I finally got a chance to take the S4 out and test it on the water. It’s working beautifully with the Honda 2.3 engine. We actually have 3 people seat in it comfortably and both paddling and using the motor works quite well.
We launched the S4 at a rocky beach, and dragging the S4 over the sharp rocks caused some scratches on the bottom of the S4. This is a minor issue, and I’ve decided not to worry about it 🙂
Overall, I am very satisfied with the S4. Great Kayak and I can’t wait to show it off to my friends on the next fishing trip!
I was too busy with the S4. There aren’t any pics while the S4 is cruising in the water since all three of us were in the S4 and didn’t have anyone to take pictures from the shore. Here are some of the pics my friend took on the beach –
UPDATE – August 2018
I have been taking the S4 to many fishing and clamming trips and it’s working great and impressed a lot of people! A couple times we encountered bigger than expected swells so if it wasn’t the S4, we would have tipped over for sure. Most of the people who ride on it confirmed the S4 is the most stable kayak compared to everything they have seen. One small thing I noticed is that when we have close to max load on the S4 in the bigger waves, the water splashes front and gets in the cockpit, so I think the splash shield may help with this.
I’ve really been using my W kayak a lot recently and have been out in the open ocean and determined exactly how big of waves I can beach and launch with. Yeah , I got tossed in the surf. Flipped on my head. Hard. End over end. Recovered, and got back out. These things are actually great to paddle out in but coming back to shore in big surf requires practice, skill and timing.
Crabbing has been amazing and I have garnered lots of beach interest.
Here are some photos of my custom Kevlar/carbon fiber cockpit cover.
View of the San Francisco bay and my kayak’s cockpit cover
I am an amateur fisherman and an ex UC Berkeley rower. I am a big guy (6’5″-260lbs) who wanted a versatile boat that I can fish and paddle my girls around. -I owned two sit in kayaks. Both were uncomfortable and neither of them suited my needs. I do mostly beach launch crab fishing and my two-man [brand name] kayak weighed 100lbs and had a huge open cockpit that was subject to swamping. My other boat was an inherited [brand name sit in kayak] that has left me upside down so many times I am ashamed to say.
Well I have had the Wavewalk kayak out 5 times so far…what a boat. Wow impressed.
-I am amazed at how easy it is to move at a good cruising clip. -The sitting/kneeling paddling position really affords a strong stroke with very little effort which doesn’t really help with the “workout” aspect of it 😉 -I have been averaging just over 6km/hr over a 7.5km distance in flat water with no real wind to speak of. While not blazing fast the effort required to do that would allow me to paddle all day. -Changing your position fore/aft really changes the behavior of the boat! I’ve found that for cruising neutral balance really speeds things up. -Beach launching is a piece of cake as well as you just step in and weight forward until you float, then move back accordingly. Getting down to the beach isn’t hard either as I can just shoulder it and carry my paddle, necessitating only one trip. I like that. -Mounting the boat to my roof racks is super easy and feels very secure. 75mph on the freeway, no noticeable noise or bouncing is noticed on just regular Yakima bars. That’s rad Ok just to reiterate I really like the boat and will have no problem selling it to lake/river enthusiasts.
But now the bad- -Definitely a learning curve, being so high out of the water magnifies the lateral motion experienced in your ears, even though this boat is probably rolling less than a monohull. Comfort was achieved immediately on second shot out.
-The noodles. Yes I get that they are inexpensive, easily replaced, and very functional. Again in my opinion not an elegant solution for a very cool, technical boat. And since what I do is crabbing, when attached on the sides the noodles get in the way, crab pots get caught in them so I should attach the noodles under the saddle, between the hulls. Now for fishermen the foam noodles actually could be a selling point as you could array your different lures very easily by simply embedding them and hanging the leaders over the side, but for me they get in the way.
This boat is amazing and one of my favorite things about it is its versatility. You literally can do just about anything with this boat. It gets so many creative juices flowing for me! As a designer/fabricator it’s really exciting and inspiring, though I realize I have to dial it back and just get some boats sold… 🙂 Thanks so much for making this boat and giving the opportunity you have. I intend to make the most of it. Also I have been grabbing a photo here and there so far. Looking for a good one to put up on the web page. Cheers Edwin