By John McKinley
I’m planning to outfit our S4 with a motor
I’m planning to outfit our S4 with a motor
Test run on the Hudson last night. We love the S4!
I found a used 6 HP Mercury long shaft outboard motor, and with 3 of us aboard we achieved 7.3 MPH at full throttle.
I fabricated a hitch mount for my Mercury for about $100 including all hardware, lumber, pair of cam straps keep it from swaying and prevent any bouncing or shock.
Boy, are we ever pleased with our S4! We were duly impressed with it as soon as we took it out for the first couple of times.
We’ve discovered some desert island beaches we’d otherwise never have access to. Bigger swells can turn us a little sideways if you’re not paying attention to their direction. Out in Blue Hill Bay they can be rolling Southerly closer to the island shore then suddenly change 90° once you’re navigating more open waters again.
Green Island light above. Solo Saturday trip.
Toddy Pond, Thursday. It was choppy as hell. More than Blue Hill Bay. Blue Hill in the distance for reference. We cruised from the ramp in Orland, through Surry & Penobscot to Blue Hill before returning to Orland. Getting the bow up and pushing higher speeds allowed us to skip over most of the chop on the way back. It’s littered with over 100 waterfront homes, docks & probably as many boats. There was a drowning fatality there Saturday when a PWC collided with a boat at high speed. We were saying on Thursday, “I would not want to be here on the weekend”. On Sunday we heard the news.
Pond Island Preserve, Frenchboro, Maine
This is located 5 miles from the launch at Naskeag. Dozens of lobster pots, a sandbar, and some rocky areas to watch out for, but well worth the trip. Actual sand beaches are the highlight!
Most of the shore here is rocky & “beaches” are composed of crushed shells that require water shoes to walk on comfortably. Lots of unmarked private property along the mainland as well to run ashore to wade or take a dip.
I fashioned a strap “ladder” to try re-entry from the bow the next time I go out with a passenger.
Will & Mary
We and some buddies decided we wanted to take a trip into Hawkin lake, it is almost the most NW corner in the state of Montana. We decided to try to bring the S4.
I knew that the other wheel systems I had for the boat were not heavy duty enough for what I wanted so I made my own. The trail heading to the lake is relatively short but it has some steep sections and is rocky the whole way, plus it has several narrow squeezes between large trees that I new were going to be tight to get the boat through.
I started with rubbermaid big wheel cart wheels. I then used a 3/4 inch square tubing attached to a 2×4 and 6 inch 9/16 bolts (washer on both sides of the wheel) that were drilled to accept a cotter pin to make an axle.
Here is a picture of us heading up the trail. We alternated between what positions worked best depending on the terrain. Having straps to handle the front and the back of the boat really helped in saving the hands. We did a lot of lifting over the big rocks.
We got the boat to the lake and had a heck of a good day pulling in trout. We only put two in the boat at a time and the front man would flyfish and the back man would paddle and use a rod and reel. It worked really well this way. I am willing to bet that this is the largest boat that has been on this lake. I know a few canoes, kayaks and float tubes/inflatable boats have been in there but probably nothing this substantial. The boat held up great despite being drug over rocks and stumps. A few scratches to the bottom but that is it. The S4 is a fantastic boat and had served me well in what I want from it.
When you drive a motorized W700 or S4, you still need to take a paddle with you to go where the water isn’t deep enough for the propeller to work, such as when you launch from a beach, beach in such a difficult spot, or go over a sandbar in a receding tide. The paddle you take doesn’t have to be a long, full fledged dual-blade paddle (kayak paddle), and a mere single-blade (canoe) paddle works well enough for such short distance paddling and poling tasks. If you take a passenger on board, they need a paddle too, because moving a kayak with two people on board is harder that doing it when you’re on board by yourself. Compared to kayaks paddles, the advantage of canoe paddles is that being shorter, they take less room on board.
Still, the question remains how to store a paddle, or a pair of paddles on board, without adding to your boat unwanted accessories such as paddle clips, or paddle holders, bungee cords, etc, while keeping the paddle both secure and available for use at any time.
The above picture shows how we recommend storing your canoe paddle on board a W700 or S4 – You simply slide the paddle’s blade in the narrow space between the saddle and the molded-in saddle bracket. This way, the paddle won’t be in your way when you sit or stand in your Wavewalk, and when you need it, it will be ready for you to pull and use instantly.
BTW, this method of storage can also work for storing a cutting board for bait, a filleting board for fish, and other objects. You can use the molded-in brackets to attach things to the saddle, in order to secure them, so that they won’t travel back and forth on the bottom of the hulls.