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Nov 15, 2017

Why build another Malibu Outrigger?



After I graduated from Santa Monica High School I wanted to do something exciting but couldn’t quite choose what to do. I did construction and my boss just gave me his old Malibu 18’ Outrigger because it had a rotten main hull. This was when people built their own boats from lumberyard materials and a little fiberglass. The Hobie Cats were just coming out. It was the early 1970’s.


I rebuilt and upgraded the whole boat which took months. It was finally do

ne and ready to sail with a friend who knew how to sail. It was blowing hard and it flipped over. We didn’t release the sail so when we flipped it right side it took off. We were about a mile or two offshore. Luckily it flipped over the outrigger and we got back to shore. It was then that I joined the Malibu Yacht Club. It was not fancy and more like a bunch of friends on the beach who all loved sailing through the surf. It was pure California beach culture of the 1970’s, We raced so I really got to know the limits of the outrigger.


One of the members of the Yacht club was Hans who always beat me in races but liked to adventure. We took both our boats to Mexico and then to Catalina which was 40 miles due south of the beach. We started out early in the morning in the foggy summer gloom and tried not to get wet pushing through the surf. We started our small outboard motors


and headed out. Sometimes towing a few Hobie Cats behind. Getting there felt like arriving in Tahiti with the crystal clear waters at Parson’s Landing where the Yacht Club reassembled for a week long campout party. I dove for abalone and fish. One time we went around the 26 mile island and slept on the beaches or on the boat itself. Waking up and seeing fish below was like dreaming. The Outriggers were much better at this than the Hobie Cats. Many many stories later I started making kayaks.


40 years later I stayed with Hans in California and he bugged me one time to many about building a new Malibu Outrigger from the same plastic I build the kayaks from. The old Malibu’s were hand built from Plywood which would be very hard to produce today. We decided to go for it.


Hobie type beach cats are not popular anymore but fishing kayaks and SUPs or Stand Up Paddleboards are rapidly gaining in popularity. There is also a whole culture of people who paddle the long outrigger canoes for speed and community. Fishermen could take this boat that goes way easier and farther through the surf to get the big ones offshore. Maybe they don’t even need or want the sail. The SUP crowd coul

d put their SUPs on the arms between the hulls to make the outrigger a SUP mothership for distant adventures. Sleeping on the boards would be easy. Going to inaccessible surf spots would also be a great adventure.


Community is also important here. The Malibu Yacht Club was a recipe for fun. It was like having a house on the beach with no house to buy or maintain, I think the dues were under a $100 a year. There were no parents or authority to tell us what to do. The stories that we were left with were priceless. Boating and the water has a way of shaking things up and putting people out of their comfort zone but usually safely. Kids that I saw grow up there got enough thrills in the surf and offshore to make it so they didn’t have to get their thrills on th

e road. This was high thrills and relative safety vs medium thrills and low safety. There were the old wise men and women who would have classic sayings that would be funny truths about life. All of this combined with being on the water made me feel really alive. I get that same feeling with the kayaks but the outriggers are in a different league of adventure. It is my intention to have groups of people in given areas that could all sail together if they want and if it can work create a sort of air B+B for boats so that these outriggers would be available all over the world with like minded people to sail with.


The new outrigger will have a dug out portion of the deck to things like ropes and fishing equipment can go in there. It is all self bailing where the hulls meet. Since the hulls go together in pieces that will be a natural drain. The little 2 piece outrigger 14’ hull can be used as a main hull for one person paddling or sailing. The stern will take a rudder if necessary. This small outrigger should be very easy to car top. There is of course a one piece 7 foot smaller outrigger that goes with this arrangement. I have seen small outriggers like this that were really fun in the surf and were very portable and lightweight.

Now I am older and want to fool around again but don’t have to worry about choosing what boat to use. I think this boat chose me.


