Tag Archive: skiff

Cap’n Larry Jarboe: The Boat That Does It All

Quite a few years ago, back in the mid-1970’s, I was fortunate to work as a mate then captain of a large passenger carrying boat that took people snorkeling on the shallow coral reefs of John Pennekamp State Park in Key Largo, Florida.

I promoted our business with the phrase “If you can swim, you can snorkel.” Twice a day, we hauled up to 61 passengers a trip on a wooden Harkers Island-built boat to witness the amazing coral reefs and tropical fish that are found right here in the United States.

Today, the State Park concession that I worked from has about 4 multi-passenger snorkel boats that have evolved from that one vessel.

Like snorkeling, there are many marine sports that have sprouted over my lifetime.

Obviously, canoes have been with us for many years. But, who figured out that you could sit on top of a kayak or stand up to paddle a fat surfboard? These are relatively recent innovations that have attracted a huge following.

Then, there are those Wave Runners. When I grew up in the Fifties, we never figured you could have a motorcycle that flew across the water.

All of those sports are fun for those of us who swim but owning all four: a canoe, kayak, paddle board and Wave Runner is expensive, space consuming, and a major maintenance hassle.

What if one vessel did all this, and more?

The Wavewalk catamaran style skiff is the stable and portable boat that literally, does it all. A visit to the company website at wavewalk.com will show you the W500 and W700 solo and tandem twin hull kayaks that are easy on your back because they are straddled like a Wave Runner. Fishermen are especially fond of the Wavewalk design because they are so easy to stand up in order to spot or cast to their prey.

These magic boats can be paddled with kayak or canoe paddles or outfitted for gas outboard or electric trolling motor or both! And, they are lightweight enough to carry on top of your car without a special carrying rack or trailer.

I discovered the Wavewalk design while I was searching the Internet for the perfect kayak to establish a retirement rental business in Key Largo. My first Wavewalk was purchased at retail price. That little W500 was so good that I used it in my commercial fishing business in the Chesapeake region to supply Blue Catfish fillets to Linda’s Cafe in downtown Lexington Park and the Victorian Candle Bed and Breakfast in historic Hollywood, Maryland.

At present, in addition to two commercial fishing work boats, I have a fleet of Wavewalk kayaks for weekend Wavewalk Adventures in the State Parks and National Sanctuaries that surround Key Largo.

And, I am fortunate to be the exclusive Wavewalk distributor for all of South Florida. Contact me if you are in the Chesapeake region and I can arrange for you to have your own Wavewalk kayak.

On a nearly daily basis, I motor my green W700 skiff through mangrove creeks or out in the ocean to make my own adventures exploring places that are almost impossible to reach by any other method of marine conveyance. This Wavewalk lifestyle is a most wonderful and unexpected retirement pastime that I am most happy to share.

So, if you are tired of being cold this winter and want an excuse to visit the Florida Keys, you have one (as if you really need an excuse to visit paradise).

A trip to my website at floridafishingkayaks.com. will provide all the info you need to schedule a free Wavewalk Wednesday demo of this vessel. Or, a weekend rental with included guide service might be a way to enjoy a complete kayak, canoe, stand-up paddle board package in a boat that “does it all.”

Who knows? You might drive home with one.

Welcome aboard.

Cap’n Larry Jarboe

 

 

More fishing adventures with Capn’ Larry »

 

Wavewalk S4 pattern pretty much done

This morning the mold makers sent us a batch of new photos. This time it’s the top part of the S4 wooden pattern.

Some of the areas that have fine details in them were done with a plastic material, in order to achieve the highest precision.

As seen here, this wooden pattern is almost ready to serve as a mold for making the S4 in fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP), such as fiberglass, carbon fiber, Kevlar, etc. But in order to produce a cast aluminum rotational mold for the actual product, the mold-makers first need to use this wooden pattern to produce a set of two second generation molds called ‘sand mold’.

 

In the actual Polyethylene boat, the flat surface on top of the cockpit is cut away with a computerized router, thus enabling access inside through the opening, and attaching the two MDO saddle brackets and the saddle itself.

Stand up casting platform with integrated anti-skid surface. The slots are vertical structures that support the platform’s center.

Front tip and integrated carry handles. Good view of the slanted sides of the cockpit, designed to offer passengers comfortable paddling.

Front view.

Rear view with integrated carry handles and integrated stand for mounting plate for motor, rod rack, etc.

Side view.

Close-up on the slide-in mount for a vertical plate that can serve either to attach a motor, or to install a rod rack. If it serves to mount a motor, the vertical plate should be bolted to the cockpit’s rear end.

Inside the Wavewalk® S4

The Wavewalk® Series 4 incorporates a number of design innovations, including the way its bow is bridged by a structure that can serve as a stand up casting platform.

The S4 bow structure features a pair of molded-in carry handles in its front tip, and four molded-in vertical walls that support the platform on which the angler stands.

This video offers an external view of this bow structure from the top, as well as from below:

But what would we see if we looked inside the bow? –
The following image shows the space that’s inside the bow, between the top ‘ceiling’ and the bottom ‘floor’ – The angle of view is that of a person who’s inside the cockpit, and sticks their head in the entrance to the right hull at the bow –

At the right end of the image, we can perceive the inside of the tip of the bow, with one of the molded-in carry handles.

From there and looking to the left, we can see the four vertical walls that support the top of the stand-up casting platform. When standing next to the boat and looking over the bow, these walls’ top parts look like elongated pits (as seen in the video).
The vertical wall that’s the closest to the cockpit’s front end serves as support to a wooden (MDO) wall that’s not seen here. This wooden wall is the top part of a structural element whose lower part is a front saddle bracket. The wooden wall’s top end is inserted into the coaming (spray deflector), and it is attached to the molded-in wall by means of extra-long aluminum rivets. Thus, the wooden wall adds its own support to the stand-up casting platform.

The top surface of the bow’s standing platform features grooves, and the above image shows these grooves as they would look to someone who was in the front end of the cockpit and peeked inside the right hull at the bow.

Readers who are familiar with the W700 saddle’s round ‘holes’, which are molded-in support columns for the saddle’s top, will recognize this function in the elongated ‘walls’ at the bow of the S4.

More about the S4 »

 

 

Fishing The Mangrove Tunnels

By Captain Larry Jarboe

 

This particular tunnel is inaccessible during high tide. Most are not this narrow. But, there are plenty of fish waiting to get caught.

That 3.5 hp Nissan [Tohatsu] is a long shaft outboard that I found south of Jacksonville for 200 bucks. With a new carb and a fresh impeller (less than 100 bucks) she is a fine runner.

Note the DIY handle of the tiller extension: It is easy to grab behind my back to steer. On straight hauls, I rest my back upon it and steer with the paddle. Good vibrations…

The pics are from the stern of the boat. As the tide pulls me thru the narrow cuts, the main resistance, the OB lower unit, wants to move forward. This gives me better control and helps clear the mangrove spider webs ahead.

Also, I built a combo 3 rod holder, Go-Pro, fish de-hooker, bait knife, and line clipper holder that fits in a single support hole of the W700 and Series 4 vessels. When I get the French fry holder mounted, I’ll post a pic.

 

 

Today’s catch before filleting

This trip produced Mangrove Snappers, Caesar Grunts, and Bermuda Chubs. We ate the snappers and grunts for lunch. The chubs will be smoked to make fish dip.

fried fresh fish fillets

Panko fried fresh fish fillets

More fishing adventures with Capn’ Larry »