I just picked up a 2007 Wenonah Vagabond Ultra Lite. I noticed on their website that the Vagabond is supposed to come standard with and adjustable foot brace yet I don't have one on mine. Is that something they added after the 2007 model?
Can I add one?
Wenonah makes and sells a pretty nice adjustable footbrace that can be riveted into your canoe. Obviously, you will have to drill some holes. Look under “Accessories” on the Wenonah site.
I just looked at it. How hard is it to rivet something? I imagine I’d need a rivet gun, which probably isn’t cheap.
I’m sure it just attaches with pop rivets. Pop rivet guns are easy to use and not particularly expensive, but perhaps you could borrow one for a single use like this.
If you don’t want to use rivets, I’m sure you could substitute stainless steel machine screws and nuts.
actually they are
fairly cheap…or ask around you may be surprised that a friend may have one.
Wenonoah has great customer support. I’ve emailed them with all kinds of questions, and they’ve pretty much always gotten right back to me. Email or call them, they will answer any questions you may have.
No need for rivets
Go ahead and use small nuts and bolts. Pop rivets were invented as a means of easily attaching something to a surface that can’t be reached from the other side. If you have two arms, you don’t need to buy a pop-rivet gun to attach your footbrace. Spend pennies instead of dollars.
I have added and changed the foot
braces on three different Wenonahs as well as other makes of canoes.
It is a simple procedure and you can either either buy a pre made one, or build one yourself from scratch with aluminum tubing and angles that you can get at Lowes.
A rivit gun is a handy tool to have around the house and I use either rivits or stainless bolts and nuts.
The rivits are much cheaper.
Ultra Light Caveats
Wenonah installs their footbraces differently in their ultralight boats. They are not riveted through the hull. When your boat was built, they should have installed four aluminum plates on the insides of the ribs. If you look, you will see them. This is where you can drill a hole from the inside of the boat to attach the footbrace without drilling all the way through the boat. Use a drill stop if you are concerned. The Wenonah footbrace kit comes with two kinds of rivets; small ones for this blind installation, and large fender rivets for through riveting.
The foot brace was optional on the Royalex and standard on the composites hulls. If you always kneel and never sit you could order the boat with the foot brace delete option to avoid the extra weight you will never use. The boats that were ordered without the foot brace still have the 4 small aluminum attachement plates glassed into the tuff weave for future install.
Makes sense. By the way, it is
possible to pop rivet only through the inner layer of Royalex ABS, but I don’t recommend it because of limited strength (not enough for footbraces, seats)and because pop rivets might leak water into the foam between the ABS. But, there might be some strange way someone could make use of this method.