I went on another duck hunt. The mud flats are punishing at times. The tide went from a 14 to a 4 in six hours. That meant that I had to move and reset my decoys every 15 min. or so. Eventually toward the bottom of the tide it takes longer to reset than the water floats the decoys to hunt. That is usually when I give up and let it come back in. Today however it would not have done so in the light, so I had to paddle out at the low. It was a drag getting the boat out to water deep enough to float. But that is what I love about the W700. Stable for the weather and light enough to drag on the mud. Only got a couple of birds but it is always good to get out.
Here is an interesting photo from this summer. My friend was panicking because I said I am releasing the fish if he takes a picture or not. He somehow had it in panoramic mode which caused the odd double exposure. A nice 4 lb large mouth with a huge side of salad as you can see!
I got a small, 30 lb thrust electric trolling motor and crudely attached it to my W500. I only used it twice and now wish I had gotten a slightly more powerful motor. It really didn’t do the job against a steady Connecticut River current, I will guess 2 knots. However it handles great and pushes me about twice as fast as my friends paddling their yaks.
Now the new S4 video is amazing! Some day I will bite the bullet and get a gas powered motor. My friend has a 2 horse on his jon boat, and not only does it fly it is so quiet you needn’t raise your voice to converse while running full speed. I still want the exercise I get from paddling though so the motor is just for getting me longer distances.
My oldest granddaughter will be 3 this summer and I am dying to get her on the water!
Captain Larry Jarboe from Wavewalk Adventures in Key Largo, Florida, drives his “White Knight” workhorse S4 kayak-skiff powered by a 9.8 HP 2-cycle Tohatsu outboard motor, outfitted with a 9″ pitch propeller. Larry easily gets to a 17 mph speed, which is probably a world record for vessels that are officially designated as kayaks, such as the S4. He drives sitting in the side-saddle position, similarly to the way that he’s been driving dinghies and other small boats for decades – No stability problems, and no control problems, even in the chop. Most people who drive the S4 and other Wavewalk kayaks / boats do it in the riding position, with a leg on each side of the saddle seat, similarly to the way that Personal Watercraft (PWC a.k.a. jet-ski) drivers operate these vessels.
Generally, 2-stroke outboard motors are lighter than comparable 4-stroke outboards, which makes them more portable. 9″ is the highest pitch for propellers that fit this motor. A propeller with a higher pitch would have probably added some speed to Larry’s record. In any case, 17 mph falls within the upper range of speeds achieved by small, lightweight boats with propellers of such pitch.
Practically speaking, this performance coupled with the S4’s capability to carry on board up to three anglers and their fishing gear, puts it on par with Jon boats, skiffs, and even some bass boats. The S4 is an ultralight car-top boat that can be launched and carried anywhere, as well as paddled in extremely shallow water, and it is most seaworthy. These facts offer its users an advantage that neither conventional nor new boats do.
Note that Larry is a most experience boat driver, and driving such a small craft at such high speeds requires skills that not anyone has. This is to say that we do not recommend such powerful motors for the S4.