So, after spending an hour getting ready for a canoe outing, the Cosmic Daughter got sick and had to see the doctor. By the time the Cosmic Wife was back, it was hailing. The next three hours were thunderstorms.

By the time the weather finally cleared up, it was really too late to drive 90 minutes to a reasonably sized lake.

So I took the canoe off the car, put everything back up and we’ll have to try again later this week. I can’t go canoeing tomorrow, I already have plans.

However, during the rain delay I did do some more research and design for the canoe outrigger system. And I found probably the single key piece of hardware that will make it all work.

I had been really struggling with how to attach the finished outriggers to the canoe. I didn’t want to drill holes in the side or gunwales, and my canoe doesn’t have the high crossbars that some smaller canoes have that seem perfect for attaching stuff. So figuring out how to clamp a square tube at 90 degrees from the gunwales seemed an intractable problem. Until I discovered this nifty little hardware item:

It’s called a “beam clamp” and it is actually designed explicitly for the purpose of clamping a pipe onto the edge of a beam when you have very little overlap to work with. It’s exactly what the commercial outrigger systems use. They cost about $4 each, so four of them would be $16 or so.

Also I discovered some metal flag pole holders that can be set at different angles.

And I also found some “crab pot floats” that are used for crabbing that might be ideal for the floats.

They cost about $9 each. Each one is about six inches in diameter and about 14 inches long. They may not be buoyant enough though. But the bigger ones are more expensive.