Tag Archive: quarter wind

Jon Boat Stability vs. Wavewalk® S4

Are Jon Boats Stable?

 

If you ask whether Jon Boats are stable, some people would say that they are, and others would warn you to stay away from them because they are tippy and unreliable. Their answer would depend on what they understand by ‘Stability’, what kind of Jon boat they see in their mind, and in what kind of water they see it being used, and these are often based on personal experience.

Is there a stability difference between a Jon boat and a skiff?

Both skiffs and Jon boats are flat bottom lightweight boats that differ in certain hull details, materials used in their construction, and deck structures.
Both are designed to offer as much stability as possible for a small mono-hull boat going on flat water, and as such they are stabler than wide canoes and kayaks of the same length and width.
Foot for foot and inch for inch, we don’t think there are major differences between Jon boats and skiffs in terms of the stability they offer. In other words, a Jon boat and a skiff of the same size, namely both length and width, can be expected to be about as stable as each other.

The twin-hull (“catamaran”) Wavewalk S4 is the world’s most stable portable boat. It is more stable than many Jon boats that feature a bigger hull, as shown in these photos of three fishermen fishing standing in it –

Click images to enlarge

Who Uses Jon Boats, and Where?

Jon boats are small fishing boats that are popular among inland fishermen who fish ponds, small lakes, marshes, and slow moving rivers, namely flat water that’s usually well protected from wind, waves, and preferably from fast motorboats that generate big wakes. These anglers may fish alone, but typically they fish in crews of two. Bigger Jon boats can be used in bigger lakes and rivers.

Factors in Jon Boats’ Stability

Structure, size and passengers

A typical Jon boat features a flat bottom designed to make it draft as little as possible, and thus work well in shallow water, while other Jon boats feature a bottom that’s partially V shaped (sometimes referred to as “Semi-V”) that drafts a little more but offers better performance in choppy water. This V shape should not be confounded with the more seaworthy Deep-V design.
Jon boats can vary in width (Beam) from less than 3 ft to over twice as much, and this difference results in big variations in their stability, in this case initial (primary) stability, sometimes dubbed reserve stability.

When watercraft as small as Jon boats are concerned, passengers are typically the heaviest things on board, which is why passengers’ location and movements can greatly affect the boat’s stability.

Narrow-beam Jon boats are notoriously unstable, especially with a crew of two on board. Their instability can be felt even when they are used for fishing ponds and small lakes, where they are expected to perform at their best. Reading articles about Jon boat stability and user testimonials on this subject could lead the reader to the conclusion that any Jon boat that’s narrower than 48″ might not be stable enough for a tandem crew, and starting from this size, Jon boats get sufficiently stable, especially longer models. Another factor that affects a Jon boat’s stability is its length, since it acts as an enhancement to its width – A longer Jon boat is more stable than a shorter Jon boat of identical width (Beam).

External factors

External factors may destabilize a Jon boat as well, or at least destabilize the passengers on board – Such factors can be wind, waves and other boats’ wakes that hit the boat, especially on its sides (lateral waves).

Size matters, but it may not be enough

We found the following instructions for Calculating a Boat’s Capacity to Carry a Number of Passengers on a boating education website:
On boats less than 20 feet long, the following rule of thumb can be used to calculate the number of persons (weighing 150 lbs each) the boat can carry safely in fair weather and calm water conditions:
Number of passengers = boat length in ft x boat width in ft : 15
Example for a good size Jon boat or skiff: 15 ft x 4 ft = 60, and 60:15 = 4 passengers

However, the above formula seems outdated in view of the fact that these days the average adult US female weighs 160 lbs, and the average adult US male weighs 200 lbs.
Therefore, to calculate the number of adult passengers in a Jon boat, we suggest to use the same formula and divide the result by 20 instead of by 15.
Example for the same Jon boat or skiff: 15 ft x 4 ft = 60, and 60:20 = 3 passengers

Can the 13 ft long and 38″ wide Wavewalk S4 carry 3 passengers on board?
The answer is yes, in fair weather and calm water conditions:

Captain Larry Jarboe, of Key Largo, Florida. Click image to read the story

 

Balancing capability

When small craft are concerned, the boat’s own stability plays an important role in the overall stability of the combined boat and crew, but the passengers’ ability to balance themselves effectively is critical as well, which is to say that a wider Jon boat may not necessarily offer better means for its crew to balance themselves effectively –
Jon boats often feature rudimentary bench-like seats that are similar to ones found in canoes and dinghies, or high swivel seats such as can be found in bass boats. Neither types of seats are optimized for supporting the user’s balancing efforts, and they’re not very good in keeping their user anchored to their place and in full  control of their body’s center of gravity (CG).
This ergonomic deficiency exposes a Jon boat’s passenger to unexpected lateral (side) motion, as well as vertical motion, whether such motion is the result of an external force such as a wave or another boat’s wake, the movement of another passenger on board, or even the strong reaction of the boat to that passenger’s own movements.  More specifically, people on board a Jon boat can have a hard time finding their footing and balancing themselves intuitively, comfortably and effortlessly, and from the moment they lose their footing and balance, their own weight can act as an additional destabilizing factor that may tip the boat over, send its passengers overboard, and in some cases even overturn the boat.

A Jon boat of a smaller size works better as a fishing boat for one angler than it does for a crew of two.

Directional stability and lateral stability

Typically, Jon boats are motorized, and the flat bottomed ones can be easily deflected from their course as well as destabilized when going in lateral waves, especially at higher speeds. In such cases, the deficiency in a Jon boat’s lateral stability can become more problematic by the lack of good directional stability (tracking capability) that characterizes such boats, in particular ones that feature a flat bottom. People who use such boats are quick to head back home as soon as the wind picks up.
Jon boats with a V-shaped hull do better in waves and wind, thanks to the fact that they have some capability to go through waves and not necessarily on top of them, which isn’t the case with flat bottomed Jon boats that are essentially designed for use on flat water only.
This said, although Jon boats are not considered to be seaworthy craft, the bigger ones are sufficiently stable to offer a good experience to a crew of two or more anglers who fish inland, preferably in calm and protected waters, and away from fast motorboat traffic.

Stability: Jon Boats vs. Wavewalk® Series 4 (S4)

 

A detailed stability comparison between Jon boats and the Wavewalk® S4 is almost impossible to complete, because Jon boats vary so much in size and structure, and they can range from a flat bottomed, 32″ wide and 10 ft long (1032) boat to a V-bottom 72″ wide and 18 ft long one (1872), which can be assigned to another class of boats.

The Wavewalk form presents two main stability advantages:
The first comes from the fact that all the Wavewalk’s buoyancy is distributed as far as possible from the boat’s center line, where this buoyancy works more effectively to support lateral changes, whether such changes are external of generated on board.
The second advantage is the Wavewalk’s Personal Watercraft saddle seat that offers the passengers who ride it optimal, easy and intuitive means to balance themselves. This advantage is critical in view of the fact that the passengers’ total weight can be as big the the Jon boat’s weight, and it often exceeds this weight. For example, in the photo above, the passengers’ aggregated weight exceeds the S4’s weight by a factor of 5:1.

So, in order to avoid tedious detailed stability comparisons, let us simplify things and state that in general, the bigger models in the Jon boat class (over 54″ beam) are more stable than the S4, the smaller Jon boat models (less than 48″ beam) are less stable, and as for the the midsize models (48″ to 54″) the answer would depend on parameters such as their length (longer is more stable), and whether they feature a flat bottom or a V-shaped bottom, as discussed in the previous section of this article.

Bottom line: Compared to the traditional Jon boat design, the Wavewalk S4’s form and improved ergonomics add stability which is the equivalent of about 1 ft in width.

Portability and paddling capacity

More specifically, the Wavewalk® S4 is stabler than any car-topper namely portable Jon boat. Which is to say that if you’re looking for a Jon boat that’s more stable than the S4, you must take into consideration transporting and storing it on a trailer, as well as limitations in launching it, namely being dependent on launch ramps that come with trailer boats.

In addition, the Wavewalk® S4 is more stable than any Jon boat that can be propelled by means of paddling, whether it’s with dual blade (kayak) paddles or single-blade (canoe) paddles. This fact is particularly meaningful when very shallow water (‘skinny water’) fisheries are concerned, and no-motor zones (NMZ).

 

 

Seaworthiness

Generally speaking, Jon boats are not considered as being seaworthy, while Wavewalk® boats are more seaworthy thanks to their good  tracking capability and advanced ergonomics. These two factors allow for high performance when dealing with choppy water, which is why the S4 punches above its weight in terms of seaworthiness.

 

 

 

Payload

Small craft are penalized for their size in several ways, and one of them is their sensitivity to carrying more weight on board, which makes them slower and less stable. This is true for all boat designs, including Jon boat and Wavewalk. Therefore if you’re looking for stability for a larger crew of heavier people, say two big and heavy guys or more, your best bet is a very large Jon boat or skiff, that is 6 ft or more in width, and over 16 ft in length, and preferably with a V shaped bottom, so that you could drive it at higher speed. Two large size fishermen can go in an S4 and have a great time traveling and fishing for an entire day without experiencing any stability problem, even standing up, but they would not necessarily be able to go at speeds as high as a large size Jon boat or skiff offers.

Paddling in Strong Wind

Paddling and Tracking in Strong wind

Tracking is the main problem that paddlers need to overcome when paddling in strong wind.
Wavewalk paddlers usually report excellent performance of their boats under wind, since catamarans tracks well, generally, and also thanks to the fact that it offers multiple means for power-paddling, as well as for counter-affecting the wind.
Since 2004, thousands of people have been paddling Wavewalk kayaks from the 300, 500 and 700 series, and none of these paddlers outfitted their Wavewalk with a rudder – that cumbersome device that has become an integral part of all other types of high-end kayaks used for touring and fishing.

Here are some tips that can improve your Wavewalk kayak’s performance when you’re paddling in strong wind:

1. Paddle only in the Riding Position, which is the optimal posture for power and balancing, and lean a bit forward, with your knees lower than your hips – That would give you extra power.

2. Paddle from the middle of the cockpit, as much as possible –

  • If you paddle from its rear it would raise your W kayak’s bow and expose it to the wind, and the boat will turn away from the wind.
  • If you paddle from the front of the cockpit, the stern will go up, and the kayak will turn into the wind.

3. Lean your W kayak into the wind – That would make it harder for it to affect the course of your W kayak.

4. Apply short J strokes on the side from which the wind is blowing, and more powerful strokes on the lee side (the sheltered side) – That would help you track. You may even hold the paddle not from its middle, so that you can apply longer strokes on the lee side.

6. Any object protruding from the deck is exposed to the wind, and therefore generates additional drag – Detach the spray shield if you have one attached, dismount deck mounted rod holders, and store your fishing rods inside the hulls whenever possible. A milk crate would act as a small sail that’s controlled by the wind, so you’d better avoid using one altogether.

