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What is a boat outrigger?
What is this type of item generally used for?
Why would you need to consider buying outriggers for your paddlecraft, anyway?
A watercraft outrigger is a float that is attached to the side of your boat. Outriggers usually come in pairs and are fitted with one on each side of the watercraft. They are designed to keep your paddlecraft more stable than it would be without one, by adding more space to the width of the boat.
Outriggers can be used on other watercraft, too, including canoes. However, if you’re planning to use them on watercrafts, you may need to purchase a different size than you would need for other types of boats.
Making the decision to use outriggers on your watercraft can be a tough call. Here are a few reasons to keep in mind when deciding whether or not outriggers are right for you and your boat:
- If you do a lot of fishing from the paddlecraft, outriggers can make it a lot easier to cast, reel, and otherwise practice your favorite hobby.
- If you’re a beginning kayaker who is still nervous about the watercraft tipping, outriggers may give you some additional confidence in knowing that the boat is much less likely to flip with them in place.
- If you take kids out on your boat, adding outriggers can keep the boat more stable when your children choose to stand up and climb off the sides of the paddlecraft to go swimming.
Check out our list of top watercraft outriggers below to learn more.
Best By Category:
FOR MORE ADVANCED PADDLERS: Meter Star Boat Stabilizing Rods. Durable and portable, adjustable float height, universal fit any size paddle shafts.
GREAT FOR FAMILY USE: Pactrade Marine Outrigger Arms. Durable PVC floats, aluminum arms/poles, stainless steel mounting hardware, quick release lock.
BETTER FOR BEGINNERS: YakGear Paddlecraft & Canoe Outriggers. Easy to install safety net, adjustable outrigger arms, pre-installed threading for mounting.
Option #1. METER STAR Watercraft Stabilizing Rods
Any outdoor water sports enthusiast’s equipment would benefit from the METER STAR Boat Stabilizing Rods . With the outstanding stability that these inflatable pontoons offer, you can easily turn around and even stand up. It only takes 3-5 breaths to inflate them, and they remain inflated all day. It is effective to inflate without losing air between breathes thanks to the twin valve stem. In the event of a puncture, they come with four repair patches, but no glue.
When rowing, these stabilizers can be a little challenging since, depending on where you mount them, they may get in the way. To clear them for complete strokes, you might need to lean forward a little or your stroke might be a little too short. They can also become stuck on the limbs if you want to sit on top of a sunken tree with exposed branches, which can assist keep you moored without an anchor. Nonetheless, they are sufficiently thick to avoid concern from most branch punctures.
There are certain drawbacks to the METER STAR Paddlecraft Stabilizing Rods that should be considered before buying. Depending on where you are, they can move about a little bit as you are moving, and getting into and out of the watercraft can be challenging. But, if necessary, these stabilizers can be quickly removed on one side as you approach the shore.
Despite these drawbacks, employing these stabilizers has many wonderful advantages, including giving kayakers and boaters piece of mind while doing so and enabling easy maneuvering around obstacles like submerged trees or exposed branches without stressing about punctures or getting stuck. When combined with a painted wooden dowling and undiluted dish soap for loops to pass through while deflated, they also provide excellent value for their pricing and make for a simple installation method.
Overall, the METER STAR Boat Stabilizing Rods are a fantastic choice for any outside water sports enthusiast searching for extra security while paddling or fishing because they offer exceptional stability and peace of mind when out on the water!
- Inflates in 3-5 breaths and remains inflated all day
- Twin valve stem prevents air loss between breathes
- Comes with four repair patches
- Can get in the way when rowing
- Can become stuck on limbs of sunken trees
- Can move about a little bit as you are moving
Option #2. Outrigger Arms Stabilizer System from Pactrade Marine
Any daring boater wishing to add stability and security while out on the water will find the Outrigger Arms Stabilizer System from Pactrade Marine to be the ideal option. This collection of sturdy PVC float kits, aluminum arms/poles, and side/deck mounts is intended to give boats and canoes a high level of stability. The outriggers may be adjusted easily with the help of the large, easy-grip lock nuts, and you can quickly lock in your position with the red button quick release lock. Installation is simple thanks to the kit’s stainless steel mounting hardware.
