A flotation device is used to keep a kayak afloat in case it capsized and it’s fully or partially filled with water. Flotation (also written ‘Floatation’) is a means of recovery, and does not add stability or load capacity to the kayak. Flotation works by trapping air and attach it to the kayak’s hull. A Flotation device or module can be made from closed-cell foam (e.g. Polyethylene foam or urethane foam) or from a plastic bladder inflated with air and attached to the kayak’s hull.
Beautiful lines! It may be the Cadillac of kayaks but it looks like a seagoing Corvette. Is it a high performance motor yak or a portable runabout? Super stable. Because it looks so seaworthy, most other powerboats do not slow up when passing port to port. No problem. The S4 slides through wakes easily without leaving planing mode. It seems to run a little faster than the W700 with the same motor. I believe the wider hulls act like a pair of skis to help the boat skim across the water. Handling tiller, camera, and a GPS at one time is beyond my skill set. Tracking through turns while planing is wonderful. The boat’s stern does not slide like many skiffs do. The S4 is so easy to spin your body to face the outboard motor because the hulls are so wide. You can keep your feet inside the vessel. Also, the S4 is the perfect vessel for folks who are tired of maintaining their leaky inflatable tenders. Or, people who want a lifeboat that can be used for shade or transport, too. I still think the W700 is the boat that does it all, but the S4 is the boat that does it all, and more!
The video shows 15-20 knot wind close chop. No problem. Try paddling against this.
P.S. – This boat could make a run from South Florida to Bimini. But, for the time being, I will be staying in waters managed by our Country.
Wavewalk S4 in gray with 5 HP Nissan (Tohatsu) outboard motor. Photo shot on the mother ship.
Wavewalk no longer offers this configuration as shown here. Since we now offer 12 ft long (7.25″ diameter) detachable inflatable flotation tubes as part of the W700 RIB , we offer only boats with one pair of regular size tubes (5 ft long / 6.5″ diameter) or one pair of the XL tubes (12 ft long / 7.25″ diameter). We left this page and the RHIB configuration here in order to show yet another configuration that’s possible.
Wavewalk® RHIB – Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat
Before we go any further, the answer to your question is: -“Yes! This boat is great for fishing, for one or two anglers, once you detach the front pair of inflatable tubes, or both pairs, which takes less an a minute.” In other words, the RHIB is simply a Wavewalk® 700 Z model that features an additional pair of inflatable tubes attached in the front. And now that things are a bit clearer, let’s watch this video – Tip: For best quality set your YouTube viewer to 1080 p HD
Why two pairs of inflatable tubes?
Good question! In this video, the front inflatable tubes touch the water on rare occasions, and when they do, they don’t seem to do much. This is because their purpose is to serve as secondary flotation, in addition to the saddle and the rear inflatable tubes. In extreme cases, if the boat tilts very strongly on its side, these extra tubes could help prevent it from flipping. They can also help when the boat goes in bigger waves, since they add buoyancy to the bow, which allows the boat to go over the wave instead of through it. This can help prevent spray from getting into the boat, and make the ride less bumpy. Extra flotation on both sides of the bow can be useful in other cases, such as when the boat is used for work or rescue, when divers climb on board from the water, and when heavy crab traps are hauled in.
What if I don’t want to use these extra inflatable tubes?
Each tube is attached to the boat with two carabiners, and it takes just seconds to detach it. It can be easily stored in the boat while still inflated, and both inflating and deflating it takes seconds, thanks to a user-friendly, wide (1.25″ diameter) inflation valve that saves you the need for a pump.
And what about that transparent spray shield?
The spray shield is attached to the boat with a bungee cord and two hooks. It takes a few seconds to attach or detach it, and once it’s not attached it’s just a flat, lightweight, flexible sheet of plastic that hardly takes any space, and can be easily stored inside one of the boat’s hulls.
What’s a RHIB?
RHIB is the acronym for Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat, also known as RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat). These motorboats are designed for extra stability and speed, and they come in various sizes. The smaller ones are motorized dinghies that can take a small number of passengers through rough water. RHIB are very popular, and used in a wide range of applications, such as rescue, offshore work, tending bigger boats, diving, etc. Anglers prefer not to fish out of inflatable boats because of the fishing hooks… but this is not an issue with Wavewalk’s RHIB, since its inflatable tubes can be removed instantly.
What’s special about the Wavewalk® RHIB?
Compared to rigid-inflatable dinghies of its size the Wavewalk® is –
More stable: It features a catamaran hull, and a saddle that makes it easier for the driver and passenger/s to balance themselves.
Easier to car-top: Its rigid hull weighs just 80 lbs, and it’s 12’10” (391 cm) long, which makes it easy to lean on the vehicle’s roof before sliding the boat upward.
