Tag Archive: microskiff

A microskiff is a small to medium sized boat for fishing the flats, bays, and estuaries. Typically, a microskiff is propelled by an outboard motor, and it is sometimes propelled manually, with a push pole. This human powered mode of propulsion is called poling.
Most microskiff require transportation by trailer, which results in their owners losing considerable time on the way to boat ramps, waiting for other boaters to launch and beach, launching, and driving to the target fishing grounds.
At the end of the fishing trip, more time is lost driving the microskiff back to the boat ramp, waiting for others to beach and launch their boats, beaching the microskiff, and hauling it to the trailer. And then, the microskiff owner loses more time driving back from the boat ramp.
Another problem with microskiff is their limited mobility in shallow water and in water where aquatic vegetation abounds.
This problem is not negligible, since shallow water and areas with plenty of weeds are among the best fisheries.
The problem stems from the microskiff’s dependence on its outboard motor, and therefore on the propeller, which isn’t operational in such waters due to draft issues.
Poling is hard, and therefore cannot substitute for motorizing for any reasonable amount of time. This means that unlike kayaks, microskiff aren’t practical in no-motor-zones (NMZ), which are often high quality fisheries.

Both the transportation and the mobility problems described here are solved by a new type of microskiff that’s lightweight enough for one person to car top by themselves, without help, and thereby eliminate the need for using a trailer.
This new microskiff is also narrow enough for its users (one or two full-size fishermen) to propel it effectively and comfortably with either dual-blade paddles (kayak paddles), or single-blade (canoe) paddles across long distances, and in shallow water, as well as in weed-rich water. The same attribute allows the crew of two, or one, to launch and beach this new microskiff practically anywhere, including difficult spots, rocky beaches, and very shallow water.
Despite its being narrow enough to allow for paddling, the new microskiff is stable enough for two anglers to fish from it standing up, as they would from a traditional microskiff.
The new microskiff can be driven with an outboard as a two-person or a solo skiff, and it is called the Wavewalk 700. Currently, this series includes three models, and it is offered in four color combinations, including three dual-color combinations and all-white.

Your boat trailer, the abominable fishing-time guzzler

The idea to write this piece came from a client in Rhode Island who owns a 20ft center console, who told me he never uses it on weekends because of all the time he had to waste at crowded boat ramps, and the aggravation associated with it. Michael Chesloff added a few wise comments too, from his own experience as a fishing boat owner.

So how much quality time do you waste on activities related to your boat trailer?

To begin with, you need to attach the trailer to your vehicle, but that can be done in a few minutes.
Then, you need to drive to the boat ramp, which can be located far from the area that you’d like to fish in. This is a big waste of time, especially in slow traffic, since you’re wasting time both driving your vehicle to the ramp and driving your boat from the ramp to the area you’re going to fish in.
And then comes the big frustration – You get to the boat ramp area, and you have to wait in line with other fishermen and their trailers. All of you wait for fishermen that got there before you, and need to either launch their boat, or take it out, so the time waste is significant, and so is the frustration associated with it.
Finally, you get to approach the boat ramp with your trailer, and launch your boat, which can take considerable time, and it’s not a nice experience since you know that so many people are waiting for you to finish.
Then, you have to drive to the area where you’re going to fish, and you’re in a hurry because of all the time you had to waste on launching.
Then, at the end of your fishing trip, you have to quit earlier, so that you can get back to the boat ramp in time to take your place in the queue, together with other motorized fishermen waiting to take their boat out, or put in… And here too, once your turn to put out arrives, you don’t feel good about wasting other people’s time, and that can be stressful and unpleasant.

How much time would a car top motorized W kayak save you?

In contrast, car topping your motorized kayak takes little time, and you can launch it practically anywhere you need, including places that are much closer to where you’re planning to fish, and where no other motorized fishermen are waiting for their turn to launch or take out. Launching itself is easy, takes very little time, and requires no special maneuvering, since you can launch in any kind of dock or beach, including launching in the surf.