New Posts
  • rcthmihn
    Nov 8

    Hi, I recently bought my dream Revolution 11. I kayak on Lake Lanier outside Atlanta. I have used the boat almost daily since I bought it! Love it! I found a sailkit on Craigslist and picked it up for half the price of a new one the other day. I feel I need Outriggers or Amas since I have no sailing experience and I'm not comfortable in my abilities. I am torn between the inflatable Amas Hobie sells, and the CastleCraft stabilizers. I like the reduced cost of the Hobie system but wanted the opinions of the "elders" on here....what say you? Also do you recommend the DIY PVC furler I have read about or should I just splurge and go Hobie furler? Any help will be apprecited. I didn't find the right solution from the Internet. References: https://www.hobie.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=52275 Auto Loan Video Thank you.
  • rcthmihn
    May 2, 2018

    Hi, Outriggers, from my experience, affect mostly paddling performance, rather than sailing - making paddling less comfortable and much slower. They also reduce sailing performance in light winds - lower speed and wider upwind angle. They don't reduce neither upwind, nor downwind sailing performance in strong winds, - usually you have to reef anyway, even with outriggers, because you have much more wind than you can handle effectively. I would think that they increase sailing performance in strong winds, as the boat is heeling less (making it more efficient). They have a lot to do with stability. In gusty winds people capsized in Klepper double with much smaller BSD sail - 24 sf, without outrigger. And they capsize in monohull sailing canoes (no outriggers) from time to time. I would never go to a multiday sailing trip without outriggers, - with the boat full of expensive gear. Folbot outriggers are.. welll.. let's say this is a last resort. Not because of lower strength. They are bulbous, and when something doesn't look right, it usually doesn't sail right (and sailing a kayak is already a low-performance sailing, so it needs any help that it can get). Still, with Balogh virtually unavailable now, they could be an option - in the worst case they would reduce both sailing and paddling speed by 0.5 knot (compared to BSD floats), and upwind sailing angle - barely perceptibly. For More Details: Company Promo Video
  • rcthmihn
    Apr 14, 2018

    Safety equipment: DICA’s SafetyTech® Outrigger Pads and ProStack® Cribbing provide utility fleet managers with solutions for stocking utility trucks with tools that improve equipment stability and ergonomic safety for operators. DICA will show new and updated products designed to simplify utility equipment setup at the Canadian Utility Fleet Forum, to be held April 30-May 2 in Toronto, Ontario. SafetyTech Outrigger Pads are built using DICA’s proprietary engineered thermoplastic that is virtually unbreakable and is more rigid than look-a-like stabilizer pads. Available in Medium, Heavy, and Super Duty classes, there is a product for nearly every outrigger enabled piece of equipment, including aerial devices, digger derricks, and cranes. DICA will feature two popular SafetyTech models specifically designed for utility companies—4-sided Cavity Pad Plus Outrigger Pads and Hi-Viz Medium Duty Outrigger Pads. “More easily identifiable Hi-Viz Outrigger Pads in yellow or orange are becoming a more common request from many safety departments,” said Kris Koberg, CEO. Introduced last year, Cavity Pad Plus is designed for equipment such as digger derricks and aerials. It features a new 1” high footbrake with an inverted beveled edge that traps the outrigger foot to eliminate its chances of sliding off the outrigger pad surface. Also on display for Canadian Utility Fleet Council members will be new ProStack® Interlocking Cribbing. ProStack interlocking cribbing locks together to provide additional height under outrigger floats to assist in creating a more level set-up. Both Medium and Heavy Duty ProStack Cribbing set-ups are made up of three basic parts; a base SafetyTech® Outrigger Pad, ProStack Cribbing Blocks and a high friction top Grip Pad. The base SafetyTech Outrigger Pad is manufactured with an interlocking pyramid surface that the cribbing blocks lock into. Operators then stack layers of ProStack Cribbing to the desired height. Lastly, a ProStack Grip Pad is placed on top of the stack to provide a high friction surface for the outrigger foot, and to protect the pyramid surface on the cribbing blocks. For More You Can Check: 3d Animated Explainer