A New Breed of Outrigger

Heavy outriggers can stress your mounts and T-top, and without the proper support, cause serious problems. Fortunately many are telescopic, so they can be collapsed during travel to minimize the problem. Traditionally, you had two choices when it came to telescopic outrigger material: aluminum and fiberglass. Aluminum is more expensive, but fiberglass riggers usually have so [...]

11th March 2010.
By Lenny Rudow

Heavy outriggers can stress your mounts and T-top, and without the proper support, cause serious problems. Fortunately many are telescopic, so they can be collapsed during travel to minimize the problem. Traditionally, you had two choices when it came to telescopic outrigger material: aluminum and fiberglass. Aluminum is more expensive, but fiberglass riggers usually have so much spring in them that they don’t work well, and in some cases, do more harm then good. Then carbon graphite riggers hit the market. Sure these things cost big bucks, but they’re lighter then either glass or aluminum and they don’t have the springy give of glass. Their real down-side, however, is that they’re fixed and those who need telescopic outriggers are out of luck. At least, they were until now.

A few weeks back at the Miami boat show, I stopped in my tracks at the Tigress booth. There, they were showing off a brand new set of carbon graphite outriggers – which were telescopic. They also had an internal track system, so you didn’t have to fidgit around trying to line up the pin with the hole every time you extended them. They’re amazingly light (swing one around and it feels more like a fishing rod then an outrigger,) and try as I might I couldn’t bend or spring them around anything like fiberglass. Here’s a shot of ‘em:

Telescopic carbon graphite outriggers? Why not?

Telescopic carbon graphite outriggers? Why not?

Now, I know playing with a set of outriggers in a tent at a boat show doesn’t compare to real-world use and testing – but don’t worry, I’m working on that. In the mean-time, if you need a set of lightweight but high-quality telescoping outriggers, these things should top your must-see list. They’re also at the top of the price list, at about $2K for a set of 18-footers. Well, no one ever said offshore fishing was cheap. But it can be easier – if you have the right riggers.


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About the author:

Lenny Rudow

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Lenny Rudow is Senior Editor for Dominion Marine Media, including Boats.com and Yachtworld.com. With over two decades of experience in marine journalism, he has contributed to publications including Boating Magazine, Marlin Magazine, Boating World, Saltwater Sportsman, Texas Fish & Game, and many others. Lenny is a graduate of the Westlawn School of Yacht Design who has won 28 BWI and OWAA writing awards.
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