1. What is a Wavewalk® 500 Saddle Bracket?
The Wavewalk® 500 saddle bracket is a U shaped, multi purpose accessory that can be attached to the Wavewalk® 500 kayak saddle.
The saddle bracket’s horizontal beam fits exactly in the groove between two W500 saddle sections, and its two vertical beams fit the saddle sides.
1.1 Support for Sight Fishing and Poling Platform, or a High Saddle Seat
In pairs, the bracket can serve as base for a poling and sight-fishing platform, or for a high saddle seat. Since such added structures may not be required in the kayak on a permanent basis, the two saddle brackets are simply inserted in the groove between two rectangular sections that form the top part of the saddle, with no hardware used for attaching them to the kayak’s saddle.
When a passenger stands on top of the poling and sight fishing platform, or sits on top of the high saddle seat, their weight keeps the saddle brackets firmly in the saddle grooves.
Removing the brackets is easy, and it’s done simply by pulling them out of the grooves.
Saddle brackets can be installed this way anywhere along the saddle, and at any distance from each other. Therefore, such add-on sitting and standing devices can be made in different sizes, and a W kayak can be outfitted with more than of them.
1.2 Permanent Attachment – Increasing Rigidity and Load Capacity
A saddle bracket is used to reinforce the saddle in order to increase rigidity and load capacity. In such case, the bracket is inserted into the last available saddle groove at the cockpit’s rear end, and attached permanently to the saddle from below, by means of two screws going into its horizontal beam.
Since November 2013 Wavewalk® 500 kayaks are outfitted with such a saddle bracket standard. Any W500 kayak that doesn’t feature such a bracket, or lost it, can be outfitted with one.
2. Tech Specs
2.1 Materials and Dimensions
The new type of saddle bracket is nicknamed ‘Relaxed Fit’ and its two legs are located at a 13.75″ distance from each other. This saddle bracket is cut out of one piece of 3/4″ thick Medium Density Overlay (MDO) – an exterior, water resistant material composed of wood and synthetic resin.
When the saddle bracket is installed in the kayak permanently, its horizontal beam protrudes a little over 1.5″ from the top surface of the saddle.
The saddle bracket is lightweight (less than 2 lbs), and non-intrusive.
It can be painted with special paint for outdoor plastic, such as Krylon Fusion spray paint. Regular paint doesn’t adhere well to its surface.
This bracket takes advantage of the natural flex offered by the Polyethylene resin from which most kayaks today including the W500 are molded.
The ‘Relaxed Fit’ bracket allows the W500 kayak’s twin hulls to splay about 1/2″ to each side, and by that have the user gain from a slight increase in the kayak’s lateral stability, as the kayak’s bottom width increases by one inch, from 29″ to 30″.
2.2 Storage Limitations
The presence of a bracket close to the entrance of the hull tips doesn’t prevent the person who fishes out of this kayak from storing their fishing and camping gear in the that space, except for large size rigid objects, such as a live bait tank, or a plastic cooler. However, the W fishing kayak offers plenty of storage space (66 gallons in total), and finding room for such gear and other large size objects (even a fish tank) on board is not a problem at all.
3. How To – Suggestions & Tips
3.1 High Platform for Poling and Sight Fishing in the Flats, or for a Dog
The W500 kayak was the world’s stablest kayak, before we came out with the W700, and the only one that offered stand up fishing and paddling in full confidence, as well as in moving water.
Anglers looking to stand higher than on the bottom of the W500 kayak’s hulls, and are willing to sacrifice stability, comfort and safety for that matter, can outfit their W500 kayak with a platform resting on top of two brackets. One of these brackets can be permanently attached to the saddle, and the other can be non-attached, or they can both be non attached.
Some anglers think that poling is better done from the boat’s rear end, and as far as paddling goes, it is easier and more effective when the kayaker is located in the middle of the cockpit.
It makes sense to design the platform for comfort, and therefore make it as roomy as possible.
The following figures show how to build a platform that’s about 22″ x 22″, and offers to stand about 17″ higher than the bottom of the hulls. This is to say that a 200 lbs angler standing on top of it would be standing about 13″ above waterline and their W kayak would draft 4″ if the platform was located in the middle of the kayak.
Since the platform configuration shown below is located at the rear end of the cockpit, the same 200 lbs angler standing on it would be standing 10-11 inches above waterline, and their kayak would draft 6-7 inches at the stern.
The above image (Figure 4) shows a fishing and poling platform extending over six saddle sections, that is half of the cockpit’s length.
The same platform can serve to carry a dog on board:
More about taking your dog on board your W kayak >
Base for High Seat
Here’s an example of a DIY high swivel seat based on a pair of saddle brackets:
Here is another example of the saddle bracket being used as a base for a high seat:
4. Permanent Installation – Instructions
- Drill two small-diameter vertical lead holes in the plastic gusset (arched rib) inside which you will install the Saddle Bracket.
- Place the bracket firmly inside the gusset, and attach with two screws (min. screw length 1.5″).
- Seal the screws with Goop (watertight, all-purpose adhesive).