Skerry Foot Braces, install or not?

Hello, Progressing well on my skerry build. I have a question for those familiar with the skerry.

I plan on usually sailing the skerry on lakes and, if lucky, in coastal waters. There is a likelihood that I will occasionally use it on a river and need oars, but I expect these times to be minimal.

My question concerns the foot braces, I see many skerry's that skip installing of them, others seem to put them in. I see them as one more point of failure and taking up room in the aft where I might want to sit on the floor.

Do they add a bunch? does it make it so much better to row that it is worth the imposition? are they out of the way enough that I can sit on the cockpit floor and not have a footbrace to balance ontop of?

I appreciate your thoughts and opinions.

Bonus question, anyone figure out how to make removable foot braces?

6 replies:

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RE: Skerry Foot Braces, install or not?

   I didn't install them in my skerry and I row it a lot.  First off, I build mine 15 years ago and I know some updates have been made to the design.  At the time I built my boat the foot braces were rectangular blocks that were to be attached to the floorboard.  Not sure if that is still what is in the current plan.

I get enough friction with just my feet that most of the time it's not an issue.

Depending on how hard I'm rowing I do sometimes want/need additional bracing.  I made an easily removable insert that helps, but to be honest it's not usually a problem.

RE: Skerry Foot Braces, install or not?


This is really good to hear! I'll wait for some other responses but I appreciate hearing from someone who actually rows and does not find it necessary. Thanks a bunch.

The newest kit comes with 6 squared blocks. I have seen many round these over to make them a little more friendly, but it seemed to be that 25% ish kept them in.

Thanks again!


RE: Skerry Foot Braces, install or not?

  Not a Skerry, but I did not install foot braces in my GIS for the reasons you outlined.  I find that a bumper tied to the inwales so that it lays on the bottom of the boat makes a decent temperary foot brace.  You will have to experiment a bit to find the best position for you, but it is quick and easy to rig after that.  I do not have it rigged in this picture.


RE: Skerry Foot Braces, install or not?

   I row my skerry as well even though I'm mostly a sailor. But if there's no wind and you want to go well you row!  I didn't install the braces. Instead I got the SeaDek flooring kit from CLC. All precut it's easy and makes a grippy cushioned surface for feet or butt. Worth every penny. If I was going for racy rowing I would make a removable foot block to put my feet and ankles at the right angles but anything else, the seadek is perfect. The adhesive is super grabby so make sure you position it right the first time. There won't be a second. 

RE: Skerry Foot Braces, install or not?

I row our Passagemaker Dinghy quite a bit, often without even bringing the sail rig (lug) along.  There was nothing in the kit in the way of foot braces.  We put some antislip grit in the last coat of paint on the inside bottom and up the inside of the first (garboard) strake so things wouldn't be so slippery, and I can ususlly row the boat about as fast as the short, plump girl wants to go.

I have thought about building some sort of removable rack to place on the bottom, butting up against the aft bulkhead with some slots to put in a cross piece at various distances against which to brace my heels.  Might help a little, but I'm not sure it'd be worth the trouble in the end.  Something else to be in the way when sailing, too.

I have thought of getting a couple of plastic equistirian stirrups and riggin' 'em up to the daggerboard case with rope or straps to provide something to push against with my feet which would be cheap, easy to do, and not much complication.  Haven't got as far as trying the idea yet.

Your skerry is probably a better rowboat, though, so you might benefit more by having something against which the oarsman might brace her feet.


RE: Skerry Foot Braces, install or not?

FWIW: I bought a sad looking Skerry to redo, and it came with two rectangular foot braces on either side. I rowed it several times before putting it in the shop, and never used the foot braces. I even rowed it with another heavy person at the bow, and gave it maximum rowing effort (for me) and I didn't need the braces as my water shoes gripped just enough.

So, the foot braces are coming off, the hull screw hole is filled, fiberglassed and faired. Seadek will be installed as soon as I paint the interior. One less thing to trip on, impale my backside on and one less bit to sand, prep and varnish.

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