Tag Archive: kayak outrigger

Outriggers

this product has been discontinued

Wavewalk® Sailing Outriggers

These outriggers fit the W500 and W700 series, as well as canoes, and many common kayaks.
Wavewalk® Sailing Outriggers provide more stability than most outriggers, thanks to the combination of larger size floats and longer arms (crossbar).
Other advantages are their light weight (10 lbs total), ease of installation, and their versatility, as their inflatable floats can also be attached directly to the boat’s main hull, without any intermediary rigid structure.

Sailing Outriggers Product Info

Dimensions:
  • Width (side to side):  6′ (180 cm)
  • Outriggers’ Length (front to back): 5’4″  (162 cm)
  • Total Weight: 10 lbs (4.5 kg)
  • Volume: 2 x 8.65 gallons  (2 x 32 liter)
  • Positive Buoyancy: 2 x 70 lbs  (2 x 32 kg)

Materials: 

  • Structure: 3/4″ anodized aluminum bars
  • Inflatable Tubes: 30 MIL HD PVC
Made in USA
Wavewalk Outriggers 1024

Wavewalk® XL Outriggers

Price: $455.

Shipping: $90. in the continental US (48 states), $100 to addresses in Canada and Alaska.

this product has been discontinued

Installation

  • The crossbar can be easily attached to a W500, W700 and any canoe that features a gunwale. Drilling is required. The crossbar can be attached to some kayaks too, and if this is not possible, straps can do the job. The crossbar features wing bolts – no tools required when attaching / detaching during regular operation.
  • Each outrigger is quickly and easily attached to the crossbar by means of one eye bolt. No tools required.
  • The tubes can be easily inflated / deflated via a large-size mouth valve. No pump required. The inflatable tubes are attached to the aluminum bars with carabiners, for quick and easy attach / detach.

Why use outriggers?

OUTRIGGERS Main USAGE and POSITION

Outriggers main role is to provide secondary stability, namely help in preventing the boat from capsizing. If you’re counting on a pair outriggers as stabilizers, namely to provide primary stability when the boat is level (I.E. not tilting sideways), you’re probably not using them correctly, or not using the right boat, or both.

When outriggers touch the water, they generate drag that slows down the boat.  Therefore, if possible, the outriggers should be mounted high enough, in a way that prevents them from touching the water unless the boat tilts sideways dangerously, so much that the user and passengers could lose balance and the boat itself capsize.

How high above the water should you mount the outriggers?

The height depends on factors such as your skill level as a boater, the size of your sailing rig, and how reasonably confident you feel about being able to handle the situation before the outrigger touches the water and starts supporting the boat.

Outriggers for fishing kayaks and canoes?

If you fish out of a canoe or a kayak, the last thing you want is outriggers, because sooner than later they’ll snag your lines and provide great opportunities for the fish you hooked to get away.
On top of this, most outriggers out there are too small and feature arms (crossbar) that are too short. These outriggers offer some initial (primary) stability, namely an impression of being stable, but they are not effective in supporting your weight in case the canoe or kayak tilts strongly on its side. In other words, the secondary stability these outriggers offer is insufficient in more difficult situations, and that’s when they’re mostly needed.
Another reason why canoe and kayak outriggers are not particularly effective is that they’re attached to the boat’s rear section, and therefore add stability mostly in that area, while having very little effect the middle section of the boat, and no effect all as far as stuff that happens in its front section. And as everyone knows, stuff happens…

For these reasons, we do not recommend using outriggers for fishing kayaks and canoes.

Outriggers for paddling?

Outriggers may add stability, but they also generate quite a bit of drag, and if you need to paddle over long distances you may find that the added outriggers make you too tired to enjoy your trip.

What about outriggers for motorized kayaks and canoes?

Not a great idea, unless the outriggers you use offer a sufficient amount of buoyancy, and most of them don’t. Again, thinking you’re stable isn’t the equivalent of being stable in real-world terms, namely as soon as you lose balance and the outrigger has to support your weight.
If you want to motorize your canoe or kayak, get a pair of big outriggers. This is especially true if you use a powerful outboard gas motor, as those are not as forgiving as weak electric trolling motors can be.

