outrigger for kayaks - need help!!

I am a freshman at Northwestern University. I am a mechanical engineer involved in a project that requires that me and my team develop an outrigger design to add stability to kayaks. We have built a mock-up and I would really appreciate someone looking at some pictures and descriptions to get feedback about its pros and cons. I really need help, anything would be appreciated.

please contact me at n-graham@northwestern.edu or reply with screen name


Can you post a link
to the pictures?





No, the pictures he wants a critique of

Went to canoegears site
and scrolled down the left column…There were pictures of the kayak float setup. The catalog has a drawing as well. Took me 'bout a week to get one last year.

Defeating the purpose?
Not to dampen your enthusiasm, but adding outriggers to a kayak defeats the purpose of the design. Kayaks are meant to be leaned for turns and for bracing in rough water. Outriggers make it impossible to do so. They’re a solution in search of a problem.

Like training wheels for bikes…
… or third wheels for motocycles?

His purpose is designing not utilizing
Gist I got from the orig. thread was this was a class project for college(?) Doesn’t make any diff. if it defeats the purpose of the kayak…it fills the purpose of the class project.

The mechanical engineer

– Last Updated: Feb-24-04 11:57 PM EST –

team should not only build the prototype or
prototype's, they should also try it themselves
and prove if it works. Though a famous web site has done exactly that I suggest your team earn the grade by being "full Mechanical Enigeers".
Is this not what you are working toward?
Being "fully capable Mechanical Enigeers".

Maybe it’s just me…
…but I’d question the reason for designing something worthless or counterproductive. It seems to me that if you really want to teach someone design, you start by identifying a need, then design a product to satisfy that need.

post the link
if you want a response.

Like ry says outriggers on a 'yak are defeating the purpose of a ‘yak.

emergency, photography, sailing… sure outriggers will stabilize but what’s the purpose?

some of the ol’ Wildy sailing rigs utilized some burley sponson/ outriggers and were quite fun. The only problem is kayaks make lousy sailboats. Tooo pointy and wet. Not to mention needing to make cats or tris outta them.

check out Windriders. they rock



Some legitimate reasons
Some people sail their kayaks with outriggers. Outrigger canoes are designed to use outriggers. Some people want to stabilize a kayak for fishing or whatever. It seems a little premature to dismiss the whole exercise without knowing more about what they’re trying to accomplish.

I e-mailed him.
Will let you know if he responds. Outriggers could really enhance the design! I hope we get a peek.

I’ve been corresponding
I’ve been corresponding with this very earnest young man, and they have built prototypes. The goal is to attach a device (temporarily) that makes kayaking accessible for individuals with motor control/balance problems.

Bnystrom’s right: ordinarily outriggers are to kayaks what anchors are to albatrosses – just wrong. But in this case, these guys are trying to address a very specific problem.

They’ve got designs using different hardware that can be adjusted for a variety of users. They seem to be very well on their way to being “real mechanical engineers.”

You’ll get a peek
He responded to me very quickly, with a nice explanation and pictures. These seem like very dedicated students.

Good point