Tag Archive: storage

The smallest and greatest skiff

Skiff design, built, main advantages, and noteworthy shortcomings

Skiffs come in different sizes and configurations, and similarly to Jon boats, they are flat bottomed mono-hulls, a feature that reduces draft, which is advantageous for fishing in shallow water.
But this design feature also makes skiffs less seaworthy compared to other boats of similar size.
This is yet another example of specialization that enhances the product’s performance in one application while diminishing its performance in others.
Skiffs’ limited seaworthiness is the reason for their being unpopular as boats for offshore fishing, and opinions about their performance in bays and estuaries are mixed. The skiff design’s limited seaworthiness is one of the reasons why owners of big boats and yachts don’t use small skiffs dubbed microskiff as tenders.
Typically, skiffs’ hulls are molded from fiberglass, mainly because this material is more durable in saltwater than aluminum, which is the most common building material in Jon boats. However, fiberglass doesn’t perform well in terms of impact resistance, and it requires maintenance, while other polymer resins (plastics) such as Polyethylene don’t.
Fiberglass is also heavier than Polyethylene, too heavy to make a small skiff that’s lightweight enough to be transported on top of a vehicle’s roof, namely a portable skiff.
Skiffs are propelled by one or more outboard motors mounted at their stern.

Typical skiff features

Depending on a skiff’s size and level of outfitting, it may feature a center console, a casting platform at its front, and a tall structure at the stern, for a person to use for poling and/or for sighting fish for one or more anglers fishing from the deck.
Skiff are sometimes outfitted with an electric trolling motor, typically mounted at their bow.
The main advantages of a frontal casting platform are that it offers the angler a broader range of casting, be it with bait, lures, flies, or a fishing net, and it puts a bigger distance between them and other fishers working from the middle of the deck.
The main advantage of a center console is that it improves the driver’s comfort and stability, relatively to driving from the stern, and it allows them to drive standing.
Poling is both exhausting and rather ineffective as a mode of propulsion, and therefore increasingly unpopular among anglers who fish the flats and other shallow water. This leaves the poling platform to serve mainly as a watchtower, and possibly as an ornament.
Electric trolling motors are quiet, and they can be controlled remotely, which is one of the reasons that more skiff owners use them these days.

Microskiff – a class of very small small skiffs

Microskiff is a term that refers to compact skiffs, namely of small size, and typically of reduced features as well. The smaller size saves money on gas and maintenance, but the need to transport microskiffs on a trailer still presents a challenge in terms of launching and beaching, as well as storage.
At the lowest end of microskiffs both in terms of size and price, is a group of large size boards, some of which feature backward pointing extensions that provide extra support for the outboard motor’s weight, and some that don’t. These boards usually offer enough stability and load capacity for just one user (I.E. “solo” skiff), and they hardly offer any free board, which pretty much guarantees that this user will get soaked, whether they like it or not.
As far as comfort is concerned, these large size boards marketed as microskiffs or “solo” skiffs seem to be designed with no concern for ergonomics whatsoever, to a point where watching a video featuring such a skiff might give the viewer an uneasy feeling.
In terms of portability and transportation, their small size allows for an unusually strong person to transport one on a pickup truck bed, but car topping such a vessel is beyond reach for anyone who’s not a professional weight lifter.
Most of these board type skiffs are molded from fiberglass or other cold-molded resins, which reduces their impact resistance, durability, and therefore reliability.
The board skiff that’s made from Polyethylene weighs 150 lbs without the motor, which is still too heavy to rival the portability of most fishing kayaks and canoes, and let’s not forget that square-stern canoes can be outfitted with small outboard motors…
Despite their small size, including a beam (width) that’s narrower than the beam of conventional skiffs, board skiffs do not paddle well, a factor that reduces their appeal to anglers who fish skinny water and water where aquatic vegetation abounds.

The Wavewalk S4 – the smallest and greatest skiff

In physical terms, the Wavewalk S4 is smaller and much lighter than any skiff, microskiff, and board skiff, and it its Polyethylene hull makes it more resistant to impact. It is the only skiff that anyone can car top without help from a second person.
The S4 can carry up to three adult fishermen on board, which is comparable to the crew size of good size skiffs, and it enables these anglers to fish at the same time and standing up, which is something that only full fledged medium sized and bigger skiffs may offer.
The S4 is a much seaworthy skiff that can be driven through ocean waves and other choppy waters without problems, both in a solo mode and with a second passenger on board. The patented combination of its twin-hull (catamaran) and saddle seat is extremely stable as well as easy for the users to balance, even more than a personal watercraft (PWC).
In fact, driving an S4 in the ocean and in choppy water is pure fun.
The S4 offers plenty of free board, which is good news for passengers who are looking to stay dry, and it is the only skiff that can serve as a tender for a big boat or a yacht.
The S4 offers its passengers to use the entire internal space of its twin hulls for on board storage, and this makes its storage capacity rival with full fledged and good size skiffs.
Like a full fledged skiff, the S4 can be easily outfitted with a front mounted electric trolling motor.
And unlike any other skiff, including the smallest board-type microskiffs, or kayak skiffs, the S4 works really well as a paddle craft, namely kayak or canoe, to a point that some owners use it as a fishing kayak, without even motorizing it.
Typically, the S4 is used with outboard motors in the 3.5 HP to 6 HP range, but it can be powered by bigger motors.

In sum, the S4 is a craft that’s so advanced in performance and versatility that it deserves a class of its own.

 

 

 

Read more about the Wavewalk® Series 4 (S4) »

 

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.
 

First time paddling my Wavewalk 500 in Lake Margarita

By Karen Briefer-Gose

California

First time out, was perfect. All my goofy looking sun protection gear on (don’t care, I’m a melanoma survivor). Loved it! Plenty of room to carry stuff. Not tippy. And no having to extricate myself from it.

Kathi took this video of me 5 minutes into our first outing at Lake Margarita. Felt really comfortable. Headwind gave me a workout, but was fun. My Wavewalk is a zillion times more comfortable and roomy than Kathi’s little 10′ sit in kayak and didn’t mind getting caught in people’s wakes. This is the perfect kayak for me!!!!!

 

A few days before the trip

Beach cleaning mission – Wavewalk 700 as a service boat and pickup truck with lots of storage

By Captain Larry Jarboe

Florida Fishing Kayaks

 

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

Larry also offers guided fishing and diving trips in the Key Largo and the areas that surround it »

More fishing adventures with Capn’ Larry »