Homemade Outriggers for 15 1/2 ft canoe

hello! new here. a friend of mine just gave me and my boys a 15 1/2ft canoe to use on our 3 acre neighborhood pond. while im not entirely new to boating, we have never had a canoe before. this canoe will be used to troll around our pond for fishing… maybe a few “pleasure cruises” too from time to time.

i dont have a lot of $$ to spend on this canoe, ive already bought a 45 lb trolling motor and battery, oars, PFDs for all of us, etc.

i am building a set of outriggers for this canoe. im using very strong 1 1/2 inch aluminum angle stock for the supports which are 5 ft in length total. it is fastened to brackets bolted to the gunwales that I have made out of the same aluminum.

my plan is to use 2 6ft long 6 inch pvc pipes for the floats, with end caps that will be glued with pvc cement. i will use 1/2 threaded stock for the verticle supports that will be cut to length and will run from the angle aluminum, straight down through holes i will drill completely through the floats, and fastened with washers and locking nuts, and holes will be siliconed so that will be watertight.

i plan on filling the floats with some foam. this is my question:

marine grade foam is expensive. ive read on several forums about people using “Great Stuff” insulating foam that can be bought at home depot. From information i got off of dow chemicals website, i figure about 3-4 cans per float should fill them up completely. I will then cut the excess foam off, cap and glue the ends, and drill my holes for the supports.

i have read that even though this is a closed cell foam, this foam may deteriorate out in the elements, however, it will be in a water tight pvc float, far from out in the elements. will this foam work for what i need it to do? the pourable marine foam is just too expensive.

thanks in advance.

similiar set up
i basicly have the same set up on my 15ft canoe that you describe and havnt had any trouble…and after all for no more money that great stuff or the like costs it would be no big deal to reapply if ever needed, have fun

don’t ya think those outriggers will …

– Last Updated: Aug-23-13 1:15 AM EST –

...... be kinda cumbersome and in the way while fishing , how about landing the fish ??

Also they will take up space in the wtaer , and be in the way when manuvering tight spots , how about lilly pads , sunken tree limbs and fish cover ??

Nothing like bringing a battleship into a good fish zone ehhh !!

Really , why do you feel you need outrigger stabilizers ?? The canoe isn't going to turn over or throw you out . You'd have to do some really rediculous shanagins to upset it , and the outriggers won't help you much in that case .

Listen up ... a canoe is the wizard of stealth , can enter in virual silence , slip into the primest of positions for casting and fishing , tweak this way and that with a single simple dab of the paddle ... slide through all but the thickest of things on and under the water (read fish cover) .

Now try that with ungainly outriggers . Besides that , the outriggers are nothing but added friction , drag causing obstructions that make noise , unequal drag on either side and just plain get in the way of everything , including fishing !!

Those outriggers ought to be really something while under power with a trolling motor ... ooopps the left side caught the water , ooopps the right side is catching the water now ... spin like top why don't ya !!

Don't try to turn a canoe into Jon boat , bad idea .

And last but least , the beauty of a canoe is it's bare bones simplicity , sleek , light and finely tuned manuverability . Muck it up with a bunch of add on stuff and it's beauty goes out the window . Plain stripped down , nothing but the hull is the way to go , care free and efficient as it gets , nothing in the way , no contraptions to deal with ... a perfect tool for fishing ponds , lakes , reservoirs , mountain rivers .

I just can't even imagine why you would want a trolling motor for a 3 ac. pond either , but I know of some ponds such as in Fl. where trolling the perimeter could produce maybe as many fish as casting the covers edge , but the trolling wouldn't be nearly as fun .

foam in outrigger
There is a common misconception here. Buoyancy (flotation) is determined by volume and weight. Pounds of lift will be the weight of the water displaced minus the weight of the float. Adding foam inside does not add to the volume of water displaced, but it does add to the weight of the float. If your float is sealed as stated, you will have less flotation with any filler added inside.

… and if the floats are not sealed, …
Foam-in-a-can products do not produced closed-cell foam. There tends to be a lot of interconnection between bubbles, meaning the stuff gets pretty waterlogged if given the chance. Best to seal the floats and not use any foam.

But I agree with Pilot. No normal canoe needs outriggers, though I guess if you wish you had a Jon boat but the canoe is what you ended up with, you might not be totally crazy to add them.

Be careful with “Great Stuff”…
…as it expands as it dries, in ALL directions, and could possibly damage the piping. That being said, it will not ad to buoyancy in closed PCV pipes anyway, so just seal the end caps with PCV glue. BTW - if you search, you can find pointed end caps that will be more hydrodynamic. Still trying to figure out why you want outriggers for anything other than ocean use ? They will definitely get in your way when fishing.

Mostly we use paddles for canoes. I agree with those that wonder why you think you need outriggers

The OP is gone
"old-user" is the name applied to anyone who’s no longer associated with this website.

It is not closed cell foam.
Once the skin is breached, it will absorb and retain water. Unless those outriggers are perfectly water tight and stay that way, they will not be floats but sinks.

I would not recommend the use of Great Stuff spray foam insulation for that use.

Instead, and even less costly, I would recommend purchasing foam noodles and trimming them to size to fit inside whatever rigid pipe you’re using.

  • Big D

Canoes are one of the great inventions by man. They are made to be paddled and you do not need outriggers. Learn the skills and enjoy the boat more.

Canoe fishing is stealth fishing and very productive.