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Cap’n Larry Jarboe: The Boat That Does It All

Quite a few years ago, back in the mid-1970’s, I was fortunate to work as a mate then captain of a large passenger carrying boat that took people snorkeling on the shallow coral reefs of John Pennekamp State Park in Key Largo, Florida.

I promoted our business with the phrase “If you can swim, you can snorkel.” Twice a day, we hauled up to 61 passengers a trip on a wooden Harkers Island-built boat to witness the amazing coral reefs and tropical fish that are found right here in the United States.

Today, the State Park concession that I worked from has about 4 multi-passenger snorkel boats that have evolved from that one vessel.

Like snorkeling, there are many marine sports that have sprouted over my lifetime.

Obviously, canoes have been with us for many years. But, who figured out that you could sit on top of a kayak or stand up to paddle a fat surfboard? These are relatively recent innovations that have attracted a huge following.

Then, there are those Wave Runners. When I grew up in the Fifties, we never figured you could have a motorcycle that flew across the water.

All of those sports are fun for those of us who swim but owning all four: a canoe, kayak, paddle board and Wave Runner is expensive, space consuming, and a major maintenance hassle.

What if one vessel did all this, and more?

The Wavewalk catamaran style skiff is the stable and portable boat that literally, does it all. A visit to the company website at wavewalk.com will show you the W500 and W700 solo and tandem twin hull kayaks that are easy on your back because they are straddled like a Wave Runner. Fishermen are especially fond of the Wavewalk design because they are so easy to stand up in order to spot or cast to their prey.

These magic boats can be paddled with kayak or canoe paddles or outfitted for gas outboard or electric trolling motor or both! And, they are lightweight enough to carry on top of your car without a special carrying rack or trailer.

I discovered the Wavewalk design while I was searching the Internet for the perfect kayak to establish a retirement rental business in Key Largo. My first Wavewalk was purchased at retail price. That little W500 was so good that I used it in my commercial fishing business in the Chesapeake region to supply Blue Catfish fillets to Linda’s Cafe in downtown Lexington Park and the Victorian Candle Bed and Breakfast in historic Hollywood, Maryland.

At present, in addition to two commercial fishing work boats, I have a fleet of Wavewalk kayaks for weekend Wavewalk Adventures in the State Parks and National Sanctuaries that surround Key Largo.

And, I am fortunate to be the exclusive Wavewalk distributor for all of South Florida. Contact me if you are in the Chesapeake region and I can arrange for you to have your own Wavewalk kayak.

On a nearly daily basis, I motor my green W700 skiff through mangrove creeks or out in the ocean to make my own adventures exploring places that are almost impossible to reach by any other method of marine conveyance. This Wavewalk lifestyle is a most wonderful and unexpected retirement pastime that I am most happy to share.

So, if you are tired of being cold this winter and want an excuse to visit the Florida Keys, you have one (as if you really need an excuse to visit paradise).

A trip to my website at floridafishingkayaks.com. will provide all the info you need to schedule a free Wavewalk Wednesday demo of this vessel. Or, a weekend rental with included guide service might be a way to enjoy a complete kayak, canoe, stand-up paddle board package in a boat that “does it all.”

Who knows? You might drive home with one.

Welcome aboard.

Cap’n Larry Jarboe

 

 

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Bob and Austin’s fishing adventure in the mangrove tunnels of Key Largo

By Captain Larry Jarboe

Wavewalk Adventures Key Largo

Bob and his grandson Austin had a great adventure yesterday.
Austin caught a nice mangrove snapper.

 

 


 

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A paddle for going in narrow mangrove tunnels

This is a special multitasking paddle that Captain Larry Jarboe of Wavewalk Adventures Key Largo created following a conversation that we had a few weeks ago.
The conversation was about advancing in extremely narrow and low mangrove tunnels. By narrow we mean barely a couple inches wider than the S4, and by low we mean with branches going across the mangrove tunnel at a height that sometimes forces the paddler to lay on their back and push the branch upward in order to allow the kayak to slide forward. This may involve turning around and lifting the branch over the motor too.
Paddling is just part of what the paddle has to do, and pushing branches is not less important. In this mode of advancement through a tortuous tunnel of dense vegetation, the ability to grab branches in order to pull the kayak sideways and/or forward is a real necessity.
A regular kayak paddle is much too long for this confined space, and a single-blade canoe paddle works only on one side, and since space is so restricted it’s not always easy to switch sides. In fact, sometimes it can be very hard.

Larry’s multitasking paddle is just a little over 4 ft long, and he made it by combining two canoe paddles, and cutting the blades according to these special challenges.

This is Larry’s first prototype, and he’s likely to keep coming up with new versions.

BTW, a trip in the mangrove tunnels is an adventure that’s impossible to forget!

 


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Dive Ladder for the Wavewalk 700

By Captain Larry Jarboe

Wavewalk Adventures Key Largo

Well, the Northwest wind screamed through Key Largo dropping temperatures to the low 60’s. So, I put on my knit cap and wool insulated shirt and embarked upon putting a dive ladder on the bow of my electric W700.

Five Oceans Company sells an under platform mounted stainless steel dive ladder that fits perfectly between the hulls of the Wavewalk W700.

It is great when a plan comes together but I may not be able to test it till next summer.

Our water temp has dropped to 74 degrees F.

Brrr!!!

 

 


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Tandem kayak ocean rescue with the Wavewalk S4

By Captain Larry Jarboe

Wavewalk Adventures Key Largo

 

This afternoon, I took my workhorse S4, the White Knight, through the Key Largo Cut to get some video from Blackwater Sound and the Southern Everglades. Prior to reaching the IntraCoastal Waterway, I spotted a couple in a SOT kayak trying to paddle their yak into a stiff wind and close 2 ft. chop.

The planned video can be recorded another day. I volunteered to tow them back to the Marriott from where they had launched. They gratefully accepted.

We had a grand time beating our way home against the wind and the waves. Christina and Zach got a Wavewalk S4 real world demo and a motorized tour of Key Largo.

And, we all enjoyed another Wavewalk Adventure.

The S4 really is the boat that does it all!

 


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