Tag Archive: skiff

Business Opportunities

Be a local Wavewalk® dealer

We welcome inquiries from individuals and businesses who are interested in reselling our products locally in the United States and in other countries.
« Return to our list of dealers

NEW: Wavewalk has started recruiting local Demo Agents ⇓

Wavewalk’s distribution includes factory direct sales, and exclusive local dealerships in some areas, and countries.
Wavewalk has been rapidly evolving from a company with a single product line of W500 kayaks in 2015, to a company with three product lines of kayaks and portable boats in 2017 (W500, W700, S4). This fast process is changing our distribution, while creating opportunities for new dealerships that are better fit to resell our current products, and serve a broader range of clients and markets.
We welcome inquiries from prospecting dealers who are interested in reselling our products locally in the United States, and in other countries.

What’s a Wavewalk® authorized dealer?

A Wavewalk® authorized dealership is a business owned and operated by our company’s local dealer in their exclusive area. Our dealers are either established local businesses with a commercial storefront that sell products such as boats and motors, or fishing equipment, or new businesses that our dealer runs from a place where they store display our boats and.
Local authorized Wavewalk® dealerships are legal and commercial entities that are independent and separate from the Wavewalk company.

What is the relationship between Wavewalk and its local dealers?

The relationship between Wavewalk and its authorized dealers is exclusive, which means that Wavewalk does not distribute its products in a dealer’s area through any other local dealer but them.
We are careful not to install dealers too close to each other, because we want to avoid unproductive conflicts between our dealers.

We prefer to work with local resellers who personally enjoy using our products and like them because of the good experience they have with these products, and we enjoy and appreciate close, friendly relationships with our dealers.

  • Start and End

We’ve been selling our products factory direct since 2004, and we began experimenting with distribution through local dealers in recent years. Since 2015, Wavewalk has transitioned from offering just one product line (W500) to a company with three product lines (500, 700, 4). When we recruit a dealer we make sure they get from us all the attention and help they need to become successful. We’ve learned to work with various types of new dealers, and we’re highly motivated in this work. However, we are not committed to keep a relationship with a dealer who continuously under-performs, and if after a reasonably long period of time and efforts on our part we conclude that the dealer has done a poor job, we discontinue their dealership.

What does Wavewalk offer to its local dealers?

  1. Discounts – We offer our dealers a 30% discount on small wholesale orders, and bigger discounts on bigger orders. The basis for discounts is our actual, guaranteed, real-life, online retail price list, and not just a hypothetical MSRP that no one cares about.
  2. Free shipping – Our retail prices for W500, W700 and S4 boats include free shipping to dealers’ addresses in the Contiguous US (48 states), including US ports. Accessories ordered together with boats ship free of charge too.
  3. Exclusive Area – Every Wavewalk® dealer gets an exclusive dealership area around their town. This is a large size area in which Wavewalk won’t install other dealers. In scarcely populated regions or smaller states, a Wavewalk dealership area may include an entire state, and stretch across state borders.
  4. Support – We offer full technical and marketing support for dealers and their clients, by phone and by email, seven days a week and all year long.
  5. Listing – We list our dealers on our website’s dealers list, with links to their websites.
  6. Sales Leads – We forward to our local dealers sales leads that we receive from prospecting clients in their area, and often from adjacent areas too. In many cases, a lead includes detailed information that the client provided about themselves and what they’re looking to buy.
  7. Free Website – For every Wavewalk® dealer who needs a website for their dealership, we create a full-featured website for free, with free setup and free tech support.
  8. Online Marketing Assistance – We actively help our dealers promote their websites on Internet search engines and on online classified ads websites (e.g. Craigslist).
  9. Help in Creating Website Content – We actively help our dealers generate and edit content for their websites, which over time helps their websites achieve a better ranking in Internet search results, and get more traffic from local prospecting clients. We also help our dealers learn how to shoot video, and we can edit their movies for them, if needed.
  10. Marketing and Sales Support – We’re always available and ready to help our dealers improve their marketing and sales, and if necessary, we can communicate directly with clients who have special questions or requirements.
  11. Limited Warranty – We offer our dealers and their clients a limited warranty for materials and workmanship under regular usage conditions, and excluding normal wear and tear. More info about our warranty and other company policies »

What doesn’t Wavewalk require from its local dealers?

