Tag Archive: maintenance

Choosing an outboard motor for your Wavewalk® 700 skiff

This article is an attempt to answer some questions that Wavewalk skiff owners ask in the process of choosing an outboard motor for it –

Short shaft or long shaft?

We definitely recommend using outboards that feature a long (20″) propeller shaft, and for multiple reasons, which are discussed in this article entitled Outboard motor propeller shaft length for Wavewalk fishing kayaks and boats »
We recommend not to be tempted by the availability and lower price of 15″ short shaft outboard motors, because such motors don’t fit the W700, and using one would never produce optimal results, even for a highly skilled individual with a lot of experience in boat outfitting.

Here is a list of long (L) 20″ shaft outboard motors currently available in the 2 to 6 horsepower range, and their HP rating:

  • Honda 2.3 HP (air cooled), 5 HP
  • Suzuki 6 HP
  • Evinrude 6 HP
  • Tohatsu 3.5 HP, 4 HP, 5 HP, 6 HP
  • Yamaha 2.5 HP, 4 HP, 6 HP
  • Mercury 3.5 HP, 4 HP, 5 HP, 6 HP
  • Mariner 3.5 HP, 4 HP, 5 HP, 6 HP

Recommended reading –

Air cooled or water cooled?

Water cooled motors are quieter but heavier than comparable air cooled motors.
The only motor featuring on the above list that’s not water cooled is the Honda 2.3 HP. It is very lightweight, and works very well, but being air cooled makes it considerably noisier.

Note: Outboard motor manufacturers recommend flushing the motor’s cooling system with fresh water after every trip in saltwater. It’s possible to flush an outboard with a garden hose outfitted with a special adapter.

4-Cycle or 2-Cycle engine?

Nearly all new small motors on the market are 4-Cycle (4-stroke) and not 2-Cycle (2-stroke).
The advantage of the 4-Cycle system is twofold –

  1. The motor runs on regular fuel, and there is no need to mix it with oil.
  2. A 4-Cycle motor is cleaner, namely it emits far less stinky fumes than 2-cycle motors do.

Some experts argue that for the same displacement of its combustion chamber (cc, volume, size), a 2-Cycle engine in more powerful than 4-Cycle one, but we think that convenience and fresh air are more important.

electric or gas?

Many Wavewalk owners outfit their W500 and W700 with electric motors in the 30 to 50 lbs thrust range, and some go as far as 70 lbs thrust. They use their electric kayaks and skiffs for assisted paddling, recreation, touring, trolling, fishing, snorkeling, etc., but we prefer not to include electric motors in our list of “real” outboard motors for two reasons, which are:

  1. Power – Although some small electric motors are offered as “outboard motors”, just looking at their basic, objective power rating makes us think that they are too weak. Kilowatts to Horsepower conversion: 1 KW = 1.34 HP, and 1 HP = 0.745 KW. Consequently, an electric motor can work well on flat water and at a moderate speed, but not necessarily in adverse conditions, namely strong current, strong wind, etc.
  2. Range of travel – A gallon (3.8 liter) of fuel costs a few dollars, and it’s enough for a typical small outboard motor to run for 4 hours at a high RPM, or an entire day at a lower RPM. You can refuel a small outboard’s built-in fuel tank when you’re on board your Wavewalk®. You can take several gallons of fuel with you on a long camping trip, and you can buy more fuel almost everywhere, while recharging an electric motor’s battery can take half a day. Therefore, gas outboard motors offer a reliable and convenient solution whose price / performance ratio is unbeatable by any electric motor available today.

Weight

All small outboard motors listed above are considered to be Portable. However, between the 29 lbs of the 2.3 HP Honda and the 59 lbs of the 6 HP motors there is a considerable difference, if you need to carry the motor by hand over a distance.

