Size does matter.
So you're thinking of an outrigger for your canoe or kayak and you aren't sure what size hull to go with or if you should do one side or two. Well, here's a few guidelines to help you make the right choice.
First, how and where do you plan to use your boat? The farther you go, the heavier your load, the larger your sail, you should increase the length and width of your outriggers.
1. Minimal flotation for stabilizing a canoe or kayak is a bow to bow configuration. Many kayak fishermen have added a one sided bow to bow outrigger to their kayak and mounted a small gas motor between the kayak and outer hull. Check out this YouTube video of one client who used Expandacraft hull parts then made his own cross tube connections. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qszPgv-AZH0&t=46s
2. Two sided bow to bow outriggers allow for more stability so you can add a small sail. In the attached photos, you can see a 10 foot kayak and a 12 foot canoe with Expandacraft bow to bow outriggers on both sides. With a single cross tube placed forward, you can still paddle this kayak. the hulls actually teeter up and down to ride with the waves, this reduces drag and stress on the cross tube.
3. A one sided 12 foot outrigger is a big step up from a one sided bow to bow as it more than doubles the displacement, is more efficient and gives you the option to deck over the space between the outrigger and your kayak or canoe and you can even stand on the deck to cast a net. Additionally, the mounting points are far more sturdy and made for rougher service. See attached photos
4. 12 foot outriggers on both sides makes a huge difference in displacement, stability and safety. Not only do you gain a huge increase in usable space, but think what would happen if a large boat wake swamped your kayak or canoe. Well, with this set up your Expandacraft hulls will keep your boat from sinking and level so you can bail the center hull and go your merry way. Even in the worst case scenario where you somehow manage to flip a 6 or 8 foot wide outrigger equipped craft, rest easy as it will be as stable upside down as right side up. No clinging to the bottom of an unstable, upturned craft praying for rescue. It is possible to right an overturned outrigger with a few tricks of the trade learned from beach cat sailors where capsizing is more of an inconvenience than a life threatening event.
5. Stepping up to a set of 16 foot Expandacraft outriggers will change your canoe or kayak into a whole other kind of craft. Most often use on larger canoes, this set up gives you massive amounts of space and displacement. Go ahead, load it up with 6 or 8 adults or a weeks worth of camping gear including the kitchen sink. This option turns a canoe into a self sufficient floating island when you add a removable deck in the middle so you can pitch a big tent or simply pitch a small one on one side. See attached photos.
6. Need even bigger? Well, the limit is your imagination. What do you want to build?