Kayak outriggers

I have a poly Necky Looksa Sport that my wife paddles sometimes. It’s to unstable for her to do any photography from. She’s been sick and doesn’t have a lot of strength. I would like to build some removable outriggers for it. I have a sheet of 1-1/2" closed cell foam to build the floats. Would PVC pipe be strong enough for the arms?

Lobster floats
Here’s what I did for my daughter:


If I were making them for an adult, I might make them out of slightly thicker PVC - but these felt really secure.


Can you find
Schedule 80 PVC? Much thicker and stiffer/stronger than the Schedule 40 stuff. Can be hard to find though, Lowes and Home Depot don’t carry it. Plumbing stores might.

sch 80

– Last Updated: Oct-11-10 4:27 PM EST –

You can get sch 80 PVC conduit at electric supply houses.

Larger dia.
Just go to a larger diameter pipe and the strength increase very quickly. I have seen it done and it works just fine.

what foam?
If you’re using pink or blue foam insulation board, you’ll want to reinforce it somehow, by glassing it, or backing it with plywood. That stuff is really brittle, and if a leaning boat puts any pressure on it, it may just crack in two and send your wife swimming.

Something like soda bottles, lobster floats, boat fenders, etc, may be better.

YES I have done it - Still using them.
here are photos of the outriggers I built for a Perception Carolina 14.5…(for use with a sail).

I have since bought a Perception Eclipse 17 Footer, and have built a set for it as well…


You will note that the outriggers are strapped to the rear deck with a cam strap around the hull. The PVC pipe is schedule 40 sitting on a foam block…the two long arms on the outrigger Aka is to prevent the outriggers from rotating around the hull and reduce the torqueon the Aka.

Design site with info:


(yeah, I need a tiny url…)

5" Pool Noodles…
With a 3/4" PVC pipe insert, backed on top with a thin wall PVC Half Shell (Length of PVC Pipe cut in half lengthwise).

See the photos in my webshots album.

PVC can be shaped when heated with a heat gun…(when bending small diameter pipe, fill it with sand to prevent the pipe from creasing).