I woke up at 4:30 AM, before dawn, to be ready on time for this fishing trip in the ocean.
Launched at 6:00 AM from the harbor.
Going on the water with my motorized kayak was as I had planned.
Fishing wasn’t very good. Caught some squid, cuttlefish and seahorses.
For some time, I’ve been exploring ways to ease or reduce paddling in reaching some of my farther off fishing sites. I’ve researched motorizing my Wavewalk with both gas and electric models but, in the end, don’t want to add even a minimum of 30-40 pounds of weight, or put up with the added hassle of keeping gas, charging batteries, related maintenance, and anything other than a totally quiet experience on the water.
I’ve also taken a few umbrellas out with me exploring whether any might ease my journeys and save me a bit of paddling, but most were not practical, did not stay securely in place or allow me to paddle and steer when deployed. Not that I’m lazy, mind you; I still enjoy getting my exercise, but at age 72, I could use a bit of relief on my 8-10 mile paddles.
While looking at umbrellas online a few weeks ago, I stumbled across one from Radio Flyer that looked interesting. It’s specifically for children’s wagons.
I ordered one, and I’m glad I did. I’ve had it out twice and it works well.
The umbrella is 31 inches high and 26 inches in diameter when extended which is large enough to catch the wind yet small enough to not totally obliterate my view going forward. It has a bendable, tilt handle which can be rotated 360 degrees, and stays in place when set. The powerful clamp (you need to use both hands to open it) attaches securely to the W’s cockpit rim via a groove that is intended to attach to the lip of a wagon, but looks made for the W. These features allow for a secure, hands-free operation, allowing me to paddle and steer at the same time that the umbrella propels me forward.
The clamp can easily be slid or moved to any portion of the cockpit lip, but works best for me when positioned directly in front. When not being deployed, the umbrella, still attached to the cockpit rim, folds down and totally out of the way for fishing. When positioned on the side of the W and pointed downward so that a small portion of the umbrella touches the water, it might even serve somewhat as a makeshift sea anchor or outrigger (however, I’ll have to experiment more to determine related usefulness). And, of course, it can provide a bit of shade.
While the umbrella is an option only when the wind is blowing roughly in the direction you want to go, if you’re like me, and plan your trips to take advantage of the tide and wind, it can provide a nice boost.
I won’t be setting any speed records with my umbrella and won’t be challenging Yoav to a race in his souped up W, but I think the Radio Flyer may just make a few of my longer paddles a little more relaxing.
I’ll be ordering a couple more for backups, or maybe to deploy two at once.
For 2015, Wavewalk introduces the new 570 series. The three models in this series come outfitted for offshore motorized fishing.
The 570 is a new type of small watercraft in which Wavewalk merged its patented W Kayak invention with the 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 W570 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 standard W570 comes 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 W570 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 W570 can serve as a small, lightweight, car-top, durable microskiff with enhanced offshore capabilities.
The W570 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 W570’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 W570 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.
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 W570 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.
All three models in Wavewalk’s new 570 series (W570) come ready for offshore motorizing.
They include these standard features:
A transom motor mount (TMM 15, TMM 20 or 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, and it’s lighter than the other two.
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.
A transparent, easily detachable and easily stored spray shield.
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.
A preparation for cockpit cover that also enables attaching the spray shield to the front of the cockpit.
A pair of clamp mounted Tite-Lok fishing rod holders.
A saddle bracket – standard. Starting from 2014 all W models feature a saddle bracket – standard.
A additional set of 4 standard (foam) flotation modules for paddling-only (100% non-motorized) mode, if the boat is not outfitted with a motor.
This video demonstrates the W570 INF 20-15 offshore, in choppy water:
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)
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.