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Thread: Clever (dis)embarking with outriggers

  1. #1

    Default Clever (dis)embarking with outriggers

    I recently enjoyed three extremely pleasant days in "friesland" up north in Holland, sailing and camping in my SD Avocet (Open Shearwater). The expected wind force was 4 to 5 and as there are some fairly big lakes it got fairly choppy at times. No problem, I made good use of my SD outriggers. I know some sailors are keen on hanging on the edge and getting soaked dressed up in wetsuits, me... I do not mind the occasional splash but in general I like to keep myself and my camping gear dry. So far so good, now getting in and out of the canoe with outriggers (without damaging the vessel) is easy on a beach, or preferably even a grassy sloped shoreline. But I did not always get that choice, in Holland authorities have built jetty's everywhere or wooden guard walls to preserve the banks. And then it is getting hard to moor up with outriggers on. Either one ends up in the water, or damages the canoe or an outrigger, or sails on to a more accessible location. That is why on small water or below WF 3 I rather do not use the outriggers.

    Q1) Any experience, lessons learned? clever solutions to this problem?
    Q2) Now the width of the canoe with outriggers is approx. 240cm... I was wondering if anyone has given thought to using a narrower wooden boom(aka?), so the vessel becomes say 150cm in width... I imagine the outriggers will be close to the edge of the boat, obviously they won't have as much up righting momentum, may even touch the water more frequently and cause drag, but I guess it will be easy getting in and out on a jetty or in a harbour. It may be just the perfect solution for wind force 5? Now I looked with interest to the solution SD applied at the Osprey, a sliding bar of a kind. But I do not want to make a big change to my set up for this problem, but I thought I might spend some time making a narrower version of SD Aka.
    Has anyone experimented with this idea before?

    Regards Andries

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    grange over sands, cumbria


    The outriggers should still give you some support on a shorter beam, so I think it is worth trying this for sailing in Holland. Another option might be to make slots in the beam so that you could slide the beam on its mounting bolts. The latest SD outrigger beams are a single curve that should slide to one side easily. Mark at SD would make you one. It would depend on how your beam is mounted on your Avocet as to how well it would work. On some the beam fastened to the mast thwart with a hole for the mast.a sliding beam would have to be in front or behind the mast.

  3. #3


    Hello Dave,
    Thanks, Indeed mine has a hole in the midle of the beam, and the mast goes through it. I have seen pictures of the different beam you describe, but never realized they are designed to slide.
    I'll try to make a short one and shall share the image.

  4. #4


    Dear all,
    I have been busy in the woodshop,
    Two mini outriggers, that are just far enough from the hull to be able to move the leeboard.
    I hope the two images open:
    Though there was litle wind yesterday, I wanted to give them nevertheless a quick try.
    They float above the water for about 20 cm, but when a breeze blows the boat on an angle they become effective. Just like the big outriggers but just less wide.
    I have not tried them against a jetty yet, but I am convinced this is gone help.
    The vessel is now something like 150 cm wide.
    It needs another layer of paint but in general I am pleased.
    I'll give an update when I have tried them at WF 4-5.
    Andries / Bob

    PS: Something else you might notice, I have extended the side-seats and strengthen the canoe at the place where the mast comes through, the gunwales came lose due to torque pressure.
    Last edited by BobZwaardvechter; 22nd-April-2018 at 01:25 PM.

  5. #5


    Hey Bob,

    Nice outriggers you made. I tacked off the leeshore of the Tjeukemeer in a wind force 4. I know the lake well from my sailing barge, but, this place is intimidating in a small canoe Could use some outriggers there.

    Canoe sailing trips:

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