Storing fishing or camping gear on board a kayak while keeping it dry is quasi impossible in sit-in and SOT kayaks, as well as in hybrid canoe-kayaks. In contrast, W kayaks offer plentiful dry storage space in the cockpit and hull tips. This storage space is accessible to the passengers, which is yet another advantage over storage hatches.
Yesterday, I was joined by my wife, Carlene, and our local pirate queen, Calypso, to take a beach clean-up of the only naturally sandy beach in Key Largo. We took the commercial fishing boat decked with W700’s to paddle and motor our way in. Upon arrival offshore of Rattlesnake Key beach, I proceeded to anchor beyond casting range, upwind, and up current of a flats guide boat. Never, would I place my boat down current within the chum slick of a working fisherman. Nor, am I stupid enough to put my boat within casting range of an 8 ounce lead flung by a 6 foot Ugly Stik. The most fashionably dressed guide proceeded to dress me out at the top of his lungs which I could barely hear as he was shouting into the breeze fifty yards downwind. Somehow, I managed to gather that he thought I was blocking his fish from coming to him. to bite. Rather than argue with ignorance, I moved my work boat further out to sea. The outboard motor on my Wavewalk more than compensates for increased distance to travel to shore. My wife stayed on board as the “monitoring mate” of the Line Dancer while Calypso and I motored ashore to do our part to clean up the environment. We all watched the guide and his two customers not catch fish as he spent most of his time flinging a fly line back and forth into the wind. First rule of fishing: put your hook in the water. However, that nasty tempered guide did look king of pretty in his fancy fishing outfit. But, my mates are a lot more foxy…
Carlene and Calypso on board the Line Dancer, which served as mother ship for our beach cleaning expedition
This is Wavewalk’s 4th boat series since 2004, following the 300 (Mark I and II), 500, and 700 series. Like all other Wavewalk® products, this boat is 100% Made in USA.
The S4 delivers the highest performance in the field of small boats and skiffs, even before you’ve reached the water, starting from the fact that at 98 lbs it doesn’t require a trailer for transportation, and it’s easily portable even on rough terrain. Its patented twin-hull design delivers more stability than any small boat out there, including much wider and heavier ones. This allows for driving in fast currents and in choppy water. In addition, being a true catamaran makes this boat track better than other boats. The S4’s extra large cockpit (8′ long x 38″ wide) offers ample room for two anglers or hunters and their gear, or for up to three adult passengers – a total of up to 680 lbs. The S4 features a long saddle seat similar to the saddle of other high performance vehicles, which offers maximal balancing capability as well as full comfort for going in choppy water and for long trips. The S4 features a stand up casting platform at its bow, such as can be found in a typical skiff. The cockpit’s slanted sides allow passengers to paddle with more ease and better control than what canoes and tandem fishing kayaks may offer them. The S4 has an extremely shallow draft, and this fact in combination with its portability, load capacity and high performance as a paddle craft makes it the most practical solution for shallow water fishing.
Availability: We ship to clients, and some of our dealers already have demo S4 boats.
Length: 13 ft (396 cm)
Beam (Total Width): 38″ (97 cm)
Cockpit Length: 95″ (241 cm)
Cockpit Height: 17″ (43 cm)
Saddle Height: 15″ (38 cm)
Width of a single hull: 13″ (33 cm)
Total Weight: 98 lbs (44.5 kg)
Structure Overview and Features
Patented twin-hull Wavewalk® catamaran hulls
Personal watercraft (a.k.a. ‘jet-ski’) style 7’6″ long Saddle seat featuring a series of seven molded-in brackets, and six vertical molded-in reinforcement columns
Integrated Skiff Style Stand-Up Casting Platform at the bow, with anti-skid surface. Read more »
The Cockpit’s Slanted Sides allow passengers to paddle with more ease and comfort than paddling a canoe or a common kayak of such width.
Preparation for a vertical mounting plate for outboard motor or rod rack at the stern
Two Medium Density Overlay (MDO) 0.75″ thick Saddle Brackets – One bracket at each end of the saddle. The bracket in the front provides additional support for the stand up casting platform, and the rear bracket serves as extra support for a motor mount. Each bracket is attached to the vertical wall that’s adjacent to it by means of two rivets. The rivets are sealed with waterproof adhesive. Click thumbnail to enlarge
Built-In Flotation – The S4 Saddle is a watertight compartment that offers 180 lbs of positive buoyancy.