  1. We don’t require from our local dealers to make large orders before the beginning the fishing and boating season in their area. Having said that, we do require that a Wavewalk dealer maintain a basic inventory that would enable them to sell to a client who wants to come over, buy a Wavewalk kayak or boat, and drive home with it, without having to wait for the dealer to order that unit from the Wavewalk company.
  2. Wavewalk has no MSRP system, and we don’t require from our dealers to resell any of our products above or below certain price levels. We don’t intervene in our dealers’ pricing policies. However, we do expect their pricing to be fair and reasonable, and support long term growth and profitability.
  3. We don’t require that our dealers restrict their sales to their areas. Our dealers often sell to clients who live in distant areas, and even in other states.

What are the minimum wholesale order and basic discount rate?

  • The minimum wholesale order is $7,000 in retail terms, based on our actual Online Retail Price List.
  • Wavewalk’s basic discount rate to our dealers is 30%. This discount rate applies to orders between $7,000 and $9,000 in retail terms. Bigger orders entitle dealers to bigger discounts.
  • Free shipping is applied automatically to orders placed by dealers in the contiguous US (48) states.

Example: A dealer who places an order for products totaling $7,000 in retail terms pays Wavewalk $4,900 total after a $2,100 discount. Shipping to the dealer’s address is free, and accessories ordered together with boats ship free of charge too.

For overseas dealers – shipping to the US port is free of charge.

Wavewalk is committed to selling at our online retail prices to retail clients that order factory direct, and we don’t offer discounts to such clients.

We ship each kayak and boat in a custom cardboard box that offers maximal protection in transit and storage.

We ship full containers (FCL) to dealers overseas.

Questions you may want to ask yourself before becoming a Wavewalk dealer

We can neither guarantee nor predict your success as a Wavewalk dealer, but if we think that you or your business are not a good match for us, we’ll tell you, because we want to avoid investing time in a potentially unproductive relationship.

Based on our experience, we think that asking yourself the following questions, among others, could help you reach a better decision:

  1. Are you convinced that Wavewalk® patented kayaks and boats solve people’s paddling, fishing and motorizing problems in ways that no other kayak or small motorboat does, and that more people should know about Wavewalk’s products and benefit from using them?
  2. Are you serious about reselling Wavewalk’s products in your area in the long run?
  3. Do you need the extra income from selling Wavewalk® kayaks, and would you benefit from diversifying you product offering? If you do, it’s a good start.
  4. Do you feel confident about being able to answer potential Wavewalk clients’ questions, at least after some time in this business, and getting support from us?
  5. If you already own and operate an existing boat dealership, or another outdoor related business, would it be easy for you to sell Wavewalk’s products as well?


NEW: Demo Agent Program

  • A demo agent simply agrees to show their W700 or S4 to prospecting clients in their area.
  • A demo agent neither resells Wavewalk’s products, nor do they take orders from clients.
  • Demo agents are not required to offer live demos, or perform any selling or promotion activities.
  • Demo agents are not part or the commercial transaction between Wavewalk and the client, and they represent neither Wavewalk nor the client.
  • Wavewalk compensates the demo agent in case a client who saw their W700 or S4 ordered one factory direct from the company.
  • Wavewalk also compensates the Demo Agent in case a client who saw their W700 or S4 ordered one from a Wavewalk dealer, but the compensation in such case is smaller.
  • Not every Wavewalk 700 or S4 owner qualifies to be a demo agent, and in fact, few do.

 

Questions? Comments? Please don’t hesitate to call us at 1 774 315-6009 or email us » Ask to speak to Yoav, the founder of Wavewalk, and the guy who designed the W500, W700 and S4.

Return to our list of dealers »

Wavewalk® national distributor

In general, the national distributor is responsible for a country or a large size territory outside the United States, and their job is to import our kayaks and boats to their country, and distribute them locally to end users and local dealers.
Depending on which country or territory they serve, a large population and large territory may require additional things from our distributor, such as shipping to clients in remote locations, recruiting local dealers in other areas of their country, keeping a substantial number of kayaks and car-top boats in stock, developing a national Wavewalk website for their country or territory with country-specific verbal and visual materials, etc.