Outriggers for sailing

Yes!
Practically speaking, if you want to sail a canoe or a kayak, you must  compensate for these boats’ deficient stability (and compensate for their other deficiencies by other means*).
Sailing a canoe or a kayak with a rig featuring a good size sail (say over 35 square feet) exposes you to sudden gusts, and to capsizing, and that’s where outriggers are a must-have.
But not all outriggers were created equal, and the bigger the outriggers the better stability they deliver. And when it comes to stability, there’s no such thing as “too stable”. If you want to put the odds on your side (you do!), you should get large-size outriggers.

Boats from the Wavewalk® 500 and 700 series are more stable than any canoe or kayak out there, which is one of the reasons why you can motorize them more effectively, but sailing is different: If you’re planning to use a good size sail with your W, you should consider outfitting it with outriggers, and attach them as closely as possible to the mast, namely in the front section of the boat, where they would be more effective.

 

Canoes and kayaks track poorly, which is why they require a leeboard to reduce downwind drift, and a rudder to allow for tacking and tracking when they’re sailed. Wavewalk® kayaks and boats track very well, which is why you may sail them without a leeboard and a rudder, but only up to a certain point determined by your sailing skills, sail size, and wind power.

this product has been discontinued


 

More info on outriggers

How effective are outriggers for your fishing kayak’s stability?

How Effective Can A Fishing Kayak’s Outriggers Be?

How effective are outriggers for your fishing kayak’s stability?

What is an outrigger?

An outrigger is defined as a framework supporting a float extended outboard from the side of a boat for increasing stability. In kayaks, outriggers usually come in a pair mounted at the rear, so as to interfere as little as possible with the kayaker’s paddling and fishing activities.

Why are fishing kayaks required to be so stable?

A fishing kayak is required to be stabler than other kayaks for a number of reasons –

  1. The first reason is because the kayak’s operator is often busy fishing, which means they cannot pay much attention to balancing their kayak as they scout for fish, operate their fishing gear, and handle a fish they just caught.
  2. The second reason is that people who paddle sit-in, SOT or hybrid kayaks do it while being seated in the L position, with their legs stretched in front of them in a way that prevents them from being effective for balancing. This is the reason why the paddle is the principal means such paddlers have for stabilizing these kayaks, and this means that it’s easier for them to keep their balance while they’re holding their paddle and preferably using it for paddling.
  3. The third reason is that people who pedal a kayak find it even harder to balance it, as their legs activate the pedal drive from the kayak’s center line, with their feet l moving high over the deck. In this awkward position the legs are prevented from contributing even the little help in balancing that they could have contributed in a paddling mode. This makes the notion of a hands free pedal fishing kayak part of the realm of fantasy (a.k.a. hype).
  4. The fourth reason is that some people who believe sit-in and SOT manufacturers’ hype try to fish standing in or on their kayak, only to find out that in reality they don’t feel stable enough, and balancing their kayak comes at a price of a continuous effort, both in physical and mental terms, i.e. micro-adjustments and focus.
  5. The fifth reason is that some people have balancing problems resulting from a deficient sense of balance, a neurological condition such as multiple sclerosis (MS), artificial knees or hips, or simply because of old age or just because they’re big and tall.
  6. The sixth reason why people look to outfit their fishing kayak with outriggers is because when they outfit it with a powerful motor the higher speed increases the chance of accidents, which calls for improved stability.

How do outriggers work to increase a kayak’s stability?

An outrigger’s float is a buoyant object who’s much lighter than water. As such, an outrigger can resist downward pressure that’s pushing it into the water. Being attached at a considerable distance from the kayak’s longitudinal center line gives the outrigger’s float a mechanical advantage over whatever that pushes the kayak’s main hull downward on the same side, such as the kayaker’s own weight. This mechanical advantage enhances the outrigger’s effectiveness in stability terms.
I other words, the bigger the outrigger’s floats are and the further away they’re attached from the kayak’s center line, the stabler that kayak is likely to be.
In contrast, small outriggers that are attached close to the kayak’s hull, or outriggers that are part of the kayak’s hull and are deployed sideways by a lever system have a small effect on the kayak’s overall stability.

How effective are outriggers in terms of increased stability?