Its stabilizer system’s metrics are very outstanding. The aluminum arms/poles measure 31-1/2″ in length and 1-3/16″ in diameter, while the PVC float kits are 27-1/2″ long and 5″ wide. The screw holes on the side/deck mounts are 3-1/4″ long and 1-1/4″ wide. Its stabilizer system is light—only 5 pounds net—yet exceptionally robust and long-lasting.
Although this product has a lot of benefits, there are also some potential drawbacks to take into account. Because to its size and shape restrictions, it might not be appropriate for larger boats or those with more intricate designs, for instance. Also, if a user is unfamiliar with how the lock nuts operate, they can find it challenging to change them.
The Outrigger Arms Stabilizer System from Pactrade Marine is a great option for anyone searching for more stability while on the water, despite these potential limitations. When standing up to fish or simply enjoy the view from your boat without worrying about toppling over, it offers a high level of security. Also, because of its lightweight construction, it is simple to pack away when not in use without taking up too much room or weighing down your vessel. Whether you’re a seasoned boater or a novice, this stabilizer system will give you peace of mind on your upcoming expedition!
- Sturdy PVC float kits, aluminum arms/poles, and side/deck mounts provide a high level of stability.
- Easy to adjust with large, easy-grip lock nuts and red button quick release lock.
- Lightweight construction is simple to pack away when not in use.
- Not suitable for larger boats or those with more intricate designs.
- Can be challenging to change the lock nuts if unfamiliar with how they operate.
Option #3. YakGear Paddlecraft & Canoe Outriggers
Any watercraft will benefit from the YakGear Watercraft & Canoe Outriggers . From rocking back and forth to falling into the water, these outriggers offer a simple to install safety net. It is best for total weights under 350 lbs to use the adjustable outrigger arms since they are 30 inches long and will give a float base around 22 inches from the port and starboard sides of the boat. This package includes 2 adjustable outrigger arms and floats, 2 Ralblaza Starport HD mounts, all stainless steel installation hardware, installation instructions, and rigging advice from YakGear. The outriggers are for the port and starboard sides of your boat.
Also, the YakGear Outriggers have threading (1/4 x 20 brass insert) already inserted so that a RAILBLAZA StarPort HD may be mounted directly to the float, which serves as the point of attachment for the outrigger arms. This enables users to increase their float’s stability when paddling or fishing by adding a RAILBLAZA MiniPort Base (not supplied). Also, by installing bases on Each board, these outriggers can be installed onto a canoe (not included). With all the components included in the package, installation is quick and simple.
Although these outriggers provide excellent stability when paddling or fishing, there are a few drawbacks that should be taken into consideration. Because they only permit big, clumsy adjustments, the flexibility is not perfect; as a result, on some boats, the pontoons can be either too deep or out of the water. In addition, some users complained that the screws used to connect the arms to the float angle adjusters were not self-tapping as stated in the instructions, necessitating them to drill pilot holes before screwing in the screws. Finally, several users have encountered malformed adjustable tooth mounts on their vessel side that did not match up properly and would not align properly no matter how adjusted. One made a perfect 90° angle while the other was just around 80°.
These YakGear Outriggers nevertheless have several advantages for kayakers searching for extra stability for their craft despite these slight drawbacks. They offer a simple way for customers to feel secure while paddling or fishing in their boat or canoe, regardless of their age or degree of experience. Also, they are simple to remove at any moment, making your boat portable without leaving any permanent fixtures behind!
