Wenonah Foot Brace again

I have orderded the Wenonah Foot Brace form Rutabaga and it should be here tomorrow. I plan to install it on my OT Guide 119 by drilling and using stainless steel hardware.

Anyone have tips for determing best placement in boat. Any helpful hints on drilling the holes in the 3 layer poly and mounting the brace.

Any info greatly appreciated. I’ve never drilled through a hull and I want to get this right. I think it will really add to usability of the boat.



Why don’t you set up a mock footbrace
using a cooler full of bricks or something. That might help you guess where your footbrace should be.

I would also contrive to avoid drilling that hull, perhaps by using a torch and G-Flex to put mounting points on the inside. But if you get sure about where you want the brace, drill away. There’s always plastic welding.

You’ll have about 10" of leeway
In the location of that particular foot brace.

Get someone to help you by holding the brace as you sit in the canoe. Adust the brace near the center of travel and then have your helper mark , with pencil, the locations of the mounting holes.

This will have the brace really close to where you want it and it can be moved a couple of inches forward or back to fine tune the position.

I did this in my Wenonah Wilderness solo and it worked fine… Just take your time while measuring!

Good luck

I did this to my first solo canoe

– Last Updated: Aug-25-14 11:21 AM EST –

As others have said, there will be quite a range of adjustment provided, so you don't have to get it "perfect". It will be more important to get the exact height that you want than it is to get the exact fore-aft positioning.

I used BIG washers when bolting through the hull. The bigger the washer, the tighter you can clamp the connection without indenting the hull too much, and with enough clamping force you will eliminate any need for shear strength where the bolts pass through the hull. What's that mean? It means that if the outer part of the bolt gets snagged on a rock, it won't cause the bolt to tear the hull where it passes through. A stainless steel bolt with a small, round head probably won't be nearly as likely to snag rocks as the head of an aluminum pop-rivet, but you might as well stack the odds in your favor.

You could take ezwater's advice and attach the brace to the inside without drilling or additional hardware, but my understanding is that there's quite an art to using adhesives on poly hulls and getting something to stick securely. Might be best to leave that method to experts.

Aluminum pop rivet head catching on
rocks? Has this really ever happened? They’re pretty low profile on the outer surface of the hull. Bolt heads protrude much more.

You are probably right

– Last Updated: Aug-25-14 2:26 PM EST –

I was thinking about how badly an aluminum hull grips rocks, and was thinking that a rock scraping across an aluminum rivet head might get quite a good grip on it, but I imagine you are correct that nothing bad would happen.

I'm not a big fan of pop-rivets for attaching things that get a lot of stress, because they're really just a cheater method for when there's no access to the back surface, rather than being on a par with bolts of similar diameter. Still, I know they usually work fine.

As far as bolt heads protruding "much more", it's not much more if you are comparing bolts and pop-rivets of the same diameter. If you wanted to take this to extremes, you could even grind down the head of a tiny bolt so it has the same profile as the head of a pop-rivet, and it would still be much stronger than the pop-rivet.

Maybe just to prove its possible
but my ex. managed to get stuck with both front wheels off the ground once … What was the hang up ?

The oil drain bolt. : 0

If possible, use Pan Head bolts, these are lower and wider than even round heads. With a wide neoprene plumbing washer.


buy hardware from West or McMaster Carr…#10 with a deep Philips head, nylocks blue locktited on the inside preventing corrosion, stainless washers both sides, fiber or hard rubber grommets for sealing under washers one side. Finish off the raw edge hole drilled with a composite drill…see McMaster Carr…with resin epoxy or super glue.


– Last Updated: Aug-26-14 10:33 AM EST –

Well I installed the brace last Friday. A friend came over to help. He was quite encouraging with "Drill away! It's not my boat!" :)

Actually it turned out very good. I used the large head rivets that came with the brace and it looks quite professional. I put silicone caulk around the rivets. If something happens to them I will replace with SS bolts & nuts.

I do think I mounted it a little too hig but will fix that by removing the brace bars and remounting on underside of bracket with a spacer block.

Id not think that gluing would have worked due to the limited contact witht the hull because of the hull's curve.

Thanks for all the replies.

Next is replacing the seat. I'll start anothter thread with questions asking for advice on that. Any input will be appreciated.