Small outriggers offer some initial (primary) stability, so they can have a psychological effect of diminishing the paddler’s fears and boosting their confidence. But when push comes to shove, that is in case of an accident or even a common case of lost balance, small outriggers offer too little secondary stability to prevent the kayak from seriously tilting, which is enough to dump its passengers overboard. This is especially true if the kayaker happens to be standing up or elderly, big and tall, suffering from balance disabilities etc.  – In other words, people who have a better reason to use outriggers in the first place are also more likely to lose balance and fall overboard because the outriggers they use are not big and buoyant enough. This is to say that between using small outriggers and using none, the latter option has some advantages…

Folding outriggers that are integrated into the rear end of the kayak’s hull and deployed outward by means of a lever have the same effect as small outriggers. Such kayak offers little stability when its folding outriggers are not deployed outward, and when its outriggers are in the open position the overall stability it offers is comparable to the overall stability offered by a regular wide SOT kayak with no outriggers. This means that if you have no intention of fishing standing on the deck of a big regular fishing kayak, you shouldn’t even consider a kayak that features outriggers that are integrated into its main hull, even if the manufacturer of such kayaks is seen stating in a promotional video that their product offers (quote): “the buoyancy equivalence of an 8 ft wide boat” (end quote)… BTW, the beauty of such a statement is that because it’s so obviously and ridiculously false, it probably fails to mislead anyone.

Light rigs – Outriggers built from thin, small-diameter aluminum tubes might bend or snap when exposed to strong pressure. This is especially true if the floats are big and located at a big distance from the kayak itself.
Outriggers made from thin steel rods can bend, and outriggers made from thin wooden beams can break.
Outriggers poorly attached to the kayak could get torn out of their place in case of an accident.

Can outriggers create problems in paddling and fishing?

Indeed they do, and these problems are worth consideration:

1. Extra drag

Typical outriggers are several times shorter than the kayak’s hull itself. This means that as the kayak moves, the outriggers move at speeds that are many times higher than their own hull speed (Froude number). This generates a disproportionately large amount of Residual resistance (Rr) as well as extra Frictional resistance (Fr), and the kayaker feels their combined effect as extra drag on the kayak, which makes it slower and much harder to paddle.
But this is not the end of the drag story, since the outriggers also generate their own wakes, which interact with the wake generated by the kayak’s main hull in a manner that increases turbulence and works to further increase drag. This additional unwanted effect is especially strong in outriggers that are mounted close to the kayak’s hull.
And if this wasn’t enough, outriggers also increase the kayak’s exposure to the wind, and this tends to reduce the kayak’s directional stability. In other words, it’s almost impossible to paddle a kayak outfitted with outriggers if you don’t outfit it with a rudder as well. But since rudders reduce the kayak’s speed by 10% in average, it’s possible to say that a kayak outfitted with outriggers is not one you’d like to paddle simply because paddling it would prove to be to hard for you, unless you’re out for a short trip on flat water.

2. Extra weight – problems with transporting and carrying

Let’s face it – fishing kayaks are the heaviest kayaks out there.  Many fishing kayaks weigh over 70 lbs, and the most barge-like of them weigh up to 120 lbs. Such size already makes it impossible for many anglers to car top their kayak, and forces them to transport it on a trailer, which clearly defies the purpose of kayak fishing in yet another way.
A pair of outriggers can weigh over 20 lbs, which transforms even a kayak of reasonable weight into a barge in terms of transportation and carrying it to the beach and from it back you one’s vehicle.

3. Mobility problems

Kayaks equipped with outriggers simply don’t move as well as other kayaks do. This is true for shallow water with obstacles, seaweed or grass, for rocky beaches (‘rock gardens’), and for moving water where the outriggers make the kayak harder to steer and control.

4. Fishing problems

When you fish out of any boat including a kayak, you strive to get out of your way any object that could interfere with your fishing lines, whether when you cast, reel in a fish or land it.  Outriggers are large size and intricate structures that are located close to the kayak, and as such present a constant threat to your lines – In fact, people who fish out of kayaks with outriggers are always careful to cast as far as possible from their kayak’s rear end, and since most kayaks already present typical restrictions on anglers, any additional limitations are not welcome, by definition.

What is the best type of outriggers for my fishing kayak?