The shallow water position

Most of the small outboard motors listed here offer to lock their propeller shaft in an intermediary position between the vertical (down) and horizontal (up) positions. In this intermediary, slanted position, the propeller drafts less than in the vertical position, and this allows for driving the boat at a moderate speed in very shallow (‘skinny’) water. Therefore, if you’re looking to fish in skinny water, we recommend that you look for this feature.

gear shift lever

Most outboard motors on our list feature a gear shift level, and this is a good thing, because the alternative is a centrifugal clutch that lacks an absolute neutral position. The absence of a full neutral gear can make starting the motor a little tricky, if you’re a beginner.
Our preference goes to the outboard motors that feature the gear shift lever at the front, rather than on their side. The frontal position makes it easier for the driver to access the lever whether the motors points left or right, and even if the driver is facing forward.

built-in fuel tank

All the above listed outboard motors come with a built-in (integrated) fuel tank, and this is a convenient feature considering the alternative is to have a fuel line run from a separate tank to the engine. When you operate such a small craft as a Wavewalk, simplicity becomes increasingly important.

propeller

The propellers that come standard with these outboard motors fit Wavewalk’s kayaks and portable skiffs. Typically, these motors propel much heavier boats, which is why the propeller’s diameter and pitch which determine output in terms of speed and torque are of no real consequence to the owner of a Wavewalk under normal conditions.

price and brand

All the brands listed above are known to produce quality motors, and in fact some of them produce motors for others. For example, Mercury is a Tohatsu brand. This is to say that we see no reason to pay more for a particular name brand, and we recommend to consider only the motor’s technical attributes, and its price.

HP rating – can i overpower my skiff?

6 HP is the absolute maximum for which the W700 is rated, and this is only for its RIB model. Overpowering your Wavewalk can be hazardous, and if you use the wrong motor mount you’d be calling for trouble. This said, if you happen to own a 20″ shaft 5 HP motor and your W700 is rated for a 4.5 HP motor, you can keep your motor, and you won’t necessarily have to get a new one. Similarly, if your W700 is rated for up to 4.5 HP and you found a nice 4 HP that you like, you’d be fine with it.

motor mount

If you choose to make a DIY mount for an electric trolling motor, chances are that you’ll succeed, since these motors are so weak that they’re not likely to cause trouble. But this is not the case with the gas outboard motors in the range that features on the above list.
There are several issues to overcome with motor mounts, and the motor’s weight is the least of them. The main problem is that operating at the end of a 20″ lever, the motor’s propeller generates a great amount of torque, especially at high speed, in rough water and when making sharp turns at high speed. This torque can twist and crack a 4×2 timber, and pull out nails and screws from their place. After having seen motor mounts get broken by outboard motors ranging from 6 to 3.5 HP that were mounted on them, we strongly recommend not to build a DIY motor mount for these motors, and to use only the motor mounts that Wavewalk recommends.

alternator

Some of the more powerful outboard motors listed here can be outfitted with an alternator and an AC to DC converter. Note that such accessories cost hundreds of dollars.
The electric current produced by this system can be used to power lights on board, or to charge a trolling motor’s battery. Such setups are common in bigger boats (e.g. bass boats) that feature much more powerful motors. Although some Wavewalk owners have outfitted their W700 with two motors (a powerful one for driving and a small one for trolling), we don’t know of anyone who’s outfitted their outboard motor with an electric current generation system.

Why an outboard motor?

Skiffs, Jon boats and other small boats sometime come with other motors, among which are air drives or air motors (large diameter propellers) for running marshes and flats, jet drives (similar to personal watercraft, a.k.a. jet-ski), long shaft mud motors for going in shallow water and over obstacles, and outboard motors that run on propane.

While each of these motors offers certain special advantages, and we’d love to see the W700 outfitted with any of them, as well as with other propulsion systems ranging from sails to oars, and even pedal drives… we think the common small outboards such as we listed here offer the optimal mix of price, performance, reliability, versatility, ease of use, and ease of maintenance – Just think how common are boat dealerships and repair shops that service these motors… And if you know how to use your outboard motor and you take care of it, it’s truly a wonderful thing that you’d enjoy for years, and possibly even decades.

Catching smallmouth on the Allegheny river

By Dave Wayman

Pennsylvania

I went down the Allegheny River probably about 7-8 times this summer. Really enjoyed it.
We caught smallmouths mostly.
It wasn’t a banner year. You have to work hard for them. But it was fun.
Learning a lot about what to use and how to go about catching them.

I loaned my W500 kayak to two different guys and took them down the river (I used a standard kayak, which I hate). They love the WaveWalk and I’m trying to get them interested so they buy one. Also went down the river with another W500 owner who loves his WaveWalk.

