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.

W570 with a 6 hp Tohatsu outboard motor

Why overpower this fishing kayak with a 6 hp outboard motor?

Earlier this year, Kenny One-Shot Tracy outfitted his W500 kayak with side flotation and a 6 hp Tohatsu outboard motor, and showed it going at 13 mph. This was intriguing, and several months later, after we came up with the W570 series for offshore fishing, we wanted to test it with a similar motor.
A W kayak weigh 60 lbs and it’s rated for 2-3 hp motors, so it goes without saying that using it with a 6 hp motor means overpowering it, since these motors are rated for moving boats up to 3,000 lbs, that is 50 times heavier.
However, testing and experimenting are part of any Research and Development (R&D) process, and we try as much as we can to test our products under various conditions in order to better understand possibilities, problems, and hazards, and inform our clients about them, so they have more options to choose from, and can make better decisions.

Tohatsu America showed interested in this project and cooperated with us through their dealer Steve’s Marine in Rhode Island, and we got the 6 hp Tohatsu motor (20″ shaft) in late October.

beached motorized kayak

Wavewalk 570 beached.

 

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Watch the movie –

Motor weight and handling considerations

Although the 6 hp (20″ long shaft) Tohatsu is a sophisticated outboard motor, it is relatively lightweight for its class. However, at 59 lbs it still weighs twice more than the 2-2.3 hp Honda outboard that we’ve routinely used so far.  This additional weight was our first concern, and we wanted to experience what it means for a W kayak angler who uses such a motor.
We found the weight difference to be noticeable, but not a major issue – It’s possible to carry such a motor over short distances, whether on its own or mounted on the kayak. Dragging the kayak on a sandy beach was considerably more difficult, but not a big problem over a short distance.
Lifting the motor into the car wasn’t too hard either.

Transporting the boat in the car

Click images to enlarge –

 

The boat on the beach and at the dock

Launching is easy both from the beach and from a dock, and the same is true for beaching.

Click images to enlarge –

The motor mount

Kenny reported that his 6 hp Tohatsu outboard had broken a DIY motor mount. Such accidents can be dangerous, so we knew that we had to consider both weight and power. Kenny later reported that his 6 hp motor worked with the TMM 20 motor mount that we had sent him, but we preferred to beef up a TMM 20-15 motor mount with an additional 3/4″ board for its vertical mounting plate, making it 1.5″ thick.

The boat itself

Another concern we had about the 6 hp motor’s weight was how our W570 would take it.
The following pictures show that we had no reason to be concerned, as the boat is pretty much level, and the side flotation modules rest several inches above waterline –

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Rear view of a docked Wavewalk 570 INF 20-15 outfitted with both a spray shield and cockpit cover, and an extra inflatable flotation module attached between its hulls.

Driving the boat

Driving the boat with the 6 hp Tohatsu / 20″ shaft was easy and convenient.
This outboard motor features a 3 position gear system (Forward-Neutral-Reverse) that’s safer than a centrifugal clutch, and makes it easy to start any time. The fact that this motor is water cooled makes it relatively quiet in comparison with the air cooled 2-2.3 hp Honda.
Access to the motor’s controls is easy and convenient once you slide backward on the saddle all the way to the back of the cockpit.
The inflatable flotation modules stayed above waterline and did not cause splashing.

Load and additional passengers

Although a W kayak can carry heavier loads, we rate these kayaks for a total load of 360 lbs, for both safety and performance reasons. This number includes everything that the boat may carry, from passengers and their personal belongings to fishing gear, an anchor, and last but not least – a motor. With a 60 lbs motor and all the extra accessories that come with the Wavewalk 570, and considering the high speed in which you’re likely to drive, it would be safer to consider the W570 as a one-person motorized kayak, or a solo skiff, if you prefer. This is unless the user is not heavy, and they take a lightweight passenger on board. For example: A driver that weighs less than 200 lbs could take on board a small child weighing 60 lbs, plus some lightweight fishing tackle.

