Tag Archive: kayak sailing

Review of the Wavewalk S4 – first impression

By Rafael Francke

California

Background

Rafael owns a catamaran yacht that he and his wife Heidi designed. For the past six years Rafael and his family have used a Wavewalk 500 as a tender boat for it, as well as a versatile fun boat, which they sailed with a DIY outrigger.
Rafael was looking to replace his Wavewalk 500 with a bigger Wavewalk 700, but he decided to order an S4 as soon as he heard that we were planning to offer such a boat. Rafael and his family waited patiently for several months for the S4 project to materialize, and they were among the first to receive their order. This is Rafael’s “first impression” review of his Wavewalk S4-

Outboard motor: I had no problem at all.

Sailing by wind: I tested the W S4 in light wind, and it handles very nice. Sailing without a rudder, and without a dagger board, I can control the direction by moving my location in the W S4 front and aft.

Very easy seating on the saddle.

Paddle: Too bad I didn’t order an extra long paddle, because I found that my common 8 ft kayak paddle was too short.

The W S4 is more stable than I expected. It’s a real pleasure.

One of our friends likes the S4 and he’s thinking of getting one too.

 

 

 

 

Read how a few weeks later, Rafael’s S4 survived a car accident, and how he repaired it »

UPDATE (August)

After Rafael repaired his S4, he and his family started using it in various applications –

Says Rafael: –
“The S-4 is alive and well, in the picture, last week the S-4 is decorated for a dinghy party.
There is a lot of interest in it.
In two days the S-4 is going on a camping trip to Oregon to see the Eclipse. We hope to use it on Shasta lake.
When on the water the S-4 is a very stable boat, using the 3 hp Yamaha it moves very nice.
It is little heavy to lift on to our “big” boat, but it pays back when in use on the water.”

Paddling and sailing the Great Lakes with my Wavewalk 700

By Forrest Henry

Michigan

Everything is fine. Only been able to use the kayak for a few hours, but love it.
I also sailed the kayak for a while using the Wind Paddle sail. Looking forward to spring!!

I finished the spray skirt this morning. The driveway marker was too stiff, so I used a fiberglass flat strip that was part of a canopy for my rope hammock. The canvas lays on my lap when I sit in the center of the kayak.
I also attached a piece of lexan with velcro to the back of the kayak to use as a table.

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And for a cart I am using a modified Magnus cart from paddlelogic. When the off-the-shelf Magnus did not fit, Dave, the owner, was very accommodating and made arms that are 3 inches longer and a wider axle.

No sailing pictures yet.

Outriggers

this product has been discontinued

Wavewalk® Sailing Outriggers

These outriggers fit the W500 and W700 series, as well as canoes, and many common kayaks.
Wavewalk® Sailing Outriggers provide more stability than most outriggers, thanks to the combination of larger size floats and longer arms (crossbar).
Other advantages are their light weight (10 lbs total), ease of installation, and their versatility, as their inflatable floats can also be attached directly to the boat’s main hull, without any intermediary rigid structure.

Sailing Outriggers Product Info

Dimensions:
  • Width (side to side):  6′ (180 cm)
  • Outriggers’ Length (front to back): 5’4″  (162 cm)
  • Total Weight: 10 lbs (4.5 kg)
  • Volume: 2 x 8.65 gallons  (2 x 32 liter)
  • Positive Buoyancy: 2 x 70 lbs  (2 x 32 kg)

Materials: 

  • Structure: 3/4″ anodized aluminum bars
  • Inflatable Tubes: 30 MIL HD PVC
Made in USA
Wavewalk Outriggers 1024

Wavewalk® XL Outriggers

Price: $455.

Shipping: $90. in the continental US (48 states), $100 to addresses in Canada and Alaska.

this product has been discontinued

Installation

  • The crossbar can be easily attached to a W500, W700 and any canoe that features a gunwale. Drilling is required. The crossbar can be attached to some kayaks too, and if this is not possible, straps can do the job. The crossbar features wing bolts – no tools required when attaching / detaching during regular operation.
  • Each outrigger is quickly and easily attached to the crossbar by means of one eye bolt. No tools required.
  • The tubes can be easily inflated / deflated via a large-size mouth valve. No pump required. The inflatable tubes are attached to the aluminum bars with carabiners, for quick and easy attach / detach.

Why use outriggers?

OUTRIGGERS Main USAGE and POSITION

Outriggers main role is to provide secondary stability, namely help in preventing the boat from capsizing. If you’re counting on a pair outriggers as stabilizers, namely to provide primary stability when the boat is level (I.E. not tilting sideways), you’re probably not using them correctly, or not using the right boat, or both.

When outriggers touch the water, they generate drag that slows down the boat.  Therefore, if possible, the outriggers should be mounted high enough, in a way that prevents them from touching the water unless the boat tilts sideways dangerously, so much that the user and passengers could lose balance and the boat itself capsize.

How high above the water should you mount the outriggers?

The height depends on factors such as your skill level as a boater, the size of your sailing rig, and how reasonably confident you feel about being able to handle the situation before the outrigger touches the water and starts supporting the boat.

Outriggers for fishing kayaks and canoes?