My WaveWalk got pretty dirty from river water this summer. I need to try to clean it good before putting it up.

I was wondering if there is anything I should do to my WaveWalk as I get ready to put it up for the winter. Is there any dressing or wax that should be used to protect the material the kayak is molded from? So that it lasts longer?

This is a picture of a 15” er that I caught yesterday on the Allegheny.

15-inch-smallmouth-bass-allegheny-pa


Thanks to Joe Stauder from HBBCO Stand Up Fishing Kayaks

User Manual

Wavewalk® Fishing Kayak User Manual

This section provides basic, ‘getting started’ tips and advice on using your Wavewalk® Fishing Kayak, and it offers links to other parts of this website that contain in-depth information. It is written in a sequential order of use, as much as possible.

CONTENT

Safety  |  Car ToppingAttaching  |  Carrying (Portaging)  |  Storing Gear on Board  |  Entering and Launching  |  Paddling  |  Poling  |  Steering  |  Tracking Standing  |  Motorizing  |  Scouting  |  Stealth  |  Dog on Board  |  Anchoring  |  Casting  |  Net  |  Entering From Deep Water  |  Shallow Water  |  Surf and Ocean  |  Draining  |  Beaching  |  Tandem  |  Storing the Kayak  |  Maintenance and Repair  |  Scratches Outfitting and Rigging | Limitations  |  Outriggers

 

Safety First

Always wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) when using your Wavewalk® Fishing Kayak.
Do not wear heavy shoes or rubber boots, waders or any heavy or cumbersome clothes since they might prevent you from getting back into your boat or swimming back to shore in case you fall overboard.
Never drink alcohol or take medication that might make you drowsy before and while kayak fishing.

 

Car Topping and Loading

You don’t need a special kayak rack since the Wavewalk® Kayak fits on top of any car rack.

Have one tip of the boat lean on the car rack and push upward and forward until the boat is on top of the car:


How to transport this kayak inside a vehicle »

 

 

How to car top a Wavewalk® 700 on a midsize SUV »

 

Attaching a W Kayak to Your Vehicle

The easiest way to attach your Wavewalk® Kayak to the car rack is with its cockpit facing upward but you can also attach it with the cockpit opening facing sideways when transporting two Wavewalk® kayaks.
Use strong straps, bungee cords or rope to secure the kayak to the car rack.
Note: All plastic boats are sensitive to the combination of excessive heat and pressure – Make sure your Wavewalk® Kayak doesn’t come in direct contact with exposed metal parts heated by the sun.

The simple way to attach a Wavewalk® kayak to a regular car rack:

fishing kayak attached on top of vehicle

fishing kayak attached on top of vehicle

 

Carrying (Portaging) – One Person

On your shoulder (see ‘Downloading’) – For short and medium distances.
Over your head with your head between the hulls and each hull supported by one of your shoulders and one of your hands – For short, medium an long distances.
On your side: Hold the boat on its side with one hand gripping the cockpit rim in one hand supporting the lower hull – For short distances only.
Dragging:  Attach a rope or a leash to the boat and pull it behind you.  This way you can portage for long distances and in difficult terrain.  If you don’t drag it over asphalt, concrete or oyster beds the bottom of your Wavewalk® Kayak’s will be only mildly scratched, in a way that will not affect its performance.  For short, medium and long distances.  Watch video »
Wheels:
Also, see ‘Transportation’ section of the ‘Outfitting’ page »

 

Storing Your Fishing and Camping Gear On Board

The Wavewalk® 500 kayak offers you 8.8 cubic feet (66 gallons) of dry and accessible storage space, which is more than any kayak does, including expedition style kayaks.
Take the time to think and experiment before you take any definitive action like drilling, cutting or buying new gear. Finding the optimal solution for placing and attaching your fishing gear in your W Fishing Kayak might require more than one fishing trip simply because you have much more storage space inside and outside the boat, and therefore more possibilities to consider, test and evaluate.
In general, it is advised to store heavier gear such as fish tank, battery etc. in lower places, and not to fill the cockpit with large size objects that may be attached on top of the hulls’ tips in front or behind it.
You may want to read this website’s ‘Outfitting’ section as well as customer stories.