Driving your motorized kayak (a.k.a. personal microskiff) at 8 mph gets you to your fishing destination pretty fast, even in the presence of wind, waves and current, and that makes a big difference from human powered fishing kayaks, whether paddled or pedaled.  This said, you can fish in no-motor zones (NMZ) too, since your little W motorboat is a paddle craft as well, so you keep getting the best of both worlds.

On your way back from from your fishing adventures, you can simply approach your launching spot and beach there immediately, without waiting for other boaters who are either launching or beaching. This is true even if that spot is a rock garden, or if the tide has changed the conditions there.
You just car top your little super-versatile marvel, and you’re on the road again within a couple minutes.

The bottom-line advantage of owning a motorized W kayak

Spending more time fishing and less time on the road and in boat ramps is a win-win proposition, since it means you’re having more fun and catching more fish.
The same is true about spending more time fishing and less time paddling or pedaling to your fishing spot and back from it.

This video shows how easy it is to launch and carry a motorized W kayak:

More on motorized fishing kayaks >

To learn more on this concept, go to microskiff >

Motorize your fishing kayak?

What do we mean by ‘motorized kayak’?

When we say ‘motorized fishing kayak’ we don’t mean just a sit-in or SOT kayak outfitted with an electric trolling motor… We also mean the real deal, which is a small watercraft comparable to a motorboat as most North American anglers understand it, and this means powered by an outboard gas engine.
And when we say ‘motorboat’ we don’t mean one that’s suitable just for fishing inland, on flat water and doesn’t necessarily work for offshore fishing – We mean real ocean fishing including surf launching and fishing trips in a range that’s several times longer than what electric motors offer before they run out of juice…
Needless to say that it means adequate stability for stand up fishing in full confidence and for everyone, dryness (if you feel like getting wet, go wading, or fish from another kayak!), enough storage space for you to take gear you need for long trips, and last but not least – a comfort level that anyone can enjoy, and not just young, small, lightweight and athletic anglers…

Hmm… but would I need a trailer?

Talking about trailers (a touchy subject for many…) – you need one for a motorboat that will take you and several passengers on board, but if you’re looking for a personal motorboat, or microskiff, then a trailer should become a thing of the past for you. A trailer costs money to buy, and it takes room in your yard or garage. Moreover, a trailer steels precious time from your fishing trips, and it puts a huge constraint on the number of places where you can put-in because you have to launch in boat ramps, and to add insult to injury – you’d often need to wait in line to launch and beach, instead spending this time casting and reeling… what a bummer!

Yeah, but what about fishing in no-motor zones?

Aha! Not a problem, because the motorized kayak we’re talking about happens to be the easiest to paddle, and the best tracker in strong wind. This means you can switch between propulsion modes from motorized to human powered: paddling (kayak or canoe style), stand up paddling, poling in shallow water, and even rowing with a pair of oars, if you feel like it.
A small outboard gas engine weighs around 30 lbs, which isn’t heavy enough to considerably impede you when you’re paddling. In comparison, the combined weight of an electric trolling motor and good-size battery can exceed 80 lbs, and that’s already enough for you to notice a difference when you paddle.

Do people actually fish out of these things?

You bet! This is no longer a mere ‘concept’ – Fishermen worldwide already enjoy the advantages of fishing out of W motor kayaks, and for many of them, that little motorboat they fish from is a personal microskiff offering noticeable advantages in comparison to various small motorboats such as skiffs, jon boats, dinghies, bass boats, canoes, etc. – and other kayaks, of course.

Some basic questions (and answers) –

-“Do I want to motorize my fishing kayak? With what kind of motor – a battery powered electric motor, or a small and portable outboard gas engine?”
Such questions and similar ones are typical to many kayak fishermen who are tired of spending a lot of time and energy paddling or pedaling instead of fishing… Others realize they’d better have a plan B in case the weather changes and human powered propulsion won’t get them back home… And naturally, some anglers wish to travel longer distances, as they would do in a motorboat. Choosing between an electric motor and an outboard gas engine depends on a number of factors that will be further discussed in this article, among other issues  –

What things should I consider?

