Outfitting my outrage

I am going to pick up what may be one of the last MR outrages produced (until they come up with an alternative to Royalex) and I need to outfit it before spring arrives! Looking for any advice on outfitting this boat. I am steering towards Mike Yee but would appreciate any advice on pedestals, knee straps, footpegs, etc… Thanks

whitewater OC-1 outfitting

– Last Updated: Mar-26-14 10:50 AM EST –

Outfitting is to a considerable extent a matter of individual preference and what one person likes another might hate. Much of what I suggest is what has worked for me. Here is a pdf that contains quite a few suggestions:


If you want to go with a conventional thigh strap set-up, Mike Yee's stuff is hard to beat. It is pricey but well-designed. In my opinion, a double strap system (thigh and knee straps) does provide better control than a single pair of straps. Mike's thigh and knee straps can be adjusted simultaneously, although some people prefer completely independent adjustment for the knee and thigh straps. For a relatively narrow boat like the Outrage, Mike's single knee cups will work better than the double knee cups.

Mike's bag cage set-up works very well to construct an effective bag cage. The bag cage anchors are very light and do not have any metal D rings that can corrode or rust. Mike suggests replacing rope end loops with 1" wide webbing end loops, and webbing loops are definitely easier on the hands if you plan to carry the boat any distance by the loops (as when you and a partner double-portage two boats at the same time). Mike's saddle uses Yakima adjustable foot pegs on aluminum rails and these seem to be the favorite of most people who use adjustable foot pegs.

You can of course get by a little cheaper by making your own thigh and knee straps out of 2" webbing, but when you add in the cost of the D ring anchors (which have gotten quite expensive in recent years) you really don't save much.

There are a couple of alternatives to the conventional strap system. One that has been steadily gaining popularity in recent years is the minicell pedestal with attached bulkhead. The bulkhead serves to replace the thigh and knee straps. Part of the popularity of bulkheads has been due to the rising popularity of small, solid polyethylene whitewater OC-1s in the last 5 years or so. It is difficult to reliably bond vinyl-backed D ring anchors to poly (G Flex works if used exactly according to instructions) and the bulkheads eliminate the need for strap anchors. The bulkhead also helps create an "end wall" for the forward bag cage.

Some people are putting bulkhead set-ups in Royalex boats like the Outrage. The bulkheads do give up adjustability if multiple people are using the boat, but the bulkhead makes entry and exit very easy and allows for a considerable degree of control. Here is an example of a bulkhead set-up:


Beluga used to sell a bulkhead pedestal a few years ago but I don't see these available any more. Jeremy Laucks makes a nicely designed bulkhead saddle for his boats. He does not advertise these as being for sale individually but you could contact him at Blackfly Canoe or on his Facebook page and ask if he would sell you one.

Because of their size and shape, shipping of minicell pedestals, especially those with bulkheads, can be expensive. If the shipping costs are too high, or you can't buy a bulkhead saddle, an alternative is to make your own. You can buy half buns of 3" thick minicell foam (2' x 4' x 3") from Sweet Composites for $60:


That should give you enough minicell to make a saddle and bulkhead. Minicell is easily shaped with sandpaper, Dragonskin, or surform tools and can be cut with a sharp knife, coping saw, or band saw (if you are lucky enough to have one available). You would also need a pair of Yakima foot braces (if you want adjustable foot braces) which are also available from Sweet Composites for $37.50 a pair:


In addition to shaping tools you would need a large can of DAP Weldwood contact cement (the flammable stuff in the red and black can). To mount Yakima foot peg rails to minicell pedestals I use stainless steel threaded rod, stainless steel nuts, and narrow PVC pipe. If you just run threaded rod through minicell it tends to cut back through the foam from the pressure of your feet over time. I push a piece of 1/2" PVC pipe through the saddle for the threaded rod to pass through which works well.

Another option would be to use the pedestal and belt set up that is sold by Mohawk Canoe:


Some people really like this, others don't. I like it quite a bit, but overall I probably prefer Mike Yee outfitting.

Most people use 60" bags in Outrages. When marking the positions of the anchors for your "keeper straps" for the bags, make sure you inflate the bags. The bags will "shorten up" several inches from their stated and uninflated size. Unless you buy the bag cage kit from Mike Yee, I use 3mm diameter nylon accessory cord for bag cages. Unless your boat came with anchors already installed on or under the gunwales, I have found the best way to run the lacing is to simply drill holes through the Royalex spaced approximately 4" apart just below the gunwales and run the cord through the holes back and forth. If your boat has wood gunwales, I would resist the temptation to use screws to attach inchworms as the screws weaken the gunwales and allow a point for water to enter the ash. I have not had any problems resulting from drilling holes through the boat as described.

For securing vinyl-backed anchors I have been perfectly happy using Vynabond, or a similar vinyl adhesive. Anchors attached with vinyl adhesive can eventually loosen, but if and when they do I simply clean them up and bond them back down.

To glue in minicell foam knee pads and saddles, use DAP Weldwood contact cement (red and black can).

Whether or not to use painters is a matter of preference. I do but others view them as a potential for entanglement. I use painters of Spectra core kernmantle construction 5/16 - 3/8" in diameter about 12 - 13 feet in length tied onto the end loops. I use double bungee cords on the deck plates to store the coiled painters under. This requires drilling 4 holes in the deck plate and running a single piece of shock cord through all 4 with the cord making a "Z pattern" under the deck plate. This puts the painter in a location that is easily accessible if you are swimming beside of behind the capsized boat, and you can pull out as much painter as you need to help get the boat into an eddy.

Ankle blocks are another matter of preference. I find that they really increase my comfort level in the boat. They are easily cut from minicell foam (Mike Yee also sells them) but the shape, size, and placement varies greatly from person to person. Some people use ankle blocks of different size and shape for the two sides.

A lot of people are using electric bilge pumps these days. The favorite pump is the Atwood Tsunami 1200 (1200 gallon per hour rating). I use a sealed lead-acid battery. I have found that a 12 V DC SLA battery rated at 3.3 Amp/hour has plenty of capacity to power that pump.
This is the one I use:


NiCad or Lithium ion batteries are lighter but much more expensive. Here is a thread discussing electric bilge pumps:


A few other options are putting water transfer tubes through the bottom of your pedestal, if it doesn't already have them. Larger diameter PVC pipe works well for this. A lot of people are gluing additional foam flotation in the form of minicell foam plank to the side walls of the cockpit area of their boats. This lessens the volume of water held in the boat as the canoe is rolled up. Foam hip pads also seem to be gaining favor in whitewater open boats in recent years.