More reading: How much gear can you store inside the W500 kayak? »

 

Entering and Launching

1.   Regular:  Put the boat halfway in the water and facing forward.  Step into the cockpit from behind (no need to step in water) and install yourself on the saddle.   You can get the boat  to move forward by either placing a foot on the front part of the spray deflector and ‘kick’ and/or by pushing your paddle backward.
When the boat is sufficiently in you can pole and paddle forward.
Similarly, you can put-in standing.

2.   Surf launching: Standing in the water beside your Wavewalk® Kayak and lean over it while holding the two sides of the spray deflector.   Then hop inside and start paddling.

This old video shows a 2006 W300 (smaller series, discontinued in 2010) launched in the surf:

3.   Launching from a dock:   Hold the boat in parallel to the dock and carefully get inside, one leg after another.
4.   Seal launching (Warning: only for advanced paddlers):   Put the kayak on a rock or a slope facing the water, position yourself in the back of the cockpit only in the Riding position, and slide down to the water while leaning backwards in order to minimize the impact.  It’s possible to perform this trick from a dock or from a deck of a bigger boat.

Read more about how to seal launch your fishing kayak »

 

 

Paddling

You don’t ride a chopper the way you ride a dirt bike, and canoeing is different from kayaking in a number of ways.  in paddling there are some similarities between canoing and W kayaking, and other things that W kayaking shares with regular kayaking.  In addition, there are also things that are unique to W kayaking.
It is important to keep this in mind before you begin paddling your W Kayak in order to improve both your experience and performance.

Getting started:  It is advised to get used to the boat on flat water before venturing to moving water. As a beginner always make sure you are in the Riding (Mounted) position:

Figure 1W Kayaking -Riding Position

Riding, or ‘Mounted’ Position

Your legs are on your sides and deliver optimal stability, power and control

Riding (Mounted) – The Best Position For Learning, Balancing and Controlling Your Wavewalk® Kayak:
Beginning W Kayakers should start in the Riding position, that is with their legs and feet on both sides of the saddle in a direct line below their upper body (see picture on the right).
Riding is the stablest position and it offers best control over the boat.
This is especially true if you don’t have good canoeing experience and you’re not used to balancing a boat with your legs.
Your experience with regular kayaks (SIK or SOT) may help you in some ways but it does not guarantee that you’ll learn faster because of the differences between ordinary kayaking and W kayaking.
Riding is also very comfortable once you get to used to it.

The Riding or ‘Mounted’ position is particularly stable and effective because all the muscles in your legs from your feet through your ankles, knees and hips can deliver quick, accurate and powerful reactions.
Riding is a position that’s comfortable enough to allow horse riders to travel for thousands of miles during many months.
In past centuries, a cavalry man would throw javelins, shoot arrows or slash his enemies with his saber – all while being mounted on his horse’s saddle, while a cowboy would use his lasso to catch and control cattle from the same powerful and stable position.

The Riding position: This video shows in slow motion how the paddler maintains his stability while powerfully tilting his Wavewlk® 500 kayak:

 

 

Balancing: The right way to balance yourself in your Wavewalk® kayak is to hold the paddle with both hands and use your hips, thighs, knees, ankles and feet to respond to the boat’s lateral movement by gently shifting your weight from one leg to the other and keeping your upper body upright and centered.
Leaning with your hand on the spray deflector is not practical at all.
Also, unlike in ordinary kayaks keeping one of your paddle’s blades in the water is not recommended for balancing your Wavewalk® Kayak since it is better if you get used from the beginning to rely on your lower body to perform this task.

Note: The new W700 car-top boat is so stable that it hardly requites any balancing.

Do not confuse Riding (mounting) with Sitting – In the Sitting position your legs are positioned in front of you – see Figure 2.  Sitting is not a recommended position for beginning W kayakers.

W Kayaking -Sitting Position - regularFigure 2   The Sitting Position

Your legs are in front of you and therefore deliver less stability, power and control

 

For more information on the different paddling positions go to the ergonomics section.

Getting used to the Wavewalk® 500 Kayak is personal and can take from a few minutes to several hours. It’s advised not to try to rush things and not to expect to become an expert Wavewalk kayaker after one paddling session – for many people it takes more time. There is a lot you can achieve with a Wavewalk® kayak that you can’t achieve with a regular kayak, and it’s only natural to need some time to learn it.