First of all, your safety and comfort

Before everything, think about yourself: Can you stay fresh and feel comfortable after you paddle a long distance, or would such paddling lead to premature fatigue even before you cast your first bait, lure, fly etc.? This is not just a comfort issue, and it has to do with your safety as well: If you paddle long distances, especially when you’re tired, you could get injured and you could increase the likelihood of an accident, even if you’re young and in good shape (are you?)… Being middle aged or elderly, non-athletic, overweight or suffering from a condition or sensitivity in your back won’t make things easier for you as far as paddling goes.

Natural world conditions – water, weather etc.

No one fishes on the page of a glossy magazine, or on YouTube… Like everybody else, you fish in the natural world, and although you may like to paddle, bad weather and strong currents will always be stronger, and could shorten your trip, or make it too hard for you to go back home. In extreme cases, the elements may prevent you from getting to shore in time before a storm, or before it gets dark (or both…). In other words, under certain circumstances, insufficient propulsion power could turn hazardous.  An electric trolling motor would usually help in such adverse conditions, but not always, and it could prove inadequate in a serious storm, a sudden swell in a river, strong wind, a fast tidal current, etc.

-How much does the whole thing weigh?

A small outboard gas motor weighs about 30 lbs, and that’s twice as much as an electric trolling motor, but an electric battery can weigh twice as much as an outboard motor (that’s pretty heavy!)… Too much weight can lead to all sorts of inconveniences, such as a difficulty in carrying your kayak from your car to the launching spot (same is true in the other direction…), and if the battery goes flat (stuff happens!) you’d have to paddle a kayak that’s noticeably heavier than a non-motorized one. In sum, gas outboards are also more reliable, and you can easily paddle a kayak outfitted with such a motor, while paddling a kayak outfitted with a regular electric trolling motor is harder.

-What’s my cost, and what performance can I expect?

A powerful electric motor would drain your battery faster than a small electric trolling motor would, so it would work better for you. Such motor, a battery and a charger could cost you a few hundred dollars, and a new outboard motor would cost you between twice and thrice… However, if you get an electric motor powered by a good size lightweight Lithium-Ion battery, you’ll pay more than your cost for an outboard gas engine, without necessarily getting more bang for your buck.

What type of kayak to get?

This question is easy to answer, because you can’t outfit just any fishing kayak with an outboard motor. If you’re looking to drive a kayak safely and comfortably, you need it to be extremely stable and truly comfortable driving, and realistically speaking, this leaves you with the W500 as your only option. Rigging another fishing kayak with an outboard gas motor would impose too much discomfort on you, and could turn out to be unsafe as well.  If you’re considering an electric trolling motor, many common fishing kayaks can take them but the motor won’t make a kayak dry, comfortable, stable, etc…

Bottom line

So, you want to go fast and far? Can the water you like to fish in get choppy or fast moving? Can the wind drive you somewhere that’s not exactly where you intended to go?…  If so, you may want to start thinking about outfitting your fishing kayak with an outboard motor. Having said that, if you normally fish in ponds and small lakes, or in small, slow moving rivers,  you don’t necessarily have to motorize your kayak, and in case you feel you must motorize, then a small, inexpensive electric trolling motor would do pretty well.

Read more >

Why I became a W kayak owner, by Michael Chesloff, NY

There I am on the right, holding the reason I bought a Wavewalk.

I became a Wavewalk owner because I wanted a solution to my fishing dilemma. Maybe if you know a little more about my journey you will find something that will prove useful in deciding on your next watercraft.
Here’s my story.

