car-top micro skiff, motorized kayaks, stable fishing kayaks
6 hp outboard, cast net, dry storage, micro skiff, microskiff, platform, S4, seat, sight fishing, storage, tackle, tackle box, Wavewalk review, Wavewalk S4
I bought an S4 a few months ago and wanted to share what I’ve done with it and how I’m using it.
Couldn’t be happier with the boat.
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Thank you Dan,
You’ve created a full-featured skiff – I’m really amazed by all this innovation and ingenuity!
Some of your ideas go beyond what I imagined…
It looks you had a very good time working on this boat 🙂
I get a little nervous when I see the propeller blades in this position, but you don’t argue with success, right? 😀
BTW, have you considered a surface drive? These things work very well in shallow water.
Here’s a video that shows a W500 with a surface drive: http://wavewalk.com/blog/2018/04/08/wavewalk-500-kayak-with-long-tail-surface-drive-for-shallow-streams-exploration/
And one showing an S4 with a surface drive: http://wavewalk.com/blog/2017/08/10/test-run-2-of-the-twister-mud-motor-with-anti-ventilation-plate/
That is a very innovative approach to creating a super shallow draft S4 with a short shaft outboard and still keep the head of the motor far enough above the propwash.
13 mph is what you expect from a 6 hp outboard. Yes, there is a loss of turning radius but when running across shallow flats that is not a priority.
A Stingray Jr. hydrofoil with its tips trimmed and thru-bolted on the ventilation plate would do the same thing for those of us less less skilled in fabrication.
Thank You for sharing.
Wow……you win the award for creativity, Dan. Especially love your seat idea.
And thanks for confirming my long held suspicion that a short shaft motor with its prop not below the hulls can be a good option for fishing in skinny water, as I also do here. If I move up to a 700 or S4 model, I’ll definitely look into something similar. As Larry notes, the loss in turning radius can be compensated for, perhaps, even by paddling at slow speed, and would probably also allow for flush mount rod holders on each of the rear hulls. I’m not nearly as creative as you, but when I get to an age when I may need a motor assist to get where I want to go, I’ll be referring back to your entry.
You don’t have to wait until you get to an age when you may need a motor assist… Driving these motorized things is fun, and it increases your range of travel by a tenfold.
Right Yoav, but I much prefer my shorter and lighter 500 and probably wouldn’t want to motorize that. What would be ideal for me would be to put your 700 2 piece design, along with the S4 transom mount on the shorter 500 body. Build one of those, and I’ll be your first order.
Thanks for the compliments. I didn’t really look at the surface motor option, but it looks like it would be the ultimate way to get through the shallows. I might be wrong, but I imagine they are a bit heavier than the 55ish pounds of the 6hp, which was the reason I didn’t go to the 9hp. PackerYacker – I really debated about which shaft size motor to buy and when I first bought and installed the 15 inch I put it as low as I could. The prop was fully beneath the hulls and it ran great, just not as shallow. I experimented with a couple of height levels until I got to my current set-up. I even tried a 9 pitch prop, but in rough seas got more cavitation than with the 8 pitch and I didn’t see a speed increase. I still might experiment with some set-up tweaks to see if I can find a little more speed with the 9 pitch.
When my brother and I had the original wavewalks  we set them up with the same motor configuration but with smaller hp motors. Those motors were not big enough to reach the hulls as long as you centered it on the transom. I hadn’t even thought about it being a problem with the S4 and 6hp until I installed it and realized it would indeed hit. Larry, I bought the Stingray Jr. [hydrofoil] thinking that it would be a great solution, but it is too wide to fit between the hulls and actually wasn’t even compatible with the Mercury. As far as turning radius, I haven’t had any issues moving in tight spaces at all. I doesn’t turn on a dime, but as was mentioned grabbing a paddle is how I move around at the docks anyway.
One of the coolest things about motorizing these boats is that you might launch at the same place as the other kayaks, but you will quickly be fishing or paddling by yourself. – Thanks-Dan
Indeed, surface drive motors are heavier than regular outboard motors of comparable HP, but they do open opportunities to go in extremely shallow water.
At Wavewalk, we’ve given up on 15″ short (S) outboard motors, due to various issues, and until further notice, we recommend using only 20″ long (L) outboards with all our models – 500, 700, and S4.
But after all, what really matters is that you’re satisfied with the way your 15″ outboard works for you.
Dan….I sight fish for reds standing on the bottom of my W 500 hulls which is a whole lot better than the guys sitting in their SOTs. That extra foot or so of elevation you get by standing on the S4 deck must make a nice difference. You may not be as high up as many of our flats boats with platforms we have over here, but for way less than 1/10 the cost, it looks like came up with a great compromise.
Flats boats don’t necessarily feel that great in the chop, but the S4 handles the chop extremely well.
Wow, someone has been very busy tinkering……
Congrats on the new S4, and your setup is awesome.
I was thinking about putting those water tight portals in my W700.
Now I will after seeing yours.
Not sure why the prop would cut the hulls if not centered??
Are the Hulls closer together than the W500 or W700?
Anyway great set up, enjoy your new ride. 🙂
Keep the updates coming. 🙂
Tight lines and MoPaddle Safe all.
I think Dan raised this 15″ motor in order be able to go in extremely skinny water, and this brought the prop blades in close proximity to the hulls.
BTW, 6 HP 20″ long shaft (L) Tohatsu motors offer an intermediate, semi-tilted position for driving in shallow water.
It’s not meant to be as efficient as driving with the shaft in the fully vertical position – It’s more for getting the boat from point A to point B.
I’ve never tried driving with my motor in this position, but I tend to think that the engineers at Tohatsu know what they’re doing.
Do you know, Yoav, if that semi tilted motor can be adjusted at different levels of tilt, including straight down, and, if not, how far below the hulls the prop would extend when tilted? It sounds like a 20 inch shaft motor that was versatile enough to tilt in different positions would be ideal for us shallow water addicts.
There is only one tilted position in the 6 hp Tohatsu. From what I remember, in this position the prop is just a few inches below the lowest point in the hulls.
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