Wenona Foot Brace-Lost while car-topping

For those not familiar with Wenona foot braces, there is a cross bar that sits on an angle bracket. The brackets are mounted to the hull. The cross pieces consist of telescoping aluminum tubes, and you attach the tubes to the brackets with bolts and wing nuts.

A wing nut came off while I was driving the canoe to the river. The half of the telescoping tube/cross brace went with the nut. So I went paddling with only half a foot brace.

I just fabricated a replacement half from a tube of aluminum I bought at Lowes. Bought a new wing nut, too.

The question I have for folks who are paddling with these foot braces is: do you leave them installed while you are car topping the boat? If you do, how do you make sure you don’t loose a nut?


I always leave them attached.
Just check them prior to loading the canoe.

I guess you could use a lock washer under the wing nut, but I always make sure mine are tight.

I have built a half dozen of them just like you described.

Jack L

After five trips Maine to Florida
I never even thought about the wing nuts winging it…

Doh… off to check…when its loading time I always forget these things.

Can get locking wingnuts too BTW.

Wenonah footbraces
I upgraded the footbrace in my Jensen 18 to one of the sliding footbraces that Wenonah installs on all their new boats. I’ve owned a bunch of other Wenonahs before the new footbrace came along and I always attached some spare screws and wing nuts in some of the extra holes on the aluminum angle. I have lost screws and wing nuts but never a whole footbrace. I race with my canoes and use footstraps on the brace and that keeps the two halves together.

What I used to do
I don’t have any boats with footbraces now, but when I had one, I noticed right away that the risk of losing a wingnut was great. I put “Form-a-Gasket” on the bolt threads. There are two kinds of “Form-a-Gasket”, hardening and non-hardening. I used the non-hardening style, so the wingnuts could always be loosened and re-installed as needed, but the gooey nature of that stuff on the threads insured that the wingnuts could never simply rattle loose on their own. Even if already loose, the wingnuts would stay put unless manually turned.

The wing nuts on my rescued Rendezvous are fully rusted on. I expect that I’ll have to cut them off if I ever want to move the foot brace.

I replaced mine wth the sliding version.
It can’t come off the track.

Thanks for the ideas.

I had used the boat in salt water, and the wing nuts were crusty and difficult to remove. Then I canibalized those parts to put in another boat, ordering a replacement for the Wenona. Those new parts had smooth threading bolts and nuts, darn it! I only had them in for two uses before one of the wing nuts decided to fly away.

I will look for the stop-nut version of wing nuts. I like being able to move the foot brace and seat to adjust the trim of the boat, so I’m reluctant to use locknut. I may have a hard time finding elastic stop nuts in a wing nut this small, and if that turns out to be the case I will look for the non-permanent version of locknut, or form-a-gasket, per GBG’s suggestions.

Come to think of it, just a plain old lock washer might help, and I probably have some I can put to immediate use.


I lost one on the interstate. Since the seat it is for is not a slider Ijust use nylocknuts now.