Fuel consumption

The 6 hp Tohatsu outboard model that we’ve tested features an integral fuel tank that allows it to go for 45 minutes full throttle, but as long as you drive a W570 with it you won’t go over 1/3 throttle since doing so is likely to increase your speed dangerously, unless you’re towing a bigger boat or several kayaks and canoes.

Accident

In one occasion, while the boat was going pretty fast, the propeller hit a rock on the bottom of the lake, and got ejected out of the water, as it’s designed to do in such cases. Lowering it back into the water presented no problem. The reinforced TMM 20-15 transom mount didn’t budge, and the inflatable side flotation proved that it’s useful in helping to prevent the boat from rolling (flipping) if it’s tilting strongly as it did following the impact and momentary loss of control that resulted from it.
The role that the inflatable flotation played in that accident emphasizes its importance.

Power and speed

A W kayak outfitted with a 2-2.3 hp outboard can go at 8.5 mph, full throttle, while the same kayak outfitted with a 6 hp Tohatsu motor can reach 13 mph at 1/3 throttle, a speed that for most people makes it too much of a challenge to drive safely. This is where we found that a 6 hp motor wasn’t the best fit for the Wavewalk 570. In other words, overpowering the W570 with such a powerful motor can be hazardous and cause accidents if you drive too fast relatively to your boating skills and/or to water conditions, or if you accidentally accelerate abruptly or even just too quickly for you to safely maintain control over the vessel.
This lightweight craft is no match for the power and torque of such a big engine, and that makes it too ‘nervous’ compared to when it’s outfitted with a smaller and less powerful motor that tks longer to accelerate.

Why you might want to overpower

Having said that, you might like this overpowered configuration if you’re a risk-loving speed fan who enjoys the feeling of danger. It’s your choice, as long as you’re aware of the safety hazards, and you know that the W570 isn’t rated for motors that are more powerful than 2-3 hp.

A more productive way to make use of such a disproportionally powerful motor could be for towing other boats. For example, if you use the W570 as tender (auxiliary service boat) for a bigger leisure craft such as a sailboat, it could tow the mother ship, if necessary, or tow another tender with several passengers and provisions on board (e.g. an inflatable dinghy).
If indeed you’re thinking about such use, make sure the towed craft are properly attached to your W570, and don’t use its handles or eyelets for this purpose.
Similarly, if you go on a camping and fishing trip in which several people take part, your W570 on steroids could tow several kayaks and canoes over long distances, and make life easier for the other members of your expedition.

If you’re thinking about driving up fast rivers, such as in springtime, or on fast tidal rivers, more power and torque may be justified, although it’s hard to imagine cases where a 2-3 hp motor would not suffice for your W kayak. Just remember that fast moving rivers are hazardous, and we recommend neither paddling nor motorizing in them.

Another case in which you could be interested to use a 6 hp outboard motor with your W570 is if you already own a larger boat that you propel with such a motor, and you want to alternate between your W570 and that bigger boat. For example, you may prefer to go fishing on your own in the W570, and take the bigger boat when you fish with your family and friends. If you don’t like to purchase a smaller outboard for your W570, you could try using your 6 hp outboard with it, and see how it works for you. If it does, it could save you the additional expense on a small motor. Just remember to be very cautious with the throttle when the motor is mounted on your W570.

Rating

All the above said does not imply that we rate the W570 for use with an outboard motor that’s more powerful than 2-3 hp, because we don’t. We think that using a W kayak with motors that are more powerful than 2-3 hp could be hazardous.
Again, the purpose of this article is to inform people about what using much stronger motors implies, and warn them about problems and dangers associated with such practice.

More reading

Motorized kayaks »

Driving the W570 in the ocean »

The New Wavewalk 570 Series (W570) 2015 Models »

Fishing offshore – the next frontier

Fishing offshore – the challenge

Let us define Offshore Fishing as fishing in the ocean or in the Great Lakes, away from shore, beyond the breakers. Such fisheries are characterized by currents and wind that are hard to overcome without adequate propulsion, and therefore hazardous to fishers who venture in them in small, human powered vessels such as canoes and kayaks.

