Want to Install Canoe Foot Braces

I want to install some sort of simple & cheap foot brace in a royalex canoe to use while seated so my feet don’t slide forward & to provide some foot support.

Thinking about closed cell blocks cut at 45 degree and glue to floor of canoe as a foot rest.

  1. If I go this route , what type of adhesive is best?

    2 Any other suggestions? Are there retail products for this?


good idea to install a footbrace
They really do help with balance, stability and power. Wenonah makes the most commonly used model. Scroll down till you see it. http://www.wenonah.com/craftsmanship/Additional_Options.php

It comes with 4 rivets (2 each side) that go through the hull.

If the money isn’t a problem, I’d go this route. Even minicell is going to cost you $10 or so.

For a flexy boat I would go with
Plexusing some footpegs in.


Harmony Keepers Footbrace.

Plexus is a strong yet flexible adhesive. River running and rocks might cause a footbar to rip the hull in even a minor pin.

I am just more comfortable with glued in on my Argosy.

I have the Wenonah footbar in my Curtis Nomad which is confined to lakes.

I’ve battle tested the older Wenonah’s

– Last Updated: Aug-23-11 3:14 PM EST –

The ones that use the L brackets on the sides rather than the new fancy ones without adjustment holes. The holes in the side L brackets (where you mount the bar using the thumb screws) tear out pretty readily and provide a "weak link" to the system. Much weaker than the hull. Also the bar is actually 2 pieces of aluminum, one sliding freely inside the other. It's not a solid piece to slam through the hull.

I know a guy who used PVC pipe T junctions as foot braces in a Royalex boat. He used 3M 3532 Structural adhesive to bond them in with: http://www.pack-n-tape.com/cart/3m-scotch-weld-urethane-adhesive-3532-brown-b-a-2-oz-6-tube-kits-per-case-00021200208782.html

The T part of the junction was oriented away from his foot and he drilled holes in the bottom of the PVC to give the urethane adhesive better grip. You could probably use West System G-Flex epoxy as well. The PVC pipe wasn’t very tall, however.

Wenonah Canoe has a decent kit: http://www.wenonah.com/products/template/product_detail.php?IID=186&SID=ba4ed9e4a58b3b1778d6392b9629eee5

And some folks like the Keepers footbraces:


The Keepers braces require you to keep your feet close to the side of the hull which some don’t like. If you want to have your feet closer to center a bar foot brace like Wenonah’s would suit better.

The Keepers or the Wenonah kit are most easily installed by drilling holes in the side of the canoe for stainless steel machine screws or pop rivets but you could bond stainless steel studs for the foot braces to the hull sides with G-Flex or perhaps Plexus: http://www.pygmyboats.com/mall/HullGear.asp

(scroll halfway down to see the foot brace stud kit).

You could use minicell foam for light duty foot braces. You might glue some thin wood pads to the minicell blocks to try to get them to last longer. Contact cement like DAP Weldwood works fine for gluing foam to Royalex.

Foot Brace

Thanks for your good suggestions. Don’t need adjustable.

I just found these Padz Toe Block at NRS


Looks good & easy to make!


you’ll be pushing on a sponge
Not saying you can’t get some benefit out of them. But they won’t do the same thing as a solid brace that you can push against, and do so without fear of failure. I don’t know what conditions you paddle in. If it’s Golden Pond type stuff you’ll be fine. If it’s more aggressive water or off shore conditions, you may want to consider something solid, like the suggestions posted here.

has terrible adhesive. Don’t believe “self stick” for the long term.

Use contact cement too like Weldwood. Sooner or later you are going to push the edge up and work grit underneath… Having a really good glue will help but those are really only temporary. They are only minicell foam.

try this
If you cut some some panels out of thin plywood and bond them to the surface of the minicell your foot braces on it will give a little firmer support and make the foam a little less likely to tear up.

But absolutely, glue them in with contact cement. The self adhesive on the pads will stick for a little while and then let go.