Replacing footpegs with foam

I’m interested in removing my footpegs and adding foam to the bulkheads. I’ve searched the archives here and have a pretty good idea for how to proceed. In order to make the project reversible in case I sell the boat, I plan to remove the existing footpegs and rails, but not glass in the holes. Instead, I will plug the holes with a screw and nut and a rubber washer.

My question is, will the rubber washer really be watertight for heavy use like rolling? I figure it must be because the rails are installed that way, but I don’t know if I should add any additional sealants. If so, what sealants should I use and what should I do to break the seal when I want to replace the rails when the time comes to sell?

No need to remove tracks…
as they won’t hinder you at all. Simply remove the foot braces and install foam to the bulkhead. Might even consider cutting the foam on an angle so your feet are at a more natural position. Great mod… you’ll like it.

How do I remove just the pegs?
I figured I’d remove the rails too because of any additional weight and chance of snagging on my foot. Of course, the weight is probably under a pound, and the chance of snagging would be really small.

How would I take the pegs out without removing the rails? Do I just slide them off or is there a trick to it? Sorry for such a rudimentary question, but I’m new to this.

What kind are they?
Will they slide off the aft end of the rail?

Depends on the pegs
You can remove pegs from Yakima rails by backing out the rear screw until the peg will slip by it and come out of the boat. Other pegs may behave differently.

I recommend removing the rails, however. On my Explorer, the rails get in the way of foam for the bulkhead - and get in the way of my size G feet (Gorilla).

Cut the main foam piece so it jam fits in place - no need to glue it in. Then it can be removed as needed. Another tip - I used a 1" foam full-sized piece for the main one, then glued on pads on each side for my feet, leaving the middle open so I can stretch out the feet by moving them to the center.

My local hardware had nylon screws and neoprene washers that I used to plug the holes.

Cheers, Alan

my avocet is modified in this way…
and the rails were left in…

btw, there’s no going back:)

nylon screws, cap nuts, neoprene washers
For my Aquanaut, I chose white nylon because they blended better with the hull. Eventually I simply filled the holes.

On my Romany I left the rails and pegs in so it could easily be used as a guest boat. The pegs rest flush against the foam on the bulkhead.

Installing foam
I’ve been thinking about doing this, too, on my Pygmy Artic Tern. Problem is, when I built it, I put the front bulkhead too far forward. Looks like I’d need about 4-6 inches of foam to reach my feet. Any suggestion? I’m thinking I might need to cut a second faux bulkhead, a few inches aft, and secure the foam to that. Otherwise, get a lot of foam.

Foam sizes…
You can buy foam in 2" 3" and 4" thicknesses. so no problem building it up.

i have 3 foam blocks
i have 3 styrofoam blocks shaped like the bulkhead… one is about 2" thick. another is 1" and a third is a wedge about 2" at the bottom and 1/2" at the top. all 3 fit snugly in a nylon stuff sack to make an adjustable foam package that i remove after paddling so the boat and foam blocks can dry out.

Filling space
You can fill the space with less expensive rigid foam if you don’t want to buy a heap of minicel. 2" sheathing foam(Lowes/Home Depot/etc.) works fine.

I have used foam bulkheads in my
sea kayaks for the past dozen years. I never took out the tracks or the pegs (just slide them way forward) and they never interfered with anything I had to do with the boat. Every few years I sell the boats and there are no holes or patches to contend with. Present sea boats are a kevlar Nordkapp and glass Avocet.

I left my rails in…

foam filler part 2
One thick block at a nice price.

go to eBay, Advanced Search.

Type in this seller name: foam for you.

Click on Seller’s Store

and behold the selection of minicell from 2-4.5" thick, including triangulated pieces called “pet ramps”.

Very nice people. Their brick n mortar is in SE Michigan - if you are a bidder from that area and want to pick up to save S&H. For the eBay-phobic, go there or order by phone.

They sell to the public.

Twice a customer. Recommend.

same thing…
I did the same thing–I left the tracks and the footrests in, adjusting the footpegs so that they’re 3 inches closer to the bulkhead than I would normally use. Then I rested the 3" minicell foam against the footpegs, not against the bulkhead. This means one 3" thick piece of minicell foam works, rather than the 9 inches I would have needed (making the setup lighter and cheaper). Better yet, I can easily pull out my foam and the footpegs are there for friends with shorter or longer legs. I have a piece of webbing around the foam to make removal easy. I also store it for the winter without all the foam inside, so things stay drier.

Gonna try that… Thanks
I’ve left my rails in but not my pegs…

very cool thanks!

ingenious - thanks :smiley:
I’d considered going with foam but want easy


Also with my kayak being ten years old the footbrace screws are probably very firmly seated.

I’d rather not wrestle them out.

The webbing detail is very nice & I’m already

thinking of my own particular design :wink:

Is that a stable platform?
I like the simplicity of that solution, but what happens if you push on the foam somewhere that isn’t supported by the footpegs? Does the foam flex without the additional resistance in back? If you push above or below the height of the pegs, couldn’t it spin over the “axis”?

Foam and pegs
On my explorer I have foam against the bulkhead, but I also left the pegs in, I just have them moved closer to me so they are about where the bottom of my shins are. I find the angle of my leg/foot means the pegs don’t get in the way, but they’re still there for when I have a client paddling my boat.

I’ve yet to get hung up or even scrape the pegs during exits and entries, but your results may vary!

Just another .02 worth.