7. Keep paddling in a steady pace and a straight course – This is not about one-time corrections, but about minimizing your effort and getting there. Precision and efficiency are as important as power.

8. IMPORTANT – Remember that you can easily move fore and aft along the Wavewalk’s saddle, and by doing so control the angle in which your W kayak will point relatively to the direction from which the wind blows: Paddling from a forward position will tend to point the kayak’s bow into the wind, and paddling from a backward position will tend to point the bow away from the wind.
By applying small changes to your own location on the saddle, you can minimize the wind’s unwanted effect on your Wavewalk, and keep it tracking with little effort.

Here is an instructional video on this subject:

What makes the Wavewalk 500 faster and easier to paddle than other fishing kayaks?

Before getting their Wavewalk kayak, many of our clients had tested or owned common fishing kayaks, and they weren’t too happy with the way these kayaks performed with regards to several basic requirements which are essential to paddling. In contrast, the same people find the Wavewalk 500 very easy to paddle and handle.
This article explains some of the technical differences between the W500 and all other fishing kayaks, and how these differences work to the advantage of W kayakers.

What makes common fishing kayaks special as a class of kayaks?

If you walked into a store that sells all kinds of paddle craft (e.g. canoes, touring kayaks, sea kayaks, recreational kayaks) and you looked at at the fishing kayak models side by side with the other kayaks, you’d notice that fishing kayaks look chubbier. In other words, they are wider than the other types of kayaks, and some of them are almost as wide as the big canoes displayed in the store.
The main reason for this is that fishing kayaks are required to be more stable than other kayaks, and the only way to make a mono-hull kayak stabler is by widening its hull.
This gain in stability comes at a price, and you as a paddler pays it by having to paddle harder since your kayak is slower and tracks poorly – It zigzags and responds better to the wind that deflects it from its intended course than to your efforts to go straight forward.
For this reason, fishing kayaks have a bad reputation among kayakers, who call them barges, and rightfully so.

What makes the common fishing kayak design so problematic?

Poor tracking – To begin with, a wide kayak hull compels the low-seated paddler to move their paddle more horizontally than vertically. This drives the paddle blade in a curved trajectory rather than an efficient straight trajectory in parallel to the kayak’s direction on travel. As a result, each paddle stroke changes the kayak’s direction in a way that’s easily noticeable, and the paddler must correct it with a paddle stroke on the kayak’s opposite side, which in its turn would deflect the kayak to the other direction… Such alternation between left and right is known as zigzagging, and it’s a most inefficient way to go forward because it increases the actual length of your route, and on top of this, changing course in itself requires acceleration, which is lossy in energy terms, especially when it’s done repeatedly with every paddle stroke.

Poor tracking under wind – This is a special case in which the wind works to deflect the fishing kayak from its course, and since these kayaks neither paddle nor handle well, they become particularly hard to paddle, to a point where getting back to shore may no longer be guaranteed… This difficulty in tracking is why practically every high-end fishing kayak is outfitted with a rudder, which can help the paddler track, but further slows them down – Using a rudder slows the kayak by 10% in average.

Low speed – A boat’s speed is closely associated with its hull’s length – The longer the faster. It’s also associate with its hull’s width – the narrower the faster.
In hydrodynamic design terms, a hull whose Length to Beam (length to width) ratio is below 6:1 is considered to be slow, and a hull whose L/B ratio is over 20:1 is considered as optimal for speed. Typically, recreational boats’ hulls have a L/B ratio somewhere between the two.
To better understand this, let’s check a few examples –

  1. a typical sea kayak (fast touring kayak) can be 18 ft long and 24 inches wide. Its L/B ratio of 9:1 makes it fairly quick.
  2. a large size fishing kayak that’s 14 ft long and 30 inches wide has a 5.6:1 L/B ratio, which is rather slow.
  3. a fishing kayak that’s 12 ft long and 36 inches wide has a 4:1 L/B ratio, which is extremely slow and pretty much impossible to paddle to a long distance.
  4. a fishing kayak with a 12 ft long and 41 inch wide hull has a 3.5:1 L/B ratio, which makes it really hard for a one person crew to paddle to any distance, and –
  5. a fishing kayak that’s only 10 ft long and 38.5 inches wide has a 3.1:1 L/B ratio, which could make paddling a stack of plywood easier, if you wanted to try paddling either of these floating objects.

In other words, the chubbiest among fishing kayaks are unfit for paddling, unless your plan is to fish in ponds or in small, protected lakes.

How does the Wavewalk 500 compare?

Unlike mono-hull kayaks, the W invention offers a totally different way to make the kayak stabler without making it excessively wide. This offers advantages in speed and tracking as well –

L/B and speed – In comparison, the W500 is 11.4 ft long, and each of his twin hulls is 8 inches wide. This 17:1 L/B ratio for one hull and 8.5:1 ratio for the two hulls joined together is far better in speed terms than the fastest fishing kayak hull out there. In real life terms, this design allows the W500 to be as fast as a 13 ft touring kayak, which is a narrower and faster design than fishing kayaks of similar size and even bigger size.  More info on kayak design for speed >

Easy tracking – The W500 is just 29 inches wide, which makes it the world’s narrowest twin hull (a.k.a. catamaran). It also allows the paddler to paddle it from a higher position. The combination of these two attributes makes it easy for the paddler to apply vertical strokes and have the paddle blade travel efficiently in parallel to the kayak’s direction of travel, instead of moving in a curved trajectory. This in itself improves the W kayak’s tracking, but the fact that the paddler rides the saddle in a position that’s more powerful and ergonomic than the L kayaking position offered by other kayaks adds another dimension of efficiency and power to the paddler’s ability to handle their kayak and make it go where the  want.
Catamarans have a longer wetted length (WL) than mono-hull kayaks of similar size, and this feature makes them track better. In this sense, the W kayak is a catamaran, and indeed it tracks better than any other kayak out there, including sea kayaks that are much longer. In fact, no paddler ever found it necessary to outfit their W kayak with a rudder.

Great tracking under wind – One the the W kayak’s unique features is its long saddle that offers the paddler a simple and easy way to relocate for and aft in the cockpit. By doing so, the paddler can instantly change the kayak’s center of gravity (CG), and with it the way the kayak reacts to strong wind. In other words, the W kayak enables the paddler to use the power of the wind to help them direct the kayak, I.E. to stay on track. This simple, unique and most effective steering method is explained in an instructional article entitled W kayaking in strong wind >

Other considerations – Ergonomics and bio mechanics

Since all mono-hull kayaks offer variations on one paddling position known as the L position, these considerations are not useful for understanding differences between mono-hull fishing kayaks and other types mono-hull kayaks, such as recreational kayak, touring kayaks, etc.
In contrast, W kayaks offer several paddling positions, including the Riding position, which is both more powerful and more comfortable than the L position. This offers yet another advantage to the W kayaker, in the sense that they don’t suffer from back pain and leg numbness that are typically associated with traditional kayaking, and for this reason they don’t have to struggle with premature fatigue and discomfort, and thus dispose of more energy to keep paddling even in adverse weather and water conditions.
This is why the W kayak is favored by paddlers and anglers who suffer from disabilities, are middle aged or elderly, non-athletic, and by those who don’t benefit from a high level of physical fitness.
Indeed, W kayakers can often be seen out there on a river or a lake in poor weather conditions that drive other kayakers back to their homes, or discourage them from going on water to begin with.

Paddling my W kayak on a windy day

Today I took my kayak to lake Massapoag, for a paddling trip.
This time, I was able to get it inside my midsize SUV almost all the way in (see picture), which made its transportation even easier than attaching it to the car rack.

fishing kayak transported inside SUV

We had 15-20 mph wind, with gusts over 25 mph. Lake Massapoag is about 1 square mile, which means we had white caps. There were no kayaks, canoes or paddle boards on the lake, except a kayak outfitted with an electric trolling motor whose driver did the smart thing and drove close to the bank where houses and trees offered him some protection from the wind. No fishing boats in sight either, naturally, since you can’t cast under such wind.

I launched my kayak at the northern beach, and paddled standing to the other side, taking the short road through the center of the lake. That was pretty easy, considering the wind was blowing generally in my back and my side, and it was so strong that sometimes all I had to do was just stand and steer with my paddle and make sure the waves don’t play a dirty trick on me while I’m taking a free ride.

But then came the second part of the trip – the way back…
I decided to take the same way, through the center of the lake. There was no way I could have done it standing up and paddling against such powerful headwind, of course, so I sat down on the kayak’s saddle, and started paddling against the wind, thinking that if I had a paddle board instead of a W kayak, the only way for me back to the car would have been getting out of the lake and walking…

Paddling was slow and hard, but I got a chance to practice various paddle strokes and paddling styles, including different positions such as riding while leaning forward (more ‘umph’), kneeling with one knee all the way down to the bottom of the hull, canoeing (paddling on one side), Greenland kayaking (sliding the paddle sideways rather than pushing it backward), rotating the torso (traditional kayaking), etc…
It was fun, and the fact I could track effectively saved me both time and energy.
Another important thing worth noting was that being able to switch positions and paddling styles improved the effectiveness of my response to variations in the wind’s direction and force, as well as to the waves that reached 1 ft on several occasions.
I’m not in great shape, so I was thankful for being able to make these changes, since it minimized fatigue and prevented me from getting injured.
This time I remembered to cover the front part of the cockpit with the cockpit cover, so I stayed bone dry, although the waves were breaking on my kayak, and the wind was pushing spray all over it. Only the top of my head and my face got wet from drops of water that flew from my paddle – I should have worn a hat!

After I beached, I attached a strap to the two front handles of my kayak, and dragged it through some grass, so by the time I got to the car, I didn’t even have to wipe the sand from the bottom of the hulls – You live and you learn! 🙂
I just tossed the kayak in, lowered the rear hatch, and used the strap to attach the door handle to a hook at the bottom. It took me less than a minute.
Needless to say that it was easier than attaching the kayak to the car rack.

Here’s more info on one aspect of kayaking in strong wind > – tracking and steering.

Articles

This list features links to mostly technical articles published on our website in recent years about various subjects related to kayaks, fishing, paddling, rigging, ergonomics and design.
You can search our entire website by using its ‘Search’ function too.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need further assistance in finding information.

