Re: Ches 18 hip braces

Posted by LeeG on Sep 19, 2006

hey Matt, here's my $.02. Don't bother with gluing on minicell hip braces, do a search for Salamander hip pads. Nylon covered minicell with different thicknesses to adjust the outfitting if you're still getting used to bracing/rolling/entry/exit in a variety of conditions.

Minicell on hip braces tends to get torn up if it's providing any significant bracing. Making a 3" deep seat with good thigh/butt support is more important than any particular details of how the hip braces are finished. Personally I think a 5" rectangular piece of wood for hip bracing makes more sense than the pyramid shaped piece that comes with the kit for a couple reasons. Making three vertical slots to install the back band straps requires some width and eliminates hardware/screws, the Salamander hip pads are about 5" wide, the upper attachment of the hip brace gets LOTS of loading whether the back band attaches to it or the shear clamp(attach to the hip brace and not the shear clamp).

Another detail worth trying is sitting in the kayak with a normal upright position and legs rotated out in a normal position up against the knee/thigh braces. You'll notice your thighs are angled out and NOT parallel. So put in the hip braces at an angle, maybe the back edge 1/2" in from the front edge. There's no reason to have the edge of the hip brace contact your thigh at a sharp edge. Again they bulk of the contact is at your hips but upper edge of your thighs can contact the forward edge. Just try it out and see the difference between parallel and angled.

VERY IMPORTANT to do all this with your backband/back about 4" forward of the back of the coaming. I've seen a tendency for first time Chesapeake builders to install hip braces a bit too far forward and the seat a couple inches too far back. The hip braces are roughly in the mid-section of the widest portion of the coaming,,not forward where it curves in. This is where angling helps.

Install the hip braces with a some glass tape/cloth over the outside(underdeck) fillet. An easy installation is running a piece of tape from top to bottom on the back outside(between side panel and panel). You'll have to sand/smooth it down when it's cured so it doesn't scratch you or tear up the back band webbing. If you plan to use the kayak a lot get some 1" tubular webbing and route the back band through it so it wears against the glassed edge of the hip brace. The glassing on the hip brace is to keep the webbing from wearing through the epoxy into the wood and provide attachment reinforcement where the strap pulls in.

Regarding gluing on minicell, use contact cement but the only place I do that is under the deck for knee/thigh bracing. Glueing in a seat just doesn't feel right. You can made a 3" thick seat that can be locked into position with removable hip pads and a carved edge.

Velcro kind of works but not for repeated removal and it always comes off somewhere, either the minicell tears or the adhesive on the velcro releases, etc.

In Response to: Ches 18 hip braces by Monterey Matt on Sep 16, 2006


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