This afternoon, I took my workhorse S4, the White Knight, through the Key Largo Cut to get some video from Blackwater Sound and the Southern Everglades. Prior to reaching the IntraCoastal Waterway, I spotted a couple in a SOT kayak trying to paddle their yak into a stiff wind and close 2 ft. chop.
The planned video can be recorded another day. I volunteered to tow them back to the Marriott from where they had launched. They gratefully accepted.
We had a grand time beating our way home against the wind and the waves. Christina and Zach got a Wavewalk S4 real world demo and a motorized tour of Key Largo.
Internet service is still negatory in Key Largo. I am at the Mickey D’s in Homestead with a hot signal but it is hot in the car, too. Plus, there is a curfew to get home before the gate closes on U.S. 1.
Still, we now have water and power at the bunker in the sky in Garden Cove (my house). And, all the boats survived. The two work boats will need refurbishing but the amazing Wavewalks weathered the storm without a scratch.
Looking forward to resuming our Wavewalk Adventures guide service at the beginning of October. In the meantime, my white S4 (the White Knight) is performing ferry service and supply delivery for boat people stranded in the local hurricane hole.
These Wavewalk vessels are the best hurricane preparedness and recovery portable shuttle craft that I have ever seen or used. Two W500’s, four W700’s, and three S4’s rode through Hurricane Irma like the powerful steeds they are and are ready to continue rescue duty.
Have to go. Seeking a little T.V. with rabbit ears. Two or three stations that work is better than a thousand that won’t come in thru a busted cable service.
Beautiful lines! It may be the Cadillac of kayaks but it looks like a seagoing Corvette. Is it a high performance motor yak or a portable runabout? Super stable. Because it looks so seaworthy, most other powerboats do not slow up when passing port to port. No problem. The S4 slides through wakes easily without leaving planing mode. It seems to run a little faster than the W700 with the same motor. I believe the wider hulls act like a pair of skis to help the boat skim across the water. Handling tiller, camera, and a GPS at one time is beyond my skill set. Tracking through turns while planing is wonderful. The boat’s stern does not slide like many skiffs do. The S4 is so easy to spin your body to face the outboard motor because the hulls are so wide. You can keep your feet inside the vessel. Also, the S4 is the perfect vessel for folks who are tired of maintaining their leaky inflatable tenders. Or, people who want a lifeboat that can be used for shade or transport, too. I still think the W700 is the boat that does it all, but the S4 is the boat that does it all, and more!
The video shows 15-20 knot wind close chop. No problem. Try paddling against this.
P.S. – This boat could make a run from South Florida to Bimini. But, for the time being, I will be staying in waters managed by our Country.
Wavewalk S4 in gray with 5 HP Nissan (Tohatsu) outboard motor. Photo shot on the mother ship.
Wavewalk no longer offers this configuration as shown here. Since we now offer 12 ft long (7.25″ diameter) detachable inflatable flotation tubes as part of the W700 RIB , we offer only boats with one pair of regular size tubes (5 ft long / 6.5″ diameter) or one pair of the XL tubes (12 ft long / 7.25″ diameter). We left this page and the RHIB configuration here in order to show yet another configuration that’s possible.
Wavewalk® RHIB – Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat
Before we go any further, the answer to your question is: -“Yes! This boat is great for fishing, for one or two anglers, once you detach the front pair of inflatable tubes, or both pairs, which takes less an a minute.” In other words, the RHIB is simply a Wavewalk® 700 Z model that features an additional pair of inflatable tubes attached in the front. And now that things are a bit clearer, let’s watch this video – Tip: For best quality set your YouTube viewer to 1080 p HD
Why two pairs of inflatable tubes?
Good question! In this video, the front inflatable tubes touch the water on rare occasions, and when they do, they don’t seem to do much. This is because their purpose is to serve as secondary flotation, in addition to the saddle and the rear inflatable tubes. In extreme cases, if the boat tilts very strongly on its side, these extra tubes could help prevent it from flipping. They can also help when the boat goes in bigger waves, since they add buoyancy to the bow, which allows the boat to go over the wave instead of through it. This can help prevent spray from getting into the boat, and make the ride less bumpy. Extra flotation on both sides of the bow can be useful in other cases, such as when the boat is used for work or rescue, when divers climb on board from the water, and when heavy crab traps are hauled in.