Typically, people who fish offshore from kayaks tend to do it in more protected areas such as bays, or stay within a short distance from shore.
While these fisheries are relatively safer in comparison to distant and deeper ocean fishing grounds, they still present considerable challenges to kayak anglers, as well as to those who fish from other small, light, non-motorized craft such as canoes and dinghies.

Offshore kayak anglers know that traveling out there in a human powered vessel doesn’t grant them that they’d be able to go where they want or even get back to shore. For this reason, some anglers venture on long distance fishing trips with a mother ship, I.E. a large size motorboat that carries their kayaks into the ocean, and enables the members of such expeditions to return safely to shore. Typically, the kayaks used for such trips are sit-on-top (SOT) kayaks.

Comfort and safety factors

Those who fish offshore from a kayak can be exposed to wind and waves from the moment they launch.  Sitting in the L posture isn’t easy to begin with, but having to deal with the waves’ rocking motion and the constant wetness and  makes it even harder, especially  for anglers who fish in colder regions, where low water and air temperatures can be a critical factor.

Some kayak anglers outfit their ride with an electric trolling motor, and while this certainly adds an element of safety and increases their range of travel, it still doesn’t offer them the freedom to go on long fishing trips, or overcome fast currents.
Outboard gas motors are more suitable for this purpose. However, there are no kayaks out there except Wavewalk’s that can be outfitted and used with this type of powerful and reliable propulsion in a way that makes sense to the user. The problem isn’t just the poor stability of the mono-hull kayak design and the lack of effective means for its users to stabilize it, but also the fact that outboard motors are rather heavy and they work best when they’re attached at the stern, which is too far behind the area in which the kayak’s user is seated – Anglers who try to outfit their sit-on-top, hybrid or sit-in kayaks with an outboard motor soon discover that they can’t easily reach its controls, and they can steer neither safely nor conveniently, even when they use a long and articulated (U-jointed) tiller extension.

Unlike kayaks, small fishing motorboats (e.g. Jon boat, dinghy, small microskiff) are designed for motorizing, and their users can drive them without experiencing the safety and ergonomics problems that occur in motorized kayaks.
The users of such small fishing boats sit either facing forward on benches stretching across their deck, or facing sideways on benches located along their sides, or on a raised seat or swivel seat.
The problem with those small craft is that they feature flat bottomed hulls that work well on flat water, but offer neither good stability in waves nor much comfort to their users in the constant rocking motion created by the waves.
The same is true for the three above mentioned seating solutions – Sitting on a bench is fine as long as you can stand up from time to time and stretch, but it’s uncomfortable when you’re constantly struggling to balance yourself, and you’re prevented from standing up in confidence.
As for raised seats, they are great for comfort as long as you can stand up whenever you wish to do so, and as long as you don’t have to balance yourself while sitting in them. However, this is not the case when your boat is being rocked by waves, and in such cases you’d be likely to experience discomfort.

Most small fishing motorboats are not designed for car topping, or are just too hard for one person to car top. Therefore, they require transportation by trailer, which means launching and beaching in boat ramps, with the time loss and aggravation that entail…

For all these reasons, small flat-bottomed motorboats offer limited offshore fishability.

As for ergonomics, the W570 offers its users to travel facing forward while riding a saddle similar in size and shape to the saddles commonly found in personal watercraft (PWC – jet-ski). The riding position is unmatched as far as the power, control, comfort and balancing capabilities it provides, which is why it is so well suited for small, high performance, personal, offshore motorboats. No wonder that other high performance personal motor vehicles such as all terrain vehicles (ATV), dirt bikes, and snowmobiles all feature similar saddles.

The new W570 series

A few weeks have passed since Wavewalk announced its new W570 series of kayaks that are ready for motorized offshore fishing. During this period we’ve obtained substantial input about this new concept from W clients, fans and dealers who fish in different parts of the world.
It’s possible to classify their reactions to the W570 series into three categories – negative, mixed and positive.
Those who reacted negatively argued that there’s no real need for a spray shield and large-size inflatable flotation tubes, and consequently, these new accessories might reflect poorly on the W product and brand.
Those who had mixed reactions said that although personally they don’t see the point in either using or offering these new accessories, there may be a demand for a such a car-top boat among fishers who are looking to fish out of a small motorboat in the ocean or in large size bodies of water such as the Great Lakes, big and fast rivers, and other challenging fisheries.
Those who reacted entirely favorably to the new W570 series are mainly people who already fish offshore or in bays and large estuaries, and are familiar with the challenges that anglers face in such fisheries. Incidentally, there’s a higher percentage of motorized W kayak anglers in this third group compared to the general population of W angers.