List of articles –

 


The smallest and greatest skiff

Skiff design, built, main advantages, and noteworthy shortcomings –
Skiffs come in different sizes and configurations, and similarly to Jon boats, they are flat bottomed mono-hulls, a feature that reduces draft, which is advantageous for fishing in shallow water.
But this design feature also makes skiffs less seaworthy compared to other boats of similar size.
This is yet another example of specialization that enhances the product’s performance in one application while diminishing its performance in others.
Skiffs’ limited seaworthiness is the reason for their being unpopular as boats for offshore fishing, and opinions about their performance in bays and estuaries are mixed. The skiff design’s limited seaworthiness is one of the reasons why owners of big boats and yachts don’t use small skiffs dubbed microskiff as tenders.
Typically, skiffs’ hulls are molded from fiberglass, mainly because this material is more durable in saltwater than aluminum, which is the most common building material in Jon boats. However, fiberglass doesn’t perform well in terms of impact resistance, and it requires maintenance, while other polymer resins (plastics) such as Polyethylene don’t.
Fiberglass is also heavier than Polyethylene, too heavy to make a small skiff that’s lightweight enough to be transported on top of a vehicle’s roof, namely a portable skiff. Read the article »


Developments in Motorized Kayaks

This article examines the latest developments in motor kayaks, and what these developments mean for anglers.
Origins of the motor kayak –
As kayaks became increasingly popular among anglers, some of them started ‘rigging’ (outfitting) their kayaks with electric trolling motors. The need for doing so arose from the fact that paddling alone was insufficient in many ways – Monohull (common) sit-in and SOT kayaks are excessively wide, heavy and sluggish to their very inefficient design [¹], and paddling them to longer distances in not a possibility that’s offered to most people, especially in adverse conditions such as wind and current.
Typically, the motors used for this purpose were weak (30 lbs to 50 lbs thrust) trolling motors, powered by a 12 Volt lead-acid, deep-cycle marine battery. To this day, this is still a popular setup, and it stayed so thanks mainly to its low cost.
In this sense, kayak fishing, which started as a human powered sport, joined other forms of fishing from small craft, namely canoes, dinghies, etc.
More power and less weight: Lithium-Ion batteries… Read more »


Wakes are fun??

Jack, a middle aged owner of a motorized S4 from Texas writes -“Love to jump the wakes of jet skis and other boats.”
Anyone who owns a Wavewalk would immediately understand what Jack is talking about, and identify with him, but other kayakers, canoeists and people who fish out of Jon boats, dinghies and skiffs would probably raise an eyebrow when they read this sentence –
For people who go in small watercraft and fish from them, a wake is a series of fast moving waves created in the water by the passage of a fast motorboat, and it is a threat. Kayakers hate wakes, and canoeists dread them, because a wake hitting their unstable vessel on its broadside can capsize it.
But even passengers on board bigger and most stable boats, such as dinghies, skiffs and Jon boats, are not big fan of wakes, to say the least,… Read the full article »


How much HP for my S4 skiff’s outboard motor?

This article summarizes research performed by Captain Larry Jarboe, as well as inputs from Wavewalk dealers and S4 clients. Its purpose is to answer a frequently asked question (FAQ) from prospecting clients, which is “What outboard motor should I choose for my S4?”
The answer is that the outboard motor you should choose for your S4 depends on two factors, which are
How much power you need
How important is the motor’s weight for you…
And there is a trade-off between power and weight, namely that the more powerful the motor, the heavier it is, and the harder it could be to carry it.
In any case, the motor should be a 20″ log shaft (L) model, and not a 15″ short shaft (S) model… Read the full article »


Jon Boat Stability vs. Wavewalk® S4

Are Jon Boats Stable?
If you ask whether Jon Boats are stable, some people would say that they are, and others would warn you to stay away from them because they are tippy and unreliable. Their answer would depend on what they understand by ‘Stability’, what kind of Jon boat they see in their mind, and in what kind of water they see it being used, and these are often based on personal experience.
Is there a stability difference between a Jon boat and a skiff?
Both skiffs and Jon boats are flat bottom lightweight boats that differ in certain hull details, materials used in their construction, and deck structures.
Both are designed to offer as much stability as possible for a small mono-hull boat going on flat water, and as such they are stabler than wide canoes and kayaks of the same length and width.
Foot for foot and inch for inch, we don’t think there are major differences between Jon boats and skiffs in terms of the stability they offer. In other words, a Jon boat and a skiff of the same size, namely both length and width, can be expected to be about as stable as each other.
Who Uses Jon Boats, and Where?… Read the full article »


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 –… Read the full article »


How to measure an outboard motor’s propeller shaft length?

Some of our clients who already own an old outboard motor, and others who contemplate buying a used one, ask us how to measure the length of an outboard motor’s propeller shaft, in order to know for sure that the motor indeed complies with the 20″ long (L) standard that Wavewalk requires.
This is an important question, because Wavewalk kayaks and boats work well only with outboard motors that comply with the 20″ long (L) standard set by outboard motor manufacturers, and our company strongly recommends not to use short shaft (S) standard motors.
Here is the full answer: For this matter, the propeller shaft length is measured from the inner top side of the motor’s mounting bracket to the horizontal anti-ventilation plate that’s above the propeller. Read the full article »


Watertight riveting in kayaks and boats

Pop rivets are widely used in the construction of boats, canoes, and kayaks. Sealing rivets can be useful as a measure of extra precaution in case they come in contact with the water through which your kayak or boat goes.
How to better seal the rivets –
Here are some tips for watertight riveting of kayaks and small boats made from Polyethylene – Polyethylene is the most widely used polymer resin (namely “plastic”) in kayaks, and it’s softer than aluminum and fiberglass used to produce other small boats. For this reason, it is recommended to use special aluminum rivets designed for riveting jobs in kayaks. These special rivets split in three, which increases their grip. You can get these rivets in outfitters stores, and online.
Drill holes of exactly the same diameter of the rivet that you use (3/16″), and if possible, even slightly smaller holes (5/32″).
Before you insert the rivet in the hole, coat its end with Goop,… Keep reading »


Choosing an outboard motor for your Wavewalk® 700 skiff

This article is an attempt to answer some questions that Wavewalk skiff owners ask in the process of choosing an outboard motor for it –
Short shaft or long shaft? We definitely recommend using outboards that feature a long (20″) propeller shaft, and for multiple reasons, which are discussed in this article entitled Outboard motor propeller shaft length for Wavewalk fishing kayaks and boats »
We recommend not to be tempted by the availability and lower price of 15″ short shaft outboard motors, because such motors don’t fit the W700, and using one would never produce optimal results, even for a highly skilled individual with a lot of experience in boat outfitting.
Here is a list of long (L) 20″ shaft outboard motors currently available in the 2 to 6 horsepower range, and their HP rating:
Honda 2.3 HP (air cooled), 5 HP – Suzuki 6 HP – Evinrude 6 HP – Tohatsu 3.5 HP, 4 HP, 5 HP, 6 HP – Yamaha 2.5 HP, 4 HP, 6 HP – Mercury 3.5 HP, 4 HP, 5 HP, 6 HP… Read more »


Outboard motor propeller shaft length for Wavewalk® fishing kayaks and boats

November 12, 2016 – Wavewalk will no longer support the installation of any outboard motor whose propeller shaft is shorter than the standard 20″ long (L) on its W500 fishing kayaks and W700 portable boats.
How to measure an outboard motor shaft’s length? –
An outboard motor’s propeller’s shaft length is measured from the top inner side of the motor’s clamp bracket to the horizontal anti-ventilation plate located above its propeller.
The outboard motor industry has determined four standard lengths for outboard motor shafts, which are: 15″ (S) “Short” 20″ (L) “Long” 25″ (XL) Extra Long 30″ (XXL) Extra Extra Long
For both the Wavewalk 500 and 700 series, the length we recommend is 20″ (L).
What’s wrong with short shaft outboard motors?
Depending on the type and quality of the motor mount’s installation, the use of shorter shaft motor (electric or gas) can result in any of the following problems: … Keep reading »


Aluminum rivets in fishing kayaks and boats

You may have an outfitting project in mind, such as attaching a rod holder to your kayak, or you may just wonder how strong are Wavewalk kayaks and boats built. More generally, how well do aluminum rivets work when used in kayaks?
Before going further, we need to explain that nearly all modern kayaks are made from Polyethylene, a polymer (plastic resin) softer than steel and aluminum, and even softer than fiberglass, which is why it requires the use of special rivets that split in three and provide a better grip over a broader surface.
These rivets go under commercial names such as Tri-Fold, Tribex, etc.
Alumium rivets are used for attaching kayak parts together, such as the 14 rivets that attach the W700 Saddle part to the Twinhull part. They are also used for attaching accessories such as handles, pad-eyes (eyelets), etc. Here is a little experiment we did – Continue reading »


Kayaks and Boats, Kayak vs. Boat

When two adults and a kid get into a small motorized aquatic vehicle, and drive it around at speeds exceeding 10 mph, their watercraft must be a boat. It can be a rigid or inflatable dinghy, a wide square-stern canoe, or a Wavewalk 700, but since it is used for boating, for this matter it is boat, and it makes sense to call it this way. Similarly, when two adult large size fishermen drive standing and fish standing in a small motorized aquatic vehicle, for them it is a fishing boat, even if from a technical-legal standpoint it belongs to a class of vessels labeled ‘Kayak’, as is the case with the Wavewalk 700, thanks to its slender dimensions.
Indeed, at Wavewalk we are thankful for this official classification, because it makes life easier for us, as manufacturers. Besides, this boat also happens to work as a super kayak in paddling terms, which makes things perfect for us. For people who use it for boating or fishing, the fact that it’s a super “kayak” adds to its functionality as a boat, by making it extremely lightweight, fully portable, and super mobile – beyond motorizing.
Versatility can be a great thing, and being able to paddle your boat effectively in case its outboard motor can no longer serve you for whatever reason, be it shallow water, rocks, or a technical problem, contributes a lot to your experience – It adds fun and functionality, confidence, and safety… Full article »


Happy Birthday W700!