- Provides excellent stability when paddling or fishing
- Quick and simple installation
- Can be easily removed at any time
- Flexibility is not perfect
- Screws used to connect the arms to the float angle adjusters are not self-tapping as stated in the instructions
- Malformed adjustable tooth mounts on vessel side may not align properly
Option #4. Brocraft Outriggers Stabilizers System
Your canoe or paddlecraft can benefit greatly from the Brocraft Outriggers Stabilizers System ‘s added stability and confidence. This system includes sturdy, long-lasting molded PVC floats in a striking yellow color, as well as 32″ long aluminum outrigger arms that attach quickly to your boat. Every piece of mounting hardware is composed of stainless steel, and the G Clamp is CNC-processed marine grade 6061-T6 aluminum. For additional peace of mind, the system also comes with a two-year limited guarantee.
Installing this stabilizer system is simple and requires no special tools; simply screw it on and tighten it clockwise. It may be used from hard-sided canoes for fishing because it descends far enough and includes a big round knob for simple adjustment. It can also fit aboard 1232 jon boats, though depending on the brand and model of your boat, you might need to make some alterations.
When put on solitary canoes, the clamps of this product may rotate, making it challenging to adjust appropriately. You might need to substitute a cross board and attach the clamps to it in order to resolve this problem. Moreover, an all-aluminum solution might not be as durable as a plastic removable clamp where the rod elbow attaches. There isn’t much flexibility here either, as several users have observed that while paddling vigorously, the front of the yellow float tends to drop down into the water, acting as a brake.
In spite of these drawbacks, individuals wishing for more stability in their canoe or watercraft might profit greatly from this stabilizer system. It’s ideal for anyone who want a little extra assurance when they’re out on the water, especially if they’re bringing babies or pets! Also, the system performs admirably when a trolling motor is used. It is extremely simple to install and totally tool-free! Furthermore, it’s important to bear in mind that this product is somewhat overpriced in comparison to other similar products on the market. If you’re searching for a decent deal, keep an eye out for specials or discounts!
- Sturdy, long-lasting molded PVC floats in a striking yellow color
- 32″ long aluminum outrigger arms that attach quickly to your boat
- All mounting hardware is composed of stainless steel
- Clamps may rotate, making it challenging to adjust appropriately
- Not as durable as a plastic removable clamp where the rod elbow attaches
- Front of the yellow float tends to drop down into the water when paddling vigorously
Now that you’ve had a chance to check out some outriggers, it’s time to pick your favorite and install them today. The different types of outriggers are not all made equal, and it’s crucial to pay attention to the styles you’re considering buying so you can determine whether or not you’re getting the right ones for your boat.
It’s also important to know how to install the outriggers before you buy them. Depending on the type of paddlecraft you have, you may need additional adapters or mounts to use certain outriggers, so read up on the directions before purchasing.
How are outriggers installed on paddlecrafts, anyway? Each style of outrigger and each brand has its own instructions, so it’s impossible to provide a solid, universal guide that can be used for all outriggers. However, there are some tips to remember for installing these offers on any watercraft.
Here’s a quick guide to help you learn more:
- Make sure you position the outriggers near your boat’s stern. This way, they won’t get in the way while you’re paddling and you also won’t have to worry as much about fishing around them.
- You will probably need power tools to mount the outriggers to the paddlecraft. Unless your watercraft is already designed to be used with outriggers, you’ll need to be prepared to drill holes in the hull to make the outriggers fit.
- Follow the directions that come with the outriggers you’ve chosen to be sure you install them the right way the first time.
When you’re trying to decide whether or not to go with outriggers for your boat, it can take some time and consideration to make up your mind. Outriggers aren’t for everyone, and they aren’t perfect; sometimes, they can get in the way of your fishing or paddling, and they can also make it harder to navigate your paddlecraft through tight spaces.
If, however, you do choose to use outriggers with your watercraft, be sure to pick a product from our list above to bring home a high-quality option that will work for a long time to come.
5 Essential Tips for Outrigger For Boats Safety
- Always wear a life jacket when using outriggers. This will help keep you afloat in the event of an emergency.
- Check your outriggers before each use to make sure they are securely attached and functioning properly.
