How to Build Fishing Outriggers

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How to Build Fishing Outriggers
Make a fishing canoe safer within outrigger (canoe,kayak,boat image by Greg Pickens from

Many fishermen search out normally isolated water using a kayak or a canoe. These watercraft allow fishermen to pass shallow water to get to remote locations that often hold large fish. One problem with kayaks and canoes is that they are relatively unstable and can easily tip over. Outriggers can be added to kayaks and canoes to make them much more stable. Building a set of outriggers is something that can be accomplished by most any owner of a kayak or canoe.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 2 Schedule 40 PVC pipes, 10 feet long by 3/4 inch
  • 4 Crab pot buoys, 11 inches with 3/4-inch centre holes
  • 2 PVC elbows, 3/4 inch
  • 2 PVC tees, 3/4 inch-to-1/2 inch
  • 1 Schedule 40 PVC pipe, 10 feet long by 1/2 inch
  • 4 PVC end caps, 1/2 inch
  • Utility saw
  • PVC cement
  • Heavy-duty zip ties, 5 inches

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  1. 1

    Attach one 3/4-inch PVC elbow to each end of the 3/4-inch schedule 40 PVC pipe. The unconnected end of each elbow should extend in the same direction. Do not include this or any connection until the outrigger is tested in step seven.

  2. 2

    Measure the distance from the side of the kayak or canoe to the water and subtract six inches from this total to allow room for the crab pot buoy. Cut two pieces of 3/4-inch PVC pipe to the length of this measurement. Attach one end of each of these pipes to the elbow of the 10-foot 3/4-inch section of PVC pipe.

  3. 3

    Attach the 3/4-inch-to-1/2-inch reduction T-fitting to the end of each 3/4-inch section of PVC extending from the 10-foot pipe.

  4. 4

    Cut four 24-inch sections from the 1/2-inch PVC pipe. Slide each one of these sections through the centre hole of the crab pot buoy. Extend the pipe 3/4 inch out the narrow end of each crab pot buoy. Place a 1/2-inch end cap on each of the 1/2-inch PVC pipes that extend from the narrow end of the crab pot buoy. Attach the other end of each of the four 1/2-inch PVC pipes to the ends of each of the 3/4-inch-to-1/2-inch reduction T.

  5. 5

    Place the 10-foot PVC pipe on the canoe or kayak. Center the 10-foot PVC pipe so that each crab pot buoy section is equidistant from the centre line of the boat. Make sure the 10-foot PVC pipe is lying near a cross member on the canoe or cargo eyelets on the kayak.

  6. 6

    Attach the 10-foot PVC pipe to the canoe or kayak with the heavy-duty zip ties. Wrap the zip ties around the 10-foot PVC pipe and the cross member of the canoe over the cargo eyelets of the kayak.

  7. 7

    Test the canoe or kayak with the new outriggers. If the outriggers are too close to the water or too far from the water, cut new 3/4-inch extensions to the correct length. When the outrigger on the kayak or canoe tests properly, take apart each section. Permanently reconnect each section with PVC cement.

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