We provide assistance with all these things. More information about becoming a national Wavewalk® distributor »

 

Time to downsize from a fishing motorboat to something smaller, cheaper and smarter

USCG stats - recreational vessels registration by year.

U.S. boat registration has been declining in recent years. From a peak of 12,942,000 boats in 2005, the number went down to 12,102,000 in 2012 – a  7% decline.

This figure is intriguing for a number of reasons, and the first one is that during this period, the US population increased by a similar percentage. In addition, regardless of their country of origin, new immigrants love boating and fishing as much as other Americans love these activities, and those who can afford it get a boat, be it a yacht or a kayak, depending on their budget.

What has caused the decline in the number of leisure boats Americans own is a continuing erosion in average, middle-class Americans’ income, especially their disposable income, which is the part used for spending on luxury items such as boats – Just for the record, the number of leisure boats owned by Americans still tops the number of leisure boats owned by all other people in the world.

The typical boat here is a motorboat, usually powered by an outboard motor (or more than one motor), and typically used for fishing. Owning such a boat is no longer as easy as it used to be if you’re not rich, which most of us aren’t.

But not being able to afford a center console or a bass boat, or even a skiff, doesn’t mean you should start fishing from shore, or worse – stick yourself on one of those wet, unstable and uncomfortable fishing kayaks that may altogether dissuade you from fishing… For a fraction of the cost of a traditional motorboat, you can fish out of a comfortable, stable, dry and fun watercraft that has the word ‘kayak’ in its name, and can even be paddled, but in every other sense it’s a totally different animal – We’re talking about the W kayak, outfitted with a small outboard gas engine.

Words are cheap and ineffective, so why not watch this video and see for yourself?

Intriguing?  –

Think about it: This little personal micro skiff is not only comparable to traditional small motorboats such as jon boats, dinghies and small skiffs in terms of fishing (i.e. ‘fishability’) – it even exceeds the performance you got used to, and in more than one way.

Here’s a couple examples:

  • Forget about a boat trailer – This watercraft can be easily car topped.
  • Forget about boat ramps – You can launch this super kayak practically anywhere.
  • No motor zones? No problem – You can paddle this ‘kayak’ more easily than you can paddle any other kayak out there. You can even paddle standing, as well as fish standing up in full confidence.

Food for thought? We’ve created a special website offering detailed technical information to motorized anglers who are looking for something smarter to fish from, and by that we rule out kayaks, naturally. The website is called Personal Microskiff > Check it out!

Reviews

Wavewalk® S4 reviews »

Wavewalk® 700 reviews »

Wavewalk® 500 reviews »

About Wavewalk Reviews

We rolled out our first kayak (the W300) in 2004, and since then, we’ve been actively seeking our customers’ feedback. We use this input to assist our clients and improve their experience.  In the long run, our customers determine the direction of our design and product offering, and help us enhance the performance of what they already consider as the world’s best fishing kayaks and portable boats.
Per our company policy, our client reviews feature the author’s full name and state, as well as pictures they contributed.

Over the years, our clients have contributed over two hundred full featured Wavewalk® 500 reviews and Wavewalk® 700 reviews

Our clients include regular users and local dealers who are typically Wavewalk fans who personally use the Wavewalk® 500 and Wavewalk® 700 kayaks and boats they bought from us for paddling, fishing, hunting and motorized boating.  The fact that they own and use our kayaks and boats on a regular basis allows them to act as consumer advocates, and as such we welcome their testimonials insight, including their reviews. Some of our dealers are experts in certain fields (e.g. duck hunting with bow and arrow, fishing for largemouth bass, crossbow fishing, night fishing, etc.), and prospecting clients often tend to consult with them, naturally.

Over the years, we’ve noticed that our clients attribute little credibility to kayak reviews published without the author’s full name and state, and to reviews that are written by paid reviewers, such as appear in fishing magazines and websites that depend on advertising that kayak manufacturers pay for. Our clients prefer to seek information in videos, technical articles, and real customer testimonials such as they find on our website.

