It took a while, but, after my broken wrist, I’m physically back to normal. My wife and I go paddling whenever we can, but still not often enough. The Wavewalk has yet to be on something other than the Sudbury river.
I find the Wavewalk very steady and have confidence taking not-easily-replaceable photo gear on paddles. The craft is easily enough driven and tracks nicely. It’s a great workout and a kick to be out on a relatively underutilized body of water.
Thank you for coming up with the idea for the Wavewalk. I simply have no interest in using a typical kayak. I just don’t bend that way and I doubt I’m alone in that regard. It has given my wife and me another shared, meaningful activity for our retirement.
The 700 is terrific! I find it so versatile! Can go solo, double or paddleboard. I enjoy the paddleboard best as it moves faster than solo paddling in Cohasset Harbor. I feel very stable on board. We always have folks inquiring about the 700 and give your web info. Hope they call!
We lucked out and are able to store the 700 right at Cohasset harbor. The Cohasset Student Coastal Research Center lets us keep the boat at their dock in exchange for us letting the students use the boat for the research studies! The 700 is helping our environment!
We decided against motorizing. Maintaining small engines is not our forte. Enjoying the W700 the old fashioned way!
Just wanted to let you know a few people have asked where to get the Wavewalk, so I hope you get some orders! Having a great time with it, and I have mastered maneuvering it!
This is the custom cover I ordered for my Wavewalk 700. It is easy to flip the water off the cover since it is a very sturdy “Sunbrella” fabric. I unsnap it only halfway when going out, and tuck it down on one side. It is working out great, and keeping things dry and void of debris.
This is the story of my trip across Buzzards Bay, to the Elizabeth Islands, a chain of small islands between Martha’s Vineyard and the mainland.
Before the actual trip…
My first trip was ‘preliminary’ to the actual one, because it was cut short due to time constraints – I arrived to the boat ramp in Gooseberry island at the Horseneck Beach Reservation, found the parking lot full, and headed back on the causeway. I parked a quarter of a mile down the road, next to a rocky beach, a.k.a. a ‘Rock Garden’. It was early in the afternoon, and by the time I launched, filled the gas tank, and tested the boat (and myself), I realized that since I’m a novice seaman, I’d have to drive slowly, namely at less than 5 mph, which would have made the trip longer than I had planned. That meant that I might have gotten back home too late, which is a no-no.
What’s left from that preliminary, or shall we call it ‘Test’ trip are the panoramic view of the parking lot and the beach, and the still images from the end of the trip, where I’m seen dragging the boat on the beach, and up the ramp, back to the parking lot. Joao, a local resident, shot these nice photos – Thanks Joao! 🙂
The actual trip
I came back the next day to the same parking lot, before noon. I wore blue shorts and and a blue shirt that’s identical to the one I wore the previous day – It’s called ‘Movie Continuity’ 😀 Speaking of continuity, the weather was identical in both days – sunny and beautiful. That wasn’t due just to luck, since I had planned this trip a week in advance.
Launching in that rock garden was a piece of cake. To start the motor, I dropped the anchor about 100 yards from shore, turned around in the cockpit so I faced the motor, added fuel to the gas tank (I did it standing up, using a long spout), and I started the motor in full comfort, like I would on a big boat. I turned around, which is easy to do in the W700, raised the anchor, grabbed the joystick, pushed in the choke, put the motor in forward gear, set the RPM, and headed to the islands. I drove at a leisurely pace, giving myself time to enjoy the ride and shoot video.
I had two cameras on board – a Sony 400 with a telescopic x63 optical zoom lens, and a Sony Xperia watertight smartphone with a 4K Ultra-HD camera, mounted on a selfie stick. I used both cameras, and it turned out that the 400 performed well, while the Xperia didn’t produce good results, mainly because I failed to operate it properly 🙁
Massachusetts South Shore, Buzzards Bay, and the Elizabeth Islands.
At about 6 miles from shore, Penikese island was closer, but I decided to go a little further, and land on Cuttyhunk island, which is 7 miles from where I launched. It just looked better the trough the telescopic lens of my camera…
I approached Cuttyhunk island, scouted for a good landing spot, and beached without a problem. I didn’t even have to step in water 🙂
As I was making my first steps on that beautiful beach, enjoying the pristine nature and solitude, my cellphone rang… It was my mother in-law, who was concerned about me 😀 That conversation added a comic touch to the situation…
I refilled the gas tank, and checked how much water got into the boat. I had a towel tucked in each rear hull tip, and both towels were almost dry, which is to say that hardly any spray got in. This is due to fact that I drove slowly and didn’t give the waves a chance to splash into the cockpit.
The first half of the trip back to the mainland was a not that pleasant – The wind had picked up, and the boat was getting hit by waves from 7 o’clock, which made it harder to drive. The joystick offered me the perfect means to drive responsively and with precision, as I needed to, given that the W700 is such a small boat. Comfort wise, it was perfect. Under these conditions, driving while facing sideways and gripping the tiller directly would have been hard, and even driving while facing forward with an articulated (U-jointed) tiller extension would have been somehow uncomfortable.
The motor didn’t sound like it appreciated the continuous abrupt alternations between acceleration and deceleration, as each passing wave projected the boat forward and then dumped it behind… It turned out that this 6 HP Tohatsu motor isn’t just quiet and easy to operate – it’s also reliable.
The second part of the trip back was easier. As I approached the shore and recognized the area from which I had launched, I allowed myself to drive faster, and even standing up, which felt great. Spray getting into the boat was no longer a matter for any concern as this stage, of course.
Beaching in the rock garden was a piece of cake, but I have to admit that due to the shallowness of the water I wasn’t able to drive the boat high enough to step on dry land, this time.
Dragging the boat up the beach and back to the car wasn’t easy… After a few steps I stopped, and I used a little manual pump that I had with me to get water out of the hulls. I also took the towels out and squeezed water out of them. Altogether, I removed a couple of gallons of water from the boat, which made it easier to pull it up to the parking lot.
Other than getting my face and knees sunburned, I feel no physical impact whatsoever. No muscle tension in my legs, not even the slightest sign of back pain, and no pain in my left wrist and forearm, which could have happened had I used the articulated tiller extension in such a long drive.
The 6 HP Tohatsu outboard features an alternator, which means that it could feed the battery powering a small electric bilge bump, and thus turn spray into a non-issue. Some smaller Tohatsu outboards feature an alternator as well. Anyways, a long manual bilge pump such as many kayakers use would do equally well, I guess.
I’m sorry I have not made any videos with my awesome Wavewalk 500. My buddy did take this snapshot of me yesterday. I’m about to land (and release) a nice 2 1/2 lb. smallmouth bass on the Connecticut River in Sunderland MA. I love my W and keep track of my outings. Yesterday was my 141st adventure in 3 years. My back and all round fishing and kayaking experiences have been heavenly since I made the best purchase of my life. Well, second best, after my wedding license.
Me: Wavewalk 500 owner since spring 2013. I’m 60-ish soon to retire and use my W even more. I love to explore new bodies of water and fish (catch and release except for the rare stocked trout I may have to share with camping buddies). The Connecticut and Deerfield Rivers are my favorite haunts, I can put in the Conn just about a mile from home. My usual trip is a 3 mile paddle up stream for cardio and core workout, then crack a beer and float home while fishing, photographing, bird watching and observing whatever nature has to offer. The upright paddling position has allowed me to kayak more often for longer periods of time. The ample room, ability to stand, ease of handling while transporting were all added benefits I continue to enjoy.