Reinforcing foam footrest

CaliPaddler

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Hey outfitting experts, I’m making my first minicell footrest to “replace” Yakima foot pegs in my sea kayak. I made a test block with 3” thick minicell, but I’m worried that if I shave the piece at an angle to achieve a 15 or 20 degree slant, the top is going to be too thin to be load-bearing.

Trying to keep it all light and waterproof— any tricks or materials to reinforce the piece as it gets thinner? Thanks in advance!
 

CaliPaddler

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No, the bulkhead is too deep. It’s currently kept in place by the Yakima foot pegs; I’m keeping them on the rails.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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I don't think you'll have good results if you are using the Yakima footpegs to support a foam footrest.

Arranging a spacer from the existing bulkhead (is this a glass boat with a glass bulkhead??) would be a better solution IMO.

Something like a couple of pieces of plywood with wood blocks to create the space would work. You could build the angle into that, and use full-thickness foam.

Or just use a stack of foam pieces. Ethafoam works pretty well (it will compress over time) and is cheaper than minicell. I think some folks have used insulation board (not beadboard) for that, too.
 

mick_allen

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What about adhering/bolting larger sized footsized pegs on top of the existing pegs, sliding them forward a couple of inches and then adhering foam to the top of those? Or maybe refabricating the peg to have and offset [and larger] angle shape that will accommodate the foam thickness? I don't think that one would work b/c of the lever location.

Alternatively, if one piece, a bulkhead shaped but smaller that spans from peg to peg and then has foam on top? [altho' I don't like that approach so much as you lose access to the valuable space in front of your feet.]
 
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AM

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Or just use a stack of foam pieces.
That’s what I did. Very simple, plus you reduce the volume of your cockpit in the event of a capsize. The thing about a foam footplate is that you want to be able to apply pressure to any part of it as you move your feet around, so having it tight against the glass bulkhead is the way to go.

Cheers,
Andrew
 

CaliPaddler

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Ok, thank you all. Seems like my shortcut isn’t the best route so I’ll investigate foaming out more of the cockpit.
 

chodups

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I had a Tern 14 and hated the Keepers footpegs. I replaced them by building some hull-shaped spacers with that blue insulation board that John mentions and finally a minicell foam spacer with foot wedges. Minicell is pricey compared to insulation board so I used the blue stuff for rough spacers. It seems to me that it took two or three 2" blue foam shims and a 1" or 2" thick minicell shaped sheet. I tried some different angled foot blocks before settling on whatever it was. Can't recall but what sticks in my mind is that the exact angle wasn't that critical and is very easy to change by just glueing angles on to angles. The comfort improvement was remarkable. Photo is during shaping.
 

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JohnAbercrombie

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Check out an article in California Kayaker Magazine on replacing footbeds. Magazine is dead, but back issues are still online at http://calkayakermag.com/magazine.html. Issue #5 has the article in question.
Peter-
Thanks for the reminder about that article by Gregg Berman - it's excellent.

Using the footpeg mounting bolts for footboard 'straps' is a good solution if the bulkhead is far forward, though I still would use the stack of foam as it reduces the cockpit volume more effectively.

BTW, with the stack of flat foam, it's a good idea to add a 'cutout' at the bottom of each piece to make removal easier.
 
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JohnAbercrombie

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....... I don't like that approach so much as you lose access to the valuable space in front of your feet.
That's definitely the downside to the full footboard in a commercial kayak. Most commercial kayaks seem designed to accommodate a 6'6" paddler, and the bulkhead is a long way forward.
Removing a front bulkhead can be a nasty job -it's a long reach from the cockpit, usually.
I've done it a couple of times.
A friend has a CD Prana and that front bulkhead is out of reach for me. Working through the front hatch is usually difficult.

In my kayaks I've built, it's always a trade-off between maximizing the front compartment storage and making the footboard adjustable for a longer-legged paddler. And (see above comment on removing bulkheads) I don't want to make a mistake and put the bulkhead too far aft!
 

mick_allen

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The provision of some variable dimension there is an issue in many respects for me:
  • - if one is to resell the kayak - the bulkhead has to be forward enough to fit most of the people you wish to sell to.
  • - if you make a tiny mistake in placement, the bulkhead needs to be forward enough so that you can eliminate a little filler so the legs fit properly
  • - if you like periodically stretching your legs [I sure do] the bulkhead needs to be forward enough between the footpegs [or foam footrest placement] so that one can stretch out a bit
  • - if you like to be able to place heavy items also towards the front nearest the cg [for better maneuvering], the area in front of the feet gives you that extra few inches to do so.
  • - if your back hatch opening is smaller than you cart wheel diameter, the region in front of the pegs is one more achievable possibility for stacking the wheels [this is the case on one of my kayaks].
  • - as many pegs have a latching mechanism, there also is the possibility of really jamming flexible gear forward and tightly held between the bulkhead and pegs.
  • - and having some dimension there allows the future possibility of inserting a guzzler footpump in that location which I have always planned on doing but never have - to my great embarrassment.
 

