Candy and I had friends visit from North Carolina, and we took them over to Peanut Island, and hung out for the day. What a blast! We went all four of us in the boat. We had to go slow but it works fine. It was only about a half mile ride over. We had probably a little over 700 lbs of payload on board.
Skiff, sun, fun…
This 100 lbs Wavewalk S4 skiff carried over 700 lbs of payload…
Wavewalk S4 skiff side by side with a conventional skiff
Shooting an aerial view of the S4 boat and its crew of four
This photo shows three members of a Floridian family crowding the cockpit of a W500 kayak, and it looks like they’re having a pretty good time, and they’re not feeling any particular problem with their kayak.
W fishing kayak overloaded with 3 passengers. Total load about 450 lbs
By looking at the passengers, their kayak, and its waterline, it’s possible to say that it’s loaded with over 450 lbs, which is about 100 lbs beyond what Wavewalk recommends as the maximal load for this kayak.
What does it mean, practically?
In terms of free board, the passenger in the front has plenty of it, and the passenger in the back sits at the same level he would be in if he paddled a sit-in kayak.
Stability wise, the passengers seem relaxed, cheerful, and not a bit stressed, which is a good indication that they are feeling both stable and comfortable.
The hull tips in the back of the kayak are deeply immersed, and that indicates there’s a problem with the rear part of the saddle being immersed too, which would impede the kayak if its passengers decided they want to paddle it at a normal speed. But the more serious issue can be observed in the front: The hulls are somehow splayed, and it’s likely to assume that they’re more splayed in the back, where most of the passengers’ weight is applied. This would not have happened had this kayak been outfitted with a saddle bracket. Splayed hulls can feel good for the passengers, since splaying augments the boat’s stability without necessarily decreasing comfort, but in the long run, such a thing could damage the kayak, which is why it’s necessary to outfit any w500 kayak loaded with over 240 lbs with a saddle bracket that would prevent any splaying, even if the kayak is greatly overloaded, such as in this case.
This image provides a good illustration of the difference between total load capacity and maximal recommended load capacity. The first term means something just for very short trips on flat water, and the second term is applicable in real world conditions. Unlike many kayak manufacturers, we state only our kayak’s recommended load capacity on its specs sheet, because we we’re careful not to mislead anyone into believing that our kayak can do things that it practically can’t.
Sometime it’s nice to go paddling with passengers on board your W Kayak. It can be fun to combine such an excursion with fishing, camping or bird watching.
Storage space is not a problem since the W kayak’s hull tips offer ample storage space, and you can attach additional gear on top of its hulls, but in case you need to take two passengers with you in the cockpit you’d better plan ahead. In such case canoing style paddling presents certain advantages over kayaking style paddling since the shorter, single blade paddles are less prone to hit each other.
Roles should be well defined and understood, in order to facilitate tracking.
The paddler at the stern should be the one responsible for the entire crew, since he/she can see the two others and can apply long J strokes that would help steering and tracking.
The paddler in the front can switch sides more easily than the two others – in case an additional blade is needed in the water on the other side of the kayak.
In case you use kayak (I.E. double blade) paddles, it’s important that the front paddler set the pace and the other two follow his/her paddle in parallel, otherwise the paddles will hit each other.
Like most things related to paddling – practice makes perfect.