How to Build a Canoe Stabilizer

How to Build a Canoe Stabilizer
Using an outrigger-style canoe stabilizer reduces the tenderness of a canoe. It allows paddlers to sail their canoe, stand up in their canoe, fish out of their canoe and walk around inside it, without the fear of tipping. Building a canoe stabilizer is a cheap and easy project most paddlers can complete in a day. This outrigger quickly attaches to and detaches from the boat. It's light and stores in the bilge when not in use.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • 1 1/2-inch PVC tube
  • PVC elbows
  • PVC glue
  • PVC T-fittings
  • Foam
  • PVC end caps
  • Velcro one-wrap
Step 1
Attach a PVC elbow to each end of a 7-foot piece of 1 1/2-inch PVC tubing. Spread the glue evenly around both the elbow and tubing. Make sure both elbows face the same direction.
Step 2
Glue a 6-inch piece of PVC tubing into the open ends of the PVC elbow.
Step 3
Glue PVC T-fittings to the bottom of the 6-inch piece of PVC. Attach the fittings perpendicular to the 7-foot piece of tubing.
Step 4
Cut two pieces of foam to the size you desire. The larger the piece of foam the more support and stability the canoe stabilizer will provide. A 1-by-1-by-6 foot chunk provides enough stability for most activities.
Step 5
Cut a 1 1/2-inch hole through the length of the chunk of foam. The hole should enter centered on the 1-by-1 foot side and should exit centered on the opposite 1-by-1 foot side.
Step 6
Cut a 1 1/2-inch hole through the center of the long side. This hole creates a "T" intersection with the last hole.
Step 7
Insert the PVC T-fitting into the last hole you drilled. Cover the inside of the fitting with glue before inserting it.
Step 8
Slide a 3-foot piece of PVC tubing into each side of the long hole and glue it into the PVC T-fitting. Adjust the size of the tubing, if you changed the size of the foam.
Step 9
Attach the canoe outrigger to the canoe's yoke using Velcro one-wrap.

Tips & Warnings

Round the bottom of the foam to glide over the water.

Article Written By Bryan Hansel

Bryan Hansel is a freelance photographer and kayaking guide who began writing in 1993. His outdoors articles appear on various websites. Hansel holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and religion from the University of Iowa.

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