Home made outrigger

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mattja99

Home made outrigger

Post by mattja99 »

After refinishing a 1964 Klepper frame and having Long Haul make a new hull, I took it out sailing on the lake with the kids only to quickly realize I needed outriggers. My youngest is 5 and I just did not want to take a chance of capsizing in the middle of the lake, as much fun as it would be... So after ordering the aluminum and Seamark I put together a set.

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I have to thank the yostwerks website for learning the techniques of making vinyl equipment, the inflatable portion (ama) is made out of Seamark, and seems to work well, NRS valves and all. I researched what was out there already, but came up with my own way to mount the Ama to the Aka. I used a 20" piece of fiberglass rod and threaded it through a sleeve in the ama and through the center of the aluminum pole of the aka. By inserting the fiberglass rod before blowing up the ama, all the air pressure actually keeps it on there very tight and makes the whole unit pretty stiff. Everything breaks down, the poles is three 4' sections held together with button fasteners (like on tent poles). I made klepper-like clamps from stainless bolts, brass thumb screws, and flat aluminum from Ace hardware. I probably have just over $100 in materials all together.

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If I could go back and do it again, I would have made the ama's bigger and I may make a new set in the future. They do work, but under heavy wind they get plowed underwater just a little bit. I also may add some 550 cord on the outside edges (from the edges of the ama up to the aka) to keep them from rolling left and right. The roll just a bit, and it doesn't affect the function, but I think I can get them rock steady with a little more support.

DLee
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Re: Home made outrigger

Post by DLee »

Hi Mattja, this is great.

I've been thinking of doing the exact same thing but haven't figured out the vinyl and seamark cover combination yet. Do you care to go into more detail on how you made the floats? I love the idea of being able to set the outriggers up when conditions turn sour or the day is getting late and the risk of capsize is no longer an entertaining idea. I've looking into getting a set of Balogh outriggers, but they are just too expensive on their own.

I've made a lot of headway with sailing the AII with the full S2 rig by making a 'sailing board' and steering with the tiller and extension handle rather than the foot peddles. The board allows you to move about the boat on your knees and really hike out over the gunn'ls to counter any radical leans. There are some pictures earlier in this Sailing Gear column.

I also found that a canvas bucket and electric bilge pump are great to have on board. I also learned the hard way that EVERYTHING should be tied into the boat.

Would love to see some more detailed pictures of the interior bags and outer shells.

Nice work.

Dennis
Klepper Aerius II
Klepper T9
Long Haul MK1 Expedition 'light'
Klepper S4 sail rig
Kayaksailor 1.6 +genoa
BSD 36HP

mattja99

Re: Home made outrigger

Post by mattja99 »

As Requested, more detail:

I ordered the aluminum tubing from Texas Towers, 2 each 1.500" X .058" [6'] and 1 each 1.375" X .058" [6'] which came to $51.31 to my door in Kansas.

I orderd the Seamark from Perfectfit.com, I bought several yards to have enough to do the outriggers and make a cockpit cover (a future project) for around $100.

The NRS (blue valves) are .50 each from Northwest River Supply. The vinyl tubing and pvc material is from the hardware store as per Tom Yost instructions at http://yostwerks.com/AllPVCA.html


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After some thought about design, I settled on building the inflatable portion out of two identical teardrop shapes and gluing them together. They measured 42" long and 9" wide, the glued portion is 1" wide all around. It offers the least amount of seams and the least chance for leaks, also goes together faster. I used chalk to draw on the seamark and traced a cardboard cutout. You only have to cut half the teardrop out of the cardboard as to ensure symmetry just flip it over and trace the other half (mirror image). I glued them together with H66 and a heat gun. I rubbed the joins together with a glass, pressing against a hard wood table, this is key to having no leaks.

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The pocket on the top to hold the fiberglass rod is also glued on with H66. I left 1" of material on either side, and a 1" slot for the rod, the flap on one end has a pocket for the free end of the rod to slip into, but it is super tight with the ama inflated. The rod is cut from a fencing pole (in picture) which are less than $1 a piece from tractor supply or orschelin's (I had a bunch laying around).

