Tag Archive: cockpit

A kayak’s cockpit is the area where the passengers sit, and from which they operate their kayak, or fish from it. typically, The cockpit of traditional sit-in and SOT kayaks features a seat in it, and that seat is fixed in one place – a fact that limits the user’s range of motion and their ability to control tracking and steering. in contrast, W kayaks feature a long cockpit with a saddle that the user rides (straddles). This enables the user to easily move fore and aft in the cockpit, and thus benefit from a better degree of control over their kayak, as well as from a greater range of motion.

Keeping the cockpit of your Wavewalk dry at sea

When you paddle your Wavewalk in waves without covering the front end of its cockpit, some spray may get inside, especially if you paddle through big surf. The water is drained to the bottom of the hulls, and it flows backwards to the rear part of the hull tips. Altogether, this is rather insignificant.

When you drive a motorized Wavewalk in the ocean for a long time, at high speed and through waves, your boat generates more spray, and breaking waves can result in more water getting into the cockpit. A Spray Shield works to minimize intake from the front, but not from the sides. Some water may accumulate on the bottom of the hulls, at the rear end of the boat. A few gallons of water would be unnoticed, but having effective means to remove any amount of water at any time is highly recommended, simply because stuff happens, and you’d better be well prepared for any case.

Comparing different solutions

1. One-way valves

Many motorboats and sailing boats feature one-way valves at the rear end of their hulls. When the boat moves in the water at high speed, the low pressure behind its stern causes the valve to open, and pulls out the water that accumulated at the bottom of the hull, namely the bilge.
A hull outfitted with such a valve is called ‘self bailing’.
Needless to say that SOT kayaks described by their manufacturers as “self bailing” are not, and the misuse of this term is misleading.

After much consideration, we decided not to outfit the hulls of the Wavewalk with such valves, for two reasons, which are:

  • Unlike big motorboats, a Wavewalk can be dragged on the ground and over rocks, and this might damage the valves.
  • One-way valves can get jammed, and since the Wavewalk often goes in shallow water that’s mixed with sand and mud, and where vegetation can be abundant, the possibility of such malfunction cannot be disregarded.

2. Electric bilge pump

Battery recharged on board –
Some small outboard gas motors (e.g. Tohatsu, starting at 4 HP) offer the option to add an alternator (electric current generator) and an AC to DC converter. Thus, the motor continuously produces an electric current that can charge a battery that would power an electric bilge pump and/or an electric trolling motor.
This solution sounds perfect – just press or turn an electric switch, and bail the water out. And if you get an automatic pump, you don’t even have to remember to activate it.
But a closer look at the details of this solution revels some problems:

  • Cost – The combined cost of an alternator and converter is around $450. The cost of a battery and an electric bilge pump would bring the total cost of this solution to over $500. It may not be a prohibitive price, but it’s still a considerable sum in the context of a Wavewalk boat.
  • Vulnerability – Keeping a battery and electric pump somewhere in your Wavewalk may not be enough, and you’d need to secure both, so that in case of an accident they would remain inside the cockpit and be fully operational when needed the most. This could prove to be somehow hard to achieve.

Battery not rechargeable on board-
An electric bilge pump powered by a battery that isn’t being continuously charged makes sense, because unlike propelling the boat, pumping a few gallons of water out of its hulls require little power.
The downside of this simple solution is having to remember to charge the battery before each motorized trip offshore, and the possibility that in case of an accident the system could stop working.

3. Hand bucket

Simply a square bucket with a handle (or without one) that fits into a Wavewalk hull, and used as a bilge bucket.
It works, but only in case there is a lot of water in the hull, namely that the water is deep enough, and the user faces the water. But such a scenario is extremely unlikely, and in a typical case only a small quantity of water may accumulate at the bottom of the rear end of the hulls, that is far behind the driver.
This said, it wouldn’t hurt to have a bucket on board, as an addition to the solution that we recommend, which is:

4. Hand pump

A 36″ long, lightweight hand pump costs $29 at Lowe’s.
It allows to pump water from the rear end of the hulls while the user sits facing forward. This is a major advantage, ergonomically speaking, and in simple terms of convenience.
The pump provides a sturdy, simple, and easy to operate solution that you can count on. The piston is lubricated by the water itself, and this makes pumping easy. Capacity wise, four strokes bail out one gallon, and since it’s hard to imagine having to bail out more than a few gallons at a time, the effort required is almost negligible.
The pump features a simple filter at its end, and this prevents it from getting jammed.
If there is a perfect solution, we think this is it.

