Tag Archives: outboard gas engine

Many thanks to many people

The Wavewalk™ 700 as a concept, design and actual product is the result of inputs from many people over several years. These people have contributed both directly and indirectly to identifying the requirements for this unique product, refining and defining those initial requirements, and turning them into something tangible, useful and exciting.

We’ll try to name a few of them, mostly in a chronological order, and we’ll start with Sungjin Kim, who was the first to outfit his W500 with an outboard gas engine mounted at the rear of the cockpit. At first, Sungjin himself wasn’t particularly satisfied with that setup, but the videos showing him driving his motorized W500 were enough to set the W motorizing trend in motion, and this trend was key to the development of the W700 – the world’s best two-person, trailer-free fishing boat that one person can easily paddle and car-top by themselves, without help from a fishing partner.

At the initial phase, Gary Thorberg experimented with various outboard motors and motor mounts, and helped develop the motorized W500 as a product. After some hesitation, Rox Davis joined the R&D effort, and used her extensive experience in motorizing W kayaks with electric motors to motorize her W500 with 15″ outboards.

The next breakthrough came from from Kenny ‘One-Shot’ Tracy, who outfitted his W500 with a pair of DIY Styrofoam flotation modules and a 6hp outboard. Driving his W500 at 13 mph, Kenny broke the speed record for this little craft, and proved that high speed motorizing was within its performance envelope.

Kenny’s experiments led to the development of the W570 series, namely the W500 outfitted with a pair of large-size inflatable flotation modules attached to the back of the hulls, and a transparent spray shield attached to the front of its cockpit.

The offshore W fishing boat was born, but is had shortcomings, and the main one was its limited load capacity – It was still more of a motorized fishing kayak than a fishing boat.

Quite a few people contributed their requirements to have us develop a bigger kayak for tandem paddling and fishing, and Bernie Marsden, whom we helped build a wide, wooden DIY motorized kayak that serves him as a stable diving platform showed how well such a wider W kayak could work.

We held long discussions with Michael Chesloff, who’s been fishing out of a W500 kayak for several years, after having owned eight different small fishing boats, none of which he  particularly liked. Michael is an avid bass fisherman with a strong interest in small fishing craft, and he contributed his insight on the advantages and disadvantages of various types of boats that anglers use. Michael’s interest in marketing produced interesting observations as well as experiments.

Steve Lucas, a W500 flats fisherman offered his own insight on fishing kayaks and flats fishing boats, especially microskiff. Steve’s input complemented what we learned from Kevin Eastman, a motorized W500 flats fly fisherman.

At some point, we started looking for ways to merge all this knowledge and requirements into something that would work well in performance terms, and could be manufactured in a sensible manner. The latter requirement proved to be hard to answer due to various technical reasons having to do with the form of the W craft and the limitations of the molding technologies available to kayak and small boat manufacturers, which is why it took us two years to come up with the W700 product line.

Thank you!  :)

Yoav

 

Microskiff

Microskiff definition

What is a microskiff?  We found several definitions, but typically, a microskiff is a small, lightweight, flat bottomed motorboat used for flats fishing as well as in protected bays, estuaries, lakes and slow moving rivers. The typical microskiff crew consists of two anglers, and sometimes one angler. The microskiff is said to have evolved from dinghies.
Small and lightweight in the case of typical microskiff means a boat that requires transportation by trailer, and therefore must be launched and beached at a boat ramp.

The Microskiff propulsion problem

Microskiff are made to be propelled primarily by outboard motors, and they are too wide and heavy to allow for paddling. This is problematic for a number of reasons –
To begin with, an outboard motor can run out of gas or stall due to a technical problem, and an electric trolling motor that a microskiff may have on board isn’t enough for effective traveling over longer distances.
More importantly, both outboard gas motors and electric trolling motors use propellers that must be completely immersed in water a couple of inches below the surface. The result is that the effective draft of a microskiff is not particularly shallow, and often too high for very shallow water, a.k.a “skinny water”.
This problem also limits the typical microskiff in terms of potential launching and beaching locations, and this means that you must perform these operations at a boat ramp, which is a major source of frustration over a lot of wasted fishing time.
To add insult to injury, propellers don’t do well in the presence of aquatic vegetation, be it seaweed, grass, etc. This is particularly frustrating for anglers who know that such waters are among the best fisheries.

Human powered propulsion – Poling, anyone?

