By Scott Harbinson
I bought my Wavewalk from someone who sold his in Upstate NY. I certainly appreciated how easy it was to car top on the 320 mile trip back home.
The previous owner fabricated a sturdy aluminum motor mount for a long shaft motor. I have a 4 hp two stroke short shaft motor from a duck boat I own, and am wondering if it’ll work. It’s 49 lbs and I realize it’s a bit overpowered and probably a couple of inches too short for this mount.
This is going to be a hunting rig and I need a modular platform for my dog so I can have him in front when I’m under way and behind me (so I don’t shoot him) when I’m using it as a blind.
I mad a modular U-shaped gripping post like I have on my Go Devil duck hunting boat that will also serve as a mount for my GPS, floodlight and bilge pump switch.
I also made a front deck out of aluminum tubing and expanded metal screen (to keep weight down) which will be used to haul decoys.
I’m going to do the rigging here and sea trials in the Spring in a non-hunting environment. I don’t want my maiden voyage to be in pitch black darkness in freezing cold water. I realize there’s a learning curve and want to do it right. I can fish/crab this summer and put it into service next hunting season.
Modular grab bar and dog platform
The grab bar is mounted on a saddle bracket cut to the height of the top of the cockpit. It sits on that and the edges of the cockpit. It’s held in place by blocking attached underneath.
When I motor out the dog will sit in the position shown.
When I use it for a blind I can put it at the opposite end after removing the grab bar and inserting another saddle bracket cut to cockpit height.
I also installed 1/4″ by 3/4 diamond galvanized metal sheeting to serve as decking to carry a bag of decoys.
All-in-all it’s been a lot of fun rigging this out.
The grab bar is attached by the saddle bracket by four split rings, two per leg. There’s a 3/8’s bolt that attaches through the bracket. It should provide a bit more security for a standing operator. It doesn’t have the same tolerances as Wavewalk’s CNC fabricated bracket. If it did it’d provide a higher degree of stability.
As much as stability I was looking for a place to mount my GPS and Spotlight since I head into the marsh before it is light.
The motor mount was fabricated by the previous owner and is too high. The anti-cavitation plate rides 2″ above the bottom plane of the boat instead of being flush. It has a plate on the underside.
I may play around with it and see how it works and either buy a Wavewalk mount or a Honda 2.3.
The expanded metal sheeting was dirt simple. Unfortunately, my Home Depot only had 24×18″ pieces so I had to use two. I later found an eBay seller offering 24×36 sheets for $25. The one change I’d make is to cut it 1/2 inch inside of outline of the hull. I cut it flush and left edges that snag.
I used 1/4″ x 1″ bolts with fender washers and Nylok nuts. Very easy and very strong…. and lightweight as well.
The platform was easy and the blocking holds it very tight. You could easily mount it to a bracket with a hinge to secure it on all four sides. My grab bar locks it in but for those not using a grab bar the hinge mount to a bracket would allow for easy folding and storage.
The grab bar certainly won’t do much by itself to keep you from losing your balance. However, it will provide something of an additional balance point (as opposed to thin air) with the tiller extension being the primary point. The principal purpose is to mount the spotlight and GPS. It’d never be stable enough to serve as a primary balance point I suspect.
I have a grab bar on my Riverhawk that I use with a 9 hp Go Devil. It’s mounted to the bait well and is rock solid. Though in all the years of use, it has never had to serve as more than an additional balance point and mount for my accessories. The nice thing about the bracket mount is its modularity. I can take it off and stow it in seconds, something I can’t do with my Riverhawk.
Back to the grating: Next time around, I’d find a source for aluminum grating- preferably powder coated. Much lighter weight and resistant to corrosion.
Also added a Rotopak gas can which works perfectly. It is simply AWESOME for this application. The mounting bracket holes align perfectly to the 3/4″ diamond mesh, it looks cool as hell and solves a real problem of safely transporting fuel while keeping it well away from potential ignition sources (the motor).
That additional storage up front would also serve to counter the weight of the engine. The mesh provides tons of points to attach bungee cords to secure decoys, camping and fishing gear, your picnic basket or whatever.
For crabbings, I’d rig this boat with a mesh deck, bushel basket, crab line, cooler and bait.
For fishing, rod holders, fish finder and bait buckets.
For clamming I’d take buckets and rakes and a cooler.
I’d keep the mesh deck and the grab bar with a GPS at all times.