Manual bilge pump for fishing kayak 36 inch

Manual bilge pump, 36″ long

New Rowing Rig

By Billy Boughner

I found certain issues with my first rowing saddle concept, and I build a new style which allows me to install oarlocks to be more accurately positioned.
The basic design is a frame that extends the length of the cockpit and anchored in the two end slots of the tunnel.
My seat separates and I’m able to accurately position two sets of oarlocks for the different seat positions for pushing or pulling the oars.
The other asset of this design is that there is no beam directly across the oarlock thus allowing to lift the oars higher in rough water.
This design required that I replace the plywood insert [saddle bracket] with one that is a little higher to attach the frame at one end, and an identical one at the opposite end.
This design also allows me to do some experimentation with the seat position and height.

Boat is now on a trailer.
Only a 12 minute drive to the lake. If I decide to go only takes me 13 minutes to load and be there now.

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DIY-rowing-rig-with-oarlocks

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Rowing Wavewalk 500 fishing kayak with oars and 5 rod holders

Wavewalk 700 update – new pictures of the Twinhull mold

The mold makers that produce the tooling (rotational molds) for the Wavewalk 700 emailed us a set of new pictures that show the recent progress in this project.

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The top and bottom parts of the rotational mold for the Twinhull part of the Wavewalk 700

 

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Side view of the top and bottom parts of the mold for the Twinhull part of the W700

 

These pictures provide means to better understand how spacious the 7’8″ (92″) long W700 cockpit will be. Compared to the 6′ long cockpit of the W500, this cockpit will be 27.5% longer.  Watch a video of the W500 paddled in tandem »

Note that the hulls seen in these pictures are each 9″ wide, compared to the 8″ wide hulls of the W500. This is a 12.5% increase in this dimension.

In other words, in terms of space for passengers on board, this trailer-free two-person fishing boat is comparable to small fishing boats such as Jon boats, large-size fishing canoes, dinghies and microskiff.
At 80 lbs (without the motor), it will be much lighter than any of these boats, and the only one that you could car-top by yourself.
With its 31″ total width, the W700 will be the only boat in this category of small fishing boats that you could paddle easily by yourself and in tandem.

As for tandem fishing kayaks, although some products out there are presented as such, they aren’t in real-world terms (I.E. Fishability), unless one is willing to consider a 200 lbs craft as a kayak…
We think that a watercraft that one person cannot handle by themselves, including car topping it, is no longer a kayak.
Some human-powered craft weigh around 200 lbs, and therefore are too heavy even for two guys to handle. These oversize floating objects are too heavy and bulky to be considered even as ‘barge-kayaks’.

 

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View of the bottom part of the mold for the Wavewalk 700 Twinhull part

 

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View of the W700 Twinhull cockpit area and the bottom part of the W700 Saddle.

In the product itself, the Saddle part will rest on top of this long, elevated platform, and it will be riveted to it. The Top Saddle part will feature 7 sets of molded-in saddle brackets that will grab the base of the saddle from both sides, and provide the boat with extra rigidity and strength.

 

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Now that the bulk of the mold production work is done, the next stages in this Twinhull mold project are polishing, inserting drill marks, building a steel frame around it, and coating its interior with Teflon.

The tooling (rotational mold) for the Saddle part is completed and ready to be coated with Teflon. This is the last step before actual production.

 

Fish we caught in the Sea of the Hebrides, Scotland

By Charlie Piggott

The Sea of the Hebrides is the part of the North Atlantic Ocean off the western coast of Scotland. We went to the Hebrides on vacation earlier this fall, and here are some more pictures from this trip.

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Back from the sea

 

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Fishing partners with their catch

 

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No time wasted before these fish are consumed – The fire is ready.

 

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View of the bay

 

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Ready to grill these fish on a campfire?

 

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The bay at dusk

 

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The W kayak back from an offshore fishing trip in the Sea of the Hebrides

 

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Would you like these fish cooked or raw?

 

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How about some delicious mackerel sushi?

 

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Exploring the island

 

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Tackle box, fishing pole, etc. – View of the cockpit

 

And this is a picture from the day we received the first shipment of Wavewalk kayaks –
A good reason to celebrate!

fishing-kayak-in-the-box-with-a-smile

 

More fishing and paddling stories from Charlie »