Ideally, you’d want your kayak outriggers to be as long as possible, so they generate as little drag as possible when the kayak moves in the water. After all, you want to go places, which is why you got a kayak in the first place.
You also want the outriggers to be as big as possible so they have more buoyancy, and thus work better to provide the required additional lateral stability. As far as you’re concerned, outriggers are mission critical!
You want the outriggers to be attached to the middle section of the kayak, so they work to provide stability on its sides and not just in its rear, where you don’t necessarily need it – As they say: Location, location, location!
You want the outriggers to be as small as possible, so they don’t weigh too much. Kayaks are supposed to be lightweight, remember?
You want the outriggers to be attached to the kayak’s rear end, at a good distance from you, so they won’t interfere with your fishing activities… After all, fishing is what got you to buy the kayak in the first place, right?

Bottom line: There’s no such thing as ideal outriggers, which is why you need to carefully weigh the whole idea before you go forward with it.

Are outriggers even necessary with a W500 kayak?

We recommend outriggers for a W kayak being sailed, and by this we mean real sailing with a large size, powerful upwind rig (i.e. not merely a ‘kayak sail’). This is because of the considerable destabilizing lateral forces produced while sailing such a big rig in strong wind, and because we think that most recreational sailors lack the experience and skills needed to sail a W kayak under such circumstances.  Furthermore, we recommend that such outriggers be sturdy and of large size so they may provide enough support to compensate for the sailor’s lack of agility, experience, etc…

Otherwise, people who suffer from a severe balance deficiency that prevents them from sensing the kayak or reacting effectively (e.g. multiple sclerosis) should consider the benefit of adding a pair of outriggers to their W kayak.

Anglers who want to stand on top of a poling platform stretching over the cockpit of their W kayak may gain stability by adding outriggers to their setup, but they would gain more stability, convenience and safety by standing inside the cockpit, on the bottom of the kayak’s twin hulls, with their feet located below waterline – like all other stand up W kayak anglers do. The W design works better than anything else as far as stability is concerned.

When it comes to motorizing (i.e. outfitting the kayak with a powerful outboard motor), outriggers might complicate steering because of the high speed involved, meaning that an outrigger hitting a wave at 8 mph would affect both the kayak’s directional stability and its lateral stability (balance). This in itself is an unwanted effect that could have safety implications. As for outriggers that stay out of the water, their effect is limited to begin with, since they are rather ineffective for adding initial (primary) stability, and by the time they come in contact with the water and start preventing the kayak from further tilting (i.e. provide secondary stability), the kayaker may have already lost their balance and gone overboard.  Attaching large size flotation modules to the kayak’s sides seems to be a preferable solution.

Outriggers are impractical for paddling a W kayak in tandem, because the presence of the outrigger near the stern would restrict the motion of the rear paddler’s paddle.


 

Articles

 

This list features links to over a hundred articles published on our website since 2004.
Generally, the newest articles feature at the top of this list, and the oldest ones at the bottom of this page.

Most of these articles offer ‘How To’ or technical info on subjects related to stability, paddling, outfitting, fishing, rigging, motorizing, choosing a kayak or a motor, etc.
Other articles are about subjects ranging from kayak and boat design to skiffs, market trends, and ergonomics.

You can search our entire website by using its ‘Search’ function too.
If you can’t find the information that you’re looking for, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

List of articles

 

