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.
Today is my birthday, so I took off from work and got out to play a little bit. Of course I had to take a little detour and hang out on Little Munyon Island for just a minute! I upgraded to a 9.8 Nissan outboard motor, and the thing does so good with it. I stiffened my transom a little bit too.
Rugged transom motor mount with a DIY flexible rubber spray guard
DON’T TRY THIS YOURSELF BECAUSE IT’S HAZARDOUS – THERE IS NO ROOM FOR ERROR IN THOSE TIGHT AND WINDING MANGROVE TUNNELS, AND BUMPING INTO A MANGROVE TREE OR BRANCH CAN RESULT IN SEVERE INJURIES, AND DROWNING.
Captain Larry Jarboe is a Master Captain and seasoned fishing guide who drives through mangrove tunnels on a daily basis. His professional skill level is the result of years of studies and practical experience, and a lot of caution. As much as the S4 is a very responsive skiff, where it goes depends on the driver, and the last thing you want to happen is a mangrove branch hitting you in the face, or poking you in the eye. Such accidents do happen in these places, unfortunately.
Please be watchful and very careful when driving through any kind of vegetation, and even near vegetation. A tree limb protruding from the river bank, and even a sunken tree trunk or a tree stump can be dangerous, and cause an accident.
Candy and I had friends visit from North Carolina, and we took them over to Peanut Island, and hung out for the day. What a blast! We went all four of us in the boat. We had to go slow but it works fine. It was only about a half mile ride over. We had probably a little over 700 lbs of payload on board.
Skiff, sun, fun…
This 100 lbs Wavewalk S4 skiff carried over 700 lbs of payload…
Wavewalk S4 skiff side by side with a conventional skiff
Shooting an aerial view of the S4 boat and its crew of four