Positioning Yourself Along the Saddle

You can move forward and backward along the saddle according to your needs and according to circumstances.
For example, when paddling against eddies and waves you can sit in the back of the cockpit and by that lift the bow, which will make paddling easier, since you’d be going over the waves instead of through them.
For more details visit this website’s surf and ocean section.

Poling

You’ll find that poling your W fishing Kayak in shallow water is easy. We recommend that you pole using a long and sturdy paddle such as our Wavewalk® PSP, or a poling pole.  The advantage of the long and sturdy Wavewalk® paddle is the fact you can use it for both poling and paddling.

Steering by Leaning Into the Turn

You don’t need a rudder in order to turn sharply in your Wavewalk® Kayak:  Turning is very easy if you lean into the turn and paddle on the exterior side.
Caution: Since this is an unusual thing in paddling it is advised that you first get used to controlling and balancing the boat before you start leaning it into the turn.  It is advised to do it carefully and gradually.
Getting used to turning by leaning into the turn is personal and can take anything between a few minutes to several hours.
You can lean into the turn in all positions but you can lean more effectively in the Riding, Kneeling and Standing positions, and less in the Sitting position.

By the time you start practicing leaning into the turn you’ll probably know that beginning in the Riding position is best for you.

The ability to lean on one hull and paddle alongside the other hull is also useful when paddling in the surf.  For more information visit this website’s surf and ocean section.

Easy, Rudderless Tracking In Strong Wind

How to get the wind to help you track –
You can move fore and aft along the saddle, and thus displace your Wavewalk® kayak’s center of gravity (CG).
The heavier end will tend to point into the wind, while the lighter end will tend to trail.
With occasional, minor adjustments of your position along the saddle, you’ll be able to track perfectly.

See full article about tracking in strong wind »
The article features an online instructional movie.

Stand Up Paddling (SUP) and Fishing

This kayak is the only one that offers true stand up paddling and fishing for everyone, in real life conditions, in the sense that you don’t have to be young and fit to do it, and once you get used to it, you won’t need to waste time and energy in continuous balancing efforts. True stand up paddling and fishing also means that in case you lose balance, you can simply, easily, instantaneously and intuitively regain your balance just by dropping to the Riding position on the kayak’s 14″ high saddle. This is critical for both convenience and safety.
And needless to say tat rising from the lower position to standing is a breeze.
To paddle standing adults need a paddle that’s longer than ordinary kayak or canoe paddles.
Our company offers two extra long and rigid stand up paddles that work perfectly for paddling in the lower positions too.
Children, teenagers and some people may find it as easy as paddling in lower positions but for most adult paddlers stand up paddling is a skill that can take some time to acquire, like any other skill, including kayaking.
It is advised to begin practicing stand up paddling on flat water before venturing in moving water.

To learn more about stand up paddling visit this website’s Stand up kayak paddling and fishing section.

Motorizing

You can easily motorize your Wavewalk® kayak by outfitting it with either an electric motor or an outboard gas engine. We offer standard transom mounts for 15″ (short) and 20″ (long) propeller shaft models. We strongly recommend using long (20″) shaft motors rather than short (15″) ones.
Motorizing your Wavewalk® kayak would greatly expand your range of travel, and could increase your safety since getting back to shore in bad weather and against a strong current is easier when motorizing than while paddling.
Our website features a special section dedicated to motorized fishing kayaks »

Important:

Before going on a motorized trip, verify that the wide wooden bolt knobs that secure the motor mount to the boat are safely tightened to the maximum. Failing to tighten the bolt knobs could result in unwanted vibrations and noise. If you feel such unusual vibrations and/or hear unusual noise, stop the motor, turn around, and tighten the bolt knobs to the max.
Driving with loose bolt knobs is hazardous, similarly to driving with the motor’s clamp screws loose, and it could result in an accident.

Never operate the motor without the motor’s stop switch (“kill-switch”) attached to your arm.

For motor operation and maintenance please refer to the motor’s owner’s manual.

Scouting and Sight Fishing

Scouting is best done on flat water while paddling in the standing position.
Since scouting is usually done at a slow speed without much maneuvering it is advantageous to learn how to paddle on one side of your kayak using a canoeing style J-stroke to keep tracking.

