Dave’s W500 Fishing Kayak Rigged With Rowing Oars, Pennsylvania

Dave Baumbaugh drove all the way from Pennsylvania to Sharon, Massachusetts, where Wavewalk is located. He wanted to make sure that he won’t be buying the wrong fishing kayak… Upon his arrival Dave took one look at the W500 on display, and said: -“The picture you have on your website isn’t doing justice to this boat!”  Then, Dave declined our offer to take the kayak for a test ride, saying: -“I can see it’s what need just by looking at it.” When we attached the 11.4 foot long W500 on his big pickup truck, the boat looked so small it nearly disappeared, and Dave drove back home with it.

Says Dave:
I am still in awe at how easy this kayak is to handle and how stable it is.
First time in the kayak on the water and I spent about two hours just getting the feel of it. I tried paddling and even stood up and paddled, I think that if I am going to do much of that I’ll need a longer paddle.
I had no problems getting in or out of the kayak and even tried it from a dock and didn’t get wet. All of this was on a lake. My next venture will be to a very large river to see how well it does there. I am anxious to see and feel how the twin hulls react where there is significant current and rocks/boulders.

What really got me going was that I mounted a set of oar locks and now the electric motor guys better look out. It is simply amazing how fast you can go with out a lot of effort.

Fishing kayak with rowing childrfen on it

The one pic is from Easter when we had the family over and as you can see the kids had fun in the kayak. The other pics are so you can see how I attached the oar locks and the stabilizer bar between them.

Fishing kayak rigged with rowing oars

From Wayne Taylors’ picture on the web site I could see that you placed your locks at the third rib and I used that as a pattern. Since I have the W500 I don’t have the vertical height at the top of the compartment that Wayne’s old W300 had. To compensate for the angles I used a 2X4 and measured in an 3/4 inch from the edge and the used a skill saw set at 45 degree to cut my stock. I also used 1/8 X 2 in aluminum stock as backing material on the outside of the cut 2X4 and inside where the nuts go. All of my material is 12 in long and I ended up with the sides flexing to much. I solved that by using a piece of 1/8 X 2 X 28 1/2 inch aluminum stock and I drilled a 1/2 in hole in each end for the oar locks. That little trick took out all of the hull flex and now I can apply as much pressure as I need when rowing.

Fishing kayak rigged with rowing oars, Pennsylvania

I also made a rod holder using a plant stand that straddles the saddle perfectly and slides under the edge of the cockpit.

Fishing kayak with rowing oars, Pennsylvania

I have had it out three more times. Once fishing and the others just getting the feel of it, even caught and released some fish (no camera with me). I even tried it in the river and soon learned that the river trips will definitely be warm weather trips. Although, I have yet to take on any water the river was just to swift to row or paddle against it. We’ll see what happens when it comes down a few feet and warms up a little.

Dave Baumbaugh

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8 thoughts on “Dave’s W500 Fishing Kayak Rigged With Rowing Oars, Pennsylvania”

  1. Ingenious setup!
    I thought about doing something similar myself, but I guess I’m too lazy…


  2. I’d try to have the oarlocks set at some distance from the yak, like in a rowing shell. It adds leverage.


  3. It would be interesting to watch a video clip of this boat and compare it to Wayne Taylor’s w300


  4. What struck me most was the happy smiling children piled into that boat. What other kayak made anywhere can make that many kids so happy. Great job on the rowing idea too, now you’ve got lots of little guys who will be looking for a ride.

  5. Wayne Taylor, from Florida, who pioneered the rowing W fishing kayak concept, sent me this email:
    “Interesting concept of his oar set-up. I am loving this wave walk more all the time, been catching some nice bass lately. For my style of fishing , the oar set-up I designed is perfect for this W300, I like having a open cockpit and I can make small adjustments to the boat position without laying my rod down. I installed a fold down stadium seat with velcro for back support. I set my walk up with a designated front and rear.”

  6. How the heck did I miss this???

    Awesome job with the oar set up.

    Looks like I have a new project in store for my W300 and W500. 🙂

    Tight lines and paddle safe

  7. Rox,

    IMO, you’d better do such a project on your W500, because it glides better than the W300, and gliding is essential for rowing, because of the long intervals between oar strokes, compared to paddling, where intervals between each paddle stroke are short, and little momentum is lost.


  8. don’t forget that it’s easy to row by alternating left and right, too.

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