How does the actual product compare to the plan?
Although we made no prototype for the W700, we had enough prior knowledge, and that helped us extrapolate, calculate and foresee its actual performance. Our design for the saddle was extremely innovative, but the driving notion for it was ‘build strong’, so we had no doubt that it would work well.
This has boat fulfilled all our requirements and exceeded our expectations with its gliding capability and ease of paddling in both a tandem and solo modes. It does exactly what we expected it to do when motorized, and we expected a lot, including both the driver and passenger standing up, and full offshore capabilities.
We were also relieved to see that although the W700 weighs 20 lbs more than the W500, car-topping it is still very easy.
Stability wise, we knew the W700 would be the world’s most stable kayak, but we wondered how such stability would feel like – Now we know that the W700 feels “Ridiculously Stable”, namely that it defies the user’s senses. In other words, it delivers a stability level that can be experienced only in full size motorboats. Problems?… Keep reading »


Keeping the cockpit of your Wavewalk dry at sea

When you paddle your Wavewalk in waves without covering the front end of its cockpit, some spray may get inside, especially if you paddle through big surf. The water is drained to the bottom of the hulls, and it flows backwards to the rear part of the hull tips. Altogether, this is rather insignificant.
When you drive a motorized Wavewalk in the ocean for a long time, at high speed and through waves, your boat generates more spray, and breaking waves can result in more water getting into the cockpit. A Spray Shield works to minimize intake from the front, but not from the sides. Some water may accumulate on the bottom of the hulls, at the rear end of the boat. A few gallons of water would be unnoticed, but having effective means to remove any amount of water at any time is highly recommended, simply because stuff happens, and you’d better be well prepared for any case.
Comparing different solutions… Full Article »


Personal Catamaran

What is a Catamaran?
Typically, a Catamaran, a.k.a. ‘Cat’ is a twin hulled watercraft that features two slender, parallel hulls of equal size, and a wide structure that’s connected to the upper sides of these hulls, holding them together at a big distance from each other. This structure makes the typical catamaran a geometry-stabilized craft, deriving its lateral stability from its wide beam and the distribution of its buoyancy along its sides, rather than from a ballasted hull, which lowers the boat’s center of gravity (CG), as a typical monohull (single hull) boat does. The catamaran’s two hulls combined often have a smaller hydrodynamic resistance than monohulls of comparable size, and therefore require less propulsive power.
Catamarans range in size from small sailing boats and motorboats to large ships and ferries. The structure connecting a catamaran’s twin hulls can vary from a simple, lightweight frame to a bridging superstructure, namely deck from which the catamaran is operated, and can be used for carrying freight and passengers.
Is the Wavewalk a Catamaran?
The Wavewalk resembles a catamaran, but it is not a one in the full sense… Read more »


Paddling in Strong Wind

Paddling and Tracking in Strong wind.
Tracking is the main problem that paddlers need to overcome when paddling in strong wind.
Wavewalk paddlers usually report excellent performance of their boats under wind, since catamarans tracks well, generally, and also thanks to the fact that it offers multiple means for power-paddling, as well as for counter-affecting the wind.
Since 2004, thousands of people have been paddling Wavewalk kayaks from the 300, 500 and 700 series, and none of these paddlers outfitted their Wavewalk with a rudder – that cumbersome device that has become an integral part of all other types of high-end kayaks used for touring and fishing.
Here are some tips that can improve your Wavewalk kayak’s performance when you’re paddling in strong wind:…  Read more »


Outriggers

Why use outriggers?
OUTRIGGERS Main USAGE and POSITION – Outriggers main role is to provide secondary stability, namely help in preventing the boat from capsizing. If you’re counting on a pair outriggers as stabilizers, namely to provide primary stability when the boat is level (I.E. not tilting sideways), you’re probably not using them correctly, or not using the right boat, or both.
When outriggers touch the water, they generate drag that slows down the boat. Therefore, if possible, the outriggers should be mounted high enough, in a way that prevents them from touching the water unless the boat tilts sideways dangerously, so much that the user and passengers could lose balance and the boat itself capsize.
How high above the water should you mount the outriggers?
The height depends on factors such as your skill level as a boater, the size of your sailing rig, and how reasonably confident you feel about being able to handle the situation before the outrigger touches the water and starts supporting the boat.
Outriggers for fishing kayaks and canoes?  If you fish out of a canoe or a kayak,… Read more »


Pedal drive for my fishing kayak?

Again?!.. 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.
Recent developments – 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… Full Article »


Review of my Wavewalk 700

Disclaimer: This review was written by the guy who designed this boat and manufactures it. It also tells the story of how the boat came into being, so it’s kind of long… Why am I writing a review of a boat that I created?…  Good question, especially since I’ve already written several articles about it…
The answer has two parts – The first is that many months ago, before we launched this product, I had promised some Wavewalk fans that I’d write such a personal and professional review on this new boat. The second reason is that now that the initial phase of launching this product is winding down, and it got such positive and exciting reviews from clients and fans, I also feel like talking about it from a personal angle and a professional one, but this time more as a designer than a marketer.
But this is in theory… – Is it possible for someone like me to fully dissociate the personal from the professional, and the designer from the marketer? Well, I think it would be hard… Full Article »


Flats boat or bass boat, or something else?

“My father is retired, and he owns a sixty thousand dollar bass boat that he takes out maybe twice a year, but he fishes out of his Wavewalk nearly every day.”
-Clint Harlan, Missouri.
Different boats with many similarities – Bass boats and flats boats have a lot in common, and they also differ from each other in some details. Depending on their size and the speed required from them, these two families of small to medium size motorboats are propelled by one or more outboard gas engines, and they are relatively wide for their overall size.
The decks of both types of fishing boats are generally flat, and they don’t feature a cabin. Both types of boats feature a special casting area in the front of their deck, where one and sometimes two anglers can sit or stand, and cast comfortably… Full article »


Steering motorized fishing kayaks and small boats

Why drive and not just paddle? Driving a motorized fishing kayak or a small motorboat is easier than paddling, and using a motor offers anglers additional advantages, such as a longer range of travel, a chance to spend less time on getting to fisheries and more time fishing, and increased safety and independence in the presence of strong currents and winds.
But being easier than paddling doesn’t necessarily mean that driving these motorized kayaks and small boats is comfortable and pleasant. In fact, it may not be easy, especially in rough water and over long distances.  What makes steering a small boat comfortable? Physical Constraints – The ergonomics of steering a small boat or a motorized kayak are simple and easy to understand, and the basic factor that determines in what way the boat can be steered is the stability it offers…. Read More »


Boat stability in a kayak

The importance of stability in small boats and kayaks – Stability is the main attribute of small boats and kayaks. It defines passengers’ safety and comfort level, and determines how they can use the boat, or kayak. Insufficient stability limits a motorboat’s speed.
What makes a boat or a kayak stable –
The hull’s width and form are the two main features that contribute to the stability of boats and kayaks –
Kayak stability: Generally, the width of a kayak is derived mostly from the width of a person’s body, and more precisely the width of their shoulders, where the movement of the paddle begins. Hydrodynamics is another important factor that limits the kayak’s width. Wider kayaks are noticeably more sluggish and hard to paddle over long distances and in less than perfect conditions.
Most kayaks today still feature a single, elongated ellipsoid hull (a.k.a. mono-hull), a fact that makes them inherently unstable.
Patented Wavewalk™ kayaks feature a twin hull, and they are more stable. Read more »


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,…  Read more »


KAYAK TOURING

Must-read kayak review: Paddling 340 Miles in a W500 Kayak, By Clint Harlan, Missouri »

Fishing is the most popular application among people who use Wavewalk™ kayaks. These people need kayaks that are particularly stable and comfortable, and would enable them to go on lengthy trips in the quest for fish, and spend long hours in their kayaks without suffering from any sort of pain, discomfort or wetness, while moving swiftly from one fishing hole to another in the same fishery, or between different fisheries. Such trips often take place in less than favorable weather and water conditions, such as under wind, which is why these paddlers appreciate their Wavewalks’ unrivaled tracking capability. Needless to say that such anglers take plenty of fishing gear on board, and some take camping gear as well, and they love their W kayaks because it offers more storage space than any kayak out there. The same basic requirements apply to kayak touring, which makes the Wavewalk™ particularly appealing as a long-distance touring kayak, a.k.a.  expedition kayak.    Things To Know And Consider When Choosing A Touring Kayak… Read more »


A better two-person fishing boat

What’s a good two-person fishing boat? – A good two-person fishing boat is one that allows for two large size fishermen to fish from it in full comfort, for long hours. According to this basic definition, most boats out there are suitable as two-person fishing boats, except sit-in and sit-on-top (SOT) tandem fishing kayaks, which are neither comfortable nor stable enough for average people to fish from. So this preliminary definition is too inclusive, and we need to refine it by asking the following question –
What’s a better two-person fishing boat? – This is where the actual discussion begins –
1. More than two anglers on board – Not that important –
One requirement that comes to mind is the ability to accommodate a crew of more than two full-size anglers, and in fact, most motorboats out there fulfill this requirement… Full article »


Bass fishing in Ontario

By Boyd Smith

SPRING – It’s just after ice-out and the bass are soaking up the afternoon sun in warm shallow coves and creek arms on the Northwest side of your favorite lake. The bottom substrate of these fish holding areas is mud and muck and unfit for wade fishing and your powerboat is too big and too noisy to sneak up on bass in 2 feet of water. What do you do? – 1. You launch your kayak and quietly paddle into the fish holding coves. If you see carp milling about or turtles basking then you are in the right place.
2. You pick up your favorite rod on which you have tied a jig and pork trailer, a small profile spinner bait, or a small shallow diving crank-bait. 3. You cast your lures in and around any lily pads, weed growth, logs, or dark looking depressions. 4. You hook up with a big fat pre-spawn large-mouth.
SUMMER – The bass or either holding tight to shoreline cover, docks, and boat houses or they are hunkered down deep in the thickest greenest weed beds. What are your options?… Full article »


Why I became a W kayak owner

By Michael Chesloff, NY

I became a Wavewalk owner because I wanted a solution to my fishing dilemma. Maybe if you know a little more about my journey you will find something that will prove useful in deciding on your next watercraft. Here’s my story. After buying 7 boats, I knew what didn’t work. These 7 boats were, in order of ownership:
1) Jon boat – simple 10 footer with electric trolling motor and a paddle
2) Inflatable – Fairly heavy duty with removable wooden floor, outboard electric trolling motor and oars
3) Bass boat – 16 footer with full flat deck, gas outboard and bow-mounted electric trolling motor
4) Folding boat with electric trolling motor and oars
5) Ultra-light sit-in kayak with paddle
6) Fiberglass skiff – 14 footer with gas outboard, bow-mounted electric trolling motor and oars
7) Square-ended, 12 foot aluminum canoe with bow-mounted electric trolling motor, gas outboard motor and oars…  Full article »


Fishing offshore – the next frontier

Fishing offshore – the challenge – Let us define Offshore Fishing as fishing in the ocean or in the Great Lakes, away from shore, beyond the breakers. Such fisheries are characterized by currents and wind that are hard to overcome without adequate propulsion, and therefore hazardous to fishers who venture in them in small, human powered vessels such as canoes and kayaks. Typically, people who fish offshore from kayaks tend to do it in more protected areas such as bays, or stay within a short distance from shore. While these fisheries are relatively safer in comparison to distant and deeper ocean fishing grounds, they still present considerable challenges to kayak anglers, as well as to those who fish from other small, light, non-motorized craft such as canoes and dinghies… Full article »


The New Wavewalk™ 570 Series (W570) 2015 Models

For 2015, Wavewalk introduces the new 570 series. The three models in this series come outfitted for offshore motorized fishing. Overview – The 570 is a new type of small watercraft in which Wavewalk merged its patented Wavewalk™ 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… Full article »


New products launched in 2014

When observing fishing kayak design developments in recent years, it’s impossible to miss two main trends that seem to have gone out of control: The first is an increase in size and weight, and the second is over accessorizing.  These days, the typical high-end SOT fishing kayak is a barge that weighs around 100 lbs, and requires a trailer for transportation, which is enough to defeat the purpose of kayak fishing even before you hit the water and find out that paddling such barges to a noticeable distance is either hard or impossible…
One company recently launched a tandem fishing kayak that weighs 185 lbs in the basic version, and 230 lbs when fully accessorized…  Full article »