What if I don’t want to use these extra inflatable tubes?
Each tube is attached to the boat with two carabiners, and it takes just seconds to detach it. It can be easily stored in the boat while still inflated, and both inflating and deflating it takes seconds, thanks to a user-friendly, wide (1.25″ diameter) inflation valve that saves you the need for a pump.
And what about that transparent spray shield?
The spray shield is attached to the boat with a bungee cord and two hooks. It takes a few seconds to attach or detach it, and once it’s not attached it’s just a flat, lightweight, flexible sheet of plastic that hardly takes any space, and can be easily stored inside one of the boat’s hulls.
What’s a RHIB?
RHIB is the acronym for Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat, also known as RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat). These motorboats are designed for extra stability and speed, and they come in various sizes. The smaller ones are motorized dinghies that can take a small number of passengers through rough water. RHIB are very popular, and used in a wide range of applications, such as rescue, offshore work, tending bigger boats, diving, etc. Anglers prefer not to fish out of inflatable boats because of the fishing hooks… but this is not an issue with Wavewalk’s RHIB, since its inflatable tubes can be removed instantly.
What’s special about the Wavewalk® RHIB?
Compared to rigid-inflatable dinghies of its size the Wavewalk® is –
More stable: It features a catamaran hull, and a saddle that makes it easier for the driver and passenger/s to balance themselves.
Easier to car-top: Its rigid hull weighs just 80 lbs, and it’s 12’10” (391 cm) long, which makes it easy to lean on the vehicle’s roof before sliding the boat upward.
More versatile: Without the front pair of inflatable tubes it’s a Wavewalk® 700 Z model, which is a great fishing boat for one or two anglers. Without inflatable tubes it’s a nifty motorboat that paddles well, and without the motor it’s hands down the world’s best fishing and touring kayak.
Faster: Videos of this RHIB and other W700 configurations show the unique Wavewalk ‘signature’ in the water – Practically no wake in the front, and a very slender wake at the stern. In this sense, this wake reminds a torpedo moving in the water, and not a boat, especially not a RHIB. Being typically wide and designed to plane, RHIBs leave a huge wake behind them, a sign of the great amount of power used to propel them.
More comfortable: Some luxury small RHIBs feature forward facing seats or benches, and their driver can steer by means of a steering wheel or a joystick. But most small RHIBs offer just basic amenities, and their driver sits on their side, or on the side of the motor, next to the tiller, or on a bench in front of it. All these locations are sub-optimal in ergonomic terms and as far as driving is concerned, since they demand from the driver to face sideways, or drive with their arm stretched backward. Food for thought – Does any other vehicle require from its driver to sit in any of these awkward postures?… In contrast, Wavewalk’s RHIB offers its driver to ride a comfortable saddle and face forward, as they would in a personal watercraft (PWC) a.k.a. jet-ski, an all terrain vehicle (ATV), or a snowmobile, which are vehicles designed for high performance in both tough conditions and at high speeds. Wavewalk’s RHIB is steered with a supersized joystick that’s intuitive to use and works perfectly when the driver sits or stands, without any adaptation required. This plug-in joystick and steering system require no installation, and it takes a few seconds to attach or detach it. The driver or the W-RHIB can start the motor in the most comfortable position, namely while facing backward, and once the motor is running, they can easily and swiftly turn around and face forward, as demonstrated in the video.
I took a potential customer to a nearby lake to test paddle a W5oo. A few yards away, 2 ladies were launching their new paddle boat for the first time.
As this guy was returning to shore we heard a cry for help from the middle of the lake. The pedal craft was in trouble; the drive mechanism on their new boat had failed and they were stranded. As soon as my kayak reached shore I got in, paddled out and towed the grateful castaways to safety. I captured a few moments of the event using the camera on my phone. Of course, the lake was small and I don’t think they were in any great danger, though they certainly were grateful for the tow.