- Be aware of your surroundings and the weather conditions when kayaking with outriggers. Strong winds can cause instability.
- If you are paddling in open water, be sure to bring a whistle or other signaling device in case of an emergency.
- Make sure to practice proper paddling technique when using outriggers. This will help ensure that you stay balanced and safe.
ALSO: Consider investing in a watercraft stabilizer bar for extra stability while using outriggers!
Helpful Information For Readers
These are critical items of gear for any serious kayaker. They give you stability and balance in the water, allowing you to paddle confidently and with control. Outriggers also aid prevent capsizing, which can be dangerous while paddling in stormy water or against strong currents. You'll have better mobility and will be able to explore more difficult waters with ease if you attach outriggers to your watercraft. They can also let you carry greater cargo on your boat without losing performance or stability. These items will improve your paddling experience and give you the courage to try new things!
Usage Ideas: How Should I Be Using Them?
You can use these outriggers in three distinct ways. First, they make paddling more stable in rough water or strong winds. This is especially helpful for people who are just starting to paddlecraft because they might not know how to handle these conditions yet. Second, they can be used as a place to stand up on the water to fish or do other things that require you to be on your feet. This makes it much easier and safer to do so and keeps it from falling over. Lastly, they can also be used to attach extra gear to your watercraft, like coolers or storage boxes. This is great for longer trips when you need more space than the boat itself offers. When you add up all of these uses, it's easy to see why these products are a must-have for any serious paddler.
The Cons: What To Expect
There are a few disadvantages to take into account despite the many advantages of these products. They can be challenging to install and call for some technical expertise, to start. For the outriggers to offer stability and safety when paddling, they must be tightly fastened to the boat. This implies that in order to correctly attach them, you will need to have access to equipment like drill bits, screws, and other hardware. Outriggers can also increase drag and weight, which can make it harder for you to paddle your paddlecraft effectively. Thankfully, there are workarounds for these drawbacks. If you don't feel confident putting in outriggers by yourself, you might always hire a pro or enlist the aid of a knowledgeable friend. You may also think about buying lighter ones that won't add a lot of extra weight or drag as you paddle. Last but not least, detachable flotation devices may be a better alternative for you if you're seeking for a simpler solution to increase stability without having to permanently put anything onto your watercraft.
By What Criteria Should They Be Evaluated?
The three most crucial quantitative factors to consider while evaluating these kayaker products are stability, portability, and price. How well an outrigger can maintain a boat's upright position in choppy water or heavy winds is a sign of stability. The outrigger's portability is determined by how simple it is to move it from one location to another and by how quickly it can be erected and disassembled. Cost is calculated by contrasting the outrigger's price with those of comparable goods available on the market. To be the ideal choice for paddlers, these items should generally strike a balance between stability, portability, and price.
Using It First Hand: What To Expect
These kayaker accessories are a fantastic method to improve your paddlecraft's stability, allowing you to paddle through rougher conditions with greater confidence. Outriggers are attachments that attach to the sides of your watercraft and stretch outward, providing extra buoyancy and balance. They can be built of a range of materials, including wood, plastic, or metal, and come in a variety of sizes to accommodate the size of your boat. It is critical to ensure that outriggers are securely attached so that they do not become dislodged during paddling. Additionally, before each usage, you should inspect the item for signs of wear or damage. Outriggers, with regular care and maintenance, may give years of dependable service and enable you enjoy more exciting paddling adventures!
The basic steps for employing outriggers like this are as follows: Make sure the outrigger is first firmly fastened to your paddlecraft. Next, alter the outrigger arms' length so that they are spread equally on both sides of your watercraft. Thirdly, secure the flotation devices to the outrigger boats' ends. Fourth, make sure that all connections are reliable and that there are no leaks when in use. Fifth, while using your outriggers to paddle, take advantage of the improved stability and mobility! You may easily employ an outrigger system to improve your kayaking experience if you keep these straightforward instructions in mind.
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