How to use detachable flotation to right a capsized Wavewalk™ kayak

This animation shows a typical W500 kayak outfitted with two pairs of standard detachable flotation modules attached in the regular locations. If the kayak flips, it will float upside down, unless the user did something very wrong such as clinging to it and pulling it down – deeper into the water. The user can detach flotation modules and reattach them on the side of the kayak they plan to use as a pivot when they flip it back. After having attached the flotation on this side, the user can flip the kayak back, knowing that the flotation will support the kayak’s lower hull and prevent excess water from getting in… Full article »


More is less in your fishing kayak’s cockpit – Too much stuff and too little fishability

Kayak manufacturers seem to be locked in an arms race intended to make their fishing kayaks relevant to the average angler out there. This epic struggle for market survival produces kayak designs that are increasingly dysfunctional, or lack ‘fishability‘ if we use the term that anglers commonly use. The most obvious manifestation of this trend is the proliferation of those enormous, extra-wide, cumbersome, hard to paddle, heavy and practically impossible to carry or car top kayaks known as ‘barges’. But it’s not just the size of those beastly yaks that makes one wonder whether they defeat the purpose of kayak fishing, nor the fact that their manufacturers tout them as being suitable for fishing standing (they’re not, unless you’re an aspiring acrobat) – It’s the fact that they’ve become overly accessorized, to a point where it’s increasingly hard for their users to fish from them.
What’s an overly accessorized fishing kayak? An overly accessorized fishing kayak is a kayak that makes it hard for you to fish from it -… Full article »


The secrets of the SOT kayak’s underside

Have you ever seen a picture of the underside of a sit-on-top (SOT) kayak? –
It’s unique, and the bottom of no other vessel looks like it.
Below is a figure showing what a typical SOT kayak looks like when it’s turned over:…
Understanding the design of SOT kayaks’ underside –
The ‘scupper’ holes –  The most striking feature in a SOT kayak’s hull are the holes in it:
All SOT kayaks feature vertical holes connecting their deck to the water below. Kayak manufacturers call them ‘Scupper Holes’ and claim they were introduced into the SOT design as means to drain water from the kayak’s deck, similarly to what scuppers do in normal boats.–   The truth is different…    Continue reading »


Wavewalk kayak tracking a plus in strong tidal current, by Art Myjak

Problem: I found myself on the wrong side of the culvert at the wrong time – see attached sketches. I was on side A and needed to get to side B.
Tide was going out and the rapids through the culvert was too strong for canoe, kayak or trolling motors (maybe even small gas motors).
Made two attempts to get through–my approach from the sides was wrong (positions C and D)…wasted too much energy, current pushed me back, and couldn’t continue… Continue reading »


Whatever floats your boat – flotation for fishing kayaks

What is flotation? – Flotation is a category of products and technical solutions that keep your kayak or boat floating in case an accident happened, such as capsize, a punctured hull wall, etc. What flotation solutions and products have in common is their ability to trap air and attach it to the hull, and by that keep the hull afloat so it could be more easily recovered. This is to say that typically, flotation provides means for recovery, and it usually adds neither to the boat or kayak’s stability nor to its load capacity.
Why is flotation necessary? – The US Coast Guard (USCG) mandates incorporating flotation In boats bigger than kayaks. Although flotation is not mandatory in kayaks, we think it is necessary as means to preserve our clients’ investment in their W kayak. Many other kayak manufacturers, including those who offer sit-on-top (SOT) kayaks outfit them with some flotation, because they know that SOT kayaks are sinkable.
Types of flotation – … Read more »


What makes the Wavewalk™ 500 faster and easier to paddle than other fishing kayaks?

Before getting their Wavewalk™ kayak, many of our clients had tested or owned common fishing kayaks, and they weren’t too happy with the way these kayaks performed with regards to several basic requirements which are essential to paddling. In contrast, the same people find the Wavewalk 500 very easy to paddle and handle. This article explains some of the technical differences between the W500 and all other fishing kayaks, and how these differences work to the advantage of W kayakers.
What makes common fishing kayaks special as a class of kayaks?
If you walked into a store that sells all kinds of paddle craft (e.g. canoes, touring kayaks, sea kayaks, recreational kayaks) and you looked at at the fishing kayak models side by side with the other kayaks, you’d notice that fishing kayaks look chubbier… Read more »


A stable kayak for photography

Photographing wildlife from a kayak – Are you looking for a stable kayak for photography?
You may already know what to look for, but you may also wonder what questions to ask and what issues you should be aware of. This article will attempt to encompass and summarize the main aspects of kayak photography that you may want to consider when you’re looking to choose a kayak for this demanding application.
Ergonomic and stability considerations – Many kayakers shoot scenic photos out of their kayaks as part of their fishing trip or paddling excursion, but not too many wildlife photographers like to shoot from kayaks, because these small, unstable, wet and uncomfortable craft don’t inspire their confidence, and it’s hard to get excited about spending long hours in one of them –
Photographers who specialize in wildlife photography, mainly bird photography, spend countless hours outdoors…. Read more »


How effective are outriggers for your fishing kayak’s stability?

What is an outrigger?
An outrigger is defined as a framework supporting a float extended outboard from the side of a boat for increasing stability. In kayaks, outriggers usually come in a pair mounted at the rear, so as to interfere as little as possible with the kayaker’s paddling and fishing activities.
Why are fishing kayaks required to be so stable? –
A fishing kayak is required to be stabler than other kayaks for a number of reasons –
The first reason is because the kayak’s operator is often busy fishing, which means they cannot pay much attention to balancing their kayak as they scout for fish, operate their fishing gear, and handle a fish they just caught.
The second reason is that people who paddle sit-in, SOT or hybrid kayaks do it while being seated in the L position, with their legs stretched in front of them in a way that prevents them from being effective for balancing. This is the reason why the paddle is the principal means such paddlers have for stabilizing these kayaks, and this means that it’s easier for them to keep their balance while they’re holding their paddle and preferably using it for paddling… Read more  »


Dog on board

We sometimes get questions about taking a dog on board the W kayak, since people want to take their dog on paddling, camping, photography and fishing trips, while others use a retriever on their hunting trips.  The W500 kayak series is stable, spacious and dry, which allows for taking a dog as a passenger on board, even if the dog is reasonably big and heavy. This article summarizes people’s experience in this field, discusses the factors to consider, and offers technical solutions. Factors to consider – … Read more »


Smarter electric motors and Lithium-Ion batteries – A winning combination for kayak fishing, by Gary Thorberg

Fisherman have long known the benefits of having an electric trolling motor. Quiet, clean, and maneuverable, with instant on/off/reverse makes it the perfect choice for fishing. Until recently, the main drawbacks have been limited run-time and battery weight. Enter technology! Various electric trolling motor manufacturers have introduced a new generation of of motors that can offer 4 or 5 times the run-time of previous models!… Now, enter the lithium-ion battery. At a fraction of the weight and size of a conventional deep-cycle battery, it will provide full power for several times longer… Read more »


Ocean Kayak Fishing

The purpose of this article is to offer the reader information about ocean kayak fishing, starting from potential hazards and problems to recommended solutions.
Content – What is ocean kayak fishing / Hazards related to ocean kayak fishing / The surf / Kayak flotation / Lateral (side) waves / Capsizing your ocean fishing kayak / How to keep the kayak’s cockpit dry / Do you need a dry suit or a wet suit / What makes the W Kayak so easy to maneuver? / Surf Safety: Watch for bathers and surfers / Surf Etiquette: Please be courteous / Paddling your ocean fishing kayak in strong wind / Paddling your ocean fishing kayak in strong current / Motorizing your ocean fishing kayak / Dry storage
What is ocean kayak fishing? – Ocean kayak fishing means fishing offshore out of a kayak, be it a sit-in, sit-in-top (SOT) or a W kayak. Since kayaks are small vessels and in most cases they’re human-powered (Read: underpowered), and since kayaks expose their users to the elements, this kind of fishing typically involves some hazards and discomfort. Fishing in big lakes is similar to ocean kayak fishing in the sense that is presents similar challenges…. Read more »


Your boat trailer, the abominable fishing-time guzzler

The idea to write this piece came from a client in Rhode Island who owns a 20ft center console, who told me he never uses it on weekends because of all the time he had to waste at crowded boat ramps, and the aggravation associated with it. Michael Chesloff added a few wise comments too, from his own experience as a fishing boat owner. So how much quality time do you waste on activities related to your boat trailer?… Read more »


Kayak fishing with disabilities

Our website features countless accounts and articles related to back pain, leg numbness and other common problems, as well as numerous accounts by clients who suffer from more severe physical impairments and disabilities. This article will attempt to summarize what we know about the more severe conditions in relation to operating kayaks and fishing from them –
Consulting with your expert physician on these matters is highly recommended, of course. The fact a person suffers from a condition listed here does not automatically mean the W kayak is good for them. There may be cases that would prevent you from enjoying our W kayak, and even cases where using it might altogether be unrecommended to you, for various reasons. We welcome your questions even if you have a slight doubt. In some cases we could offer you to contact clients who suffer from a condition similar to yours, so you could ask them about their personal experience… Read more >


Motorize your fishing kayak?

What do we mean by ‘motorized kayak’?
When we say ‘motorized fishing kayak’ we don’t mean just a sit-in or SOT kayak outfitted with an electric trolling motor… We also mean the real deal, which is a small watercraft comparable to a motorboat as most North American anglers understand it, and this means powered by an outboard gas engine.
And when we say ‘motorboat’ we don’t mean one that’s suitable just for fishing inland, on flat water and doesn’t necessarily work for offshore fishing – We mean real ocean fishing including surf launching and fishing trips in a range that’s several times longer than what electric motors offer before they run out of juice… Needless to say that it means adequate stability for stand up fishing in full confidence and for everyone, dryness (if you feel like getting wet, go wading, or fish from another kayak!), enough storage space for you to take gear you need for long trips, and last but not least – a comfort level that anyone can enjoy, and not just young, small, lightweight and athletic anglers… Read more >


About fishing kayak design, innovation, upgrades, accessories, etc.

Thanks Dan, Indeed, the kayak business is extremely competitive.
We’ve started selling our kayaks back in 2004, and since then we’ve seen most of our competitors either disappear or change owners – This includes small, medium size and big kayak companies.
Our competitors offer products that are essentially the same, namely variations on sit-in and sit-on-top (SOT) kayaks. If you look at the designs (forms) themselves, you’ll find no noteworthy change in the past 40 years since such kayaks were first roto-molded.
None of our competitors has any technological advantage over the others, so they are forced to compete by offering many accessories, whether that makes sense or not, plenty of unnecessary detail in their designs, intensive promotion (hype), and price.
Wavewalk has a proprietary technology that puts us in a different category.
Following a few, tested principles has helped us thrive in this highly competitive environment – … Read more >


How Much Gear Can You Store Inside a W Fishing Kayak?

