Foam Bulkhead

Modern play boats can sometimes have less foot room than a squirt boat. Like many people I hate foot pegs. While foot pegs offer a very solid platform to push off of they take a signifignant amount of room and can be very uncomfortable and even cut your feet. The big question many people have when they are doing this mod is what to do with the holes from the removed peg track. One approach is to take the bolt and thread it back in the hole from the inside facing out. If it is a machine bolt you can put a nut on it and hacksaw it flat. If it is a self tapping (wide thread) bolt just skip it and leave the bolt out. This is where your old friend duct tape comes into play. If this offends your aesthetics you can tape the inside only and fill the hole from the outside with either a hot glue gun or Marine Goop, or Shoe Goo (both available at Wal Mart). Any extra adhesive that spills out can be trimmed with a knife while it is still green and only half set up. if it is full cured you can still cut it but you can also either rasp or sandpaper it flush. The clear adhesive will take on the appearance of the surrounding color of your boat.

There is no fool proof way to achieve the proper sizing for your bulkhead. Expect some trial and error. You can sit in your boat and reach in with a heavy pen and mark your heel. Knock the front wall out of the seat tab and remove. Use your marking to help achieve the proper depth for your foot block. Cut a heel notch if there is not already one in your boat. Focus on achieving proper heel length before worrying about the angle for the feet and such. Everything builds off of this center piece.

Click the image to see it larger

Click the image to see it larger

In the left picture you can see a foot block section that is ready for gluing the side wings on for the feet. If you are having a problem sizing the feet then disconnect the front section of wall to make a seperate foot block like you see above. While you have all of this stuff out it is worth gluing in a layer of minicel skin or neoprene foam to the bottom of the boat in your heel and ankle area . This will do amazing things for your comfort. Put these strips in so that they wrap around where your toes will be. This stuff will wear away quickly but it is very nice to have. The right picture if of a block in place with the additional thin minicel wrap around the outside edge.

Take a look at the footblock in the squirt section for more ideas.