After buying 7 boats, I knew what didn’t work. These 7 boats were, in order of ownership:

1) Jon boat – simple 10 footer with electric trolling motor and a paddle
2) Inflatable – Fairly heavy duty with removable wooden floor, outboard electric trolling motor and oars
3) Bass boat – 16 footer with full flat deck, gas outboard and bow-mounted electric trolling motor
4) Folding boat with electric trolling motor and oars
5) Ultra-light sit-in kayak with paddle
6) Fiberglass skiff – 14 footer with gas outboard, bow-mounted electric trolling motor and oars
7) Square-ended, 12 foot aluminum canoe with bow-mounted electric trolling motor, gas outboard motor and oars

As you can see, I have had almost every kind of freshwater boat, driven by almost every mode of propulsion. They also covered almost every means of transportation; car-topping, towing and stuffing the boat in the trunk of a car. Capacity ranged from 1 person up to 4 and each had its pluses and minuses. So what was missing? This past winter I decided to make an exhaustive list of my requirements and see where it led me. Here is that list:

1) The boat must be easy to car-top – so many lakes and streams forbid boats on trailers.
2) The boat must be easy to row or paddle – many lakes do not permit motors of any kind and I have experienced the misery of being far from the dock with a dead motor/battery.
3) The boat must be capable of taking an electric motor – I did not want to paddle if I didn’t have to.
4) The boat must be capable of taking a gas motor – I fish some large lakes and 3 mph was just not going to cut it.
5) The boat must have room for my gear – Can’t fish without multiple rods, rod holders, tackle boxes, net, anchor, sonar, toolkit, throwable cushion, thermos, etc. and of course, lunch.
6) The boat must allow me to stand up to cast, sight-fish and stretch – I couldn’t last 2 hours in the kayak before my back started to ache and my legs would to go numb.
7) The boat must be stable – the kayak and the Jon boat provided some unwanted excitement by nearly capsizing.
8) The boat must be able to go in shallow water and through weeds – that’s where the bass are most of the time.
9) The boat must keep me and my stuff dry – can’t fish with a wet butt and I did not want to have to put waders on every time I got in and out.
10) The boat must be quick to launch – I can’t spend 20 minutes setting up and taking down every time I want to fish… fishing time is too precious.

So there I was in the dead of winter with my requirements and the Internet. I researched every brand of boat under every category I could think of; dinghy, Jon boat, skiff, catamaran, pontoon, tender, punt, car-topper, canoe, drift boat, etc. Why, I even tried “kayak”!

After many months I had narrowed it down to just a few possibilities. One boat (with 2 electric motors) looked so interesting I was even willing to consider going back to using a trailer. Yes, these were desperate times! But the single most important decision I made was that I WOULD NOT BUY ANOTHER BOAT UNLESS I TRIED IT FIRST! In retrospect this seems so obvious as to be almost silly. I certainly would never buy a car without test driving it and every boat that had let me down was purchased without ever going anywhere near the water, until it was too late!

By spring I had exhausted my ability to absorb any more information from the Web and I pursued my commitment to a test drive. One boat just wasn’t available to try. I managed to test drive the second boat because the maker had a customer in the area who was willing to help. He lives on a small lake only 30 minutes away and so, with great anticipation, we set a date. It was a dud. Not only did it require a trailer (though you do not have to put the trailer itself in the water), but it was, as the owner himself described it, a “barge”. Slow and cumbersome. Well okay. AT LEAST I KNEW FOR SURE BEFORE IT BECAME BOAT NUMBER 8!

Finally, one manufacturer said: “Of course you want to try it first. When would you like to come here for a test drive?”. While this sounded great, the company was over 2 hours away and the boat appeared, to put it mildly, unusual! They called it a kayak, but it didn’t look like any kayak I had ever seen. But spring was approaching and after all, he was offering a TEST DRIVE. I wouldn’t be fooled again.

I can launch anywhere and within 5 minutes of arriving at the water’s edge I am out fishing from my Wavewalk.

So consider my story, then consider a Wavewalk. Google your way to being an informed buyer. Spend some time on YouTube. Don’t buy 8 boats… get a Wavewalk and be happy.