If you fish out of a canoe or a kayak, the last thing you want is outriggers, because sooner than later they’ll snag your lines and provide great opportunities for the fish you hooked to get away.
On top of this, most outriggers out there are too small and feature arms (crossbar) that are too short. These outriggers offer some initial (primary) stability, namely an impression of being stable, but they are not effective in supporting your weight in case the canoe or kayak tilts strongly on its side. In other words, the secondary stability these outriggers offer is insufficient in more difficult situations, and that’s when they’re mostly needed.
Another reason why canoe and kayak outriggers are not particularly effective is that they’re attached to the boat’s rear section, and therefore add stability mostly in that area, while having very little effect the middle section of the boat, and no effect all as far as stuff that happens in its front section. And as everyone knows, stuff happens…

For these reasons, we do not recommend using outriggers for fishing kayaks and canoes.

Outriggers for paddling?

Outriggers may add stability, but they also generate quite a bit of drag, and if you need to paddle over long distances you may find that the added outriggers make you too tired to enjoy your trip.

What about outriggers for motorized kayaks and canoes?

Not a great idea, unless the outriggers you use offer a sufficient amount of buoyancy, and most of them don’t. Again, thinking you’re stable isn’t the equivalent of being stable in real-world terms, namely as soon as you lose balance and the outrigger has to support your weight.
If you want to motorize your canoe or kayak, get a pair of big outriggers. This is especially true if you use a powerful outboard gas motor, as those are not as forgiving as weak electric trolling motors can be.

Outriggers for sailing

Yes!
Practically speaking, if you want to sail a canoe or a kayak, you must  compensate for these boats’ deficient stability (and compensate for their other deficiencies by other means*).
Sailing a canoe or a kayak with a rig featuring a good size sail (say over 35 square feet) exposes you to sudden gusts, and to capsizing, and that’s where outriggers are a must-have.
But not all outriggers were created equal, and the bigger the outriggers the better stability they deliver. And when it comes to stability, there’s no such thing as “too stable”. If you want to put the odds on your side (you do!), you should get large-size outriggers.

Boats from the Wavewalk® 500 and 700 series are more stable than any canoe or kayak out there, which is one of the reasons why you can motorize them more effectively, but sailing is different: If you’re planning to use a good size sail with your W, you should consider outfitting it with outriggers, and attach them as closely as possible to the mast, namely in the front section of the boat, where they would be more effective.

 

Canoes and kayaks track poorly, which is why they require a leeboard to reduce downwind drift, and a rudder to allow for tacking and tracking when they’re sailed. Wavewalk® kayaks and boats track very well, which is why you may sail them without a leeboard and a rudder, but only up to a certain point determined by your sailing skills, sail size, and wind power.

this product has been discontinued


 

More info on outriggers

How effective are outriggers for your fishing kayak’s stability?

How Effective Can A Fishing Kayak’s Outriggers Be?

An Umbrella Sailing Assist, by Gary Rankel

For some time, I’ve been exploring ways to ease or reduce paddling in reaching some of my farther off fishing sites. I’ve researched motorizing my Wavewalk with both gas and electric models but, in the end, don’t want to add even a minimum of 30-40 pounds of weight, or put up with the added hassle of keeping gas, charging batteries, related maintenance, and anything other than a totally quiet experience on the water.
I’ve also taken a few umbrellas out with me exploring whether any might ease my journeys and save me a bit of paddling, but most were not practical, did not stay securely in place or allow me to paddle and steer when deployed. Not that I’m lazy, mind you; I still enjoy getting my exercise, but at age 72, I could use a bit of relief on my 8-10 mile paddles.

While looking at umbrellas online a few weeks ago, I stumbled across one from Radio Flyer that looked interesting. It’s specifically for children’s wagons.
I ordered one, and I’m glad I did. I’ve had it out twice and it works well.

The umbrella is 31 inches high and 26 inches in diameter when extended which is large enough to catch the wind yet small enough to not totally obliterate my view going forward. It has a bendable, tilt handle which can be rotated 360 degrees, and stays in place when set. The powerful clamp (you need to use both hands to open it) attaches securely to the W’s cockpit rim via a groove that is intended to attach to the lip of a wagon, but looks made for the W. These features allow for a secure, hands-free operation, allowing me to paddle and steer at the same time that the umbrella propels me forward.

The clamp can easily be slid or moved to any portion of the cockpit lip, but works best for me when positioned directly in front. When not being deployed, the umbrella, still attached to the cockpit rim, folds down and totally out of the way for fishing. When positioned on the side of the W and pointed downward so that a small portion of the umbrella touches the water, it might even serve somewhat as a makeshift sea anchor or outrigger (however, I’ll have to experiment more to determine related usefulness). And, of course, it can provide a bit of shade.

While the umbrella is an option only when the wind is blowing roughly in the direction you want to go, if you’re like me, and plan your trips to take advantage of the tide and wind, it can provide a nice boost.

I won’t be setting any speed records with my umbrella and won’t be challenging Yoav to a race in his souped up W, but I think the Radio Flyer may just make a few of my longer paddles a little more relaxing.

I’ll be ordering a couple more for backups, or maybe to deploy two at once.

Gary

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Click images to enlarge –

 

 

Read more about Gary’s kayak fishing trips »