Tag Archive: motorized fishing kayak

Beach cleaning mission – Wavewalk 700 as a service boat and pickup truck with lots of storage

By Captain Larry Jarboe

Florida Fishing Kayaks

 

Yesterday, I was joined by my wife, Carlene, and our local pirate queen, Calypso, to take a beach clean-up of the only naturally sandy beach in Key Largo.
We took the commercial fishing boat decked with W700’s to paddle and motor our way in.
Upon arrival offshore of Rattlesnake Key beach, I proceeded to anchor beyond casting range, upwind, and up current of a flats guide boat. Never, would I place my boat down current within the chum slick of a working fisherman. Nor, am I stupid enough to put my boat within casting range of an 8 ounce lead flung by a 6 foot Ugly Stik.
The most fashionably dressed guide proceeded to dress me out at the top of his lungs which I could barely hear as he was shouting into the breeze fifty yards downwind.
Somehow, I managed to gather that he thought I was blocking his fish from coming to him. to bite.
Rather than argue with ignorance, I moved my work boat further out to sea. The outboard motor on my Wavewalk more than compensates for increased distance to travel to shore.
My wife stayed on board as the “monitoring mate” of the Line Dancer while Calypso and I motored ashore to do our part to clean up the environment.
We all watched the guide and his two customers not catch fish as he spent most of his time flinging a fly line back and forth into the wind.
First rule of fishing: put your hook in the water.
However, that nasty tempered guide did look king of pretty in his fancy fishing outfit. But, my mates are a lot more foxy…

 

 

Carlene and Calypso on board the Line Dancer, which served as mother ship for our beach cleaning expedition

Larry also offers guided fishing and diving trips in the Key Largo and the areas that surround it »

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Wavewalk 700 skiff-kayak and Ricky Rods: A winning mangrove fishing combo

By Captain Larry Jarboe

Florida Fishing Kayaks

Yesterday, I took my W700 and a couple rigged Ricky Rods to little Snapper Creek that is virtually inaccessible to any other vessels. Only a motorized kayak can easily go the distance to get in there and back. Within a half hour, I had my limit of 5 legal Mangrove Snapper (over 10″) in my fish bag and hit the dock before a storm rolled in.

 

 

Wavewalk and Ricky Rod teamed up to put the limit of good eating snapper on my dock. Looks like we have a winning combination –

My first fishing rod that I purchased in the Keys in 1974 was a solid glass Ricky Rod. That rod set me back six bucks and has caught more species of fish than all my other rods together.
When I ran bottom and chumming charter and commercial fishing trips from my 25′ six-pack diesel powered Kencraft in the 1980’s, Ricky Rods with American made Penn spinning reels put fish in the boat on every trip. No skunk in the box with a Ricky Rod in hand.
About 3 years ago, on a Sunday morning, I spotted the Ricky delivery van at the Yellow Bait House in Key Largo. I pulled over to talk to the old timer who was delivering tackle from the Ricky company.
After telling him how great my first rod still is and how much I like Ricky products, the octogenarian looked at me and said, “Well, I am Ricky!”
Amazed at how the owner of a big Miami company would take such a hands on approach, I listened to his story.
Mr. Ricky came from Cuba many years ago to escape the oppressive Castro regime. He built his company with hard work and fine products that are still reasonably priced. And, he invited me for a personal tour of his company. My buddy, Peg Leg Dan, wants to go with me. He has been fishing a Ricky Rod for as long as I have.
Last week, at the Yellow Bait House, I spotted some short 48″ rods that are perfect for kayak fishing in tight quarters. Yes, they are Ricky Rods. Mr. Ricky is still innovating at eighty plus years old.
So, I bought one and came back for two more.

 


Larry also offers guided fishing and diving trips in the Key Largo and the areas that surround it »

More fishing adventures with Capn’ Larry »

Wavewalk 700 mangrove tandem trip with Calypso

By Captain Larry Jarboe

 

 

Calypso crafts beautiful earrings out of fishing lures with the hooks removed. Her displays are becoming most popular in Key Largo locations. She is using the Mangrove Tunnel paddle method where the end of the paddle is used to fend off, the grip is used to pull thru, and, once in a while, you get a chance to slide the paddle thru the water. Often, you have to spin the paddle like a baton to accomplish fending or pulling depending on the side of the tunnel where one technique or the other is needed. That is why she has the paddle held in the center of the handle. Much like a soldier handling a gun at forward arms.
The tide does most of the work. And, we motored back up the tunnel because the ocean was ripping rough. We snaked thru that tunnel without a hitch but I did run out of gas later because of the longer run against the tide. Yes, the spare fuel can was tucked away in a hull tip. NBD.

Wavewalk 700 as a service boat

By Captain Larry Jarboe

 

Keeping Key Largo mangroves clean – The Wavewalk 700 fishing kayak in a pickup truck capacity.

Keeping the mangroves clean – Wavewalk 700 taking part in a personal environmental conservation initiative

 

Upper Sound Point at Rattlesnake Key.   Dragging this fishing kayak on the ground is easy even with a 5hp outboard motor attached to it, in a skiff mode.

