Today I was able to do my first test drive of the Wavewalk S4 with a mud motor!
As a duck hunter the potential for the S4 is incredible. Couple that with a mud motor and you can access places that others cannot go. I hunt tidal mud flats where traditional boat motors are difficult to use due to the changing tides (water depth) as well as the sand bars that constantly shift. The mud motor allows operation in very shallow water and lets me get over those sand bars. Other duck hunters hunt in flooded timber where the logs eat propellers for lunch and occasionally eat whole lower units. The mud motor is the only way to travel safely in those kind of swamps. That is why putting a mud motor on the S4 is like combining peanut butter and chocolate. This was my very first run, so I have a lot to learn about operating this kind of motor.
There are a lot of different styles of mud motors out there and the cost can be very prohibitive. But I found a kit which is created by Mud-skipper called the Twister. Rather than a straight shaft it has a curved shaft. At first I was concerned that due to this the turning radius of the boat would be dramatically effected. As it turns out that fear was unwarranted. The two hulls actually keep you from turning too sharp which could cause you to overturn considering the nature of how the motor turns. The 6.5 hp was plenty of horse power and I cavitated way before I ran out of power.
Lots of experimenting to do to get it all dialed in but it was a great first test run.
This particular tunnel is inaccessible during high tide. Most are not this narrow. But, there are plenty of fish waiting to get caught.
That 3.5 hp Nissan [Tohatsu] is a long shaft outboard that I found south of Jacksonville for 200 bucks. With a new carb and a fresh impeller (less than 100 bucks) she is a fine runner.
Note the DIY handle of the tiller extension: It is easy to grab behind my back to steer. On straight hauls, I rest my back upon it and steer with the paddle. Good vibrations…
The pics are from the stern of the boat. As the tide pulls me thru the narrow cuts, the main resistance, the OB lower unit, wants to move forward. This gives me better control and helps clear the mangrove spider webs ahead.
Also, I built a combo 3 rod holder, Go-Pro, fish de-hooker, bait knife, and line clipper holder that fits in a single support hole of the W700 and Series 4 vessels. When I get the French fry holder mounted, I’ll post a pic.
Today’s catch before filleting
This trip produced Mangrove Snappers, Caesar Grunts, and Bermuda Chubs. We ate the snappers and grunts for lunch. The chubs will be smoked to make fish dip.
This is Wavewalk’s 4th boat series since 2004, following the 300 (Mark I and II), 500, and 700 series. Like all other Wavewalk® products, this boat is 100% Made in USA.
The S4 delivers the highest performance in the field of small boats and skiffs, even before you’ve reached the water, starting from the fact that at 98 lbs it doesn’t require a trailer for transportation, and it’s easily portable even on rough terrain. Its patented twin-hull design delivers more stability than any small boat out there, including much wider and heavier ones. This allows for driving in fast currents and in choppy water. In addition, being a true catamaran makes this boat track better than other boats. The S4’s extra large cockpit (8′ long x 38″ wide) offers ample room for two anglers or hunters and their gear, or for up to three adult passengers – a total of up to 680 lbs. The S4 features a long saddle seat similar to the saddle of other high performance vehicles, which offers maximal balancing capability as well as full comfort for going in choppy water and for long trips. The S4 features a stand up casting platform at its bow, such as can be found in a typical skiff. The cockpit’s slanted sides allow passengers to paddle with more ease and better control than what canoes and tandem fishing kayaks may offer them. The S4 has an extremely shallow draft, and this fact in combination with its portability, load capacity and high performance as a paddle craft makes it the most practical solution for shallow water fishing.
Availability: We ship to clients, and some of our dealers already have demo S4 boats.
Length: 13 ft (396 cm)
Beam (Total Width): 38″ (97 cm)
Cockpit Length: 95″ (241 cm)
Cockpit Height: 17″ (43 cm)
Saddle Height: 15″ (38 cm)
Width of a single hull: 13″ (33 cm)
Total Weight: 98 lbs (44.5 kg)
Structure Overview and Features
Patented twin-hull Wavewalk® catamaran hulls
Personal watercraft (a.k.a. ‘jet-ski’) style 7’6″ long Saddle seat featuring a series of seven molded-in brackets, and six vertical molded-in reinforcement columns
Integrated Skiff Style Stand-Up Casting Platform at the bow, with anti-skid surface. Read more »
The Cockpit’s Slanted Sides allow passengers to paddle with more ease and comfort than paddling a canoe or a common kayak of such width.