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The aka is made of three sections, the center "inner" (1.375") tubing is 4' 8.5" long. The two outer (1.5") sections are each 4' 7.5" long, cut down from 6' lengths. I used the two 1' 4.5" sections left over from the cuts and put them over the 1.375" center section, with the seam in the middle. When assembled the overall length is still about 12' (you lose a little material in the cuts). I orderd the two button connectors from McMaster-Carr (model 92988A570) at http://www.mcmaster.com/#button-connectors/=iw1824 A note for when you drill the holes for the buttons...I glued the center section pieces together with 5 minute epoxy, then taped the outer sections on to hold them in place for drilling. Once you drill the hole, before you pull them apart, use a dremel or a file and clean up the seam inside the button hole, otherwise when you go to pull them apart an aluminum wire edge/shaving will get caught between the two tubes and badly scar the material (I did this on mine). A little sanding and it works fine, but could have been avoided.

mattja99

Re: Home made outrigger

Post by mattja99 »

The clamps were made from two stainless steel bolts, thumbscrews, and washers from Ace Hardware. I bought 1/8" thick aluminum stock ($11) and cut/bent them into the proper shape for the clamp. I drilled holes in the bolts (after cutting the heads off) and tapped them for stainless screws. Another note, the stainless bolts are freaking HARD, broke a few bits and a few taps in the process. Ensure you use cutting fluid for drilling and tapping. A little tip to make it easier, when drilling the hole before tapping, rotate the drill around to take out a little more material at the outside edges, it will make tapping the stainless much easier, and still have plenty of thread...I used 8/32 1/2" stainless allen heads. The two black blocks you see screwed to it, are pieces of black cutting board screwed to the aluminum with the same screws. This helps provide a flat surface for clamping to the wood washboard, instead of round tubing (makes it harder to crush the wood).

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Dennis,
There are no interior bags, they are just one layer of seamark sealed up airtight, and seem durable enough so far. Also after thinking about it, I don't really need bigger ones, they do the job great. What I do need is to sew some reef points on the sail...the mast was clearly bent "flexing" to the side with the wind when it was heavy and plowing the outrigger into the water and reefing is the better answer. Another project for another day. I have not capsized yet, but do carry a bailing bucket and am sure to tie everything down...hopefully I don't need it. I do need to finish the spary skirt thought, as when sailing through 3-4 foot waves occassionally one breaks over the washboard, especially with the wind pushing the kayak at an agle.

Matt

DLee
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Re: Home made outrigger

Post by DLee »

Matt, thanks, this is great info... and thank you Tom Yost!

I've been wanting to try this for quite a while and even picked up the lining of a small swim pool for the vinyl material. I like your idea of using the Sea Mark material. I do wonder about the longevity of it though in terms of air tightness. Let me know how yours hold up.

This is the first time I've heard anyone mention the mast bending on a Klepper rig. You must have had a pretty good wind blowing. Seems like quite a test for the outrigger as well. 12' seems a little long to me... but maybe not. I was wondering how long the BSD rig was but couldn't find it on their site (although I didn't look too hard). There is a company in the Netherlands called Careen that uses a standard Klepper paddle for the aka. They started out with the wooden paddles and now they have improved to a new aluminum shaft paddle with thru-bolts on the paddle blades. You can see the old paddles in some of the pictures. This is a good site, interesting stuff, check it out. Unfortunately the equipment is not cheap with the exchange rate and shipping expense seems very ambiguous every time I have asked.

Anyway, you've made a great rig and I'm definitely going to steal some of your ideas. Do you ever feel that you would have liked more width on your amas? My original design was to make them a little fatter similar to the BSD design - yours do appear more streamlined though.

