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The forward cross brace doubles as the footrest. It can be easily reached through the opening for the 30" X 16" coaming. Like the aft cross brace, it's connected to the side stringers via HDPE snaps located on the two side stringers . The two cross brace tubes are all that's required to define the shape of the hull. No HDPE cross sections are used therby greatly speeding up assembly while considerably reducing weight.