Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Standamaran: My Plan for World Stand Up Paddle Board Domination

UPDATE:  You can view the full instructions for my finished standup catamaran here.  You can view all the posts relating to the Project Standamaran here.

There has been some buzz in the fly fishing for carp community that stand up paddle-boards are the future.  The easy-transport-self-powered stand-up watercraft best suited to carp and other flats species.  After some research I buy it and am going to join the SUP craze this spring.

Actually though, after some research and thought I think it is very likely (certain) that the best option is actually a Standamaran - or stand up catamaran.  Something like this:

The physics are clear (I apologize for going all rocket scientist) - a catamaran design is going to move the bouyancy to the edges and have orders of magnitude more stability than a normal SUP with little or no loss in ease of paddling.  There is probably a substantial loss in maneuverability which we probably usually don't really care about.   Stability is the key though, and critical for stand-up fly fishing flotation.  

Now, there are problems with what I have shown above.  First of all the Standamaran in the video costs thousands of dollars, is made of carbon fiber and is designed for racing.  As such it is relatively skinny and does not have the maximum stability you would want for fly fishing.  

The only recourse is to build one your own.  Something like the instructible at this link would do the trick nicely.  

Of course, this gentleman made his skinnier than need be as well - which makes sense because his catamaran at 29" would still be much more stable than a very wide 32" SUP but I want all the stability I can get.  I also question the long term wisdom of his hollow design.  While it looks super-duper easy to build up the pontoons, one pinhole leak and all of your effort is wasted.

So this winter I am going to build this (click to enlarge):

It should take about 300 bucks and more time than I have.  Much much more time than I have.


  1. One of the door prizes at the Carp Cup was an SUP. I remember thinking how useful it would be on a shallow flat. Interested to see how your project turns out.

  2. SUPs are a fashion and a fad.. a canoe does everything a SUP can do, plus it lets you sit down and stay dry. The canoe is easier to portage as well. Put an outrigger on the canoe and it's more stable than a SUP, though I've been standing and flycasting from a canoe for decades and never felt the need for outriggers.

    Before you spend the time and effort building that, try a canoe, maybe

    My canoe fleet is whitewater and multi-day touring, I really need a fifth boat, a small solo boat.. something like the Bell Yellowstone.. ha.

    1. I certainly like the looks of that more than some of the Kyaks on the market which are mostly shockingly heavy in my book. And weight is one of my keys because I want to be able to easily carry it to the water alone and without wheels. Thanks for the lead, I will probably proceed with my plan but will take the canoe under consideration.

    2. weight is absolutely a key, as a young man of 40 I didn't mind carrying the sixty pounds of big red party hat, but that just isn't much fun anymore..
      the cata-SUP may be tough to build light enough.. my first thought was marine plywood to build the floats, but that gets heavy quickly once glued. We await the maiden voyage with considerable interest ;-)

    3. SUPs certainly aren't a fad, they have a time and place just like a canoe does...I certainly wouldn't used an SUP in winter, but in the warmer months they are a blast and an excellent workout as well. For the best of both worlds, check out a Native Watercraft Ultimate series boat. They are a canoe/catamaran hybrid that can act like either a canoe or an SUP. I want...

  3. Replies
    1. Exactly Kevin. I am pondering actually fishing less this winter - i am a little burned out after fishing hard through the winter three years straight - and will need something fishing related.

  4. Being an enginneer this should be cake for you. Good luck with this. Once though long ago a fly shop manager/friend was all over canoes over float tubes, the rage back then. I do see the advantage of a canoe as an easy alternative if time is a real factor.


    1. I agree that a small single man canoe is a better option than kayak and float tube is really a non-starter for flats fishing.

  5. Get the Carolina skiff back on the water. Complete with poling platform.


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