Preparation for a vertical mounting plate for outboard motor or rod rack at the stern
Two Medium Density Overlay (MDO) 0.75″ thick Saddle Brackets – One bracket at each end of the saddle. The bracket in the front provides additional support for the stand up casting platform, and the rear bracket serves as extra support for a motor mount. Each bracket is attached to the vertical wall that’s adjacent to it by means of two rivets. The rivets are sealed with waterproof adhesive. Click thumbnail to enlarge
Built-In Flotation – The S4 Saddle is a watertight compartment that offers 180 lbs of positive buoyancy.
Two pairs of integrated, molded-in heavy duty Carry Handles – A pair at the bow, and a pair at the stern.
Average Wall Thickness: 0.150″ (3.8 mm)
White Color – Click images to enlarge
Light Gray Color – Click images to enlarge
Mud Brown Color – Click images to enlarge
Max Total Payload: 650 lbs (295 kg)
Max Number of Passengers: 3 adults, or 2 adults and 2 children
Internal Space for Dry Storage : 34.7 cubic ft (0.98 cubic meter), namely 260 gallons
Empty: 0.75″ (1.7 cm) With 200 lbs Payload (90.7 kg) : 2.5″ (64 mm) With 400 lbs Payload (181.5 kg): 4.25″ (108 mm) With 600 lbs Payload (272 kg): 6″ (152 mm)
Max Outboard Motor Power: 6 HP
Outboard Motor Compatibility: 20″ Long (L) Propeller Shaft
Hull: Rotationally Molded High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Saddle: Rotationally Molded High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Heavy Duty (HD) Saddle Bracket: Medium Density Overlay (MDO).
Our boats are made from 100% recyclable materials
Country of Origin
Our kayaks, paddles and accessories are 100% Made in USA
4. PRICE $2,505.
This price includes shipping in the US to land addresses in the contiguous 48 states, with insurance and call before delivery service. This price does not include the S4 mounting plate, whose cost is $104.
S4 Heavy Duty (HD) Motor Mounting Plate: $122
1.5″ thick. Made from Medium Density Overlay (MDO) and coated with urethane. Each mounting plate ships with a pair of bolts, and self locking nuts. It takes a couple of minutes to attach this mounting plate to the boat: Just insert it into the molded-in stand for transom motor mount, drill two 5/16″ holes, and secure in place with the two bolts provided.
Fits 20″ long (L) propeller shafts.
Click image to enlarge
Wavewalk® 9 ft long dual blade (‘Kayak’) paddle: $186
Common dual blade (‘kayak’) paddles are neither long nor sturdy or rigid enough for paddling this paddle craft, pole it in shallow water, and paddle standing.
Wavewalk® 9’8″ extra long dual blade (‘Kayak’) paddle: $220
For very tall people, or people who plan on paddling standing and poling most of the time.
Wavewalk® Detachable Spray Shield: $136
For high speed motorizing in choppy water.
Wavewalk® Joystick Steering System: $265
For easy and fun steering seated and standing.
Best Stability in Small Boats
Initial (Primary) Stability: The S4 is more stable than any kayak, canoe, Jon boat and small skiff, including Wavewalk’s W700. A 200 lbs person standing with both feet in one of the S4 hulls will make it draft barely 1″ lower than it would if that person stood with one foot in each hull – hardly a noticeable difference.
Secondary Stability and Balancing Capability: The unique combination of a saddle seat (such as ATVs, PWC and snowmobiles feature) with high-volume twin hulls enables the passengers to balance themselves easily, intuitively, and more effectively than in any other boat, including kayaks, canoes, Jon boats, dinghies, skiffs, and personal watercraft (PWC / ‘jet-ski’).
The 15″ high saddle featuring in the S4 is similar to the saddle featuring in other high performance land and water vehicles, such as All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV), Personal Watercraft (PWC / ‘jet-ski’), and Snowmobiles, as well as certain Rigid-Inflatable Boats (RIB) designed for high speed motorizing offshore. Passengers riding this saddle can travel for long hours, including in choppy water, without suffering from back pain or fatigue. This is due to the fact that while seated in the Riding position, with a leg on each side of the saddle, the passenger’s legs support them in the most effective way, and no horizontal pressure from a backrest is being applied on their lower back. In addition, the S4 passengers can stand up any time they want, and keep driving and paddling while standing up. They can even lay down with their back on the saddle, and relax. Switching between positions assures that no extreme fatigue or tension would build up in any part of the passenger’s body.
Easy Transportation and Full Portability
The S4 weighs 98 lbs without a motor attached to it. This means that it does not require a trailer for transportation, since it can be car-topped. The S4 can be dragged or carried over rough terrain, and launched practically anywhere, whether it’s a rocky beach, shallow water, and other difficult spots that are not accessible to other boats.
Mobility and Range of Travel
The S4 can go anywhere, thanks to a number of special features – No other boat offers such a combination of shallow draft and total multi-modal propulsion, namely the ability to keep going in an effective paddling and poling mode even if the water is too shallow and/or infested with weeds to allow for motorizing. No other small boat works so well both on flat water and in the chop.
