivets. They one side had been over tighten and caused small distortions in the hull which created spider cracks. I have since taken the foot braces out and repaired the canoe since I kneel. If I was installing the foot braces I would use stainless bolt and nuts with washers like used in most sea kayaks to fasten the foot braces. Also I would put fiberglass or Kevlar 2" tape to re-enforce the inside of the hull where the foot brace plate attaches.