KayakKorner DIY – Removable Stabilizers

Kayaks afford us the ability to take fishing to very limited access areas. However, with the increased access kayak fishermen have to endure reduced stability than larger boats.

If you surf the net to find DIY stabilizer kits you’ll see a lot of great ideas on how to improve kayak stability. Some stabilizers are permanently attached solutions that can limit kayak capabilities. Southern Fishing News has taken up the challenge with a low-cost DIY solution you might consider.

In our version of the project we used the following supplies in the application for less than $55: 1” PVC pipe, 4  PVC end caps, 2  PVC Tees, 4 hose clamps (5”x7”), 2 rod holder kits, 2 inflatable marine fenders (5.5 in. x 20 in.), 8 screws, and 1 can plastic spray paint. Cut the PVC pipe to your desired length…we used a two feet boom length.

Removable Stabilizers Advantages:
1. Increased width increases stability and may make your kayak standup capable. Always use caution and wear an approved personal floatation device in a kayak.
2. Removable stabilizers facilitate an easy transition from fishing/light paddling mode to stronger paddling more for long distance moves
3. Removable stabilizers are more advantageous for transport and storage
4. Decreased drift in windy conditions
5. Increased control of kayak direction

Removable Stabilizers Disadvantages:
1. Increased drag when padding hard for long movements
2. Windy conditions and rough water reduce stability gains.
3. Stern mounted configuration can limit paddling and longer stabilizer boom can mitigate
4. Bow mounted configuration can limit fishing angles
5. A degree of instability will most likely remain

Different kayaks will demand some creativity and variances in the install. In our kayak, we used a stern mounted stabilizer configuration where we installed the mount just behind the seat, inserted the stabilizer into the rod holder and secured the stabilizer boom to the rod holder with two screws.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’ll want the stabilizers removed and bow stowed for longer distance paddling and easy access.

The rod holder we used had the ability to adjust the angle of the stabilizer depth in the water. This gave us the ability to adjust the depth of the stabilizer for increased stability or raise the stabilizer up out of the water. No matter what type of mount configuration you decide to use, you’ll need to ensure the stabilizer is positioned to contact the surface of the water to provide desired stability.

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