How to Install Outriggers on a Boat |A Guide to Installing Outriggers

How to Install Outriggers on a Boat: A Step by Step Guide

Boat outriggers are a valuable accessory for deep-sea fishermen and casual boaters, alike. If you’re unfamiliar with outrigger systems, they’re essentially long poles that attach to your boat and allow you to release and reel in the fishing line with a system of pulleys and clips. Outriggers are incredibly useful for trolling since they help you cover more water, keep your bait out of the wake, and avoid tangled lines (all of which can improve your chances of catching fish).

Outriggers can also be used to equip your boat with a shade that protects you from the sun on long days of fishing. Our sunshade is also the perfect accessory to help transform your fishing boat into a cool oasis during family fun at the sandbar. 

Whether you’re a serious fisherman or a boating hobbyist, installing outriggers can transform your experience on the water. If you’re wondering how to install an outrigger, we’ve got you covered. Here’s our ultimate guide to how to install outriggers on a boat for better fishing and smooth sailing. 

Supplies You’ll Need

Each of our outrigger systems includes installation instructions in the “downloads” section of the product page. With our detailed instructions, it’s a pretty straightforward process. For most systems, you’ll need a few materials, including:

  • Outrigger base system
  • Outrigger poles
  • Protective gear (like eyewear, mask, and gloves)
  • Manual screwdriver
  • Drill and bits
  • Hole saw
  • Masking tape
  • Wrench
  • Stainless steel bolts
  • Loctite Blue 242

Once you have all the necessary materials for this project, you’ll need to prepare the surface around the installation area by making sure it is thoroughly clean and dry. Follow these steps to properly install your outrigger system. 

Step One: Position the Outrigger Base

Once you’ve gathered your materials and cleaned your installation surface, the real work begins. Determine how you will position your base by making sure there is enough room on the canopy for the hole and bolt pattern. Also, ensure there is enough clearance for the handle.

Once you have determined the position for your outrigger base, cover the top and bottom of the hard canopy in masking tape to reduce the risk of saw or drill bits that could create chips on the surface. Gemlux base kits come with an installation template that you will align and adhere to the canopy in the position you’ve chosen to guide your drilling. 

Step Two: Mount the Outrigger Base

Once you have confirmed your positioning, the outrigger mounting process begins. To reduce the risk of chipping the hardtop canopy, drill a pilot hole through the hardtop. Use this as a guide to drill the larger hole halfway through, finishing the hole from the other side. 

The installation process will vary from this point depending on the specific system you are installing. Once the hole is drilled, align the baseplates in the drilled holes, ensuring all components are installed in the correct order.

After placing the baseplate, confirm the fit, alignment, and stability. Then, mark the four clearance holes that will be used for the mounting fasteners and remove all of the components. Drill the four clearance holes before removing all the template and masking tape from the canopy. Once the holes are drilled and the tape is removed, place the baseplates in their intended positions and run a base of sealant under the baseplate, if desired.

Under the canopy, install the four 1/4" mounting fasteners with Blue Loctite 242 through the canopy up to the baseplate. Make sure you use all components in your specific base kit, such as the backing plate if your kit contains one. Be sure to avoid alcohol-based cleaners when removing excess sealant (acetone is a great alternative). Once your sealant cures, you can install your outrigger poles.

Step Three: Install the Outrigger Poles

Out of the box, our poles come in sections that require some minor assembly with pre-drilled holes and included screws. Once the poles are put together, use the instruction manual for your specific model to follow the process for inserting and securing your poles into the outrigger base system. This process will be easiest if done while the poles are collapsed.

Catch More and Enjoy Shade With Gemlux Outriggers

Now that you’re an expert in installing outriggers, it’s time to find a system that’s best for your boat. Gemlux offers the finest quality outriggers in the game, and our superior carbon fiber systems can be customized to fit your needs. If you’re worried about the installation process, we offer several how-to guides and videos on our website, making installation a breeze. Plus, we are always willing to help. Contact us with questions about the installation process.