I wanted to mention a thought that I've had concerning the cockpit cover. I've considered this as well, but I really like sailing in an open cockpit. But, once water is in the boat, it's pretty tough to get out. A couple gallons are easily lost in this behemoth. So, I've been thinking about making more of a tub with a deck cover over the front third or so. Kind of a sea sock that's really just a big canvas bucket. See if you can picture this: From the front of the coaming the deck will be covered to about 1/3 of the way back. Control gear can ride on top of this. Behind this point, the cover basically becomes a trough. Imagine a 1/2 barrel design of fabric that fits down inside the hull. It would connect to the coaming just like a spray cover but it would wrap down into the cockpit, across the bottom of the cockpit and up the other side tucking under the coaming once again. The design is simple. An access could even be made into the forward and stern portions of the boat - like Tom's boat hatches. The only part I haven't been able to figure out is a good water seal around the boomerang (the boat will turtle during a capsize). One important aspect of this 'tub' would be a couple of handles inside the tub so the whole thing could be pulled inside out to dump the water that collects in a capsize or from spray. Does this make any sense?

If I ever figure out how to draw it I'll post it here. I think the fact that you could pull it inside out while in the water is great in theory. It would allow you to basically roll the boat upright with an empty cockpit after a capsize. This is of course for sailing without the akas and amas. By the way, the AII is really easy to get back into after a capsize... just in case you haven't done it yet. I know you're out there with your kids. PFDs are a must of course.

Now to find some H66 and start cutting some vinyl!

Dennis
Klepper Aerius II
Klepper T9
Long Haul MK1 Expedition 'light'
Klepper S4 sail rig
Kayaksailor 1.6 +genoa
BSD 36HP

DasBlauwal4

Re: Home made outrigger

Post by DasBlauwal4 »

Hey mattja99, I'd like to know how your Outriggers are holding up. I have referenced your thread here and just ordered 1.5 yards of Sea Mark to make my own set. Also I like your J-Bolt fabrication ideas and may attempt to make these as well!

It was around 50 bucks including a pint of H66 which they also supply. Now on to source the aluminum and other parts needed!


Thanks,

Matt

mattja99

Re: Home made outrigger

Post by mattja99 »

Dasblauwal4,
The outrigger setup has been great, the only thing I would change is to make a better effort to seal the leaks up on the seamark. The fabric side of the seamark proved to be very hard to keep from leaking when glued together at the valve, make sure your fittings are tight! Otherwise all the aluminum hardware and the design overall has worked well. I thought I may have made the actual outriggers a little small, but they do the job just fine. They actually sit just above the water so when there is no wind you can paddle without dragging them in the water.

DLee
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Re: Home made outrigger

Post by DLee »

What about making an inflatable PVC insert to go inside the Seamark? - Folbot uses a bladder system like this.

http://www.folbot.com/mm5/merchant.mvc? ... Code=PARTS

d
Klepper Aerius II
Klepper T9
Long Haul MK1 Expedition 'light'
Klepper S4 sail rig
Kayaksailor 1.6 +genoa
BSD 36HP

FrankP

Re: Home made outrigger

Post by FrankP »

Any thoughts on using a float as a bladder? It would already have the air tube factory installed. You could then cover it with Seamark if it needed extra protection.

DLee
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
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Re: Home made outrigger

Post by DLee »

I've thought about that Frank. I think the main problem is aerodynamics, or hydrodynamics. There just aint none with a paddlefloat.

I think Matt has a pretty nice streamlined design... I do like the idea of a bladder inside the covering though. But, then the covering needs to be made in such a way that you can take the bladder in and out... by the time you figure that out you could probably have made a new one in Matt's design. Perhaps once again... less is more.

Meanwhile I'm excited to get my Hobie outrigger tested out.

d
Klepper Aerius II
Klepper T9
Long Haul MK1 Expedition 'light'
Klepper S4 sail rig
Kayaksailor 1.6 +genoa
BSD 36HP

mattja99

Re: Home made outrigger

Post by mattja99 »

After using my original outriggers made of seamark for a while, it became evident that the material was just not air tight. I moved on to 40oz vinyl and increased the length, they are extremely tough and efficient in the water because of the thin shape and gentle slant upwards.
My daughter and I have used them off the coast of Maryland as well as Lake Superior (pictured rocks). I have to say on on that day the waves grew from a little choppy to 6 ft high swells in a hurry. The outriggers saved our bacon, but didn't make the landing on Miners beach (from Trout Bay on Grand Island) any softer.
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Also, using nite ize figure 9s work really well to hold the lines of the sail. I tied two to the frame of the kayak and stopped worrying about not having a control board.
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john allsop
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Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 3:40 pm
Location: isles of scilly UK

Re: Home made outrigger

Post by john allsop »

Your outriggers look great, nice and streamlined and only the slender part in the water. Thank,s for telling people about the problem with seamark. Getting rid of your control board is interesting but i hope you can fit up a compass for Lake Superior in case dense fog should suddenly engulf you.