This is clothing and linens for the both of us for two weeks, charcoal, chairs, umbrella, hammock, personal flotation devices, snorkel masks with flippers, and of course the fishing rods!
With 8.8 cubic feet available, I got it all in the boat, except for three large bags that I will strap to the top. It will all be tarp covered,… Read more >


 

Do Not Overload Your Fishing Kayak

What Happens When You Load a W Fishing Kayak?
The illustration below shows a W500 kayak in three load points –
The left image shows it unloaded.
The image in the middle shows it loaded with around 200 lbs (91 kg). The load is distributed evenly front and back, so the kayak stays level, which offers optimal speed and control. The draft is shallow…  Read more >


A Fair-Weather Fishing Kayak…

John had a good laugh when he first saw ads by a well known, nationwide, catalog and online distributor of outdoor apparel and gear –
The ads were for high-end (labeled “deluxe”!…) sit-in angling kayaks, and they stated the following versions of the same information (quote): “For outings of a few hours in calm to light winds on lakes, ponds and protected bays”…So why did John laugh about these fishing kayaks ads?…Simply, because John has been paddling kayaks and fishing from them for many years, and he immediately understood what the advertisers really meant to say, which was:… Read more »


A Brief History Of Kayak Fishing – Past, Present, and Foreseeable Future

Kayak fishing ceased to be a novelty, and it’s safe to say there’s hardly anyone in America who fishes that hasn’t been exposed to the notion of fishing out of kayaks, one way or another.
Still, for the huge majority of American anglers, the notion of fishing from a kayak is by far more appalling than appealing, and those who fish from shore and from all other watercraft outnumber kayak anglers by a thousand to one ratio –
What Do The Numbers Tell Us?
How Big Is Fishing In The USA?   … Read more >


Fishing Kayak Stability

This article about kayak stability was first published years ago. Those times were different from now. Back then, stability wasn’t considered as important as it it now, and some people even argued that a fishing kayak doesn’t necessarily have to be stable, since anglers eventually get used to fishing out of an unstable platform. We blasted this notion for years, and now it’s gone.
Since then, the kayak world has changed, especially the fishing kayak part of it, and stability is king. This periodically leads to kayak manufacturers trying all kinds of solutions designed to increase the stability of the fishing kayaks they offer… Read more >


About Kayak Fishing In Tandem…

Whether we recommend kayak fishing is not an easy question to answer.
Essentially, kayaks are solo boats that do not lend lend themselves easily to tandem applications –
In principle, tandem kayak fishing is possible, since many kayaks are big enough to take two passengers on board. However, from a practical standpoint, having two anglers fishing out of a small vessel such as a kayak is problematic with regards to several aspects that require preliminary consideration, as well as constant attention: First and foremost, kayak fishing in tandem involves a Safety issue….
The second problem to consider is Convenience…–  Read more >


The Hybrid Fishing Kayak – Facts, Hype and Plain Nonsense

The term ‘Hybrid Kayak’ is an abbreviation of ‘Hybrid Canoe-Kayak’. It’s a type of small, typically human powered watercraft that takes from the kayak in the sense that its passengers sit in it with their legs stretched forward, and use dual blade (i.e. ‘kayak’) paddles for propulsion.
The hybrid’s canoe genes are harder to track in most cases, but all hybrid kayaks are very wide, and designed to provide more stability than narrower, traditional kayaks offer. It’s likely to assume that those who design and manufacture hybrid kayaks view the canoe as a watercraft that’s stabler than common kayaks are, and the reference to canoes is therefore an implicit reference to stability… Read more >


Motorizing Your Kayak – Why, How, What Etc…

Why motorize your kayak, and do you really need a motor on board?
What type of solution would best fit your kayak motorizing needs – an electric trolling motor, or an outboard gas engine? How to motorize your W kayak on a budget? What are the practices we recommend following in a kayak motorizing project?
This section of our blog is dedicated to answering these questions, and others.
Here is an example of a motorized W500 kayak with a 2HP outboard … Read more >


More About Dangers To Kayakers and Kayak Anglers in Warm, Fresh Water

So, you’re paddling your kayak, or fishing from it in warm, fresh water, and you may think to yourself that nothing could happen to you if for some reason you’d have to ‘take a swim’ because you lost balance and fell overboard… Well, you’re wrong… Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed that a deadly amoeba, which is commonly found in lakes and rivers is the cause of the recent death of a Florida swimmer – Health officials in Brevard County, FL, said they believe water infected with the parasite Naegleria fowleri … Read more >


How to Keep Your W500 Fishing Kayak Cockpit Dry

Typically, very little water can get inside your W500 cockpit, because the kayak offers a high free board – more than any kayak does. This is true even when you’re launching in the surf, because — Read more >


THE BARGE – A NEW CLASS OF FISHING KAYAKS

Most people know what the term Barge means when kayaks are referred to: It’s a big, wide, long, heavy kayak that’s hard to car top, hard to carry, hard to launch, hard to paddle, and hard to beach. A Barge is a kayak that’s slow, and doesn’t track well, hence the expression “A barge to paddle” — Read more >


The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly – Aesthetics and Performance in Fishing Kayak Design

In case of a product such as a kayak, the beauty we see in it is a measure of how much we appreciate its performance in terms of what’s important to us, subjectively, whether as something we’ve already experienced with this kayak, or something we believe we would experience, if we used it — Read more >


Kayak Fishing As An Extreme Sport

For most anglers, kayak fishing is an extreme sport. Extreme in the sense that an angler fishing from a kayak is compelled to give up the two essential things that any regular fishing motorboat provides, which are adequate stability and elementary comfort. The third requirement, storage space is important — Read more >


Too Much Storage In A Fishing Kayak…

…Gary was having an argument with other kayak anglers, some of which are presumably kayak dealers, sales reps, etc., on an online, Texas fishing forum. On that occasion, one of the other participants argued about the W500 that “It had too much storage for a fishing kayak”.— Read more >


What Is kayak Back Pain, And What Does It Mean For You?

…Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage. Pain plays a critical role in our survival and well being, because it motivates us to withdraw from potentially damaging situations, avoid those situations in the future, and protect a damaged body part while it heals. — Read more >


Paddle vs. Pedal Drive in Common Fishing Kayaks

…This article examines pedal drive propulsion for common (mono hull, sit-in and SOT) kayaks from several technical angles, which are: Ergonomics – How does it feel to operate a pedal driven kayak, and what are the potential physiological drawbacks in this type of propulsion. Mechanics -How efficient are pedal drives’ pedaling systems. Hydrodynamics -How efficient are pedal drives’ propellers, and how effective is pedaling kayaks compared to paddling them. Real World Performance – How effective are pedal driven kayaks in applications such as fishing trips, stand up fishing, fishing in moving water, fishing in shallow water, launching, beaching, etc.— Read more >


Resting in Your Fishing Kayak – Don’t Fall Asleep!

Spending long hours paddling and fishing can make you tired. Stretching while standing up or lying down on the saddle of your W500 fishing kayak can be invigorating or relaxing, and will help keep you fresh. As far as resting while lying down, — Read more >


More Storage Than Any Other Kayak: The W500

Some fishing kayak manufacturers try to lure potential buyers by offering bigger hatches, and additional space to put gear on top of their SOT kayaks’ decks. Obviously, those solutions are neither effective nor user-friendly, but what else can you do to solve the storage problem — Read more >


Lumbar Spine and Kayak Back Pain: Facts

The term ‘Lumbar Support’ appears frequently in discussions about kayak fishing and paddling related back pain. The underlying assumption in those discussions is that the lumbar area of your back (lumbar spine) requires adequate support, and if such support is provided your back pain will disappear, or at least become tolerable — Read more »


Some Practical Advice About Rigging Your Fishing Kayak

Contrarily to you might have heard, there is no such thing as perfect rigging for a fishing kayak, and the reason for it is that kayak anglers differ by their personal needs, fishing style, fish species they go after, etc.
Having said that, there’s still plenty of opportunities for you to make mistakes, and this is why we generally recommend to go about these things slowly and carefully, without rushing into particular solutions unless you know there’s a good chance that they’d work well for you — Read more »


Kayak Fishing Safety: Is It safe To Paddle An Uncomfortable Kayak And Fish From It?

Thousands of kayak anglers are risking paddling and fishing accidents because of their kayaks’ poor ergonomics. The hazards are many and diverse: First, there’s the danger of being unable to paddle back to shore, as a result of fatigue, and even exhaustion. Strong wind and tidal current are external forces that could be hazardous to a tired kayak angler, especially if elderly or inexperienced — Read more >


Stretching in Your Kayak to Relief Fatigue and Pain, and Improve Circulation

Stretching is recommended by doctors, chiropractors and various therapists as means to relief tension from muscles, tendons and the spine, and get the blood flowing better in those tissues. Stretching helps prevent fatigue, relief fatigue, and eventually prevent possible injury and pain, mainly in your back.
In sum, stretching is beneficial for your circulation, your legs, and your spine.
Being unable to stretch your legs and back — Read more >


Stand Up Kayak Fishing and Paddling – For Real

The W-kayak is the only kayak that was developed for high performance stand up paddling and stand up fishing in moving water, and it’s the only kayak that fits both these extreme applications in terms of safety and comfort. Here are the facts we recommend you know about stand up padding and fishing from kayaks and other small crafts — Read more >


Kayaking Back Pains and Leg Numbness

In other words, when your legs push your feet against your kayak’s foot braces (or footrests) they also push your lower back against your seat – and as a result the seat pushes back against your lower back with an equal force. Your legs have the most powerful muscles in your body, and they constantly generate this force from the moment you sit in your kayak until you get out of it. The L kayaking position deprives your legs from their natural role — Read more >


Fishability – How Fishable Are Kayaks?

What is Fishability? Dictionaries define fishable as an adjective meaning ‘that may be fished in’. By extension, the noun fishability can be used to describe the usefulness of a fishing craft for catching fish, from the angler’s well being and performance standpoints. Basically, you can catch fish just sitting on a log in the middle of a pond, or a river – so being able to cast a line and catch fish from some floating object doesn’t — Read more >


How to Save Money When Buying a Fishing Kayak

Fishing kayaks can be expensive, and when you start adding the cost of all accessories you’ll find they actually cost much more. However, by buying a Wavewalk TM fishing kayak you can save a lot of money (up to $1,350) just on accessories: — Read more >


Rigging Your W-Kayak With a Milk Crate – Is it Necessary?