Stealth

Many anglers are concerned about spooking the fish by making unnecessary noise, such as when they drop their paddle in order to seize a fishing rod and cast a fly or a bait at a fish they’ve just spotted. These anglers usually outfit their W kayak’s cockpit with thick foam along its rim (coaming), which dampens the impact and noise of the paddle when they let it down to rest there, sometimes in a groove they make in the foam.

Dog on Board

Most dogs like to go on paddling, fishing, photography or hunting trips on board the Wavewalk® 500 kayak.
To learn more about outfitting your Wavewalk® kayak with an appropriate solution to accommodate your dog »

Anchoring

You can easily drop an anchor is in the space between the hulls’ tips in front or behind the cockpit – according to your fishing needs.
You can also make an adjustable anchor trolley system as shown in this website’s ‘outfitting’ section.
If you fish in a stream you can use an anchor to slow your drifting downstream or a heavier anchor to keep your kayak in place. Some W anglers use an anchor pulley.
For flat shallow water, using a stakeout pole can work better than an anchor.

Casting

The Wavewalk® Kayak offers you the ability to cast to longer distances, which presents two advantages:
1.   Being able to cover more water from a stationary position before you need to move your kayak
2.   Some fish species can sense the presence of your kayak nearby and therefore are better caught from a distance.

For more information visit our website’s Shallow Water Fishing section

You can cast to longer distances with any gear from the powerful riding position.
The standing position is also good for casting to longer distances.
Casting from the sitting position is less powerful, although it still enables better casting than the traditional kayaking position does in other kayaks.

Net

You will find that netting smaller catch is very easy, and by gripping the fish through the net the hooks can be removed with minimal damage to the fish.
As for bigger fish, dropping them in one of the hulls will assure that they don’t slip away and will give you the possibility to deal with them on your own terms.

Reentering Your Wavewalk® Fishing Kayak From Deep Water

From the back:
To enter your Wavewalk® Fishing Kayak from the back you need to position yourself behind it and grab the hulls’ two tips. Hoist yourself upward and start crawling upward and forward with your legs positioned on both sides of the boat.
Use your legs to help you balance the boat. Doing it slowly and carefully is better than trying to rush things.
After you have going forward enough over the cockpit just let your legs drop into the hulls, and position yourself in the stable Riding position.
It is possible to perform this entry without help from other people if you do it slowly and carefully. Obviously, it is easier if someone can help you balance the boat by holding one or both handles in the bow.

From the side:
Position yourself on the side of the kayak with one hand holding the spray deflector. Push yourself upward and grab the spray deflector on the other side of the kayak, then quickly move one leg up and on top of the cockpit while your head and shoulders point in the other direction, so your body is in an angle and almost sideways to the kayak.
This method requires more agility and fitness than reentry from the back of the kayak.
If it doesn’t work and you feel the kayak isn’t stable, slide quickly back into to water, and then try again, or try reentering the cockpit from the back of the kayak.
If one hull has water in it, it can serve as a counter-balance, and you should reenter the kayak from the other side.

Demo video contributed by Berny Marsden, from the UK:

Berny designed and built this DIY Wavewalk with some help from us, and he named it “Banana Split” 🙂 . The load capacity and dimensions of this boat are comparable to those of the W700.

Before you go back into the cockpit make sure the paddle is secured, and it’s not in your way.
Practicing will improve your deep water entry skills.

Related info: How to use detachable flotation to right a capsized Wavewalk® kayak »

Shallow Water

Your Wavewalk® Fishing Fishing Kayak offers some exceptional advantages in shallow water, so we’ve dedicated a special section of this website to shallow water fishing

Surf And Ocean

This website has a special section dedicated to surf launching, surf playing, paddling, surfing and beaching in this challenging, fun environment. Please visit our our surf & ocean page.

Draining

Normally the interior of the boat stays dry, and if some rain or spray gets in it is drained to the bottom of the hulls where it does not bother you.
Similarly to other small boats, when you’re on the water in your Wavewalk® Fishing Kayak you can drain it using a small bucket, a hand operated bilge pump or an electric bilge pump.  Some W kayakers use a big sponge or a big towel for this matter.
When the W Fishing Kayak is on dry land you drain it in no time just by grabbing the handles and overturning it. The water will drain out from the special drainage holes in the top side of the cockpit rim.

