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Knee Bumpers



One of my dilemmas in outfitting the Cronje for bow-backwards solo use was the personal necessity of installing extra-wide knee bumpers so I could brace my knees comfortably against or underneath the edges of the inwale.

The Cronje is 32 inches wide at my knees when seated bow backwards, and my 31 inch inseam doesn’t comfortably spread and brace that wide. Owee, I hurt my groin.

The bow backwards knee bumpers in the Cronje measure 23 ¾ inches in between minicel edges, and, hmmm, the bow and stern knee bumpers for tandem paddling are at 23 and 24.

I have minicel knee bumpers in every canoe, and wondered about the knee spread I chose to provide in those boats. 23/24 inches seems pretty consistent, so I measured the knee bumper spread in some other family canoes.

The soloized Penobscot, sporting giant Inspector Gadget knee bumpers/thigh braces = 23 ½ inches.

The soloized Explorer – 26 inches, but that canoe is my much taller son’s ride, outfitted for his height.

(Guess I didn't photograph the Explorer)

The true solo canoes don’t need such oversized minicel padding, an inch or so off the inwale works perfectly.

The Freedom Solo – 24 inches between minicel bumpers.

The Odyssey 14 – 23 ½ inches

The Wilderness – 24 inches

That consistency got me curious about the distance between knee bumpers in the decked canoes, with seating and leg position more akin to a MG roadster than a Checker Cab.

The Sea Wimp - 19 ½ inches minimum, but those are some curvaceously custom carved knee bumpers/thigh pads.

The Optima – 18 inches, and extending under the cockpit coming as thigh braces.

The Vagabond – 19 inches

The Monarch – 18 inches

The knee bumpers on all of those decked canoes (and some of the open boats) are all designed so that I can lock my knees underneath them as a padded thigh brace.

That gives me a pretty good baseline for knee bumper spread, but I’ll still test sit in the canoe since hull and seat drop depth seems to make an inch difference here and there.
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