Two pairs of integrated, molded-in heavy duty Carry Handles – A pair at the bow, and a pair at the stern.
Average Wall Thickness: 0.150″ (3.8 mm)
White Color – Click images to enlarge
Light Gray Color – Click images to enlarge
Mud Brown Color – Click images to enlarge
Max Total Payload: 650 lbs (295 kg)
Max Number of Passengers: 3 adults, or 2 adults and 2 children
Internal Space for Dry Storage : 34.7 cubic ft (0.98 cubic meter), namely 260 gallons
Empty: 0.75″ (1.7 cm) With 200 lbs Payload (90.7 kg) : 2.5″ (64 mm) With 400 lbs Payload (181.5 kg): 4.25″ (108 mm) With 600 lbs Payload (272 kg): 6″ (152 mm)
Max Outboard Motor Power: 6 HP
Outboard Motor Compatibility: 20″ Long (L) Propeller Shaft
Hull: Rotationally Molded High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Saddle: Rotationally Molded High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Heavy Duty (HD) Saddle Bracket: Medium Density Overlay (MDO).
Our boats are made from 100% recyclable materials
Country of Origin
Our kayaks, paddles and accessories are 100% Made in USA
4. PRICE $2,505.
This price includes shipping in the US to land addresses in the contiguous 48 states, with insurance and call before delivery service. This price does not include the S4 mounting plate, whose cost is $104.
S4 Heavy Duty (HD) Motor Mounting Plate: $122
1.5″ thick. Made from Medium Density Overlay (MDO) and coated with urethane. Each mounting plate ships with a pair of bolts, and self locking nuts. It takes a couple of minutes to attach this mounting plate to the boat: Just insert it into the molded-in stand for transom motor mount, drill two 5/16″ holes, and secure in place with the two bolts provided.
Fits 20″ long (L) propeller shafts.
Click image to enlarge
Wavewalk® 9 ft long dual blade (‘Kayak’) paddle: $186
Common dual blade (‘kayak’) paddles are neither long nor sturdy or rigid enough for paddling this paddle craft, pole it in shallow water, and paddle standing.
Wavewalk® 9’8″ extra long dual blade (‘Kayak’) paddle: $220
For very tall people, or people who plan on paddling standing and poling most of the time.
Wavewalk® Detachable Spray Shield: $136
For high speed motorizing in choppy water.
Wavewalk® Joystick Steering System: $265
For easy and fun steering seated and standing.
Best Stability in Small Boats
Initial (Primary) Stability: The S4 is more stable than any kayak, canoe, Jon boat and small skiff, including Wavewalk’s W700. A 200 lbs person standing with both feet in one of the S4 hulls will make it draft barely 1″ lower than it would if that person stood with one foot in each hull – hardly a noticeable difference.
Secondary Stability and Balancing Capability: The unique combination of a saddle seat (such as ATVs, PWC and snowmobiles feature) with high-volume twin hulls enables the passengers to balance themselves easily, intuitively, and more effectively than in any other boat, including kayaks, canoes, Jon boats, dinghies, skiffs, and personal watercraft (PWC / ‘jet-ski’).
The 15″ high saddle featuring in the S4 is similar to the saddle featuring in other high performance land and water vehicles, such as All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV), Personal Watercraft (PWC / ‘jet-ski’), and Snowmobiles, as well as certain Rigid-Inflatable Boats (RIB) designed for high speed motorizing offshore. Passengers riding this saddle can travel for long hours, including in choppy water, without suffering from back pain or fatigue. This is due to the fact that while seated in the Riding position, with a leg on each side of the saddle, the passenger’s legs support them in the most effective way, and no horizontal pressure from a backrest is being applied on their lower back. In addition, the S4 passengers can stand up any time they want, and keep driving and paddling while standing up. They can even lay down with their back on the saddle, and relax. Switching between positions assures that no extreme fatigue or tension would build up in any part of the passenger’s body.
Easy Transportation and Full Portability
The S4 weighs 98 lbs without a motor attached to it. This means that it does not require a trailer for transportation, since it can be car-topped. The S4 can be dragged or carried over rough terrain, and launched practically anywhere, whether it’s a rocky beach, shallow water, and other difficult spots that are not accessible to other boats.
