To row with power you need to have your feet firmly braced against something solid enough to take your full weight. In some traditional boats you can get by with the internal structure. Sawn frames across the bottom usually have enough height to offer a good purchase and sometimes you can get most of your foot on a side frame. Even something smaller can be useful. My cross-planked skiff has a short keelson (just the skeg is fastened to it) that gives me a spot to brace with one heel. It works for short distances; for longer rows I have a short brace for both feet that bears on the keelson and the chines.

This flat-bottomed skiff has a footboard fit around the risers and resting against a frame.Ben Fuller

This flat-bottomed skiff has a footboard fit around the risers and resting against a frame.

A better arrangement is in a friend's Good Little Skiff. His brace rests on the chines and seat risers and provides full foot support. He often rows all day long on many of his trips. If your boat doesn’t have some interior structure that you can use, it’s well worth installing an arrangement for bracing your feet.

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