Microskiff manufacturers often show pictures of people who use a long push-pole to propel their microskiff through shallow water. This human powered mode of propulsion is indeed possible, but it’s not very practical –
To begin with, poling involves long intervals between each pole push, so the big effort invested in each push that accelerates the boat goes to waste when the boat decelerates while you are busy lifting the pole and sticking it back into the water.  Acceleration is particularly demanding in energy terms, and in other words, the fact that microskiff are wide and heavy makes them lose speed quickly, and thereby drain your energy in a short time.
Few people can push a typical microskiff over a distance of more than several hundred yards, and this is not enough in terms of real-world fishing.
On top of this, the hull of a typical microskiff is not designed for effective tracking – It’s neither very long nor narrow, and it lacks elements such as fins, skegs or tunnels that may improve its directional stability. The result is that poling such a boat in a straight line becomes harder, which means you waste an additional and considerable amount of energy and time because your microskiff zigzags instead of going forward in a straight line.
Poling is far from being on par with more effective means of human powered propulsion such paddling and even rowing.

Conclusion –

A better microskiff must allow its crew to go in shallow water and vegetation-rich water in a human-powered propulsion mode other than poling and preferably not rowing, since effective rowing requires good technique that can be acquired only through much practice. This leaves paddling as the human-powered propulsion of choice, and therefore, a truly versatile and functional microskiff is required to offer its crew to use it easily and comfortably as a paddle craft.

The microskiff redefined for optimal performance in real-world fishing

Ideally, a microskiff should allow for either a crew of two fishermen or a solo fisherman to launch, beach, motorize, fish and paddle in any type of water, whether standing up or seated. This means that such a fishing boat should be highly stable yet narrow enough for effective paddling. Only the patented, catamaran-style Wavewalk™ from the new 700 series offers to work as a both a full tandem and solo skiff in the sense that it works perfectly well for one person too, when the second crew member is not present. The fact that the W700 features two long and narrow catamaran-style hulls helps it track better than other craft of similar size, and that helps poling as well as paddling it, with either dual-blade (kayak) paddles or single-blade paddles – canoeing style. The hulls and cockpit opening of the W700 are long enough to allow for dropping extra-long paddles in  them.

The optimal microskiff must be lightweight enough to allow for trailer-free transportation, and car-topping by one person, in case no fishing buddy is present. Here too, the only two-person microskiff that offers such advantage is the new Wavewalk™ 700, which weighs just 80 lbs without a motor and accessories.  In fact, this weight is lower than the weight of most high-end fishing kayaks out there, including sit-on-top (SOT) and sit-in models, especially tandem fishing kayaks, which are heavier than regular ones in in some cases heavier than jon boats…

A trailer-free microskiff with triple propulsion capability

The redefined microskiff is trailer-free I.E. easy to car top even for one person, suitable for choppy water, skinny water and vegetation-rich water, and it accommodates two full size fishermen who can fish standing in comfort. It can be easily and comfortably driven with a powerful outboard 3.5 HP motor, as well as with electric motors.
One or two people can easily paddle this microskiff either in a kayak-style (with dual-blade paddles) or in the traditional canoeing style, and it lends itself to poling more easily and effectively than any other microskiff does, including solo skiffs, I.E. microskiff for just one person.
Such is the new Wavewalk™ 700, and it comes in various colors including all white, which is the traditional color for this class of small fishing boats.

Microskiff in white with Spray Shield 640

How the Wavewalk 700 is produced

This picture was shot at the rotational molding plant, and for us it’s very exciting because it shows the first piece of plastic that came out of the W700 Twinhull mold.
Such object is dubbed ‘part’ in roto-molding lingo.

Our molders made a couple of ‘blank’ parts such as this to clean the new mold from dirt and residue from the Teflon coating, and for use in tests and measurements.

first-W700-twinhull

When a ‘part’ is roto-molded it comes out of the mold as one piece without any holes in it. Before a part is outfitted with deck rigging, it is laid in a wooden structure called ‘cooling fixture’, where it keeps cooling down while air is being pressurized in it, in order to prevent uncontrolled cooling that could lead to warping.

After the part is done cooling, the molders cut away its top side, which is the top side of the cockpit, to enable outfitting it with other parts (e.g. saddle, saddle brackets) and accessories, and to allow passengers to enter it. The part seen in this picture still features the top side of the cockpit, and it does not feature the W logo, which is molded into our kayaks.

The color of this blank part is called “natural” and it’s basically colorless. When the molders produce actual W700 kayaks or microskiffs they use polyethylene resin blended with dyes (pigments). The W700 hulls come in Yellow, Dark Green, Sand and White.

This photo doesn’t show the W700 and W500 next to each other, so it doesn’t provide much information on the main difference between these two series, which is size, but it does show the ends of the W700 cockpit’s spray deflector that are vertical and straight. This new design allows for attaching transom motor mounts a few inches closer to the driver. It makes driving easier, and offers the driver better access to the motor’s controls. It also adds a few extra inches the the cockpit’s usable length (92″), and since this boat is designed for two anglers to fish out of,  the bigger the distance between them the better.