All three points of view are legitimate and interesting –
Those who argue against the new accessories stress that as far as motorizing goes, Wavewalk has already shown in a most convincing way that its W500 series was perfectly suitable for driving while outfitted with an outboard motor at speeds that are similar to and even higher than the typical speed for other small motorized fishing craft such as Jon Boats, motorized square-stern canoes, dinghies and various flat-bottom watercraft classified as small-size microskiff. Therefore, adding large size inflatable tubes and a spray shield to a W kayak is overkill.
This argument is correct, obviously, but only so in the context of traditional fisheries where these other small motorboats are commonly used, which are inland, flats, small and medium size lakes, slow moving rivers, and generally speaking, in areas that are not particularly challenging in the sense that anglers who fish in them are unlikely to overcome either powerful and fast currents or waves while launching, driving and beaching their fishing boat.
It goes without saying that these relatively protected fisheries correspond to areas where the majority of fishing kayaks and canoes are used, as well as most other small, flat-bottomed boats. This fact puts the new W570 series at the edge of the current market, for better and for worse, in the sense that while the current market for it doesn’t seem to be big today,  there could be a substantial yet unfulfilled demand for such innovative, high-performance personal boat, whose offshore performance surpasses that of mono-hull fishing kayaks as well as traditional small motorboats when comfort, stability, ease of transportation, and launching & beaching are taken into consideration.

Keeping the cockpit dry

W kayaks offer several effective means to keep their cockpit dry on offshore fishing trips –

Typically, launching and beaching are the events that produce more spray, and are likely to get some water in if you don’t take any precautionary measure to keep the cockpit dry, which is easy since all W570 models come outfitted with a spray shield that blocks water from getting in from the front.
In addition, you can launch while riding the saddle aft of the middle part of the cockpit. Doing so would raise the kayak’s bow and further decrease the likelihood of spray getting into the cockpit.
And last but not least, all models from the W570 series feature a preparation for cockpit cover, which allows you to attach a small-size tarp over the front and middle parts of the cockpit, and thus prevent any spray from getting in. Once you’ve passed the surf zone and you’re out in blue water, you can easily detach the cockpit cover within seconds, and store it in one of the hull tips behind you.

These three defensive measures work effectively, and in addition, if any spray got in, dealing with it is very easy – All you need to do is take a couple large-size towels on board and drop them on the bottom of the hulls behind you, near the hull tips.
If any spray gets in, it will be drained to the bottom of the hulls, and the water would normally flow backwards, since the kayak’s stern is usually a bit lower than the bow.
The towels would soak the water, and if you see that a towel has reached its soaking capacity, all you need to do is grab it and squeeze the water outside the cockpit, which takes just a few seconds. This method is commonly used by canoeists and sit-it kayakers who travel in moving water.
If you’re into gadgets, who can replace the towels by an inexpensive hand-activated bilge pump. These pumps are popular among sit-in kayakers, canoeists and other small boat users. Their disadvantage over towels is that they become effective only in case a considerable amount of water has accumulated at the bottom of a hull, which isn’t likely to happen.
Another simple and effective accessory that kayak, canoe and small boat anglers use for bailing water out of their craft is a small-size bilge bucket. While this accessory is highly effective for this purpose, it’s not as easy to use as towels and bilge pumps are.

