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Adjustable bow foot brace

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I have a couple tandem canoes that have foot braces for the stern paddler but not for the bow. I've seen a couple for sale on line but thought I'd try to make one before forking over $85. Has anyone made their own and can you post a picture?

Of course I was told I could just use a foam block but that's not really a good option unless every partner I paddle with has the same length legs.

I'd appreciate any feed back, thanks!
 
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My wife and I both being height disadvantaged found paddling a challenge without the benefit of places to brace our knees/feet. Me being always in the stern ( her choice) meant I could simply snug a canoe pack under the thwart in front of me to brace my foot against, the opposite knee against the hull. Up front she tried a pack in the acres of space in front of her, the hull being miles away either side of her, but she "didn't like anything in her way". This bothered/frustrated me because I knew this was an ineffective way to generate power. Whilst I was happily thundering along back there she might as well have been just lollygagging along lilydipping and merely going thru the motions while enjoying...oh wait...never mind.
Good luck with the foot brace search.
ps What I should've done was replace her fixed bow seat with a sliding one.
 
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As a primary bow paddle racer, I have struggled with various types of bow foot braces for years. I might be in anything from a 34' or 28' voyageur to a C4, to any kind of C2 canoe. They all have various distances from seat to bulkhead or bow stem to deal with. A couple of my paddling partners have adjustable braces, but even those don't fit well inevery boat. I have seen and made all types of cut or molded rigid foam blocks, some with many layers to get the right depth. One specific problem, even with the commercially purchased brace is none are easy to keep in place on an upside down portage. Creative use of Duct tape and rope works marginallly well with foam blocks, but not at all with the aluminum tube foot plate adjustables.
 
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Have you thought of 1” webbing (or Rope) attached to each side of the seat track?
I put a length of PVC pipe on the webbing for the foot brace.
Triglide buckles at the ends allow adjustment.
I don’t have the boat here to take a picture.
 
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In my guide boat I use webbing tie down straps attached to my seat to hold a long ~1" diameter dowel with tennis balls on the ends to hold it above my heel. Works good and is infinitely adjustable. It would also work in the stern of a canoe. But I have not considered using the concept in the bow narrowness of a canoe, as I think the two straps would awkwardly converge at my feet an take room from my food/water bag and other storage normally under my knees in the bow.
 
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We have made some in the past but always come back to the manufactured ones. They always seem to be stiffer and just at the right angle.

To keep them in the boat while portaging. Could you glue in a d-ring in the bottom of the boat, center of the brace and then use a short piece of velcro strap to keep it tight against the bottom?
 
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We have made some in the past but always come back to the manufactured ones. They always seem to be stiffer and just at the right angle.

To keep them in the boat while portaging. Could you glue in a d-ring in the bottom of the boat, center of the brace and then use a short piece of velcro strap to keep it tight against the bottom?
I suppose I could make that permanent addition in my own canoe, but I often paddle race or train with several different canoes from diferent owners. That requires me to use foam blocks and creative other holding methods if there are portages.
 
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Check out this link for an idea:
 
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I suppose I could make that permanent addition in my own canoe, but I often paddle race or train with several different canoes from diferent owners. That requires me to use foam blocks and creative other holding methods if there are portages.
@yknpdlr Just curious. Why an upside down portage? Have not done that yet. We either do the grab handles on the front for short portages. Or if we are going a long ways and/or are running it gets thrown up on the shoulders. All up right.
 

Glenn MacGrady

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In my guide boat I use webbing tie down straps attached to my seat to hold a long ~1" diameter dowel with tennis balls on the ends to hold it above my heel.

Check out this link for an idea:

I've tried ropes and webs for a footrest in solo canoe and could never get used to the up-down, side-to-side movability. They just never felt firm enough to me. Maybe I gave up too early.

For the bow in a normal size tandem canoe, I'd be tempted to just jam something solid up against the float tanks or wedged into the bow stem area—preferably something useful like a pack, a boombox, or a sack of mink pelts.
 
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@yknpdlr Just curious. Why an upside down portage? Have not done that yet. We either do the grab handles on the front for short portages. Or if we are going a long ways and/or are running it gets thrown up on the shoulders. All up right.
Depending on who is doing it and the particular canoe, sometimes it is easier for a single person to do the carry with an appropriate portage center yoke. sometimes it is easier for two to carry upside down with a yoke at each end. sometimes with foam noodles on the gunwales for a dual upside down carry on shoulders. I have for several years carried a voyageur canoe upside down in that fashion, one person at the bow with a pad on the deck on a shoulder, flipping from side to side when tired, two people in the stern with padded gunwales on shoulders, rotating the team through positions to take turns on the run. The longest and roughest portage (Raquette Falls) is just over a mile long, fully uphill half way.

Last year, to my surprise, my two young Yukon paddler brother friends threw our C4 up on their shoulders and literally ran the carries during the race, but did not hold it totally upright, the canoe was tipped on its side and so could not hold anything inside. Food and water was in backpacks, I and the other paddler carried paddles.
 
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