Some of our clients have contributed more than one review to this website, as well as reports about fishing, rigging, paddling and motorizing their Wavewalk® kayaks and boats. We cannot list all these entries on this page because there are too many of them. Therefore, we created a separate Top Contributors section for this website, where we present profiles of our most active contributors, with links to lists of their blog posts.

Reviews of the 300 discontinued series

We no longer list here customer reviews of the smaller-size W300 series (2004-2010) because the reviews of the newer Wavewalk 500, 700 and series 4 are more relevant to our clients, and people show little interest in the W300, naturally.
Many of the W300 reviews were contributed before 2008, the year when we started this blog, but many others still appear in search results.  To find customer reviews of kayaks from this discontinued series, use the keyword 300 in this blog’s search form.

Wavewalk® Fishing Kayaks and Boats – Local Dealership FAQ

« Return to our list of dealers

Wavewalk’s distribution includes factory direct sales, and exclusive local dealerships in some areas.
Wavewalk has been rapidly evolving from a company with a single product line of W500 kayaks in 2015, to a company with three product lines of kayaks and portable boats in 2017 (W500, W700, S4). This fast process is changing our distribution, while creating opportunities for new dealerships that are better fit to resell our current products, and serve a broader range of clients and markets.
We welcome inquiries from prospecting dealers who are interested in reselling our products locally in the United States, and in other countries.

What’s a Wavewalk® authorized dealer?

A Wavewalk® authorized dealership is a business owned and operated by our company’s local dealer in their exclusive area. Our dealers are either established local businesses with a commercial storefront that sell products such as boats and motors, or fishing equipment, or new businesses that our dealer runs from a place where they store display our boats and.
Local authorized Wavewalk® dealerships are legal and commercial entities that are independent and separate from the Wavewalk company.

What is the relationship between Wavewalk and its local dealers?

The relationship between Wavewalk and its authorized dealers is exclusive, which means that Wavewalk does not distribute its products in a dealer’s area through any other local dealer but them.
We are careful not to install dealers too close to each other, because we want to avoid unproductive conflicts between our dealers.

We prefer to work with local resellers who personally enjoy using our products and like them because of the good experience they have with these products, and we enjoy and appreciate close, friendly relationships with our dealers.

  • Start and End

We’ve been selling our products factory direct since 2004, and we began experimenting with distribution through local dealers in recent years. Since 2015, Wavewalk has transitioned from offering just one product line (W500) to a company with three product lines (500, 700, 4). When we recruit a dealer we make sure they get from us all the attention and help they need to become successful. We’ve learned to work with various types of new dealers, and we’re highly motivated in this work. However, we are not committed to keep a relationship with a dealer who continuously under-performs, and if after a reasonably long period of time and efforts on our part we conclude that the dealer has done a poor job, we discontinue their dealership.

What does Wavewalk offer to its local dealers?

  1. Discounts – We offer our dealers 30% discount on basic, small wholesale orders, and bigger discounts on bigger orders. The basis for discounts is our actual, guaranteed, real-life, online retail price list, and not just a hypothetical MSRP that no one cares about. Our retail prices for W500, W700 and S4 boats include free shipping to addresses in the Contiguous US (48 states), including US ports. Accessories ordered together with boats ship free of charge too.
  2. Exclusive Area – Every Wavewalk® dealer gets an exclusive dealership area around their town. This is a large size area in which Wavewalk won’t install other dealers. In scarcely populated regions or smaller states, a Wavewalk dealership area may include an entire state, and stretch across state borders.
  3. Support – We offer full technical and marketing support for dealers and their clients, by phone and by email, seven days a week and all year long.
  4. Listing – We list our dealers on our website’s dealers list, with links to their websites.
  5. Sales Leads – We forward to our local dealers sales leads that we receive from prospecting clients in their area, and often from adjacent areas too. In many cases, a lead includes detailed information that the client provided about themselves and what they’re looking to buy.
  6. Free Website – For every Wavewalk® dealer who needs a website for their dealership, we create a full-featured website for free, with free setup and free tech support.
  7. Online Marketing Assistance – We actively help our dealers promote their websites on Internet search engines and on online classified ads websites (e.g. Craigslist).
  8. Help in Creating Website Content – We actively help our dealers generate and edit content for their websites, which over time helps their websites achieve a better ranking in Internet search results, and get more traffic from local prospecting clients. We also help our dealers learn how to shoot video, and we can edit their movies for them, if needed.
  9. Marketing and Sales Support – We’re always available and ready to help our dealers improve their marketing and sales, and if necessary, we can communicate directly with clients who have special questions or requirements.
  10. Limited Warranty – We offer our dealers and their clients a limited warranty for materials and workmanship under regular usage conditions, and excluding normal wear and tear. More info about our warranty and other company policies »

What doesn’t Wavewalk require from its local dealers?