Mobility and Range of Travel
The S4 can go anywhere, thanks to a number of special features – No other boat offers such a combination of shallow draft and total multi-modal propulsion, namely the ability to keep going in an effective paddling and poling mode even if the water is too shallow and/or infested with weeds to allow for motorizing. No other small boat works so well both on flat water and in the chop.
On Board Storage
The space available for dry storage on board the S4 is equivalent to the storage offered by a good size Jon-boat, or a regular skiff.
7. S4 vs. W700
W700 advantages over the S4: Solo kayaking, tandem kayaking, solo canoeing, portability.
S4 advantages over the W700: Motorizing, tandem motorizing, tandem fishing, stability, offshore trips, load capacity.
Shallow water – The S4 drafts less than the W700, and it features a skiff stand up casting platform, but the W700 paddles better, generally.
Offshore – Being more of a boat than the W700, the S4 offers a clear advantage in the chop.
The kayak was beyond all expectations! On the very first time we used it to get to our camp site, loaded with all the gear we got into a strong rain storm with wind, so strong, that it was difficult to see on a mile paddle. Not for a moment I had any doubt in the fact the kayak just doesn’t care. It was easy to handle, incredibly stable and just a pleasure to operate. We actually loaded it on top, front and back, and between us – it was still stable. I did have some trouble to get out when the gear was around. But this is a fishing boat, not a camping canoe, maybe I am asking too much. I think for the next trip we will make some kind of harness to attach to the front and back, and load our most light dry bags on top connected with harness for security. That will free leg space. We do not have that many pictures though – just two worth to show – one right before the rain and one on our way back – beautiful Vermont summer day!
Before the rain storm – Wavewalk 700 Tandem kayak loaded with camping gear, Vermont
On the way back – Wavewalk 700 Tandem kayak loaded with camping gear, Vermont
Thom and Julie Martin from Michigan love to go on long camping and fishing trips, and they always take their Wavewalk kayaks with them. They wanted to check how much camping and fishing gear they could fit in a W kayak, and they documented their findings. Says Julie: -“Plenty! This is clothing and linens for the both of us for two weeks, charcoal, chairs, umbrella, hammock, personal flotation devices, snorkel masks with flippers, and of course the fishing rods! With 8.8 cubic feet available, I got it all in the boat, except for three large bags that I will strap to the top. It will all be tarp covered, as we are expecting rain tomorrow during our drive up north.”
SUGGESTED VIDEO OF WAVEWALK 500 RIGGED FOR FISHING WITH INSIGHT ON STORAGE:
This article examines the problems stemming from prolonged exposure to wet clothing, which is sometime viewed as inseparable from all forms of kayaking and kayak fishing, and all types of kayaks. It exposes possible dangers and inconveniences associated with direct exposure to water, excessive humidity and cold in various circumstances, and describes solutions based on the new, patented technology applied in Wavewalk’s Kayaks, which offers the users a drier way to paddle and fish.
What’s the problem?
The problem, often called “wet ride” can be described as a kayaker’s experience of paddling and/or fishing while being wet. It can be caused by many things, including stepping in water while launching, being splashed by spray and waves, water getting into the cockpit through the scupper holes in sit-on-top kayaks, condensation under the spray skirt in sit-in kayaks, and more. A most common and unpleasant sensation associated with wetness is being seated in a wet area, but a being wet can also be hazardous – The combination of cold water with cold wind can cause hypothermia, even if the kayaker did not go overboard. Hypothermia is a condition that significantly reduces the paddler’s physical and mental ability to navigate and arrive safely to his/her destination.
In warm waters, exposure to water can cause exposure to jellyfish larvae (‘sea lice’) in sea water, parasites and bacteria in both fresh and salt water etc., and result in unpleasant and sometime severe skin and allergic reactions.
Snails infected with certain microscopic parasites found in some birds and mammals release those parasites into both fresh and salt water. Swimmer’s itch (cercarial dermatitis), which appears as a skin rash is caused by an allergic reaction to those parasites burrowing in the person’s skin. The presence of certain chemicals in the water is known to cause unwanted physical reactions as well.
Contact with sea water can cause a highly pruritic eruption known as Seabather’s eruption (SE).
Contact with warm, stagnant waters such as found in swamps can in some extreme cases lead to serious bacterial infections. Vibrio bacteria are usually found in warm waters. Coming in contact with those flesh eating bacteria can cause severe infections leading to limb loss and even death. Vibriosis is a risk for swimmers, boaters and fishermen.