On Board Storage
The space available for dry storage on board the S4 is equivalent to the storage offered by a good size Jon-boat, or a regular skiff.
7. S4 vs. W700
W700 advantages over the S4: Solo kayaking, tandem kayaking, solo canoeing, portability.
S4 advantages over the W700: Motorizing, tandem motorizing, tandem fishing, stability, offshore trips, load capacity.
Shallow water – The S4 drafts less than the W700, and it features a skiff stand up casting platform, but the W700 paddles better, generally.
Offshore – Being more of a boat than the W700, the S4 offers a clear advantage in the chop.
This is the first duck hunting season we have used both the W500 and the W700 as duck hunting boats and they are doing great! It would be easy to put a blind on it (we have one all designed) but we mostly use the boats for transportation. The area we hunt is tidal mud flat. So the cover is minimal, actually non-existent. We sit on beach chairs in the mud and pretend to be a log. However, where the Wavewalk’s shine is in getting us to the spot. We paddle for 1.5miles over water that runs from 6 inches to 20 feet, with lots of logs, mussel beds, and all sorts of things that are a constant danger to motorized boats. In addition once we get to the spot we will be on the move the whole day. For instance yesterday’s tide went from 1.9 feet at 3 am to a 14.4 feet at 9:54 am and then back to 4.9 feet at 4:43 pm. We hunted from 5 am until about 4:00pm. So we saw and moved through most of that. We start on a mud flat, retreat to a log and end up back on the mud flat. It is work intensive hunting! The Wavewalk makes it possible for a couple of reasons. One it handles the current and wind with great proficiency. Tidal current is a constant, one direction or the other. In addition, this is the mouth of the Nisqually river, so you have a lot of water coming from there. And it seems there is always a wind and often with accompanying waves. With the Wavewalk you are able to paddle through all of this and feel secure knowing that you can handle it. It is not just a convenience it is a safety issue. We are paddling in water that has a constant temperature year round of 54 degrees, but the air temperature yesterday started at 24 degrees raising to a balmy 36, and oh yeah we paddle to the spot in the dark. If you get in trouble you are on your own. Often people ask me why not put a motor on it? For one simple reason; MUD! We move about 200 yards between low and high tides and then back again. During that we are dragging our boats forward and backward with the tide. We drag them in mud that can actually be a danger if you get stuck. The Coast guard had to airlift rescue a duck hunter from this marsh already this year who was stuck in the mud. Dragging 60 or 80 lbs of boat through mud is a challenge, but if you added the weight of a motor it would become impractical. The second reason the Wavewalks are so perfect for this hunting is the sheer storage. In the W700 I am able to transport 36 decoys, camo blankets for the boat and hunters, shotgun, lawn chair, hunting bucket, thermos, and myself with ease. In fact there is so much room in W700’s it hauls all of the decoys!
Yesterday I was able to take a friend who had never hunted in this way and put him in a Wavewalk for the first time. He is a big fellow so I put him in the W700. With very little effort he was comfortably and efficiently paddling, and we had a great hunt.
These boats are not just for fishing but they make great duck boats as well. So far this duck season the Wavewalks have gotten us 63 ducks, and we still have January to go!
Loving the Wavewalk as a great duck boat! Enjoy a few pictures of the season!
Wavewalk 700 (front) and Wavewalk 500 (back), guns, and ducks…
The W700 series has redefined stability in kayaks and small boats:
The importance of stability in small boats and kayaks
Stability is the main attribute of small boats and kayaks. It defines passengers’ safety and comfort level, and determines how they can use the boat, or kayak. Insufficient stability limits a motorboat’s speed.
What makes a boat or a kayak stable
The hull’s width and form are the two main features that contribute to the stability of boats and kayaks –
Generally, the width of a kayak is derived mostly from the width of a person’s body, and more precisely the width of their shoulders, where the movement of the paddle begins. Hydrodynamics is another important factor that limits the kayak’s width. Wider kayaks are noticeably more sluggish and hard to paddle over long distances and in less than perfect conditions. Most kayaks today still feature a single, elongated ellipsoid hull (a.k.a. mono-hull), a fact that makes them inherently unstable. Patented Wavewalk™ kayaks feature a twin hull, and they are more stable.
Even the widest mono-hulled fishing kayaks are not stable enough to allow for a full size angler to stand and fish in full confidence and comfort. Such extra-large fishing kayaks aren’t stable or ergonomically suitable for motorizing with anything else than feeble electric trolling motors.
