Tag Archive: mobility
By Chris Henderson
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.
Wavewalk hasn’t offered a pedal drive with its fishing kayaks because of two reasons, which are that we found neither demand for such accessory among our clients, nor any real advantage in offering such a device to them, regardless of the increased price we would have to charge for it.
Years ago, we published the results of our research on this subject in a 4,000 word Paddle vs Pedal Drive in Fishing Kayaks article, which hasn’t gotten much interest from our clients.
The reason we now publish this new, shorter article on this subject is to make sure that our clients are exposed to all ideas and possibilities, and have a chance to express their views on this subject, as well as their wishes, if any.
Our new 700 series offers to incorporate a pedal drive more easily than the 500 design did. On the other hand, two out of the three pedal driven fishing kayaks manufacturers mentioned in our first article have suffered serious setbacks in recent years, while some of the pro-staffers affiliated with the third manufacturer express themselves with so much zeal that it makes them look like members of a cult, and this is not a good sign, in our opinion. A fourth kayak company recently announced that it was planning to add a pedal drive to its line of SOT fishing kayaks, but a video they released revealed nothing more than a ‘me too’ version of the two existing rotational drives.
Summary of pros and cons
The following tables include some of the main points that we find relevant to this discussion:
-What can I do?
|Push Pedals & Flaps Drive||Rotational Pedals & Propeller Drive||Paddle|
Practically speaking, none of the kayak pedal drives on the market can be used without a rudder system, and no pedal kayak fisherman goes on a fishing trip without taking a paddle with them.
-Where can I go without restrictions?
|Push-Pedals & Flaps Drive||Rotational Pedals & Propeller Drive||Paddle|
|2||Weeds & Vegetation||No||No||Yes|
Again, using a kayak outfitted with a pedal drive automatically means that you need to use a rudder system, as well as take a paddle with you, just in case.
-Who can use it?
|Push-Pedals & Flaps Drive||Rotational Pedals & Propeller Drive||Paddle & Ordinary Kayak||Paddle & Wavewalk® Kayak|
|1||Young & Physically Fit||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
This table refers to typical, several hour long fishing trips, and it does not show the fact that the W700 offers full tandem capabilities standard, at any time.
End of story?
So far, the data presented in this article seems to lead to the conclusion that the reader should stop wasting their time reading it, especially in view of the fact that Wavewalk leads in motorized solutions, which are so practical, fast and ergonomic. But what if we could come up with a better pedal drive? –
A better pedal drive?
Yes, we can design a pedal drive for the W700 that would be considerably more functional than the existing kayak pedal drives in terms of turning and tracking, and therefore it won’t require the use of a rudder. Such pedal drive would offer some advantages in terms of mobility, although it won’t match paddling, and it would be somehow easier and more comfortable to operate than ordinary pedal drives are, although not as easy as paddling. Such pedal drive would require installing a seat with a backrest, which many of our fans are unlikely to appreciate, and it would limit the usability of the boat for tandem crews. And last but not least, such pedal drive would add an estimated $1,500 to the W700 retail price, a point which cannot be ignored, especially since such sum is enough to equip a W700 with both a powerful gas outboard motor mounted at the stern, and a small, lightweight, front mounted electric trolling motor. Did we mention the fact that the 6 HP Tohatsu outboard can be outfitted with an alternator that would charge the battery of such a trolling motor?…
So, this time we managed to keep our article under 800 words, and we hope it would serve the visitors of our website as food for thought, or at least as entertainment…
By Steve Lucas
Put the W thru some glades back country. We had no particular plan except to make it into Coot Bay. The weather was so nice that we continued into Mud Lake. We had a blast. We spotted some fish but had no luck catching anything. I remembered that the W has incredible stump jumpin’ capabilities that I have never tested. The W 500 performed brilliantly in the tightest of tunnels.
Editor’s note: The above movie is a must see. Watch in full screen mode!
Read more about Steve’s fishing trips and rigging tips »
I thought I would find my way back to an old beaver hut that always held a few nice fish.
This would take some standing to visualize the route.
While standing and paddling through these tight spots I hit a submerged log and a clump of reeds, and I lost my balance both times.
The beauty of the Wavewalk is that if you lose your balance you can simply collapse down, which will take you to the center bench seat.
The Wavewalk is very forgiving, and gives you the instant to recover safely and not flip over like I would have definitely done in a conventional kayak.
Both times I realized the loss I would have experienced, camera, smart phone, tackle, etc. Not to mention the soaker!
Last time it was a nice Walleye and a few pike. This time it’s a bunch of rock bass and this chunky perch. I love this type of fishing… when you feel that you have discovered a spot all for yourself.