Installing thigh braces in Pygmy boat

I’m about to install knee/thigh braces in my Pygmy Arctic Tern. Since this will essentially be a permanent installation (epoxied in) I’m a bit nervous about getting the placement just right.

Any tips to determining how far in or out they should go? Without them in, I need to spread my knees pretty far out to get purchase under the cockpit. With these I could move my knees closer to the center. The question is, do I want to move them significantly inward? How do I determine the best placement?

What I did…
Take a pencil and the braces, sit in the boat as usual, position thigh braces until they feel good, mark location.

Good luck…

tough choice
i alternate between knees under the deck for control while edging etc and knees in the middle for maximum rotation…i have a foam block footrest instead of foot braces. highly recommended. i can spread my feet or plant them vertically (toes forward) in the middle of the boat when i am ‘pumping’. i have avoided using the ‘keyhole’ style thigh braces. when i need to grip the underside of the deck i have some minicell pads where my knees contact the deck that help me get a grip. my boat has the pygmy style cockpit which works very well with the alternating styles of paddling.

How you doin ???

I was wondering the same thing recently as I was lucky enough (and fast on the phone) to aquire an 80% complete CLC Cheasapeak 16LT. I’m also looking to modify the Sealion a bit too.

My thought would be to sit in it and get your knees in a comfortable position, and then slide the wood pieces up under the coaming. Keep in mind getting out and wet exit. I’d also consider more wood hanging out. You could always trim it back. If your not needing wood, contact cement the minicel in and trim away.

If Add On Brace Is Wood…
you can install more aggressively (towards the center of the boat) but still leave enough room for you to take out one leg at a time from the center. You can shave back if you don’t like it. It’s matter of your mental comfort in thinking you’re gonna get trapped or not. I like it more aggressive because I hate having my knee or thigh slipping off a brace when I get trashed around upside down. But this doesn’t happen unless you play the really more textured stuff.

Location of the the braces – generally from your knee cap back to the thighs. Underneath, you paddled it out with minicell that is deeper at the thigh (because of the angle of your legs in the sitting position). That way when you brace or roll, the pressure is evened out from knee to thigh as opposed to just on the knee. Anyway, that’s how I prefer it.


Congrats on the CLC
Once you get it complete, you’ll have to come down here and show it off to the SEOP crowd.

I think I might double stick tape them in place, then climb in and out a bunch of times, to see how much more difficult it will make entry and exit before deciding the final position. It would be nice to figure out a way to make them adjustable/removable. But the kit has two wood plates to be epoxied under the deck (forming a keyhole cockpit) then the minicell is contact cemented to the plates.

Thanks, sing
That’s helpful. I don’t do any really rough water. Just looking to improve my control of the boat.

The Other Thing…
is if you don’t want the braces too deep to the middle but don’t want to slip off, say on an sudden and aggressive brace, is to pad the outside edge of the thigh brace thicker to create almost a “hook” shape underneath. When you knees/thigh are pushed up, it’ll lock in won’t slide off because of .75-1" of deeper minicell at the edge.


Thanks - - and like your idea
Double sided stick tape is great for that.

CLC 16LT is hangin in the garage right now. Mama wants her living room and bedroom done first. May be the fall before I can really work on it.

Best part was the price.

““Free woodie to good home””

Mine works - - -