I thought I’d send you a description on how
I made some cheap outriggers to turn my canoe into
a makeshift rowing skiff. A while ago I built a Cinderella
canoe to the free plans on Duckworks from Gavin Atkin.
It was built as a cheap way for me to explore the
local lakes, and for something for the kids to play
in when we went to the beach. A cheaper alternative
to the plastic sit-on-top kayaks, and fun to build
The canoe went together very well, although I was
a little disappointed with the fairness of the seams.
It was the first time I’d used 4mm ply, and
I now know that you need to be a lot more careful
with it than 6mm ply. I put a couple of watertight
compartments in, and made the seat so it could be
moved along the length, for solo, or paddling with
I used the canoe as built for a while, but never
really got used to that tippy feeling. The children
found it too unstable to give them confidence, and
in retrospect, at 6 and 4yrs old, I probably built
this 5 years too early for them, but rationality doesn’t
come into reasons behind boatbuilding!
So I decided to adapt it into a rowing skiff.
I had plenty
of offcuts of ply around the garage, and made
up some out riggers from them.
Each side is
made up of two pieces that clamp together with
3 galvanised bolts
I was fortunate
that I hadn’t put inwales on the canoe,
and this made it easier (although I’m
sure they could still be made to fit, even with
I also didn’t
mind putting a couple of holes through the hull,
as the boat was only ever built as a knockabout,
and rubber grommets seal the holes if I’m
|I have to say I
am very pleased with the result.
A pair of oars
add a lot to the stability, and the thing travels
very well through the water, creating barely
a ripple - all from a few hours work on some
scraps taking up room in the shed.