More versatile: Without the front pair of inflatable tubes it’s a Wavewalk® 700 Z model, which is a great fishing boat for one or two anglers. Without inflatable tubes it’s a nifty motorboat that paddles well, and without the motor it’s hands down the world’s best fishing and touring kayak.
Faster: Videos of this RHIB and other W700 configurations show the unique Wavewalk ‘signature’ in the water – Practically no wake in the front, and a very slender wake at the stern. In this sense, this wake reminds a torpedo moving in the water, and not a boat, especially not a RHIB. Being typically wide and designed to plane, RHIBs leave a huge wake behind them, a sign of the great amount of power used to propel them.
More comfortable: Some luxury small RHIBs feature forward facing seats or benches, and their driver can steer by means of a steering wheel or a joystick. But most small RHIBs offer just basic amenities, and their driver sits on their side, or on the side of the motor, next to the tiller, or on a bench in front of it. All these locations are sub-optimal in ergonomic terms and as far as driving is concerned, since they demand from the driver to face sideways, or drive with their arm stretched backward. Food for thought – Does any other vehicle require from its driver to sit in any of these awkward postures?… In contrast, Wavewalk’s RHIB offers its driver to ride a comfortable saddle and face forward, as they would in a personal watercraft (PWC) a.k.a. jet-ski, an all terrain vehicle (ATV), or a snowmobile, which are vehicles designed for high performance in both tough conditions and at high speeds. Wavewalk’s RHIB is steered with a supersized joystick that’s intuitive to use and works perfectly when the driver sits or stands, without any adaptation required. This plug-in joystick and steering system require no installation, and it takes a few seconds to attach or detach it. The driver or the W-RHIB can start the motor in the most comfortable position, namely while facing backward, and once the motor is running, they can easily and swiftly turn around and face forward, as demonstrated in the video.
A couple days ago, I launched my W700 for the first time. It has taken a couple weeks to get my stone crab traps set up and dropped overboard from my commercial fishing boat “Line Dancer”. This vessel, a 27′ Lindsey w/ a B-series Cummins diesel, will make a fine mother ship to transport the W700 and my W500 to the Everglades, wrecks, reefs, and Gulf Stream waters surrounding Key Largo.
My initial observations include:
The W700 is the ideal family or couples vessel for economy and ease of transport. Where will you find a tandem yak that combines the best qualities of a kayak, canoe, catamaran, stand-up paddle board, and micro-skiff in one boat?
The W700 really is a magic boat. Not only is the W700 more stable and roomy than the W500 (which was the most stable yak I had previously used), the air tight buoyancy straddle seat is a major safety improvement. The center holes in the separately molded flotation seat can be used as rod holders. I plan to install a removable PVC post in one to hold a waterproof GoPro camera for videos.
Though a double paddle works fine to propel the W700, I prefer to use a canoe paddle. The W700 and W500 Wavewalks actually solo paddle easier than a canoe but you should know the J-stroke, sweep stroke, and other canoe paddling techniques to use a canoe paddle effectively.
Presently, I do not intend to make major mods to the W700. But, in time, there will be fore and aft motor brackets for both gas and electric motors as well as an anchor bracket and rod holders.
It is obvious, that the W700 is a great addition to the Wavewalk series but the W500 will travel with me up and down the East Coast from the Chesapeake to the Keys by truck bed or car top. The W500 is more portable for a solo yakker. Thus, it still has an important place in the product line.
I know many of the Wavewalk owners have put away their vessels for the winter. But, the temperature in the Keys is in the 70 degree range and the skies are mostly blue and sunny. So, there is still great fishing and boating to be found here in the Caribbean of the U.S.
Things are going great with my W500. I’ve had it out many times on local lakes. Fishing is a whole new experience with my Wavewalk. I’ve had no issues with car-topping, launching or navigating on the water.
I attached some pictures of a couple homemade improvements. I’m pretty pleased with the rod holder. Found that I wanted at least three rods with me on the water. Came up with a way to mount four rods without intruding upon the interior hull space or penetrating the hull for mounting brackets. What I came up with also puts rods pretty close at hand without getting in the way.
I was looking for some kind of earth toned floatation modules. These appear to be very rare. Ultimately, I did find some brown pool noodles from Tundra Industrial Thermo Polymers Ltd. in Brampton, Ontario, Canada
I’m very pleased with my W500. I rarely take it out without getting questions from other anglers. I really get looks from other kayak anglers when I stand up to cast. I also suffer from some pretty sever lower back issues (two surgeries in the last three years). My Wavewalk lets me enjoy a kayak experience that would never have been available to me otherwise.