Today our molders ‘broke in’ the Teflon of the S4 mold.
They molded a few hulls from low grade material, and assembled a mock S4 to see that everything works well.
And it does: The mold works perfectly, the S4 parts fit together nicely, and everything is cool. We did it! 🙂
We’ll start shipping S4 orders next week.
Here are some first images of the assembled test unit – Note that the molders didn’t bother to apply the W logo to this test part, or trim it along the parting line and cockpit opening, because next week they’ll send it the grinder.
Note that when mounted on an actual S4 boat, the mounting plate will be attached to the rear end of the cockpit by means of two 3/8″ bolts.
First S4 twin-hull (test unit) sits in Wavewalk’s assembly area. The actual S4 product will feature a W logo on each side of the stand-up casting platfrom
View from a rear angle. The rear carry handles and mounting plate are visible, and the front saddle bracket can be perceived too, with a little effort.
Front view with the casting platform and front carry handles. The rear saddle bracket is visible, and so is the mounting plate.
Rear view with the rear carry handles, the mounting plate that fits perfectly inside the molded-in mount, and the front saddle bracket that’s barely visible.
The S4 tooling (cast aluminum rotational mold) arrived to the molding plant early last week.
Out molders opened it and inspected it, and concluded that (quote) “it’s a beautiful mold” 🙂
We think so too, but the difference is that they’re in place and they know what they’re talking about 😀
They want to add a couple of things to the tooling in order to meet our special technical requirements, and hopefully they’ll start producing boats later this week.
They apologized for the slow pace of getting the S4 into a production mode, but they are very busy people, and we’re happy for them, because they are also very nice people who do a great job for us molding our boats that very few others could.
We’re getting many inquiries about the S4, including compliments 🙂
So… we’ll have to try and keep being patient.
Nah, it’s impossible for a guy like me! I can’t wait to see the first S4 boats coming out of this tooling, and start shooting videos with the unit that we’ll get here.
And last but not least, we apologize to our S4 clients for this delay. You guys must be very impatient too! 🙂
The easterly trade wind has been blowing hard for more than a week.
This is Spring Break in South Florida. Many of the local tour, fishing and diving boats that take people to the reef and blue water have to turn away customers because of the 6-8′ waves that are pounding the reef line.
There has been some seriously lost business and most disappointed vacationers.
In Key Largo, we have had wonderfully productive trips fishing our Wavewalk W700 tandem kayaks in the narrow creeks that flow through the dense mangrove forest here in the heart of Pennekamp Park. Because of the tight quarters and many non-combustion zones where internal combustion motors are prohibited, many of these areas rarely see a fisherman.
This weekend, two groups booked Wavewalk kayak fishing adventures with me –
Issac brought Julio, Daniel, and Darren for a Good Friday afternoon trip. They caught about 30-40 lbs. of keeper fish (Mangrove Snappers, Bluestriped Grunts, and Sailors Choice). I filleted out and boxed enough fish for a panko fried fish platter with black beans and rice that they had cooked up at the Blackwater Siren Restaurant before leaving our island. And, they had a big bag of fish for a big fish fry in Miami.
April who was raised and worked in the Keys, brought her son Keith Jr. and crew Kevin and Joey on Easter Sunday. After a most slow start to the day, we found fish way up Smugglers Run (a creek named for the infamous Keys past when “Save the Bales” was the slogan of the day.).
Those new kayak Ricky Rods got a real workout dragging fish from beneath the mangrove roots. April caught the most fish but everyone got their share including the pelicans who got a bucketful.
We really had to travel some distance to find the calmest possible conditions but we ended an all day trip having caught over 100 fish.
Everyone who tours or fishes with me in the Wavewalk portable boats is amazed how comfortable and stable these vessels are compared to conventional kayaks.
It is not too hard being the best fishing kayak guide in South Florida with the best fishing kayaks that are available, anywhere.
Yesterday, I took my W700 and a couple rigged Ricky Rods to little Snapper Creek that is virtually inaccessible to any other vessels. Only a motorized kayak can easily go the distance to get in there and back. Within a half hour, I had my limit of 5 legal Mangrove Snapper (over 10″) in my fish bag and hit the dock before a storm rolled in.
Wavewalk and Ricky Rod teamed up to put the limit of good eating snapper on my dock. Looks like we have a winning combination –
My first fishing rod that I purchased in the Keys in 1974 was a solid glass Ricky Rod. That rod set me back six bucks and has caught more species of fish than all my other rods together.
When I ran bottom and chumming charter and commercial fishing trips from my 25′ six-pack diesel powered Kencraft in the 1980’s, Ricky Rods with American made Penn spinning reels put fish in the boat on every trip. No skunk in the box with a Ricky Rod in hand.
About 3 years ago, on a Sunday morning, I spotted the Ricky delivery van at the Yellow Bait House in Key Largo. I pulled over to talk to the old timer who was delivering tackle from the Ricky company.
After telling him how great my first rod still is and how much I like Ricky products, the octogenarian looked at me and said, “Well, I am Ricky!”
Amazed at how the owner of a big Miami company would take such a hands on approach, I listened to his story.
Mr. Ricky came from Cuba many years ago to escape the oppressive Castro regime. He built his company with hard work and fine products that are still reasonably priced. And, he invited me for a personal tour of his company. My buddy, Peg Leg Dan, wants to go with me. He has been fishing a Ricky Rod for as long as I have.
Last week, at the Yellow Bait House, I spotted some short 48″ rods that are perfect for kayak fishing in tight quarters. Yes, they are Ricky Rods. Mr. Ricky is still innovating at eighty plus years old.
So, I bought one and came back for two more.
The S4 mold got coated with Teflon, and our mold makers are done with its final inspection.
It’s on the way to its new home at the production facility where our kayaks and boats are made.
Developing and producing such a large size cast aluminum tooling is a complicated and lengthy process, and it was carried out pretty much on schedule.
We are planning to produce the first S4 units next week.
The top part of the S4 mold. The golden-brown glossy material is the Teflon coat.
The purpose of coating the inside of a mold with Teflon is to prevent the Polyethylene from sticking to the mold after it’s cooled down.
If the Polyethylene sticks to the mold, the production team can have a hard time taking the molded boat out.
The mold’s top part viewed from another angle.
Close up of the bottom part of the Wavewalk S4 mold
The bottom part of the tooling suspended from a crane
Rear view of the bottom part (upside down) – The bottom half of the rear carry handles can be seen
The Wavewalk S4 cast aluminum tooling waiting to be picked up