Watch the W570 in action –

Related articles

 The New Wavewalk 570 Series (W570) 2015 Models

 Motorized Kayaks

The Wavewalk 500 – Motorized for offshore fishing

Overview

The W500 is a new type of small watercraft that can be outfitted for high performance as a Rigid-Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) technology.
RHIBs are known for their stability, high performance and seaworthiness in demanding applications such as lifeboats, rescue, and military operations. They also serve as tenders for large boats and ships, and as work boats in offshore facilities.
Unlike in regular RHIBs, the inflatable tubes that come with the W500 are easily detachable, for storage during transport, or in case they’re not needed, such as when you paddle or motorize on flat water.
And unlike RHIBs, the W500 can be outfitted with flotation tubes only in its rear part, so they don’t interfere much with fishing or paddling.
In addition, the weight of the outboard motor at the stern offers the W500 user to sit or stand closer to the bow while keeping the boat level. This slightly forward position further increases the range of motion when they fish, or paddle while launching or beaching in water that’s too shallow for motorizing, or in water with abundant aquatic vegetation.

The W500 can serve as a small, lightweight, car-top, durable microskiff with enhanced offshore capabilities.

The W500 user can drive it in the powerful and stable Riding posture, similarly to a personal watercraft (PWC, jet-ski), as well as standing up. Both types of boat feature a similar longitudinal, high saddle, although the W500’s saddle is longer, and allows the user to drive or paddle from different locations fore and aft of the middle of the cockpit.

Since motorizing at high speed in choppy water involves bumping into waves and generating spray, the W500 is offered with a lightweight, detachable spray shield that can be removed within seconds and stored flat and upright in one of the hulls, behind the user.  The reason we made this accessory detachable is in order to enable the user to get it out of their way when they fish, store it on board, and re-attach it only when it’s needed.

This video demonstrates the W500 offshore, in choppy water:

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Wavewalk™ 500 outfitted with 20″ long shaft 2 hp Honda outboard gas motor and tiller extension

 

 

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Motorized Wavewalk 500  close-up

 

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W500 fishing kayak outfitted with a reinforced TMM 20-15 transom motor mount and a 6 hp Tohatsu outboard motor (overpowered configuration)

 

Capabilities

  • Launching: Almost anywhere, including sandy and rocky beaches, steep banks that require seal-launching, remote beaches that require portaging and won’t allow for wheel carts, shallow water where only poling and paddling works, water with seaweed and/or grass, etc.
  • Beaching: Same as above, except less steep banks.
  • Mobility: Being a triple propulsion craft (motorizing, paddling, poling) the W500 can get anywhere a W kayak can, which means in seaweed, grass, reeds, over obstacles, in shallow water, in fast tidal currents, in strong wide, offshore in the chop,  etc.
  • Speed: 8.5 mph with a 210 lbs passenger on board and running a small, 2 HP Honda air-cooled outboard motor.
  • Range: Typically, when using a 2 HP outboard motor, 1 quart of gasoline (0.9 liter) would suffice for 1 hour at full throttle.
  • Maximum recommended load for passengers and their gear: 320 lbs (145 kg) when motorized.

 

Features

The Wavewalk™ 500 comes ready for offshore motorizing.
It comes with these standard features:

  1. A transom motor mount ( TMM 20-15). The mount requires installation that takes up to 5 minutes of easy work. The new TMM 20-15 transom mount fits both 20″ (long) and 15″ (short) propeller shafts. We recommend using a 20″ (long) shaft motor with all our kayaks and boats.
  2.  A pair of high-capacity, detachable, inflatable side flotation modules (INF). Color:  Black. Attaching and detaching these modules takes seconds. Inflating them is easy and does not require a pump.
  3. A transparent, easily detachable and easily stored spray shield.
  4. A set of 4 additional tie-downs (eyelets) on each side of the boat (total of 8 extra eyelets) enabling  attaching the side flotation modules to it, as well as attaching an extra pair of flotation modules for extreme conditions.
  5. A preparation for cockpit cover that also enables attaching the spray shield to the front of the cockpit.
  6. A pair of clamp mounted Tite-Lok fishing rod holders.
  7. A saddle bracket – standard. Starting from 2014 all W models feature a saddle bracket – standard.