It seems most kayak fishermen have gotten used to rigging their fishing kayaks with a milk crate attached behind the cockpit. If you happen you own a SOT fishing kayak, rigging it with a milk crate would make sense, since SOT kayaks are basically hyped paddle boards that offer too little storage space and no real cockpit. Sit-in fishing kayaks offer a little more in this aspect, but not enough to drop the idea of adding a milk crate However, if you own a W fishing kayak, you may want to reconsider the pros and cons of adding a milk crate — Read more >


Lures for Bass Kayak Fishing

By Roxanne Davis
This is Rox’ answer to a question on bass lures from Petru, a kayak fisherman from Ontario: Petru, Here is a couple of pictures of the lures and hooks I use, and have had great success with —  Read more >


Range of Motion and Protection From the Fish – Kayak Comparison

By Jeff McGovern
Range of motion and protection from the fish – Sounds a little weird but the W kayak offers a far better range of motion for anglers and some measure of protection when landing fish. I’ve noticed this the most dealing with saltwater speedsters in — Read more >


Casting From A W Fishing Kayak Compared To Casting From Sit-In and SOT Fishing Kayaks

By Jeff McGovern
In preparation for comparison to the new W500 I have been spending time “relearning the joys” of sit inside and sit on top kayaks. Besides the obvious back issue already known there is the concern of shoulder pain. I have had some discomfort, but in talking to a few other fellow kayak fishermen they mentioned the pain associated with casting from the awkward L position. I noticed soreness the next day trying to power out long casts from the L position — Read more >


How Effective Can Fishing Kayaks’ Outriggers Be?

Your fishing kayak’s stability is key to your success and fun in kayak fishing, and the outriggers may help in achieving better stability, but at a price. By effective we mean how much stability can a pair of outriggers add to your fishing kayak’s initial lateral stability, and what are the drawbacks for using outriggers or that purpose, if any. First, you need to understand what makes your fishing kayak stable (or unstable)… Read more >


What Makes The W Kayak The Stablest Fishing Kayak?

The W fishing kayak’s superior stability is not just proven – it is spectacular, and anyone who watches our demo movies is amazed by what they see. In a nutshell, our patented stabilization technology consists of a number of unique factors working together to assure maximal stability – far more than any other fishing kayak can offer, including the widest sit-in and SOT fishing kayaks, and even fishing kayaks featuring outriggers (stabilizers). These key stability factors are — Read more >


Are SOT Kayaks Safe For Offshore Fishing?

A kayak fisherman recently posted his personal offshore capsize report on a Connecticut fishing blog. It was detailed and well written, and I copied some paragraphs from it that I found particularly interesting. In his report the writer exposed the brand name and model of his fishing kayak, a top-of-the-line, 34″ wide sit-on-top, but I replaced these explicit names by the phrase “SOT fishing kayak” because the problem described is not necessarily typical to that particular brand or model …. Read more >


Kayak Fishing Standing – And What If? (Stuff Happens)

It seems like all fishing kayak manufacturers these days claim that at least one of their fishing kayak models lets you stand up and fish from. Some of them even go as far as say ‘in confidence’. The problem with those claims is that they aren’t true, and the sure way for you to know that is by asking yourself a basic, simple and essential question: -”What if?” -What if you lose your balance for any reason, just because stuff happens? — Read more >


About Rudders and Fishing Kayaks

Rudders are almost a necessity in modern SOT and sit-in fishing kayaks, simply because most of these kayaks have become so wide that they lost the ability to track, which is essential for any water craft. The increase in width is the kayak manufacturers’ response the the demand for more stability, and it comes at a price of lesser speed and poor control, I.E. lack of tracking capability that’s often coupled with lackluster performance when it comes to maneuverability. Interestingly, no W-kayak paddler or fisherman has ever felt the need for a rudder —  Read more >


Saltwater Fishing Gear Maintenance

by Jeff McGovern
Kayaks are king in saltwater flats fishing. You can get into places that even the finest flats boats have trouble accessing. You have no fuel expense and the maintenance on the kayak is far less than any motor powered craft. However, saltwater is not kind to equipment of any type, so unless your gear is properly cleaned up after every trip, it will wear out quickly and be ruined. The process begins — Read more »


Kayak Fishing With Children

Kayaks should offer high performance not just as fishing and paddling platforms for adult fishermen: Children too like to have fun fishing and paddling with adults or by themselves. Stability: Although children are smaller than adults and therefore are less prone to destabilizing their kayak they are also more careless and forgetful, and tend to get overexcited and sometime even to panic. This is why —  Read more >


Stability in Fishing Kayaks – Problems and Solutions

DESIGN FOR BETTER KAYAK STABILITY: WHY AND HOW – WHAT IS STABILITY? Stability is defined as resistance to change, deterioration, or displacement, and it is synonym to reliability and dependability. In naval terms it means the ability of a watercraft to maintain equilibrium or resume its original, upright position after displacement, as by the sea or strong winds. This article discusses lateral stability and not directional stability i.e. tracking, which is discussed in other articles on this website. WHY IS LATERAL STABILITY SO IMPORTANT? – Lateral stability is a key factor in kayaking and kayak fishing since it enables prevention of accidents as well as increases the well being of kayakers and kayak fishermen — Read more >


How to Choose a Fishing Kayak That’s Best For You

Kayak Fishing Facts You Need To Know – Your overall kayak fishing experience depends first and foremost on your physical well being – You want perfect comfort regardless of where you fish, and for how long.
Fishing kayaks can compete with bigger boats in price, portability, maintenance, ease of use, and in some cases mobility, but they fail when it comes to comfort and other ‘fishability’ factors, with one exception: our patented, well tested Wavewalk TM kayaks. Comfort is multi-dimensional — Read more »


Back Pain, Good Posture and Kayak Fishing

UK researchers recently published an article about the beneficial effect of good posture in the British Medical Journal . According to this work, about half the UK population suffers from back pain from time to time, with up to 15% having chronic problems. They found that back pain is the second biggest cause of sick leave. These British researchers found that long-term back pain can be relieved through encouraging sufferers to adopt good posture — Read more »


The W Kayak Combat Position For Fighting a Big Fish

A big and powerful fish may be smaller and altogether weaker than you, but being in its natural element while you’re not gives it an advantage that may compromise your kayak’s stability, get you somewhere that you don’t necessarily want to go to in long a ‘sleigh ride’, or make you lose the fish because you’re too busy controlling your kayak. This is a maneuver that Jeff McGovern and myself developed together — Read more >


Paddling and Kayak Fishing in Cold Water and Weather

‘Cold’ is relative of course, and what I mean by it in this case is temperatures below freezing or close to that. Sometimes you can find open water on a frozen river or lake, and since it’s possible to launch your W kayak from ice as well as to beach it on ice the question is ‘why not go paddling or fishing?’ The simple answer is ‘because it’s very dangerous’. In other words, the combination of ice and cold can turn out to be deadly.
Some of the factors that contribute to making such activities more dangerous are — Read more >


Whether paddling or fishing in your kayak, try to stay dry

This article examines the problems stemming from prolonged exposure to wet clothing, which is sometime viewed as inseparable from all forms of kayaking and kayak fishing, and all types of kayaks. It exposes possible dangers and inconveniences associated with direct exposure to water, excessive humidity and cold in various circumstances, and describes solutions based on the new, patented technology applied in Wavewalk’s Kayaks, which offers the users a drier way to paddle and fish. What’s the problem?  Read more »


Fishing Standing in a Kayak

This article examines what makes standup fishing so important and why an increasing number of kayak fishermen are attracted by the newly offered possibility to stand up and fish in a W Kayak. Fishing from small watercraft – Overview – People all around the world have been fishing from small boats for millennia. Interestingly, many native fishermen like to stand up in their boats when they propel them and fish from them. After all, what could be more natural? If possible, standing is both a powerful and comfortable position for a person making a continuous physical effort. It is good for our blood circulation, less strenuous on our back and it enables us to make a good use of our legs — Read more »


Kayak Fishing As It Should Be

Fishing from kayaks is a cool idea in principle but most fishermen have realized by now that in practice it leaves much to be desired in terms of comfort and performance.
Our patented W Fishing Kayak solves these problems at their root, and offers you optimal performance and the best fishing experience — Read more >


Problems and Solutions In Kayak Fishing

Why Kayak Fishing, and Why Not… For thousands of years people around the world have been using small paddle craft for fishing. In North America canoes have been popular from pre-Colombian times, and kayaks were used by native people of the Arctic Circle for fishing in estuaries and protected waters.
In recent decades kayaks have become popular in recreational paddling, and more recently recreational fishermen have started using the kayak as a fishing platform. What’s so great about kayak fishing?
The idea of kayak fishing is an appealing one: These boats present a low cost of purchase and zero cost of maintenance, and offer excellent portability, physical exercise and a pleasant way to commune with nature while fishing in places that may be difficult to access with bigger boats. …And what’s not? — Read more »


Kayak Fishing in Shallow Water

Using Your W Fishing Kayak In Shallow Water – W fishing kayaks offer new opportunities for kayak anglers who fish in shallow water. Poling – You’ll find that poling your W fishing Kayak is easy. We recommend that use use a Wavewalk TM paddle that’s longer and sturdier than kayak paddles. Going Over Obstacles – When you feel or see a submerged object (e.g. a rock, or a tree trunk) that’s preventing you from going forward you can try and go over it: Raise the bow as much as possible by positioning yourself in the rear part of the cockpit and leaning backward, and paddle and/or pole as hard as you can. When you feel your boat can’t go further ‘up’ move as forward as possible on the saddle and try to tip your boat to the over side of the underwater obstacle by pushing with your paddle — Read more >


Common Kayak Fishing Myths, Tales and Hype

Like every other sport or activity, kayak fishing has its own myths and beliefs that evolved over the years as a result of fishing kayak vendors’ marketing campaigns and more naturally – as fishing tales… True Or False? – Questions You May Have Asked Yourself: -“A Sit-On-Top kayak (SOT) is more comfortable than a Sit-In Kayak (SIK)” That may be true if you feel comfortable sitting on a paddle board that offers you absolutely ne protection from water or weather, and has has holes (‘scupper holes’) going from its deck down through its hulls and below waterline. These holes were put there to drain the water that’s nearly always present on the deck from because of spray and waves, but they obviously conduct water in the other direction too — Read more »


Thrust in Electric Trolling Motors for Fishing Kayak

Thrust is a unit of measurement that manufacturers of electric trolling motors for fishing kayaks and other boats use to describe propulsion capability. Thrust is measured in units of weight. In the USA it’s usually pounds (lb.). This can be confusing, since we often tend to think of propulsion in motion terms, or in horsepower (HP). Before going further, we’d better clarify what weight and thrust have in common — Read more >


What To Carry On Board Your Fishing Kayak

by Jeff McGovern
A kayak is not a bass boat, bay boat, or a flats boat when it comes to hauling equipment. While a kayak can fill most boating roles, space is limited– so serious thought is needed as to what to carry. You outfit your boat according to the needs you have in your own fishing area. My fishing time is split between saltwater and freshwater in Florida. The gear is similar, except for the tackle changes normally associated between the two types of fishing. Safety gear is first — Read more >


Kayak Fishing From the Mounted (Riding) Position

While the advantages of fishing standing are pretty obvious to most fishermen many who haven’t tried the W Riding (mounted) position may wonder what’s so special about it, and why it is considered so advantageous when compared to the traditional L kayaking position or to fishing seated in a canoe. The answer is that it has to do with how much support you have for your casting and reeling-in efforts, as well as when you’re fighting a strong fish: The result of every physical effort you make, whether it’s jumping, running, pulling or throwing something depends on the kind of support —  Read more >


Southern Kayak Fishermen’s Complaints

I recently visited a popular online kayak fishing forum serving kayak fishermen in a Southern state. One of the discussions in it was about the negative side of kayak fishing as the participants see them.
Most of the participants fish from SOTs and some from sit-in kayaks, but none of them fishes from a W Kayak.
These are the problematic points that the participants seemed to agree upon: 1. You really can’t do it [kayak fishing] right without getting wet and muddy — Read more >


What Color and Form for My Fishing Kayak?