The width of a typical small fishing boat is determined mostly by the width of motor vehicles that transport them, and the width of roads on where such vehicles travel. The narrowest small boats are about 4ft wide, and the widest bass boats can attain 8ft in width. The most common way to transport a fishing boat is by trailer, as few fit into a pickup truck bed, and realistically speaking, even the lightest ones aren’t lightweight enough to be car topped by one person. Most small fishing boats feature a single hull. Typically, such hull is pointed at the bow and square and the stern, where its outboard motor is mounted. Some of the smallest fishing boats resemble large-size, square-stern canoes. Others are known as Jon boats, microskiffs, dinghies, and more. Even the smallest fishing boat is too wide for effective paddling. The Wavewalk™ 700 features a patented twin hull that makes it easy to mount an outboard motor at the cockpit’s rear end, and it works perfectly as a motorboat. It is also easier to paddle than other kayaks (and canoes) are.
Differences between kayaks and boats
In sum, mono-hull kayaks are designed for paddling but they don’t perform well enough when outfitted with outboard motors, and small fishing boats work well with powerful outboard motors, but they can’t be paddled. In fact, some extra-large fishing kayaks dubbed ‘barges‘ are too wide and heavy to allow for paddling to any reasonable distance, but that’s another story. Generally, kayaks can be car-topped while motorboats cannot. Typically, a fishing kayak is used by a single angler, including tandem fishing kayaks who perform rather poorly as as such. And while many fishing boats are designed for up to five passengers, their typical crew seldom exceeds two anglers.
The W700 works perfectly both as a solo and tandem fishing kayak, as well as a two-person fishing boat.
People who get into a Wavewalk™ 700 for the first time often comment that it’s “ridiculously stable”. What’s funny about a kayak being so stable? – What makes these people feel like laughing is the pleasant surprise they experience – They walk into the cockpit of what they perceive to be a “kayak”, but once they’re on the water, they almost immediately get an unexpected and pleasant sensation of being as stable as in a boat. This mixture of pleasant disbelief, surprise and relief makes them feel like laughing, and this is what they mean when they refer to the W700 being “ridiculously” stable. Unlike other kayaks out there, the W700 frees its user from thinking about stability and having to deal with it. As a kayak, the W700 is instability-free. It delivers boat-like stability, and as such it belongs in a class of its own –
A new class of boats
In the previous sections of this article, we’ve defined kayak and boat in terms of size, stability, usage, and performance, and when we positioned the W700 relatively to these two classes of watercraft, it stood out as a class of its own, namely an ultra-lightweight, trailer-free, two-person fishing boat that one person can easily paddle and car-top on their own, without assistance. The car-topping benefit makes the W700 a ‘launch and beach anywhere boat‘, since it frees the user(s) from the need to use boat ramps, and the ease of paddling it turns it into a ‘go anywhere boat‘, as it enables its user(s) to travel in very shallow water (a.k.a. skinny water) where an outboard’s propeller drafts too much, and through grass and other aquatic vegetation that can get entangled with the propeller and make the motor useless.
The W700 and W500
These two W series are similar in many ways, and they differ in others. The biggest difference between the two is in their load capacity – The W700 can carry 580 lbs and the W500 can carry 360 lbs. In practical terms, this means that both can serve as tandem kayaks (or canoes), but the W500 limits the crew size in terms of their aggregated weight, while the W700 doesn’t. As for motorizing, the W500 works well with a small outboard motor, but the W700 is easier for the driver to handle, and it can take both a heavier crew and a more powerful motor, as well as go faster and in tougher water thanks to its increased stability. When it comes to a big and heavy user (I.E. taller than average and heavier than 240 lbs), the W500 works remarkably well, but the W700 works even better. When car topping is considered, the W700 is easy for one person to upload onto a car rack, as well as to attach, but doing these things with a W500 is a little easier.
Since boat classification is about clarifying differences and drawing lines, we think the following definitions could be helpful as basic reference:
The W500 is a ultra-stable fishing kayak with limited tandem capabilities that works well when motorized, even with an outboard motor.
The W700 is an ultralight, car-top fishing boat that can be easily and effectively paddled by a crew of one or two large size users.
Could we further reduce these definitions to “Essentially, the W500 is a kayak and the W700 is a boat”? – We think this would be an oversimplification, namely an expression that misses the point and overlooks too much important information. For example, the fact that the W700 is world’s best tandem kayak (and canoe) for fishing and touring, and an amazing solo kayak as well, and the fact that when motorized, the W500 works great as a little high-performance motorboat.
Classifying boats isn’t easy because it requires taking into consideration so many parameters and factors, while keeping things simple, if possible. Therefore, classifications are not necessarily clear and complete – If you feel somehow confused it’s perfectly natural, and you’re welcome to contact us by email or by phone. We like to hear what’s on people’s mind, and we’ll be happy to answer your questions and provide you with more detailed and specific information.