 

Technical Specifications

  • Total length: 11’4″ (136″) 345 cm
  • Width: 29″ (73 cm) without the inflatable flotation modules
  • Weight: 60 lbs (27 kg) without accessories
  • Total width outfitted with 2 inflatable flotation modules: 29″ / front, 41″ / rear
  • Total weight when outfitted with accessories and no motor: 67 to 70 lbs, depending on motor mount model
  • Hull material: Rotationally molded High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
  • Inflatable floats material: Heavy Duty PVC, 30 MIL (0.03″, 0.763 mm)
  • Spray shield material: 0.1″ (2.5 mm) thick Acrylite ®
  • Motor mount material: For the TMM 20-15 – Medium Density Overlay (MDO)
  • Minimum weight when outfitted with an outboard gas motor: 98 lbs with 2 HP Honda air-cooled outboard and articulated (U-jointed) tiller extension

 

More information

W500 overpowered with a 6 hp Tohatsu outboard motor (movie)  »

Wavewalk 570 INF 20-15 offshore, in the chop (movie)

This video shows the Wavewalk TM 570 INF 20-15 in action.
This model features the following new accessories –

  1. Inflatable Flotation Modules for easier recovery
  2. Detachable Transparent Spray Shield for motorized Wavewalk TM kayaks
  3. TMM 20-15 Transom Motor Mount for 20″ (long) and 15″ (short) outboard motors

 

Motorized kayak and personal microskiff

The W570 INF 20-15 is for anglers who want to go on long offshore fishing trips in the ocean as well as in big lakes and rivers. It offers you to launch anywhere, go anywhere, and beach almost anywhere.
If the water is too shallow for motorizing, you can put in with the outboard motor’s propeller lifted up, and paddle or pole until you reach water that’s deep enough to lower it, start it, and drive seated or standing up.
Similarly, when you approach shore, you can stop the engine, raise the propeller, and beach while paddling and/or poling.

The W570 INF 20-15 is also a great water toy that offers you to play in the waves both seated and standing while driving or paddling.

Without the motor and flotation attached to it, the W570 INF 20-15 weighs 60 lbs (27 kg), which makes it easy for anyone to car top, even if they’re by themselves. If your vehicle is big enough, you can transport this W kayak inside it.

This is not a solo skiff, it’s a personal rigid-inflatable (RIB) microskiff, which means you can take a passenger on board, providing they’re not heavy. With a 200 lbs driver, a lightweight outboard motor and not too much camping or fishing gear on board, the second passenger can weigh up to 100 lbs (45 kg). The new Spray Shield offers good enough protection to a passenger seated in the front, and before you start fishing you can easily detach in less than a minute and store it standing flat in one of the hull tips behind you.

Using a small outboard motor is convenient for multiple reasons:
It’s portable and almost maintenance free, and being a popular off-the-shelf item means that service stations for such products are ubiquitous and service fees can be expected to be reasonably low.
Another important advantage is that such motors are usually dependable and robust, and if the propeller hits something while you drive, it pops out of the water so that damage can be avoided. The same is true if you drive through grass or weeds that can snag the propeller – You can stop the motor, turn around in the cockpit so that you sit face the rear, and take care of the problem. Alternatively, you can stop the motor and paddle or pole to the nearest shore, beach the kayak, and clean the propeller on dry land.

More info on motorized kayaks »

Some images extracted from the video footage –

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Driving standing

 

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Splash!

 

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Launch – paddling out of the ‘Rock Garden’ in the shallow water close to shore

 

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Motorized catamaran kayak with extra inflatable float between the hulls. The third float stays above waterline, like the two others on the sides.

 

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Whoa!

 

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Fun beyond belief!

New products launched in 2014

When observing fishing kayak design developments in recent years, it’s impossible to miss two main trends that seem to have gone out of control: The first is an increase in size and weight, and the second is over accessorizing.