chodups

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BTW, with the stack of flat foam, it's a good idea to add a 'cutout' at the bottom of each piece to make removal easier.
John,
Your are right. I cut two pair of holes through the flat foam (one pair on each side of center) and ran a loop of flat webbing through each pair of holes. I could reach in, grabs the loops and pull them right out. The minicell block didn't need straps. Even though it fit in snuggly it was flexible enough that it could be pulled out without an issue. Wish I had taken a photo of that part.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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The things I like about the full footboard are:
-being able to drive/'push' with my whole foot and heel vs. 'kayaking on tip toes' which is what most footpegs require with the ball of the foot contacting the peg
-being able to move my feet toward the mid-line if the deck height allows it, to paddle in more of a 'surfski' foot position with my knees in the middle of the cockpit - which is now about 95+% of my usual paddling.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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  • - and having some dimension there allows the future possibility of inserting a guzzler footpump in that location which I have always planned on doing but never have - to my great embarrassment.
Of-topic, but...
I had a similar 'Guzzler' in the galley of my sailboat. It would be a long job to pump out a boat that way. I'd opt for an electric pump.

BTW, with either a footpump or an electric pump you'll need to crack open the sprayskirt to allow air to enter.
I was surprised the first time I used the electric pump and saw the spraydeck being pulled down (and felt the drysuit legs inflating).
 

CaliPaddler

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That's definitely the downside to the full footboard in a commercial kayak. Most commercial kayaks seem designed to accommodate a 6'6" paddler, and the bulkhead is a long way forward.
Removing a front bulkhead can be a nasty job -it's a long reach from the cockpit, usually.
I've done it a couple of times.
A friend has a CD Prana and that front bulkhead is out of reach for me. Working through the front hatch is usually difficult.

In my kayaks I've built, it's always a trade-off between maximizing the front compartment storage and making the footboard adjustable for a longer-legged paddler. And (see above comment on removing bulkheads) I don't want to make a mistake and put the bulkhead too far aft!
It’s funny you mention the Prana; it’s a Sisu LV I’m working on. Narrow, cavernous and a real pain to contour-gauge around the forward day hatch.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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It’s funny you mention the Prana; it’s a Sisu LV I’m working on. Narrow, cavernous and a real pain to contour-gauge around the forward day hatch.
My friend found that the forward day hatch ('glove box') got in the way generally and particularly when trying to stow gear in the large space in front of the footpegs.
I removed the 'pod' and replaced it with a shallow pan big enough for an energy bar or two and a tube of sunscreen. Kept the hatch ring and cover 'as is' so avoided any deck work.
BTW, the glove box pod is probably one of the stronger built parts of that Prana! I thought I'd be able to remove it easily - not so.
 

CaliPaddler

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A little update; I finished the rough-in version of this project and am waiting until a few test paddles before I make this a little more resilient with velcro, cement etc. The Sisu LV was a beast to properly outline and I've never done anything like this before, so it's ugly...

1) Measured front bulkhead from inside the front hatch b/c it was too far back to measure in the cockpit. Used 4" minicell for this piece. Moved foot pedals all the way forward to slide it in, then moved pedals all the way back to "lock" it in place. Webbing looped around piece for easy removal if necessary.

IMG_0808.jpg


2) Measured depth of the yakima foot pedals -- 2" exactly, perfect! And then created a middle piece out of 2" minicell, with cutouts for the pedals. As you can see, the daypod forced some awkward contours toward the top.

IMG_0809.jpg


3) Confirmed that the 2nd piece and footpedals were essentially flush. Created the final piece from remaining 2" minicell and then added 2 20-degree footrests with contact cement. This piece was the hardest to contour and I'm thinking of filling in some of the upper gaps with minicell scraps and contact cement.


IMG_0810.jpg


The good news is, as clumsy and gapped as it is, it still feels comfortable and solid in the dry tests. Figured I'd take it out a few times before worrying about the finishes. Thanks for all the advice -- it helped me prioritize how to deal with the footpegs (without removing them).
 

JohnAbercrombie

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Looks good!
:thumbsup::thumbsup:
People who haven't worked in that Prana footspace have no idea how awkward it can be! (And the one I worked on wasn't the LV Prana.)
 
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