Tag Archive: gear

In the context of kayaks, gear typically refers to fishing equipment (tackle, cooler, etc.).
Sometimes gear refers to camping equipment.

My multipurpose Wavewalk S4

By Terry Pritchard

Western North Carolina

I’m a retired guide, and I live in the mountains of western North Carolina.

I bought my S4 early this year, but so far I had only one chance to take it out on the river because this year has been been very unusual, since it kept raining until July, and the rivers have been high. The S4 was very stable in fast moving water, and easy to maneuver.

I outfitted our S4 with a 1987 6hp Johnson outboard, and it works perfectly.

My wife and I took our S4 to Florida, and we enjoyed it very much. She likes it, and she even likes driving it.
I drive my S4 with a tiller extension, and I can drive it standing with no problems. I drove it in saltwater at a top speed of 15 mph, and at 13.4 mph in a sustained mode. I noticed that it was going faster in saltwater and at sea level than in freshwater in the mountains. I attribute this to the combination of more oxygen and more buoyancy. Note that the place where I live is at a 2,700 ft elevation.

I take a lot of gear on my fishing trips, and the first time I went fishing with my S4 was confusing for me, since I didn’t know how to store my gear in its hulls. But after I gave it some thought and arranged things properly, the boat turned out to be perfect. I added a storage hatch inside the saddle, works great. I also stiffened the gunnels with wooden ribs so that I could use the sides of the boat to store my fishing gear, and I laid foam on the bottom of the hulls.

I’m planning to add rowing oars to it.

Here are some pictures that show how I rigged it.

 

Wavewalk S4 motorized kayak skiff

Wavewalk S4 motorized kayak skiff

 

I need the gunnels ridged because I will be attaching oarlocks soon

 

Driving an S4 motorized kayak skiff with a 9.8 HP Tohatsu outboard at 17 mph

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.

S4 wheel cart to carry on board

Wavewalk’s motto Launch, Go, Fish and Beach Anywhere is a reality for many Wavewalk owners.

Carrying a Wavewalk 500 or 700 just by dragging it on the ground anywhere is easy, and it’s feasible even with a 6 HP outboard motor attached to the kayak, as we demonstrated in this movie »

However, the S4 being heavier than the W500 and W700, we thought it would be nice to have a wheel cart for it, for when we have the 59 lbs 6 HP outboard motor attached to it, and we want to launch and beach in difficult spots, namely beaches that require carrying the boat over asphalt or on difficult terrain, especially steep and rocky slopes. The heavier the fishing, diving or camping gear carried on board the S4 skiff kayak, the more justified is the use of a wheel cart to carry it.

While most 38″ wide canoe trolleys would have fit this requirement, we wanted a wheel cart that we could store on board, inside one of the hulls, so we designed one –

 

Wheel cart stored on board the S4, in the bow

 

We outfitted the wheel cart with a folding leg that assures that the cart will be in the right angle to receive the boat.

 

The wheel cart is positioned to receive the S4

 

S4 wheel cart with its leg deployed, ready to have the kayak loaded onto it

 

Underside of the wheel cart, with the positioning leg folded in

 

Loading the boat is done simply by pulling it onto the wheel cart. The user can decide where they prefer to have the wheel cart located relatively to the boat. A boat with a heavy motor attached to it would require the wheel cart to be located further towards the stern.

It’s possible to upload the boat on this wheel cart from the bow or from the stern, depending on circumstances. Uploading from the stern makes it easier to place the close to the stern, which puts the boat in a good position for mounting the motor on it, as well as for carrying it with the motor attached to it.

 

S4 kayak loaded on the wheel cart and secured with two straps

 

When stored on board, this wheel cart protrudes into the front part of the cockpit, and this could restrict the space available for a second passenger. In such case, this wheel cart can be attached on top of the front deck, and stored under it if one of the passengers wants to stand on the deck and use it as a casting platform.

This wheel cart is not a product that we offer for sale

 

Some tech specs –

The 38″ long and 6″ wide horizontal main board is made from 3/4″ plywood, and so is the narrow reinforcement beam under it.
All wooden parts are coated with urethane.
We covered with Goop all the screws in the L brackets that could come in contact with the underside of the hulls.
The vertical side boards are made from 1/2″ plywood.
The wheels are 7″ in diameter.
The axles are made from a standard 3 ft long 1/2″ diameter steel tube cut in two.

 


Modifications

1.   Front lower corners cut away to enable better performance over rugged terrain, such as rocks, roots, etc.

 

 

 

 

White S4 arrived

By Jack Snapp

Texas

 

Took off from work early to get my S4 on the water the first time.
Arrived at boat launch and five minutes later was in the water. That’s at first! And without getting wet!   🙂
Easy to paddle seated or standing. Only minor issue was tracking in straight line up-river while coasting. Not an issue going down-river.
Shouldn’t be a problem with two people.
Can’t wait to motorize.
Woo Hoo!!!!!

Oh, love the storage. Can pack it at home and then straight in the water. Same when coming out of water. Not like a SOT kayak where you loading/unloading your gear to transport.
That’s a huge plus for me.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Update I

Spent 3 1/2 hours on Lake Dunlap this morning.
Beautiful day. Got lots of stares. Almost constant paddling, seated and standing.
So comfortable!
Could have gone much longer.

 


Update II

Had a blast on the water on Sunday. Just need to get used to steering behind me. S4 handled perfectly, even over the wakes from other boats and jet skis. Got a few stares and thumbs up. Plenty of power from the 6hp Tohatsu to get to my fishing spots quickly. Then, I can tilt the motor up and paddle/pole around the skinny water.


Update III

Got my S4 up to 13 mph, but it runs consistently at 11 mph at open throttle. Just me and light gear on board. Wonder if others are experiencing the same, or better. Love to jump the wakes of jet skis and other boats. But, normally not at top speed. It could easily handle a larger motor.
 

Duck boat for two hunters – Wavewalk 700

By Chris Henderson

Fishing Kayaks of Gig Harbor

Well I haven’t sent in a report lately because I have been deer hunting and the Wavewalks were not involved. But now it is on to ducks and the Wavewalks are an essential part of our arsenal.
We have long paddles in strong currents and in rough weather and the Wavewalk handles it just fine!
The W700 is particularly good as a duck boat. Two hunters can carry their gear and tandem paddling makes the currents no big deal.

On this trip we were able to use the outgoing tide as well as the current from a river to make the trip back home easy. According to the GPS we were doing 7-8 mph paddling with the current.

I have designed a blind for the boat but have yet to finish building it.

Most of the time the Wavewalks are only used as transportation. We are also able to transport 3 dozen deeks, two hunters, shooting boxes, guns, camo nets, all in the W700!

Enjoying the stability and versatility of the these kayaks.

Here are a few pictures from our latest duck hunt.

double

Double

drake-crush

Drake crush

ducks-in-the-deeks

Ducks in the deeks

wigeon-down

Wigeon down

 

More kayak rigging, fishing and duck hunting with Chris »