Based on our research, the 7 best DIY boat stabilizer (a.k.a. DIY boat collar) ideas are as follows:
- Foam/Insulation board
- Rigid PVC pipes
- Flexible drainage pipe
- Giant pool noodles
- Dock fenders
- DIY float pods
If you want to find out more about these DIY solutions, this post is for you.
We at PowerSportsGuide have compiled the best ideas under one roof!
Why Have DIY Boat Stabilizers?
There’s no question that boat stabilizers are extremely useful, especially on narrow boats.
These collars can not only significantly increase the stability of the boat, but they also make the hull virtually unsinkable.
Because of this, boat collars are commonly used on dinghies, jon boats, and other small fishing boats.
Let’s face it, factory boat collars come with hefty price tags, they often cost as much as the dinghy itself.
Another concern can be availability. For example, Kapten Boat Collars, which is considered the major player in this industry is based in Australia.
This is where DIY boat collars come into play.
Often referred to as DIY boat stabilizers, these homemade setups can do just as good a job as their factory counterparts.
On the other hand, they are far cheaper and can be built as a weekend project.
Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and talk about the best solutions in detail!
The 7 Best DIY Boat Stabilizer Ideas
1. Foam/Insulation Board
It’s safe to say that the best materials for building a pair of DIY boat stabilizers are foam and insulation boards.
They are cheap, lightweight, and easy to work with.
If you go with these materials, make sure to use closed-cell foam for the project.
Best practice is to prefabricate the foam before attaching it to the sides of the boat. It’s also wise to coat it with a layer of giant flex seal tape or fiberglass to make it more durable.
Using a rigid shell also allows you to paint the collars with a matching color.
You can bolt the collars to the side of the boat, but you can also stick them to the boat with epoxy to avoid drilling holes into the hull.
2. PVC Pipes
Rigid PVC pipes are also often used as boat stabilizers, just make sure to go with a larger diameter pipe to get adequate buoyancy.
Fill the pipes with spray foam insulation and seal their ends with cups.
You can attach the pipes to your boat with screws or zip ties based on your needs.
The lower you place the collars the more stability they will provide. Just make sure that they don’t negatively affect the boat’s handling!
Here’s another solution for a sleeker look; cut one pipe in half and fill the halves with matching insulation foam.
3. Flexible Drainage Pipe
You can also turn a flexible drainage pipe into a DIY boat stabilizer.
Running the pipe around the boat will make it look like the inflatable tube on RIBs. Best practice is to use a non-perforated corrugated drainage pipe filled with spray foam.
You can attach the pipe to the boat with UV-rated zip ties:
4. Pool Noodles
Believe it or not, pool noodles can also be used as boat stabilizers on small tenders.
But not the little ones which are designed for kids!
Instead, you may want to invest in the largest models like the Wow Dipped Foam Pool Noodles. They are not only much bigger than regular noodles but also feature a much sturdier coating.
You will be surprised how much buoyancy they can add to a tiny boat.
5. Dock Fenders
Dock fenders as DIY boat stabilizers? Why not!
These units come in many shapes and sizes, so you can easily find one that is suitable for your boat.
What’s more, they are very durable and don’t require too much fabrication.
Dock fenders often come with pre-drilled holes, which makes them easy to install.
6. DIY Boat Outriggers
As the name suggests, DIY boat outriggers do the same job as the outriggers on fishing kayaks, canoes, and iconic Polynesian boats.
They can be made of many different materials including rigid PVC pipes, concrete cardboard form, or other tubular materials.
Here’s a very interesting, foldable construction:
In contrast, a permanent setup provides more floatation and can virtually turn your boat into a pontoon boat.
That’s why these outriggers are often referred to as boat pontoon conversions.
7. DIY Boat Float Pods
If you are looking for a durable solution, float pods are for you.
Also known as side mount boat float pods, these two air-filled containers have to be attached to the sides of the hull.
Since boat pods are often made of aluminum, they are commonly used on aluminum boats.
The only drawback is that they require skills and tools to build.
DIY boat stabilizers are significantly cheaper and more available than their factory-built counterparts.
These collars can be made of foams, insulation boards, PVC pipes, pool noodles, or dock fenders.
If you need more buoyancy, you can also consider building a pair of DIY boat float pods or even outriggers.