Giardiasis– an infectious diarrhoeal disease usually transmitted through oralfaecal contact and by contaminated water was diagnosed in 14% of US paddlers, compared to a background level of 4%, according to one study.
Another infection called Leptospirosis and its more severe form, Weil’s disease, are considered to be typical paddling hazards. These infections are often transmitted by infected rats’ urine in the water. The diseases are characterized by jaundice, fever, headaches, muscle aches, rashes and enlargement of the liver and spleen. They can be treated with antibiotics in most cases but sometime they lead to septicemia, organ damage and even death.
Kayakers risk infections of enterovirus and coliform as well. And obviously, everybody knows that wearing wet clothes can cause skin rash, especially during and after a prolonged physical effort. This doesn’t necessarily mean that getting wet while kayaking is either unpleasant or hazardous, but it certainly points to the need to provide kayakers with means of protection in case they don’t want to get wet or come in contact with the water.
Recent research indicates that water in popular subtropical beaches contains staph and MRSA bacteria that may infect open wounds in your skin.
‘Kayaking and kayak fishing are water sports’
Some ‘Pro Staff’ kayakers and kayak fishermen associated with SIK and SOT kayak brands use the term ‘water sport’ to define kayaking and kayak fishing, and by that they mean to say that getting wet is an inseparable part of any kayaking activity, as it is of water skiing, surfing etc. It’s their way to justify the fact that this problem is unsolved for people who use the kayaks produced by their sponsors. This approach also implies that the kayaker or kayak fisherman should not expect to be comfortable in his/her kayak, and that getting wet is inevitable. This argument is fallacious for a number of reasons: 1. Originally, the native people of the arctic who invented and developed kayaking tried as much as possible to avoid getting wet, and for good reasons. 2. Like kayaking, canoeing is another group of traditional, popular paddle sports and activities, but unless practiced in whitewater it does not involve getting wet, since most canoes offer a better protection to their passengers than kayaks do. 3. Fishing from other small boats (e.g. dinghies, pirogues etc.) does not involve getting wet as much as kayak fishing does. 4. Considering the efforts different groups of kayakers from sea kayakers to kayak fishermen put into avoiding and minimizing wetness, it is obviously a very real problem.
What causes wetness kayaks?
The general cause is insufficient protection but specific causes vary depending on kayak type and application: Traditional, or sit-in kayaks (SIKs) have little free board, so that even paddling in eddies and small waves can result in some water getting inside the kayak through the open cockpit. As for sea kayaks, these are normally equipped with a spray skirt, which doesn’t necessarily make them watertight in surf and waves conditions. Sit-on-top kayaks (SOTs) offer even less protection than SIKs do in terms of free board, and typically let water into the cockpit through holes called ‘scupper holes’. This is why SOT kayaks have become popular only in warm waters.
The dry storage problem
Another unwanted effect of water getting into your kayak is the difficulty to keep your gear dry. Some seasoned sea kayakers say that before they go on a kayak expedition they simply take into consideration that eventually all their gear will get wet, even if it’s stored below deck. The solution to that is using watertight bags, which similarly to sea kayaks are not absolutely watertight…Most fishing kayaks come with storage compartments called ‘hatches’, which are notorious for letting water in.
The solution to these problems
Since the wetness is challenging many kayakers’ well being it must be addressed by kayak designers and manufacturers. Wet suits are uncomfortable, and dry suits aren’t that comfortable either. The solution offered by the patented Wavewalk™ Kayak concept is simple, and basically consists of more free board protecting the passengers inside the cockpit. W kayakers can also sit change positions on their boat’s longitudinal saddle and sit, ride or stand in the back of the cockpit. By doing so they raise the bow and avoid much of the splashing and spraying that other kayakers are forced to put up with when launching in the surf or paddling in choppy water. Another good news for kayakers is the fact that even if some water gets into the W Kayak’s cockpit it just gets drained to the bottom of the hulls and away from the passengers’ sitting area on top of the saddle. This eliminates the unpleasant sensation of sitting in a puddle that many people who use ordinary kayaks (SOT and SIK) have to put up with. Since it’s possible to enter the W Kayak’s from behind and exit it from the front it is no longer necessary for a W Kayakers to step in water when putting their boats in and taking them out. Some say that keeping your feet dry is priceless… And finally, since W Kayaks have a big, internal dry storage space it is no longer necessary for the equipment carried on board to get wet.