Beaching

When beaching (taking out) you normally don’t have to step in water:  When paddling to shore position yourself in the back of the cockpit – This will raise the bow and make it easy for you to advance high enough on dry ground.  When stepping out from the boat do it from the front so you don’t have to get your feet wet.

Tandem (Two Adults)

 

  • Paddling in Tandem

-Two children weighing less than 100 lb each can hardly be considered a real tandem in terms of the special challenges facing two full size paddlers i.e. adults.

Paddling any kayak in tandem is always a challenge, but paddling a Wavewalk® Kayak in tandem is easier.
Before anything, do not attempt to paddle a Wavewalk® 500 Kayak in tandem unless both paddlers are experienced W kayakers.  The heavier and more experienced paddler should preferably ride in the back of the cockpit, where he/she can see what the new paddler is doing, instruct him/her and compensate for errors if necessary.
Paddling a Wavewalk® 500 Kayak in tandem is not recommended if one of the paddlers weighs over 200 lb, and if the total weight of both paddlers exceeds 350 lb.
Do not paddle in tandem in any position other than Riding, which is the stablest, and the one that offers best control.
Do not attempt to paddle a Wavewalk® 500 Kayak in tandem at sea or on moving water unless you’ve gained considerable experience in W Kayaking in general, and in tandem W Kayaking in particular.

You and your padding partner can paddle a Wavewalk® Kayak in tandem using either two canoe paddles, one canoe paddle and one kayak paddle, or two kayak paddles -What really matters is your teamwork, ability to understand each other and your individual paddling skills.
Note:  The W kayak is a small vessel, and like any other vessel it becomes slower and less stable when overloaded. You need to take into consideration these factors when planning any tandem activity with your W Kayak.
Most importantly, make sure you’ve read about the weight limitations for this kayak »
Also, beaching in tandem is more difficult than solo because you can no longer raise the bow effectively.
W kayaking in tandem can be a lot of fun if performed correctly and safely.

  • Fishing in Tandem

Generally, it is not advised for two people to sit in a small boat and fish together since this is an accident prone situation.  This is especially true for young and inexperienced fishermen.
It is possible for two people fishing together from the cockpit of a Wavewalk® 500 fishing kayak to have one fisherman face the bow while the other faces the stern.  This leaves more room in front of each of them for casting and reeling the fish in, but in any case both fishermen will not be free in their actions and they must be very careful in everything they do, and constantly aware of their partner’s actions.
It is possible to paddle this way for short distances but only if the front passenger (I.E. the one facing forward) is paddling.  Since the W fishing kayak is totally symmetrical from bow to stern the two passengers can take turns in paddling.  For example: while the one at the bow is paddling forward the other that’s facing backward can cast or troll providing he/she does it carefully.
Turning inside the cockpit is easier for lightweight passengers, but heavier passengers can learn to do it too after some practicing.  It is important to do it in full coordination with the other passenger, and advised to practice in shallow water first..
It is best for people fishing and/or paddling in tandem to do so in the riding position, which is stabler than sitting.
It is not advised to stand in this kayak while two people are fishing from it.

Note: Unlike the W500, the new W700 is a full-tandem paddling, fishing and motor boat

Storing the Kayak

The proper way to store this kayak is with its cockpit facing up.

Do not store this kayak with anything heavy resting on top of it, or with anything pulling its hulls apart.
It’s best to cover the cockpit with a tarp, in order to prevent rain, snow, animals and insects from getting inside.

Cold weather
You can store this kayak outside even in cold weather but you’d need to make sure it doesn’t get filled with water or snow, since freezing water expands and could damage it.

Hot weather
You can store this kayak outside in hot weather and direct sunlight, although storing it in the shade is better in the long run.

Indoors
Our website’s Outfitting Section offers examples showing how you can store your Wavewalk® kayak indoors »

Maintenance and Repair

A Wavewalk® Kayak requires no maintenance, and you can store it outside in cold and hot weather.
The W Kayak is rotationally molded from High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) which is stronger, more durable and more resilient than other materials used in kayaks and canoes.  This is why it is unlikely to get damaged, but it also makes it difficult to repair so it is not advised that you try and perform repairs by yourself without first consulting with us.

