Metakrome: Web Development and Photography

A BETTER FOOTBRACE

If you are like me and don't want to drill holes in the hull of your just finished pride and joy, then consider a completely different idea. Avoid gluing in footbrace rail fittings that eat foot space. Instead, build a minicell set that rests against the bulkhead. As shown in the photo, mine has velcro to allow spacers to be added or removed for different users or shoe thicknesses.

This approach has several things I like. First, the pad for each foot is angled away 10 degrees both at the top and outside giving a comfortable foot angle. Second, the resilience and width of the foam makes the brace very comfortable, even when barefoot or wearing thin shoes. There is a space in the middle so that I can stretch out one leg at a time. The whole arrangement is very light.

The plywood in the middle is 1/8 inch baltic birch sealed with resin. Contact cement holds the parts together. Due to the width of the foam, it is not at all squishy. The notch in the top is where the barrel of my hand pump sits.

Footbrace

The right hand spacers in the photo have been pulled apart for clarity. My first model had three spacers, one each of 3, 2, and 1 inch thick. That allowed a 6 inch range in one inch increments. In practice we have not used more than 3 inches of range, so I moved the bulkhead further back on the next boat (to reduce cockpit volume) and only provided for a one and two inch spacer.

Head in the clouds