 

 

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Testing 15″ short (S) shaft outboard motor performance with Wavewalk kayaks and boats

This article summarizes the research that Captain Larry Jarboe, of Florida Fishing Kayaks and Boats in Key Largo, Florida did on this subject, and we are very grateful to him for this exceptional contribution.

Background –

 

Larry’s main goal in conducting this series of experiments that lasted for several weeks was to find the “sweet spot” for 15″ (S) outboards, namely a setup that would enable him to successfully outfit W500 and W700 boats with such motors, which are typically cheaper and easier to come by than 20″ (L) motors.
His secondary goal in running these extensive tests was to check the performance of Wavewalk’s TMM 700 HD motor mount, and see if we could improve it.

Larry is a passionate fisherman, mechanic, and seaman. He works as a commercial fisherman and fishing guide, and he is Wavewalk’s distributor in Southern Florida.
For the past fifty years, Larry has been involved in using, building, refurbishing and testing motors in various land and water vehicles, including electric racing cars, regular cars and trucks, a wide range of small watercraft, and big diesel engines in stern-drive commercial fishing boats, such as he still operates in Key Largo.

Means and Method –

 

In his tests Larry used five portable outboard gas motors that he had refurbished and tuned himself. Some of the motors had 15″ short shafts, and the others had 20″ long ones, and their horsepower rating ranged from 2 HP to 5 HP. He also tested a couple of electric trolling motors.

Larry conducted his experiments systematically – Being a handyman as well as a mechanic, he built a series of transom motors mounts that enabled him to mount outboard motors of both sizes in various places at the boats’ stern.
In his tests, he changed the height of the mounting plate, and/or its distance from the cockpit’s rear end.

Results –

 

There is no “sweet spot” for mounting a 15″ short (S) shaft motor on a Wavewalk, and any configuration involving the use of such size motor would inevitably result in sub-optimal performance compared to the use of a 20″ long (L) shaft outboard motor of the same power.

The main problems that Larry found with 15″ short (S) shaft outboard were the following:

Ventilation

 

Outboard manufacturers recommend mounting outboard motors with their anti ventilation plate (sometimes called “anti-cavitation” plate) immersed a couple of inches below the boat’s lowest point, which by definition is always immersed. This inevitably means that the anti ventilation plate is several inches below the surface. If the propeller rotates with its blades too close to the surface, it sucks air from the surface, and instead of rotating in water it rotates in a mixture of water and air bubbles. As a result, the propeller loses efficiency and power.

  1. At higher speed – Larry found that with 15″ short (S) motors, ventilation started to occur at about 5 mph, when the boat was transitioning from a displacement mode into a semi-planing mode, and its hulls were slightly raised, thus pulling the propeller upward and too close to the surface. The higher the speed the more extensive the ventilation and power loss. No ventilation occurs with 20″ long (L) shafts, even at speeds higher than 12 knots (13 mph), when the boat is in a full planing mode.
  2. When making sharp turns – Larry found that the 15″ short (S) motors’ propellers sucked air from the surface while he was making sharp turns. This happened since the boats tilted on their side, and the propellers got too close to the surface. In this case, ventilation resulted in loss of power as well as loss of control, to some extent, which made turning more difficult. Such problem did not occur with 20″ long (L) shaft motor, which performed flawlessly in sharp turns at high speed.

Splashing and discomfort

Splashing – In order to avoid ventilation, it is possible to mount 15″ short (S) shaft outboards at a lower level, with its propeller immersed more deeply. This can be done when a specially designed motor mount is placed several inches behind the cockpit’s rear end. However, at such position, the lower part of the motor mount’s vertical mounting plate is too low and too close to the surface of the water, and it will come in contact with the water. In such cases, the result is spray splashing over the motor’s head and into the cockpit’s rear end. No such problems occur with 20″ long (L) shaft outboard motors when mounted correctly on a standard Wavewalk motor mount.

Discomfort – When the 15″ short (S) outboard is mounted several inches behind the cockpit’s rear end, it is harder for the user to reach the motor and its controls (e.g. choke knob, starter grip), and it is harder for them to steer. This is not the case with 20″ long (L) motors that are mounted at the rear of the cockpit.

Bottom line

 

There is no “sweet spot” setup that allows for mounting a 15″ short (S) shaft outboard on a Wavewalk (500 or 700) without it incurring serious drop in performance. The way to motorize a Wavewalk is to follow the recommendations of outboard manufacturers about mounting their motors, as well as Wavewalk’s recommendations that fully coincide with them, namely to use only 20″ long (L) outboard motors with Wavewalk’s kayaks and boats.

 

A sweet spot, sort of…

 

When Larry checked 15″ short shaft, weak electric motors, he found that the ventilation problem at higher speed didn’t occur, because such motors lack the power to propel a kayak at speeds that are high enough to make it reach a semi-planing mode, or have the propeller suck in air from the surface. Knowing about such a sub-optimal performance envelope, the user already expects sub-optimal performance. This said, this rule is not ironclad, and ventilation may still occur in case the boat makes a sharp turn.even when it is propelled by such weak 15″ short electric motors, and while going at low speeds.

This is to say that Wavewalk recommends not to use short shaft motors even in the case of weak electric trolling motors.

In sum, the only propeller shaft size that we recommend for all types of motors is 20″ long (L)

 

More reading:  How to measure an outboard motor’s propeller shaft length? »