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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

 

 

More fishing adventures with Capn’ Larry »

 

Precision driving through the mangrove tunnel maze – Wavewalk S4 kayak skiff

By Captain Larry Jarboe

Key Largo

Only an S4 is capable of negotiating these passages at this speed. But, I can take a wrong turn or two, too.

 

 

More Wavewalk adventures with Capn’ Larry »

 


NOTE FROM THIS BLOG’S EDITOR

DON’T TRY THIS YOURSELF BECAUSE IT’S HAZARDOUS – THERE IS NO ROOM FOR ERROR IN THOSE TIGHT AND WINDING MANGROVE TUNNELS, AND BUMPING INTO A MANGROVE TREE OR BRANCH CAN RESULT IN SEVERE INJURIES, AND DROWNING.

Captain Larry Jarboe is a Master Captain and seasoned fishing guide who drives through mangrove tunnels on a daily basis. His professional skill level is the result of years of studies and practical experience, and a lot of caution. As much as the S4 is a very responsive skiff, where it goes depends on the driver, and the last thing you want to happen is a mangrove branch hitting you in the face, or poking you in the eye. Such accidents do happen in these places, unfortunately.

Please be watchful and very careful when driving through any kind of vegetation, and even near vegetation. A tree limb protruding from the river bank, and even a sunken tree trunk or a tree stump can be dangerous, and cause an accident.

Wavewalk S4 motor kayak skiff rescues 24 ft boat broken down offshore, and tows it to safe harbor

By Captain Larry Jarboe

Key Largo, Florida

This evening, at the edge of sunset, I was driving the White Knight, my Wavewalk S4 workhorse that’s powered by a 9.8 HP Tohatsu outboard motor, and I spotted a couple people two handed waving from a 24′ Grady White boat.
They were broken down, offshore, and two other much bigger boats had passed them by.

The Wavewalk S4 easily hip-towed them to safe harbor through the channel into the Garden Cove canal, for a safe landing.
They are now home, with cold beers.

This pic is none too good, as I am a better towboat operator than a photographer. But, bringing a Grady back to the dock with a kayak is a noteworthy accomplishment.

Soon, my motor will be flushed. The S4 stowed.

Maybe, a cold beer (or two) is in order.

A nice way to start another Wavewalk weekend!

Wavewalk S4 motor kayak skiff high speed chase in narrow winding mangrove creek

This short movie shows Captain Larry Jarboe driving his S4 kayak skiff powered by a 9.8 HP Tohatsu outboard motor with a 6’3″ 260 lbs passenger on board, in a narrow and winding mangrove creek. The total payload carried by his S4 is over 500 lbs.
The S4 is perfectly stable and maneuvers easily despite the high speed and heavy load.

Larry is driving seated side-saddle, dinghy style, with both feet in the left hull and facing sideways, and his passenger rides the saddle PWC style, with a foot in each hull, and facing forward.