DLee
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
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Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:05 pm
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Re: Home made outrigger

Post by DLee »

Hi Matt, I'm trying to remember, are you using a standard Klepper S2/4 rig?

Do you roll the sail onto the boom and then just fold it up and strap it to the mast when not in use? That's what it looks like in your last pic. I'm also guessing that you are using a clip on both sides to hold the main sheet (as seen in one of the pics) or does this same clip work both tacks?

Something that I did on my jib that you might like to try is to run a long continuous line from the top of the jib to the clew(?), front of the jib. This allows you to pull the jib up and forward at the same time - which sounds a little awkward for raising the sail; the beauty of it is that when you drop the sail you can pull it all the way back to the cockpit and stuff it under the forward coaming. Since the bow is not tied off it does require a shackle of some sort forward and an additional cleat back at the mast, lee board, or control board. A nice way to rig the jib if you're not sure you'll need it.

I sail with a control board because I generally sail the Klepper rig alone. I use jam cleats for both sails, one for the main halyard and two for the jib. Works pretty well for dropping or raising the sails really quickly.

I've been thinking of eliminating the control board as well. My thought has been to put the main and jib halyards back on the mast and run the jibs bow line back to the lee board crossbar and a jam cleat there. Or, create a small control board on top of the lee board cross bar that will hold jam cleats and guiding eyes for those same three lines. I am considering putting two jam cleats with guides on the outsides of the washboard for the jib sheets. I'm just having a hard time making the decision to drill/screw into the wood... ha. I don't like irreparable changes.

I just haven't come up with a good idea for clamping the main sheet yet. There are some blocks that look great, seen in long ago sailing threads and West Marine, but they run about $100+, and I'm not sure it would necessarily work that well. I don't use outriggers so I need a quick release... know what I mean? The hand is best, but it either gets tired or really dumb.

I like the suspended block idea best. I just can't pull the trigger on buying the thing without having a good idea on how to rig it. Fun to dream about though.

I'm so impressed that you made those outriggers. Nice work.

d
Klepper Aerius II
Klepper T9
Long Haul MK1 Expedition 'light'
Klepper S4 sail rig
Kayaksailor 1.6 +genoa
BSD 36HP

FrankP

Re: Home made outrigger

Post by FrankP »

I like your outriggers. I spent a little more and bought Sidekick outriggers from Hobie. I'm not totally convinced they arethe best setup though. The outriggers are a bit short and the amas are shapped oddly. We did use them the other day in 15 mph wind and they worked fine. Sunday we will have 15+ mph wind so we will be out there again having fun.

We were in Munising, MI last weekend. Pictured Rocks on Lake Superior. The weather didn't work well for us to have 2 paddling days. One stormy day the fog rolled in so thick and fast it was frightening. I was very glad we not on the water that day. It was very windy too.
The day we did paddle was in 3 and 4 ft waves that started ou as 1 ft waves on one side of the breakwater that increased to 3 and some 4 ft. We didn't have the outriggers on and we were fine in the very light wind.

Nice DIY amas!

john allsop
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
Posts: 1255
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 3:40 pm
Location: isles of scilly UK

Re: Home made outrigger

Post by john allsop »

Of course outriggers do have limitations, if the wind is strong enough they will go under and the boat can still go over, so the bigger the better until it becomes a trimaran and sailing might be compromised although there is a Klepper with outriggers, if you can call them that which are about 10 feet or more long and it seems to sail good, it,s on "Klepper Americas facebook". Now fog has been mentioned, is there an experienced member who can say how he would locate his position in fog and know which way to paddle to either reach the shore, his starting point or his destination ?

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