Michael Chesloff

Hillsdale, NY


 

More from the cockpit of Michael’s fishing kayak >


Read more fishing kayak reviews that our clients have contributed >

About fishing kayak design, innovation, upgrades, accessories, etc.

This article is based on questions emailed to us by Dan from Southern Australia, and on our response to his questions.

Dan wrote us: -“Hi guys at Wavewalk. Congratulations on a great product. I am a recent convert to this kayak fishing scene and am still in the process of deciding what yak will suit me and my fishing. After trolling the net for weeks I found video of your craft and was very excited – OK it’s not the sexiest rig around but seemed to be the smartest design… So my problem is you guys have built this thing and stopped!… Where’s the upgrades, where’s the factory accessories, what’s the deal with the foam noodles everyone?…”

And this was our answer to Dan’s questions:

Thanks Dan,

Indeed, the kayak business is extremely competitive.
We’ve started selling our kayaks back in 2004, and since then we’ve seen most of our competitors either disappear or change owners –
This includes small, medium size and big kayak companies.

Our competitors offer products that are essentially the same, namely variations on sit-in and sit-on-top (SOT) kayaks.
If you look at the designs (forms) themselves, you’ll find no noteworthy change in the past 40 years since such kayaks were first roto-molded.
None of our competitors has any technological advantage over the others, so they are forced to compete by offering many accessories, whether that makes sense or not, plenty of unnecessary detail in their designs, intensive promotion (hype), and price.

Wavewalk has a proprietary technology that puts us in a different category.
Following a few, tested principles has helped us thrive in this highly competitive environment –
These principles are:

1. You can’t argue with success

We keep expanding, and we’re very attentive to what our clients say. Our clients spend long hours on the water, and they demand a system that’s robust, comfortable, and works perfectly in all circumstances, so this is what we offer them.

2. Simplicity rules

Nothing beats simplicity in design, and since our kayaks beat any other kayak in terms of functionality, there is no real demand from us to add accessories and detail to what we offer.

3. What’s best for the client is best for us

We used to offer anchors, stake-out poles, paddle clips, a variety of deck mounted rod holders, and even more paddles, until we reached the conclusion that our clients are best served when they buy such accessories in fishing and boating stores after they got the kayak from us, and know exactly which accessories they actually need. We may be losing a few dollars on each sale, but at least we know that our clients face a better choice than what we could have possibly offered them, and they’re not pushed to buy products they might not necessarily need, or may not be the best choice for them.

4. Focus on what you do best

Our clients consider the W kayak to be the world’s best fishing kayak (see customer reviews > ). Clients who’ve fished out of other craft including motorboats consider the W to be the world’s best personal fishing craft. Our recently introduced motorized W kayak successfully competes against small motorboats (see: http://microskiff.us ). This is to say that we keep leading in true, substantial and meaningful innovation, because that’s what we focus on.

Happy New Year 2013!

Happy New Year to all our clients, fans, dealers and employees!

You’re all truly wonderful people 🙂

2012 was our best year ever. We broke our previous annual sales records by wide margins, and increased our ‘brick and mortar’ presence in the world outside the Internet through our rapidly expanding network of local distributors and dealers.

W kayaks outfitted with outboard motors are everywhere now, and it feels really good considering we came up with our motor mount and the motorized W kayak concept just a little over a year ago.
In fact, many clients choose a motorized W kayak as a their portable, car top motorboat – a personal microskiff they can also use in no-motor zones and areas where only W kayaks can be launched, paddled and beached.

Compared to the previous year (2011), the total number of visits to our website in 2012 increased by 30%, and the number of unique visitors increased by 29%.
As in previous years, 3/4 of our visitors are new visitors and 1/4 are returning visitors.

Thank you for visiting our website, for your patience and interest, and for your various contributions to our blog.
You’ve helped turning our website and this fishing kayak blog into a popular source of information and entertainment for people around the world.

We look forward to another fun and successful year,

Happy New Year!

Yoav