  1. Wavewalk S4 review by its own designer
  2. The world’s fastest kayak
  3. 10 good reasons to motorize your kayak
  4. Portable boats
  5. The smallest and greatest skiff
  6. Developments in Motorized Kayaks
  7. Wakes are fun?
  8. How much HP for my S4 skiff’s outboard motor?
  9. Jon Boat Stability vs. Wavewalk® S4
  10. Testing 15″ short (S) shaft outboard motor performance with Wavewalk kayaks and boats, By Captain Larry Jarboe
  11. How to measure an outboard motor’s propeller shaft length?
  12. Watertight riveting in kayaks and boats
  13. Choosing an outboard motor for your Wavewalk® 700 skiff
  14. Outboard motor propeller shaft length for Wavewalk® fishing kayaks and boats
  15. Aluminum rivets in fishing kayaks and boats
  16. Kayaks and Boats, Kayak vs. Boat
  17. Happy Birthday W700!
  18. Keeping the cockpit of your Wavewalk dry at sea
  19. Personal Catamaran
  20. Paddling in Strong Wind
  21. Outriggers
  22. Pedal drive for my fishing kayak?
  23. Review of my Wavewalk 700
  24. Flats boat or bass boat, or something else?
  25. Steering motorized fishing kayaks and small boats
  26. Boat stability in a kayak
  27. Microskiff
  28. KAYAK TOURING
  29. Paddling 340 Miles in a W500 Kayak, By Clint Harlan
  30. A better two-person fishing boat
  31. Bass fishing in Ontario, By Boyd Smith
  32. Why I became a Wavewalk kayak owner, By Michael Chesloff
  33. Fishing offshore – the next frontier
  34. More is less in your fishing kayak’s cockpit – Too much stuff and too little fishability
  35. The secrets of the SOT kayak’s underside
  36. Wavewalk kayak tracking a plus in strong tidal current, By Art Myjak
  37. Whatever floats your boat – flotation for fishing kayaks
  38. What makes the Wavewalk 500 faster and easier to paddle than other fishing kayaks?
  39. A stable kayak for photography
  40. How effective are outriggers for your fishing kayak’s stability?
  41. Dog on board
  42. Smarter electric motors and Lithium-Ion batteries – A winning combination for kayak fishing, By Gary Thorberg
  43. Ocean Kayak Fishing
  44. Your boat trailer, the abominable fishing-time guzzler
  45. Kayak fishing with disabilities
  46. Motorize your fishing kayak?
  47. About fishing kayak design, innovation, upgrades, accessories, etc.
  48. Storage: How Much Gear Can You Store Inside a Wavewalk 500 Fishing Kayak?
  49. Do Not Overload Your Fishing Kayak
  50. A Fair-Weather Fishing Kayak…
  51. A Brief History Of Kayak Fishing – Past, Present, and Foreseeable Future
  52. Fishing Kayak Stability
  53. About Kayak Fishing In Tandem…
  54. The Hybrid Fishing Kayak – Facts, Hype and Plain Nonsense
  55. Motorizing Your Kayak – Why, How, What Etc…
  56. More About Dangers To Kayakers and Kayak Anglers in Warm, Fresh Water
  57. How to Keep Your W500 Fishing Kayak Cockpit Dry
  58. THE BARGE – A NEW CLASS OF FISHING KAYAKS
  59. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly – Aesthetics and Performance in Fishing Kayak Design
  60. Kayak Fishing As An Extreme Sport
  61. Too Much Storage In A Fishing Kayak…
  62. What Is kayak Back Pain, And What Does It Mean For You?
  63. Paddle vs. Pedal Drive in Fishing Kayaks
  64. Resting in Your Fishing Kayak – Don’t Fall Asleep!
  65. More Storage Than Any Other Kayak: The W500
  66. Lumbar Spine and Kayak Back Pain: Facts
  67. Some Practical Advice About Rigging Your Fishing Kayak
  68. Kayak Fishing Safety: Is It safe To Paddle An Uncomfortable Kayak And Fish From It?
  69. Stretching in Your Kayak to Relief Fatigue and Pain, and Improve Circulation
  70. Stand Up Kayak Fishing and Paddling – For Real
  71. Kayaking Back Pains and Leg Numbness
  72. Fishability – How Fishable Are Kayaks?
  73. How to Save Money When Buying a Fishing Kayak
  74. Rigging Your Wavewalk Kayak With a Milk Crate – Is it Necessary?
  75. Lures for Bass Kayak Fishing, By Roxanne Davis
  76. Range of Motion and Protection From the Fish – Kayak Comparison, By Jeff McGovern
  77. Casting From A W Fishing Kayak Compared To Casting From Sit-In and SOT Fishing Kayaks, By Jeff McGovern
  78. How Effective Can Fishing Kayaks’ Outriggers Be?
  79. What Makes The Wavewalk The Stablest Fishing Kayak
  80. Are SOT Kayaks Safe For Offshore Fishing?
  81. Kayak Fishing Standing – And What If? (Stuff Happens)
  82. About Rudders and Fishing Kayaks
  83. Saltwater Fishing Gear Maintenance, By Jeff McGovern
  84. Kayak Fishing With Children
  85. Stability in Fishing Kayaks – Problems and Solutions
  86. How to Choose a Fishing Kayak That’s Best For You
  87. Back Pain, Good Posture and Kayak Fishing
  88. The Wavewalk Kayak Combat Position For Fighting a Big Fish
  89. Paddling and Kayak Fishing in Cold Water and Weather
  90. Whether paddling or fishing in your kayak, try to stay dry
  91. Fishing Standing in a Kayak
  92. Kayak Fishing in Shallow Water
  93. Common Kayak Fishing Myths, Tales and Hype
  94. Thrust in Electric Trolling Motors for Fishing Kayak
  95. What To Carry On Board Your Fishing Kayak, By Jeff McGovern
  96. Kayak Fishing From the Mounted (Riding) Position
  97. Southern Kayak Fishermen’s Complaints
  98. What Color and Form for My Fishing Kayak?
  99. Headwind and Side Wind – Paddling in Strong Wind Without a Rudder
  100. The Yak Back – What Your Fishing Kayak Shouldn’t Do To You
  101. Getting Trapped Inside a Kayak
  102. Are Sea Kayaks Seaworthy?
  103. Common Kayak Injuries
  104. Clamp Mounted Side Mount For Fishing Kayak Electric Trolling Motor
  105. How to Avoid and Repair Scratches in Your Kayak
  106. Kayak Side Flotation- How it Works and Why Use it
  107. Wheels For Fishing Kayak Transportation
  108. Detachable Flotation For Fishing Kayak
  109. Ergonomics and Biomechanics in Kayaks
  110. Kayak Hydrodynamics, Hydrostatics and Biomechanics As Speed Factors
  111. Fishing Kayak Reviews
  112. The Evolution of the Kayak
  113. Versatility: From Specialized Kayaks to Broad Range, High Performance Kayaks
  114. Mobility: The New Dimension in Kayak Design
  115. Wavewalk Demo Movies

