Drop-in Outrigger Plan for Canoes & Kayaks (some dinghies) Sailing Videos

  • Turn a Canoe or Kayak into a formidable sailing boat or a super stable fishing platform. Drop in Outrigger Plan info here.
  • Whizz Along in Armchair Comfort – or – the Ideal Fishing Platform (paddle/motor)
  • Diving or Snorkelling Platform
  • All Components under 10lbs
  • 2 sheets ply

Plan $30 delivered by email
Plan on paper: request Agent pricing.

Light outriggers to add to your canoe for stability. Fast sailing, Fishing or Diving: storerboatplans.com

The first time I fooled around with this concept we took an elegant Strip Planked REDBIRD canoe and fitted it with this outrigger system.  It is designed to be light and easily removable.

The Bolger designed Teal is a lovely simple dinghy, but it can be an exciting handful in stronger winds. Jan Cudak added the outriggers to turn the Teal into a very pleasant stress free sailing boat.


Going back to the Eureka canoe with some good gusts solo sailing


None of the components weigh more than 10.bs

Light outriggers to add to your canoe for stability. Fast sailing, Fishing or Diving: storerboatplans.com

With the additional stability we were able to cram on a significant amount of sail in a simple Lateen Rig. – about 7.5 sq metres (80 sq ft) for real sailing performance.   One of the advantages of the lateen rig is that the sail can be a backyard manufactured item.  We made ours out of a blue plastic tarpaulin – I think the total sail cost was about $40.  The Lateen even if cut completely flat develops a useful driving shape when loaded up by the wind.

The boat whipped along very well and did not really require a leeboard provided the leeward hull was well immersed.

It had a surprising turn of speed and was quite exciting to sail.


The only downside was that the Redbird canoe hull, being a brilliant straight line paddling boat, just refused to go round corners easily – it just refused to tack through the wind.  Either it had to be assisted by someone with a paddle – or the tack was completed by the boat picking up a little bit of speed in the backwards direction then steered out with reverse rudder.  Not a big problem at all – and the speed in a straight line made it all very worthwhile!!

Any relatively narrow hull (under 4ft, 1.2m) is suitable, whether a canoe, kayak or rowboat.

In other words, the steering characteristic of the whole shebang is defined by the main hull.

The owner used it for holidays – it all roofracks easily because of the light weight – and for fishing.

There have been a couple of these built to make a canoe into an excellent fishing platform.  For that purpose they used a small outboard (2 or 3hp pushes a canoe along quite quickly) attached to a bracket on one of the crossbeams.  The outer hulls provide an extra level of safety as they are watertight.

It can also be fitted to one side only to make a Proa. The ends without the outrigger hull should project about 12 to 18″ (300 to 400mm) outside the gunwale and the two ends tied together with a piece of timber so they can’t move relative to each other.

The hulls and crossbeams can fit some small dinghies particularly if they are quite narrow and not too long.

The hulls are simple stitch and glue (image above), and the displacement has been chosen for the speed to wash off if the boat heels too much.  The crossbeams are simple laminations and look light and simple on the boat.  The hulls attach to the crossbeams with butterfly nuts, then the crossbeams are lashed into the hull.  For sailing versions the upper mast partner is built into the forward crossbeam and the mast steps on a simple block glued to the bottom of the boat.

Unfortunately I don’t have any pics of Mr Webb’s Fabulous Redbird under full sail – but it was great fun. The photos of the black outriggers here are on Daniel Caselli’s Eureka Canoe in Uruguay.

Light outriggers to add to your canoe for stability. Fast sailing, Fishing or Diving: storerboatplans.com

The other advantage is that like the “drop-in kayak rig” when the outriggers are removed from the hull there is only the small block of wood acting as a mast step still attached to the canoe.

Because of the potential speed and power of sailing versions we recommend a rudder be fitted to the main hull.  Steering it with a paddle would just be too much work!  While a simple rudder makes things easy.

Recommended power is a couple of horsepower maximum or an electric trolling motor with a couple of deep cycle batteries will give a good few hours moderate speed motoring.

Light outriggers to add to your canoe for stability. Fast sailing, Fishing or Diving: storerboatplans.com

It is possible for a motor or paddling configuration to use one hull only – a one sided outrigger canoe.  But the ends of the crossbeam without a hull have to have a tie bar between the ends.  This might potentially make a nice diving platform.  The outboard could be attached to the rear crossbeam close to the hull.

Light outriggers to add to your canoe for stability. Fast sailing, Fishing or Diving Philippines: storerboatplans.com

David Jacka built the boat in the photo above in the Philippines.

Hi Michael,

I thought you might like to see a picture of the DK Dinghy fitted with your outriggers. The dinghy is 15ft long and 4ft max beam.

I use it for fishing and snorkeling in the Philippines in coastal waters, with five people it is well over loaded but the stability with the outriggers is superb. Getting back in the boat from swimming is very easy, it would be virtually impossible to capsize.

The shallow draft makes it easy to get over the rocky shoreline.With three adults it pushes along well with a 5hp outboard.The outrigger design is simple and the lines are great.
Best regards David Jacka

There are two free additions to the plan in a package available to purchasers. Email me with evidence of purchase.

  1. A flatter curve to the crossbeam for canoes and kayaks with lower freeboard.
  2. Drawings for an integrated sailing rig with mast supported by front crossbeam. This includes a sail design for polytarp or you can purchase a sail from our sailmaking arm;


Affordable sails for Storer Boat Plans - Goat Island Skiff, OzRacer, PDRacer, Ocean Explorer


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One thought on “Drop-in Outrigger Plan for Canoes & Kayaks (some dinghies) Sailing Videos

  1. […] The outriggers, by the way, were designed by Michael Storer and can be purchased either at Duckworks or via Michael’s website. […]

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