Re: foot braces

Posted by jeff wong on Feb 22, 2006

The advantage of mounting foot braces without drilling through your hull: Suppose you didn't do a near perfect job mounting the bolts and they came off during a paddle, first you'll have fun getting to someplace where you can get out and improvise and second, you'll enjoy redo-ing the installation when you do get the kayak to someplace with tools and material.

The security of a through-the-hull DFD footbrace installation far outweighs the minor leak that might occur. I use a rubber O-ring on the bolt and have experienced no leakage, YMMV. It would amaze to know how much force one can apply to footbraces. I have broken footbraces on 3 of the 4 kayaks I've had. Examples: 1. Plastic Keepers footbraces where the rail deflected permitting the brace to pop off. 2. A kitmaker's brace made of plastic and wood--the plastic failed. 3. A SealLine SmartTrack plastic brace which cracked (they do have a great lifetime warranty)

I still use Keepers and SmartTrack, but paddle in fear of failure. Another system I use, I conjured up from aluminum stock. It seems sturdy enough never to fail, though it falls short in on-the-water adjustability.

In time, I might make bulkhead footbraces like whitewater kayakers use. Not easily adjustable, but not likely to fail, barring a bulkhead collapse.

In Response to: foot braces by Darryl on Feb 21, 2006