 

Scratches

Scratches on the bottom of your kayak occur naturally, and they’re quite meaningless in terms of performance. You can simply ignore them, or read this article that offers technical advice on how to take care of scratches »

 

Outfitting and Rigging

You will find that your Wavewalk® Fishing Kayak offers many possibilities and is very easy to outfit.  For more information please visit this website’s outfitting and rigging page.

 

Limitations

Exceptionally tall and/or very heavy people, and/or people with certain physical disabilities can find it more difficult to paddle traditional canoes and kayaks.
Similarly, such people might experience some difficulties in W Kayaking that most people won’t experience, or would experience to a lesser extent.

These limitations are true mainly for the 500 series, while the 700 series offers practically anyone to paddle, solo and in tandem

 

Outriggers

Attaching outriggers to a fishing kayak offers limited benefits in terms of initial (primary) stability, and even less so with secondary stability.
Outriggers significantly impede the kayak and make it harder to paddle.
Outriggers are also known to limit the kayak’s mobility in shallow water where weeds and grass grow.
Outriggers also reduce the kayak’s ‘fishability’ by snagging your lines.

 

Please don’t hesitate to contact us by phone or by email if you need additional information.

We’d welcome your comments and suggestions about the design of this page, and what additional information and links we should include in it.

Tel:   774 315-6009
Click to email us »

 

Jeff, a Kayak Fisherman, Commenting on the Kayak Fishing Market

-“It’s all hype so far. In comparing the Kayak Angler guide to a much wider distributed magazine or rather catalog the information is about the same.  I’ve got both [brand of fishing gear stores] and [brand of fishing catalog] catalogs at the house and the hype you see for various products and the crazy claims are much the same.  For example reels that won’t backlash and can make you a better fisherman.  Total and complete nonsense, I know people that have purchased baitcast reels because of the claims and after a few days use never ever go back to that style.  They did not live up to the claims.

Sometimes people can be saved.  My friend for example had loads of trouble with a bait caster.  I looked at his reel an older hand me down from a relative and found it sound but in need of tuning.  That issue combined with a very one broken down rod was his problem. I tore down and serviced the reel.  Then at a visit to [fishing gear store] had him buy something that complemented that older reel.  Now he loves the setup because it works and it fits him properly.  If he had only seen the catalogs and bought the hype nothing would have worked.

Lures might be the worst of all with claims of filling the boat if a certain brand or type of lure is thrown.  It’s made more complicated by the late night infomercials for things like the Banjo Minnow.
I know the whole thing is upsetting, but remember Wavewalk really does have a totally different boat.  It is like nothing before it, and it will become a boat for the masses.  Other fishing kayaks answer no current issues with the back or comfort since you still sit low.

The answer most folks seem to have to the comfort problem is to add a really nice seat, that I verified by checking with guys with our kayak group here.  They keep upgrading their seats.  First an additional pad then more padding and finally dropping big dollars (like 200+) for a fancy aftermarket seat.  Of course it solves nothing long term.  Fact is boats should have had comfort taken into account up front but I guess that takes away their price advantage. Of course in your case the Wavewalk seat is already there and requires nothing else to work.  Also your day is not ruined when you show up to fish and find you’ve forgotten your seat.
The accessory market is also very interesting.  For the added cost of the “factory” rod holders you really can’t use them in a sit on top.  If you do you subject your reels to loads of saltwater wash over but then again I guess that is good for the reel companies.  Treated in that fashion unmaintained reels would make it maybe one season.

Talking about reels one of the local radio fishing shows here nearly gave me a heart attack a couple of weeks back.  They were on air talking about proper equipment care after use in saltwater.  What they recommended would only benefit a reel repair business or the tackle firms themselves.  Those fellows recommendations were just so wrong.  I tried to call at the time of the broadcast to be on air.  But while I was waiting and driving at the same time my cell lost it’s signal.  By the time I got one again they were on to other subjects and the screener said the lines were too full. I did try again last weekend when they were on but my subject was not on the table so I didn’t make the show.
Oh well, sometimes the pioneers like Wavewalk take the sling and arrows.  I like helping shoot back.  The W kayak is the best of it’s kind in paddlecraft.
— Jeff”