I've seen a lot of outriggers fishing so I decided to give it a try.  The great stability makes it easier to fight the fish than from a traditional sea kayak.

And the results were tasty.

I'm really enjoying this outrigger and I encourage you to try one on fast kayak to make it stable too.

Epic V7 to Outrigger conversion almost ready for prime time!

I'm really liking the rod holder placement and I've gotten the skunk off of the boat.  The only things needed are to seal up some hardware to make the hull water proof and to add the sail.  I'm deciding between the Flat Earth Kayak Sail here or a V sail. Either way it will be a sail less than a square meter. So it will be auxiliary power to the paddling.

The Flat Earth Kayak sail is the one in back.  Mick is gone but his sails live on.

Best kayaking shoes for oysters and mud!

I still really like the Surf to Summit Ultra Flex Water booties for sandy areas and lake and river paddling.

But I've found something better for mud and oysters! Behold the Mares Neoprene boot! They make a 2 MM low cut size that is easy to pack.

The 3 MM full cut size offers better ankle protection and will not be sucked off your feet by deep mud.

I have bought them at a dive shop and found them on Amazon so I could send a pair to a friend.

Epic V7 - More Epic DIY modifications from Surfski to outrigger.

After about 4 prototypes this thing is really good! Not significantly slower. So stable that I can paddle it in any conditions.   On a day when my inner ear problems make the flat ocean seem like the roughest seas, I can still paddle it well.

Above you can see the high seat option strapped behind the cockpit.  It is not ocean or rough water approved, but it it great for balance practice or sprinting in calm water. It slides forward and Velcros in place over the bucket.

Seems like I go the ama at the right level, but I may trim the back shorter to reduce weight and improve storage.  I is surprisingly light and I have flipped a couple times testing it's limits.  Anyone who has practiced a paddle float rescue will love how fast and easy it is to right and re-enter this.

Best explanation of kayak loading

I really like the Kayak Fishing Hacks Channel even though I paddle more than I fish.

I think every paddler should know about the use of a bath mat for loading a boat and a great video about the method is here:

More than 15 years of radios

The radio on the left is dead after more than five years of salt water paddling and swimming; it costs about $120.  It's predecessor lasted about the same amount of time and cost about $250. 

The radio on the right is the new replacement water proof VHF and it floats! It costs about $60. 

I wonder, will it last 5 years and the replacement cost about $30?

We shall see.  The end of winter is a great time to go through everything attached to your life vest and sort it out.  Take the divers hood out of the pocket and put in sunscreen and bug dope.

If looks like it will be a great spring!!!  Hope you get out there paddling and sailing soon!

Rudder vs Skeg

I think I've finally found the best solution for the rudder vs skeg argument.  The answer is neither!

I'm finding a few kayaks that work well without either one in most conditions.

Current Designs Kestral 140  - so far so good in winds to 20 and very mild chop and surf. Yet to be determined on three day trips with a lot of wind.

Current Designs Solstice GTS  - So far as I could tell the rudder only helped in single blading and in sailing. Even then it was not a lot of help.  It did not really help with turns because you had to lean the boat pretty far to get it to turn at all. It comes with a rudder but, if I still owned it, I would remove it.

Cape Falcon F-1 - Only completely neutral boat I've paddled in 20 mile an hour winds.

Some kayaks need a rudder and do not perform well without them.

Cobra Expedition - The rudder really helps this boat track straight. Mine is a bent boat and turns right without a rudder. I could ad a trim tab or skeg instead but I'd prefer a straight boat.

Wilderness Systems Tarpon - I did not need the rudder until I went paddling at the coast with mine.  It is a design that lee cocks in bigger winds and chop and becomes uncontrollable without a rudder.  If you do not paddle in breezy and choppy conditions you may not need it.

Wilderness Systems Tsunami - Acts the same as the Tarpon.

Some Boats need a skeg to prevent weather cocking.

Most British designed boats have a tad of weather cocking designed into them with a skeg as part of the design to neutralized this trend in different conditions.

Many boats designed for rudders like the Tsunami tend to lee cock without a rudder deployed in bigger winds. 

I still prefer the rudder for sailing and single blading but most kayakers don't do either of those and so I'd recommend going without.

Racers usually prefer rudders because they don't want to waste any energy on corrective strokes that a rudder can handle more efficiently. 

Expedition paddlers prefer the simplicity and repair-ability of a skeg. And they view the needed edging skills as a feature of sea kayaking and pride themselves on their ability to learn these skills as opposed to simply using a rudder with all it's fiddly metal parts being turned into dust by the salty sea.