Brian’s Folding Outriggers for Motorized Kayak

Brian Vickery, from California, is a fisherman and photographer who has special reasons to look for absolute, no-nonsense stability in his kayak, as well as total comfort.

Those of you who’ve visited our blog before already know that Brian has a genius and a passion for kayak outfitting and rigging projects-

Says Brian:

-“I have been away having left shoulder surgery, total replacement, so I am presently thinking of no more paddling for me at all. Dr says “mild” shoulder work in a few months PT time.

I put my W kayak in the water this morning and tried-out the folding amas. Wow!, when I tried my hardest to make it tip , I could not. Just like standing on a concrete floor. Solid, solid as I never thought it would be. That is saying a dickens of a lot, coming from me. I could not budge it at all.

I did find it was a tad hard to keep course though. Once the turn was made tho it kept good tracking. I think that with the two batteries and motor gone, it will sail well with a Genoa jib, and NO mainsail.

Cheers,, Brian”

Folding outriggers for motorized fishing kayak

Folding outriggers - stabilizers for motorized kayak

Sailing rig for kayak, California, 2010

Brian's sailing W500 Kayak

More on Brian’s electric motor setup for his kayak >>

NEW: read more about motorizing fishing kayaks >

More information: How effective are outriggers for your fishing kayak’s stability?


Read more fishing kayak reviews that our clients have contributed >

Stand Up Fishing Kayak in the Surf Movie Viewed 25,000 Times on YouTube

Since 2007, the movie Walking On Waves has shown kayak paddlers and anglers what a W300 fishing kayak can do in the ocean surf, and that’s something no other kayak to this day has been able to come close to showing, including SOT fishing kayaks that are up to 42 inches wide, that is over a foot wider than the 25″ wide W300.
Interestingly, no one has shown anything similar with any fishing kayak that’s outfitted with outriggers, or features integrated outriggers, since these fishing kayaks are simply neither stable enough, nor can they they offer the maneuverability and control the W kayak design has.

At first, the movie was uploaded to Google Videos, but after some time it was moved to YouTube, where it got 25,000 views.

More interestingly, no paddling or kayak fishing magazine – whether printed or online, saw the importance of this stand up paddling performance, although they’ve all published articles about other fishing kayaks that allegedly offer stand up fishing, when in fact what they offer are tedious, lackluster and often hazardous gimmicks that not too many people seem to take seriously.

No wonder these media don’t benefit from much trust from their readers…