Tag Archive: RHIB

Motorized Wavewalk S4 for lobster fishing

By Jesse Stephenson

West Palm Beach, southeastern Florida

I got my Wavewalk S4 from capt Larry and love it.
I am a former Navy SEAL and have ridden many hours in inflatable boats, so I appreciate the stability and comfort of my S4, and I volunteered to be a local demo agent for it.
I rigged my Wavewalk for lobster fishing, and I am currently rigging it for diving.

 

 

Wavewalk S4 rigged for lobster fishing, with 4 HP Yamaha outboard motor

 

More Wavewalk S4 adventures with Jesse and Candy »

Wavewalk® 700 Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB)

The Wavewalk® 700 Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) is multipurpose portable boat that offers high performance in harsh environments ranging from whitewater to blue water.

For bigger crews, offshore and rough water, we recommend the Wavewalk Series 4 (S4) »

Payload
The 700 RIB can carry a payload of up to 580 lbs, including passengers, gear, and motor.

Flotation
The 700 RIB’s watertight Saddle offers 180 lbs of positive buoyancy, and each of its XL 27.5 gallon inflatable flotation tubes offers 200 lbs of positive buoyancy – a total of 580 lbs of positive buoyancy.

Features
The 700 RIB features a W700 Heavy Duty motor mount, a Spray Shield, a Joystick Steering System, and a pair of XL 12 ft long and 7.25″ diameter inflatable flotation tubes. All these components can be attached and detached within seconds, and without using tools.

Weight

  • W700: 80 lbs
  • Accessories: 17 lbs
  • Total: 97 lbs

Width

  • 31″ without inflatable tubes
  • 45.5″ total with tubes attached

Length
12’10” (391 cm)

Motor
Up to 6 HP

Pair of XL Flotation Price: $440

Applications

  • Search and rescue operations.
  • Tender and lifeboat for big boats and yachts.
  • Offshore work.
  • Motorized touring.
  • Diving and underwater fishing.
  • Net fishing, crabbing.

Transporting and Installing The Inflatable Tubes

Inflatable flotation tubes inside the boat's hulls 1024

Transporting the full-length inflatable tubes is very easy – When partially deflated, they fit perfectly in the hulls of the W700.

Inflatable flotation tubes attached on the sides of the boat's hulls 1024

Each inflatable tube is attached to the boat by 4 carabiners: One at each end, and two in the middle. Inflating is easy through the wide-diameter mouth valve. No need to use a pump, and it takes just a couple of minutes.

Happy Birthday W700!

It’s been a year since we launched the W700 series, the third generation of Wavewalks, and our biggest and costliest project so far. So this may be a good time to look at our thoughts and expectations prior to designing this product, and compare them to reality, as we can perceive it at this point in time.

Technically Speaking

-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 boat has 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?

None, so far. In twelve months we received no complaints about this new product, and no one has made any kind of negative comment about it. Ironically, one client, a scientist from British Columbia, Canada, who had been using a W500 for his work prior to getting a W700, commented that the new boat was “too stable”, because when he took a second crew member on board, that person felt so stable that they stood up right away, and without warning…

-New and meaningful developments

The introduction of the Joystick Steering System has made driving the W700 comfortable, easy, and fun, both seated and standing. Solving the ergonomic problems associated with driving also increased the range of travel of the W700, and added a new dimension to it as a sporty leisure watercraft that one drives for fun, and not just to get from point A to point B, or for touring.

Market Performance and Position

Despite being over 50% more expensive than the W500, the W700 outsells the W500 by a wide margin, and it has become Wavewalk’s main product line. In its first year, we sold almost as many W700 units as our business plan for it had projected that we’d sell in the first three years.
Many clients have told us that they had bought their W700 after considering buying a motorboat, e.g. Jon boat, skiff, and in one case a pontoon boat, and they didn’t buy their W700 as a fishing kayak, or even as a motorized kayak. Currently, we ship a motor mount with one out of three W700 units. These facts mean a lot to us.
Thanks to its lower price, the W700 R base model outsells all other 700 models combined, but we think it’s significant that the newly created, expensive W700 Z model that includes ‘Everything, From A To Z’ comes second, although in much more modest numbers.

Looking forward to the second year

-DIY

Some W700 owners have already started outfitting their boats in innovative ways, and we look forward to more interesting projects, reports, and movies.

-RIB / RHIB

Rigid-Inflatable Boats, namely boats that feature a hull, or part of it that’s rigid, and parts that are made from inflatable tubes or chambers, are popular in a broad variety of boating applications and environments, and our own experience with the W700 shows that we can go further in this direction, and offer additional RIB / RHIB models in the 700 series.

-New type of boat

Years ago, we positioned the W500 as a ‘Super Kayak’, and over time, together with our clients, we have proved that it is indeed a superlative kayak, and the world’s best one-person fishing kayak, according to people who use it.
We think we can do the same with the W700 as a ‘Super Boat’, in the sense that it delivers high performance not just as a kayak and a motorized kayak, but as a small, car-top boat that competes with other small boats and skiffs, as such. This is not a minor challenge, in view of the fact that there are so many different boats out there, but so far it looks like we’re in the right direction.

Thanks

The list of people who have been involved in conceiving this watercraft and doing R&D with it as initial users is getting longer, and this makes it harder for us to thank each one of them separately. But we know who they are, and they who they are, and we want to use this opportunity of the W700’s first birthday to thank them again.
We look forward to doing more interesting and yes, sometimes crazy stuff, and from now on we’ll try to avoid getting sunburned… 😀

Wavewalk® RHIB

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 –

  1. More stable: It features a catamaran hull, and a saddle that makes it easier for the driver and passenger/s to balance themselves.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.