The color question keeps coming back and probably would forever.
If you’re just paddling you probably want a bright yellow kayak that will be the most visible to fast motorboats drivers. If you’re hunting or bird watching you’d better choose a dark green or camouflaged kayak, for obvious reasons. The answer becomes more complicated when it comes to fishing – From an underwater perspective the color of a surface object is a minimal issue. Flash and shine are more likely to cause a reaction among fish, as well as sudden motion and noise. Having said that — Read more >


Headwind and Side Wind – Paddling in Strong Wind Without a Rudder

W kayakers usually report excellent performance of their boats under wind, mainly because it tracks well and offers various means for power-paddling and counter-affecting the wind. Here are some tips that can improve your W kayak’s performance when you’re paddling in strong wind — Read more >


The Yak Back – What Your Fishing Kayak Shouldn’t Do To You

The ‘Yak Back’ is a popular name given to a condition caused by paddling traditional sit-in and SOT kayaks, and fishing from them. The ‘Yak Back’ symptoms include leg numbness and cramps, discomfort in the hips and buttocks, pressure and pain in the lower back (lumbar) area, and premature fatigue. Paddlers and fishermen suffering from Yak back feel a strong urge to change positions, stand up, walk, and stretch. Early Yak Back symptoms can appear as early as half an hour from launching, and they tend to aggravate as the hours go by.
It is not uncommon that people who paddle sit-in and SOT kayaks and fish from them develop a chronic Yak Back condition —  Read more >


Getting Trapped Inside a Kayak

Kayakers call this type of accident ‘Entrapment’ (which in regular English is a juridical term…) However, in the world of kayaking entrapment is described as a situation where the paddler’s lower body, or a part of it (E.G. leg, foot) is caught inside the hull while the kayaker is trying to retrieve it from there during a ‘wet exit’, that is while attempting to leave his or her kayak and swim. Imagine yourself in turbulent water, your kayak overturned — Read more >


Are Sea Kayaks Seaworthy?

This article examines issues related to the seaworthiness of kayaks in general and of sea kayaks in particular, and discusses an alternative approach to sea kayak seaworthiness based on the new W Kayak concept — Read more >


Common Kayak Injuries

Paddling a common kayak, be it a sit-on-top (SOT) kayak or a sit-in kayak (SIK) involves being seated in the non-ergonomic L position, as well as paddling it in the traditional kayaking style that requires typical, repetitive motion. Both can lead to various injuries. Lower Back Pain – Traditional kayak paddling technique, a.k.a. kayaking is based on torso rotation initiated from your hips. This motion is impossible to perform while you’re leaning backward (“slouching”) and it’s best performed while  — Read more >


Technical Stuff

Clamp Mounted Side Mount For Fishing Kayak Electric Trolling Motor

Various vendors offer clamp mounts for electric trolling motors, for canoes. Some of these motor mounts fit our W500 kayak. Here is an example of such mount that works with our W500…. DIY Clamp Mounted Mount For Electric Trolling Motor – Here is a schematic description of an easy to make DIY clamp mount for an electric trolling motor for your W500 fishing kayak —


How to Avoid and Repair Scratches in Your Kayak

Going with your kayak over oyster beds, shells, sharp rocks, broken glass, metal debris and even concrete ramps can get its hull scratched. In most cases such scratches are negligible, and you need not pay attention to them. However, if you want to avoid getting your kayak scratched you’d better watch out for signs of such potential hazards in the water – especially if you’re fishing or paddling in shallow water —


Kayak Side Flotation- How it Works and Why Use it

Most W Kayak models come equipped with one, two, and even three pairs of detachable flotation modules. A flotation module is a 5 ft long plastic foam ‘noodle’ with a bungee cord going through its core. The bungee hooks at its ends enable attaching the module to Nylon eyelets around the cockpit. The flotation modules are essentially recovery accessories: In case you capsized your W kayak, flotation modules attached to its side (see figure below) can help preventing it from overturning, and if your kayak is overturned they help keeping it afloat, and by that make it easier for you to turn it back. In some cases, when your W kayak is laying on its side, the presence of a single flotation module or better – a pair of such modules under the top side of the lower hull can lead to the boat righting itself, and this is how it works —


Wheels For Fishing Kayak Transportation

This article presents different approaches to transporting your kayak on land.
In most cases, you won’t need wheels for your W kayak, as you’ll just drag it from your vehicle to your launching spot, and back. But if you must carry it over long stretches of asphalt or concrete pavement, you may want to consider shielding its hulls from excessive abrasion by attaching the lid of a plastic bin to the part of its hulls that come in contact with the pavement. It’s an inexpensive, easy, and lightweight solution, and the lid can fold easily, so you can store it in one of the hull tips when you’re fishing and paddling.
The drawback of dragging a kayak is that it’s not as easy as transporting it on wheels. Kayak anglers have different fishing styles, and they fish in different environments. This fact, as well as logistic issues, affects the way they rig their fishing kayak with wheels (or a single wheel), a kayak trolley, cart or a simple mat.
What you need from your fishing kayak wheels — Read More »


Detachable Flotation For Fishing Kayak

Flotation is a useful means of recovery for kayaks and other small craft.
Depending on where it is added to the kayak and how much of it is used, it can assist you in recovering your W kayak, and in preventing it from sinking if it gets filled with water. When attached below the kayak’s saddle (Fig. 1-3) the flotation will keep the kayak floating if it gets overturned, or if water gets into the hulls. However, having the flotation attached to the sides of the craft is more effective: When attached on the kayak’s sides (see Fig 4) the flotation modules work both to – a. Stop the kayak from overturning, and –
b. Help the kayak right itself, even without your help. If your W kayak kayak is lying on its side (it should right itself, in principle), side flotation will assist you in turning it back, and recovering it. If you happen to flip your W kayak over —


Ergonomics and Biomechanics in Kayaks

The Problem – Ergonomics is a science also known as Human Factors Engineering. The problem is simple, and sooner or later practically any kayaker and kayak fisherman faces it: Spending long hours paddling and fishing in or on top of an ordinary kayak (sit-in or sit-on-top) inevitably causes some circulation problems and leg numbness, occasional cramps, pain in your lower back, and often fatigue and discomfort in your shoulders and neck. In fact, kayaking is so closely associated with back pain that kayakers commonly appear in TV ads for back pain relief patches and drugs…
After you begin seeking information about your problem and advice on ways to solve it you realize that the only thing that really works —


Kayak Hydrodynamics, Hydrostatics and Biomechanics As Speed Factors

Our 11’4″ long W500 kayak is reported to be as fast as a 13′ long touring kayak, which may appear to be a contradiction to those who are not familiar with naval design, especially with the hydrodynamic science of it, or with recent years’ speed achievements of multi-hulled (I.E. catamarans and trimarans) sailing and power boats —


Other Stuff

Fishing Kayak Reviews

Not all reviews have value for prospective fishing kayak buyers. For a fishing kayak review to have any interest for you to read and consider, you need to see that it fulfills the basic requirements of Credibility and Relevance, and preferably have some Breadth and Depth.
1. Credibility – You should never trust fishing kayak reviews posted by an anonymous person, under alias, a user ID, etc. That review may have been created and published by an individual who’s involved in a business relationship with certain fishing kayaks manufacturers, distributors, or retailers —
2. Relevance -You should always ask yourself whether the review, or the perspective of the individual who wrote it is of any relevance to you personally. Some fishing kayaks may get enthusiastic reviews by people who have fishing styles that are totally different from yours, and benefit from a physical condition and skills that are considerably different from yours….


The Evolution of the Kayak (pdf)

Traditional vs. Modern Kayaking – From Survival and Utilitarian Use to Recreational Applications
1. THE ORIGINS OF MODERN KAYAKS – In the beginning of the twentieth century kayaks were practically unknown to the wide public. They were self designed, hand made personal paddling boats used by native people of the Arctic and Sub-Arctic regions, in Greenland, Canada, Alaska and Siberia, mainly for
hunting marine and land animals. These peoples seldom fished from their kayaks and hardly ever used them for recreation. They preferred to paddle their kayaks in protected waters —


Versatility: From Specialized Kayaks to Broad Range, High Performance Kayaks

Raising the Bar in Kayak Design and Performance: New Standards For The Third Millennium – This article discusses the changes in kayak design, usage and performance over the past century and in recent years.
Part 5 – Versatility: From Specialized Kayaks to Broad-Range, High Performance Kayaks – 1. THE ENVELOPE OF KAYAK DESIGN IN THE MICRONAUTICAL CONTEXT – Ordinary multihull kayak designs offer increased stability but at a price of reducing speed and mobility, and without improving ergonomics. In this sense those designs didn’t really expand the envelope of kayak performance, since the basic tradeoffs that characterized it remained the same —


Mobility: The New Dimension in Kayak Design

KAYAK MOBILITY DEFINED – Anybody can understand that a 4×4 off-road SUV is more mobile than a common, two-wheel drive car. Most people realize that a skin-on-frame Inuit kayak is less durable than a modern plastic kayak, and you couldn’t paddle it in some of the places that you’re used to paddle in. But what does mobility mean when it comes to modern kayaks? It basically has to do with whatever limits kayakers and kayak fishermen from going where they want to: Such limits include spots that are too difficult to launch your kayak from, or too difficult to beach it in. Other limits can be water that’s too difficult to paddle in because of currents, waves, ice, vegetation or submerged obstacles such as wooden logs or rocks —


Demo and Instruction Movies

W Kayak Demo Movies

Watching all these movies will change your view of what a kayak should and can do for you. W500 Series – John’s Camo W500 Kayak Rigged for Fishing – Launching and Stand Up Paddling From Your Standpoint —