These days, the typical high-end SOT fishing kayak is a barge that weighs around 100 lbs, and requires a trailer for transportation, which is enough to defeat the purpose of kayak fishing even before you hit the water and find out that paddling such barges to a noticeable distance is either hard or impossible…
One company recently launched a tandem fishing kayak that weighs 185 lbs in the basic version, and 230 lbs when fully accessorized. And if you think this weight includes a powerful outboard motor, you’re wrong – We’re still talking about a human powered boat, (although not a paddle craft) that’s too wide for paddling… At such weight, a crew of two strong anglers couldn’t car top this kayak, and they’ll even have a hard time loading it on top of the trailer that’s offered with it.
The thing looks like it came out of a shipyard rather than a kayak factory… Good luck with moving that object out there, on the water!

The new SOT and hybrid fishing kayaks’ decks are so overcrowded and over accessorized that some of them severely limit the user’s range of motion in fishing, and they restrict even their legroom. Some of those fishing kayaks look bizarre, or comic, with such a plethora of useless objects (e.g. leaning bar), semi-useless objects (e.g. cup holder) and overly complex ‘systems’ (e.g. double-cover storage hatch) crowding their decks and getting in the way of their users’ arms and fishing lines.

And since this article is about innovation, we feel obliged to mention the new, award winning electric fishing kayak that features a motor installed in its middle. Its propeller shaft comes out of the water between the angler’s legs, with the propeller appearing at a couple inches distance from their crotch. Good luck with that too!

 

New products from Wavewalk

Wavewalk launched three new products in 2014: High-buoyancy Inflatable detachable flotation modules, a detachable, transparent Spray Shield, and a dual use Transom Motor Mount.
These accessories strengthen our advantage in high performance motorized kayak fishing, which is significantly different from traditional motorized kayak fishing involving outfitting SOT kayaks with weak and unreliable electric trolling motors for short distance, flat water trips.  A W500 outfitted with proper flotation and a powerful outboard gas engine offers a solution to the problems of strong tidal currents, wind, and the need to travel long distances in moving water, including offshore.

 

1. Inflatable detachable flotation modules

This new accessory transforms the W kayak into a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB), an increasingly popular high-performance class of watercraft used in a variety of motorized boating applications ranging from tendering bigger boats to high speed travel, diving, fishing, and rescue operations.

The new inflatable float provides twice as much buoyancy as the large size Polyethylene foam modules we offered so far. Thus, it improves the motorized W kayak’s performance in terms of both capsize prevention and recovery.

A W500 can be outfitted with either one or two pairs of such floats. In the two-pair configuration it isn’t suitable for fishing, and you need to stop somewhere and relocate the front pair – either by reattaching them at the rear, or just storing them in the kayak’s hull tips behind you.

Another great feature these floats have is that you don’t need a pump to inflate them.

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2. Detachable transparent spray shield

This accessory works to prevent spray from getting into the cockpit of the W500 while motorizing at high speed in choppy water, or in waves.
The reason it’s detachable is that you may want to have it out of your way when you fish – Casting and landing fish from this kayak’s front is not only easy, but it also has some advantages, so you may want to quickly detach this spray shield and store it (flat) in one of the hull tips behind you.  Reattaching it is easy, and takes less than a minute.

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3. Dual use transom motor mount

Outboard gas motors and electric trolling motors come in two basic configurations – Long propeller shaft (20″ and above), and short propeller shaft (15″).
This can be a problem in case you have a long-shaft outboard motor and a short shaft electric motor, or vice versa, and you want to use them in different conditions. For example – travel fast to a distant fishing area using the powerful outboard, and once you get there troll slowly and quietly using the electric motor.
You may also want to use the outboard motor when you fish offshore, and the electric trolling motor when you fish inland, in smaller bodies of water, or in no-motor zones.
Either way, you’re fully covered now and in the future with the new TMM 20-15 Transom Motor Mount.
This new motor mount is not only more versatile – it also weighs less than the old mounts.

Click the images to enlarge –

 

 

Note that a W500 kayak outfitted with high-performance inflatable flotation and a powerful outboard motor still weighs less than some of the mammoth ‘barge’ fishing kayaks out there that feature no motor at all.

In sum, while Wavewalk keeps expanding the performance envelope of its already superior products and solutions, other fishing kayak manufacturers still have nothing interesting or sensible to offer, but they seem to put more effort into it in recent years.