  1. We don’t require from our local dealers to make large orders before the beginning the fishing and boating season in their area. Having said that, we do require that a Wavewalk dealer maintain a basic inventory that would enable them to sell to a client who wants to come over, buy a Wavewalk kayak or boat, and drive home with it, without having to wait for the dealer to order that unit from the Wavewalk company.
  2. We don’t require from our dealers to resell any of our products above or below certain price levels, and we don’t intervene in their pricing policies. However, we do expect their pricing to be fair and reasonable, and support long term growth and profitability.
  3. We don’t require that our dealers restrict their sales to their areas. Our dealers often sell to clients who live in distant areas, and even in other states.

What are the minimum wholesale order and discount rate?

The minimum wholesale order is $7,000 in terms of our Online Retail Price List. Boat prices on this retail list include free shipping to addresses in the contiguous US (48) states, which is why our US dealers benefit from free shipping as well. Accessories ordered together with boats ship free of charge too.
This basic order entitles the dealer to a 30% discount, and bigger orders entitle the dealer to bigger discounts.
Wavewalk is committed to selling at the online retail prices to retail clients that order factory direct, and we never offer discounts to such clients.
We ship each kayak and boat in a custom cardboard box that offers maximal protection in transit and storage.

We ship full containers (FCL) to dealers overseas.

Questions you may want to ask yourself before becoming a Wavewalk dealer

We can neither guarantee nor predict your success as a Wavewalk dealer, but if we think that you or your business are not a good match for us, we’ll tell you, because we want to avoid investing time in a potentially unproductive relationship.

Based on our experience, we think that asking yourself the following questions, among others, could help you reach a better decision:

  1. Are you convinced that Wavewalk® patented kayaks and boats solve people’s paddling, fishing and motorizing problems in ways that no other kayak or small motorboat does, and that more people should know about Wavewalk’s products and benefit from using them?
  2. Are you serious about reselling Wavewalk’s products in your area in the long run?
  3. Do you need the extra income from selling Wavewalk® kayaks, and would you benefit from diversifying you product offering? If you do, it’s a good start.
  4. Do you feel confident about being able to answer potential Wavewalk clients’ questions, at least after some time in this business, and getting support from us?
  5. If you already own and operate an existing boat dealership, or another outdoor related business, would it be easy for you to sell Wavewalk’s products as well?

NEW: Demo Agent Program

(Starting September 2017)

  • A demo agent simply agrees to show their W700 or S4 to prospecting clients in their area.
  • A demo agent neither resells Wavewalk’s products, nor do they take orders from clients.
  • Demo agents are not required to offer live demos, or perform any selling or promotion activities.
  • Demo agents are not part or the commercial transaction between Wavewalk and the client, and they represent neither Wavewalk nor the client.
  • Wavewalk compensates the demo agent in case a client who saw their W700 or S4 ordered one factory direct from the company.
  • Wavewalk also compensates the Demo Agent in case a client who saw their W700 or S4 ordered one from a Wavewalk dealer, but the compensation in such case is smaller.
  • Not every Wavewalk 700 or S4 owner qualifies to be a demo agent, and in fact, few do.

 

Questions? Comments? Please don’t hesitate to call us at 1 774 315-6009 or email us »  Ask to speak to Yoav, the founder of Wavewalk, and the guy who designed the W500, W700 and S4.

Return to our list of dealers »

Motor Kayaks

  • Why motorize your kayak, and do you really need a motor on board?

  • What type of motor would best fit your needs – electric trolling motor, or outboard gas engine?

  • How to motorize your Wavewalk® kayak on a budget?

  • What are the practices we recommend to follow in kayak motorizing?

 

This section of our website is dedicated to answering these questions, and others. Please don’t hesitate to call or email us if you have more questions.