And for those who missed the 3D animation movie that shows the basic structure of the W700, here it is again:

 

TMM 700 heavy duty transom motor mount

The Transom Motor Mount (TMM) 700 is suitable for both 20″ (long) and 15″ (short) outboard motor shafts.
You just flip it upside down and relocate it, and the vertical mounting plate will be at the height that you need it to be for your motor.
We recommend using 20″ (long) shaft motors, since they can be mounted right at the rear end of the cockpit, and not a few inches behind it. When the motor is closer to you, it’s easier for you to start it and access its controls, and it also makes easier for you to steer the boat.

  • Price:  $168.
  • Shipping:

No extra charge when shipped together with a Wavewalk™ boat.
When shipped separately: $20 S&H in the continental US (48 states).
When shipped separately: $25 S&H to Canada and Alaska.

 

W700 transom motor mount for fishing boat

Materials and Construction

The TMM is made from 3/4″ thick Medium Density Overlay (MDO), and coated with polyurethane. MDO is a composite product made from wood and polymer resin (plastic), and we’ve been using it successfully since 2012 in saddle brackets, and since 2014 in motor mounts .

The parts from which the TMM 700 is made are cut with a computerized router for maximal precision, best fit, and optimal strength. They are assembled and glued together with waterproof adhesive. The tab-and-slot technique and ‘caisson’ design applied in this product provide it with additional strength.

There is no need to paint this motor mount, but in case you want to, it can be painted with special paint for outdoor plastic, as regular paint doesn’t adhere to its surface.

The bolts, washers and nuts used in this motor mount are made from zinc plated steel.

Dimensions and Technical Specifications

  • Width:  23.5″ (60 cm)
  • Total Height:  6″ (14 cm)
  • Mounting Plate Height: 5″ (12.7 cm)
  • Depth:  6.5″ (16.5 cm)
  • Weight:  4 lbs (1.8 kg)
  • Horsepower Compliance:   We do not recommended using the TMM 700 motor mount with outboard motors stronger than 3.5 hp.

 

What makes the TMM more suitable for powerful motors than the TMM 20-15?

Both motor mounts are using the same dual-use design, but the TMM 700 is built especially for more powerful motors. In the TMM 700 we doubled the width of the vertical mounting plate, and made it 1/2″ higher so it would fit bigger clamp brackets. We also increased the size of its tabs, and made the mount’s attachment knobs bigger so they would grip a bigger surface.
In addition, we made the horizontal plates of the TMM 700 broader, and designed them to fit the straight ends of the cockpit of boats from the new 700 series.

 

New rigging and fish pics

By Ray Schwertner

Here are some rigging pictures (latest) of my boat. Note how the console with the seat can be easily lifted out and replaced in one of three forward or rearward positions. You can mount your stuff on it. The “u” brackets made this possible.

I show the pivot up and down transducer in the rear and the screen on the front motor console/step combination.

The PVC rod holders work great especially for bass fishing where you need them handy, but not in the way. A lot easier to reach than the rear mount standard holders..which are still used on occasion to hold the anchor or a rod. (When you put a rod in it, it can get hung on tree limbs or sometimes it would hit it with my casting rod.

I discarded the anchor trolley from my early days. You can see a wind up cleat on the console that goes to a pulley. If I need to adjust for wind direction, I just hang the rope over a cleat on the from, or back or side.

I think you could offer a drop in console with a seat option and maybe place to mount other items the user may want.

The trolley really works great… as you can see it fits inside the saddle space. You just raise up the W, push it under to catch the first or second rib, then raise it a little more an push it forward to get the second upright positioned on a rib further to the front. I tried to use a flexible design that you could fold, but to hard and too unstable. As you can see my trolley is fixed and strong enough to support the weight of the W and it accessories.

I think a customized trolley similar to this design would be a great accessory for you to sell, in addition to the console and maybe and electric motor mount. I just don’t get the folks who are powered up with gas outboard. But to each his own…

Finally the rope I am holding just comes out of a hole I drilled to keep it off the deck… My hooks have a way of finding the ropes that are nearby. That causes a lot of lost fishing time.

This fish are two black crappie. One other one got off before I got him welcomed aboard. Caught them on a 3/8 oz lipless crank bait called “Diamond Dust” from Academy spots. Usually a good bass lure but I have been catching crappie like these recently.

a-pair-of-black-crappie-hanging-on-the-kayak-side

 

two-black-crappie-on-deck
Black Crappie

two-black-crappie

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DIY horizontal rod holder

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DIY horizontal rod holder
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Seat backrest in upward position
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Seat backrest folded down

 

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Front mount for trolling motor
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Rigged fishing kayak with front mounted trolling motor – top front view
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Front mounted trolling motor
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Tackle box on deck
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Tackle box on deck

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Fish finder transducer in high position
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Fish finder transducer in low position

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kayak-trolley-and-seat-01

motor-mount-with-anchor-cable-01

seat-in-upward-position-01

side-view-01

 

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trolley-wheels-close-up-01

 

More DIY outfitting projects and fishing reports from Ray »