Suggestions on Outrigger for Small Canoe

I’m a fairly accomplished canoeist and have been paddling for almost 30 years (not so much in recent years). My wife, on the other hand is quite afraid of getting into a canoe. So we don’t do that together.

Her fear is mainly that she doesn’t trust the stability and is similar to that felt by someone afraid of heights or of spiders. Of course, I know stability is mostly governed by the technique of the canoeist, although she wouldn’t even entertain the thought of taking lessons in proper technique.

So as much as it hurts to say, it seems like an outrigger system may be the only way to get her into one. She’s told me that she’d give that a try, at least once anyway… which is way further than she’s ever been before. Perhaps one like: .

Anyway, any feedback on what types of outrigger systems work well or don’t would be welcome.

Spring Creek makes good products.

– Last Updated: Jul-24-06 8:04 PM EST –

I have used their outriggers while sailing oversheeted and hard. Did a good job.

The older blunt ended ones are fine. No real need for the more expensive bullet ended ones.



I have OLD Srping Creek floats…
…which I use 1-2X a year, and they work fine.

…Have you considered renting a plastic

– Last Updated: Jul-25-06 12:04 PM EST –

barge for 3-4hrs? What she needs is a lot of initial stability in order for her to "loosen up" a little, which will give way to her relaxing those hips.....
Virtually everyone who starts paddling in a somewhat twitchy boat will remain in the nervous-mode for quite a while longer than if eased into the world of "secondary stability...only".

Check out this outrigger set
It can be viewed at:

I think the pontoons are well engineered for both flotation and hydrodynamics. Each pontoon is a mini-catamaran and so tracks well (doesn’t veer one way or the other in use). I use them either for platform stability (swimming, etc.) or for sailing occasionally when I know it’ll be especially gusty.

The outrigger apparatus (connecting the pontoons to the gunwales) seems to be strongly welded and has held up to shock loads so far. I had him insert hardwood dowels into the arm tubes for additional strength.

Nice, conscientious guy to deal with. Good luck.

Go Ama
I’ve been researching the same for similar reasons, and intro sailing plans. Dual outriggers are just plain wrong in my opinion, found this little gem that is both sexy & more traditional:

How about a row boat
If she is really afraid maybe you should get her something really comfortable like a stable row boat. She could sit on a cushion in the back seat and help with a paddle while you rowed. If she got tired of helping to steer, she could just hold the umbrella to keep the sun at bay.

I really think you will have an easier time convincing her to come along if you try taking her rowing. As time goes on you can put her in tippier and tippier row boats until she feels comfortable in anything.

Another good idea is to pick your seasons for taking new paddlers. Late summer evenings and early fall afternoons are the most mild in our area. I definately avoid taking newbys wout in the cold and windy springtime.

Spring Creek stabilizers
Bought a set of these this year so I could get my wife out on some bigger water. Great products and super people to do business with.