I really need to install a foot brace in my Swift Shearwater. The two models that I have seen are from Voyageur-Gear and Wenonah. The Voyageur model has two pieces that are glued on to the side of the hull, while the wenonah model requires drilling 4 holes in the hull and using rivets to secure them in place. Which one would you choose. I can readily get the wenonah locally, but the voyager is not available locally, would have to order from somewhere, any good sources?. Thanks in advance.
After reading several posts here
about minicell footbrace/bulkheads in kayaks, I put one in my Voyager canoe after I lost the factory one in transport. I like it much better than the bar it had originally because it is angled to fit my foot. I had the advantage of the brackets already being in the boat. I attached an aluminum bar between the brackets and used in to support the foam.
I have the voyager model
…and I like it. I had my local shop order it for me. As string noted, the bar can come loose. I attached a small rectangular locking ring (home depot and/or West Marine) on each end of the bar where the nut has a loop, and attach that to the loop on the boat. It’s a little inconvenient to readjust the position of the footbrace now, but unless someone else uses my boat, it’s where I want it, and now I don’t worry that I’ll lose it during a swim, and I don’t have to remove it for transport any more.
Hard to Find
Bryan, I been looking for the same thing. It seems strange that as widely recommended as foot braces are there are only two makes out there and only the Wenonah seems readily available.
I’m a little reluctant to drill holes in the hulls of my boats. The glue on strip that Voyageur’s brace uses looks good. I may drop Austin Outdoors a line and see if they’d order one.
That is where…
I saw one. LOL! Nothing like being middle aged and waking up in a new world every morning.
You’re younger than I am, so you cannot POSSIBLY be middle aged.
on drilling holes…
…I took a cordless drill with me to the WW canoe school on the Mulberry River in Arkansas last month so I could finish outfitting my Sandpiper for the float bag lacing. I am FEARLESS when it comes to drilling holes in my boat! Coyoteequip was helping me with the placement, and I drilled holes, more holes, and decided the lacing wasn’t close enough together and added holes between the holes. What fun. Rob, ya just gotta let your hair down and take some chances! Live dangerously!
p.s. My boat still floats, too.
Still in my twenties. Just been cleaning out the garage and packing and feel middle-aged.
I have Yakima footbraces. I got them
from Mohawk. We drilled holes and no problems.
Yes, it took Mick’s giving me a “chewing out” here a couple of years ago to get me to ever drill a thwart or deck for putting bungie loops on the boats. Drilling the Northwind to put in the lining holes was traumatic – turned out OK though. I’m still waiting to get the nerve up for drilling holes through in the Shearwater’s Kevlar hull for tugeyes. It’s going to take some good unhurried uninterrupted time for that job.
I did this
I put the Wenonah in my supernova. Drilling the holes isn’t bad. I put a dab of sealant on the rivets and they work just fine. I like the instant adjustability and they are quick and easy to install.
You might also want to consider keeping it simple and getting a Swift foot-brace for your Swift canoe. I ordered my Shearwater with an adjustable foot-brace & I’d have to say I’m pleased with how it functions – one hand adjustments are no problem. The Swift foot-brace in my canoe is fiber-glassed in place – looks pretty darn straightforward to do. It could also be bolted in place, but personally I wouldn’t like the idea of drilling holes in a gel-coated canoe if it wasn’t really necessary.
Bar type footbraces
Both We-no-nah and Bell sell the bar type. This is the type that most people use. In addition to other advice, measure carefully, drill above the waterline, use aluminum large headed rivits, use sealant. Drill through the area where the ribs are located, not on the thin carbon or kevlar. Get stainless wingnuts and thumbscrews for easy adjustment. Nice inexpensive system. Very easy and safe to install.
A very nice option is a Crozier integrated sliding seat and footbrace. Don’t ask the price…
I ordered my WNN brace installed…
…as I did on my previous canoe. Never had leakage in either, and I wouldn’t be without them.
I was in my daughters Sandpiper for the first time last Saturday and love it.
She took a first place in the five mile New River Race, and after I did a run with my wife in our C-2 and a run in my plastic yak I on the spur of the moment decided to do a run in the Sandpiper.
That little thing handles beautifully.
After the race I told her that I am going to install a foot brace for her. It definately needs one.
The Sandpiper is a sweet boat
…but I am a lot more comfortable with the footrest. I’ve enjoyed that boat a lot. I paddled 13 DIFFERENT rivers and lakes in the Sandpiper in the first 5 months of this year, with a total of 224 miles. Life is good.