NEW: A playlist (selection) of videos showing various motorized Wavewalks:

 

What about a car-top boat that paddles very well?

And what if you actually need a trailer-free, ultra-lightweight, two-person fishing boat that’s easier to paddle than a kayak?  Check out our 700 Series »

We classify the new, patented Wavewalk® 700 series as a two-person, car-top fishing boat (microskiff) because it offers enough room and load capacity for two anglers, and stability that’s on par with the stability offered by good size Jon boats and dinghies.
Common SOT and Sit-in fishing kayaks, including the biggest and widest ones, are prevented from providing such stability because of their monohull design, which is the primary reason why they cannot be driven with powerful outboard gas motors.
However, Wavewalk’s car-top boats from the 700 series are just 31″ wide, and they are much easier to paddle and more comfortable than SOT and Sit-In fishing kayaks are. Learn more »

And maybe you need a portable skiff that works well in a kayaking or canoeing mode? If you need to take two big and heavy anglers on board, plus a lot of fishing, hunting and camping gear, and a powerful motor, you may want to check the new Wavewalk® Series 4 »

 

The 500 Wavewalk® Kayak Series

Kayaks from the 500 are smaller than car-top boats from the 700 series. They can be outfitted with smaller, less powerful outboard gas motors, and carry less load.
Here is an example of a Wavewalk® 500 model outfitted with a 2HP outboard gas engine and a pair of inflatable side flotation modules, driven in choppy water at Horseneck Beach, Massachusetts –
This video demonstrates the high-capacity inflatable tube flotation, detachable spray shield and motor mount that turn this W500 fishing kayak into a small, high performance, motorized fishing kayak:

Why Motorize Your Kayak?

A motor adds to your kayak’s speed and range of operation. In certain situations, this can make the difference between being able to come back home, and staying out on the water, or beaching far from where you had launched from. That is to say that a motor can add an element of safety to your kayak fishing or touring experience.
Another consideration is that a motor can make life easier, if you don’t feel like paddling, or in case you’re not capable of paddling where you want to go.
If you’re fishing from a kayak, a motor can be useful for trolling, and for quickly skipping from one fishing spot to another.

Electric Trolling Motor or Outboard Gas Engine?

If you don’t own a Wavewalk® kayak, you may as well skip this section, since other kayaks are not suitable for outboard gas engines, and they can accommodate only weaker, electric motor systems that are commonly know as trolling motors, because they typically involve going at low speed, and generally on flat water.
However, if you own a W500 kayak and you’re looking to motorize it, you’re facing the problem of choosing between an electric power system, and an outboard gas engine.
Before going further, we’d like to clarify a number of things about outboard gas engines:
First of all, we don’t recommend using an outboard motor that’s rated above 2.5hp with a Wavewalk kayak from the 500 series, simply because there’s no need for more, in our opinion, and we think that a stronger motor might overpower the kayak, which is hazardous.
Second, when we refer to outboard gas engines, we mean 4-Cycle (4 stroke) motors that are cleaner, quieter, and easier to operate than the old, 2 stroke motors that require mixing oil in the fuel.
Third, we recommend using an outboard gas engine with a 20″ (long) shaft, and not a 15″ (short) shaft.

What are the drawbacks of outboard gas engines?

The most obvious is that they are noisy, while electric motors are quiet.
As far as fumes and ease of operation, the new 4-cycle motors are as clean and easy to operate as electric motors are: No fumes, no need to mix oil in the fuel, and starting them is easy.
Weight: The 2hp 4-cycle Honda outboard gas engine weighs 28lbs. It’s heavier than some small or expensive electric motor systems, but considerably lighter than others that can weigh up to 80lbs. In any case, at this weight you can lift the propeller out of the water and paddle your W500 without feeling much of a difference in performance. You can drag the kayak on the beach, and you can even car top it.
Price wise, a new 4-cycle outboard gas engine can cost between $500 and $1,500, while an electric trolling motor system can cost between $250 and $1,500.
Maintenance: Outboard gas engines require some maintenance while electric motor systems are almost maintenance free, but the new, 4-cycle motors are much easier to maintain than the old 2-cycle ones, so this is not necessarily a big disadvantage.
Some areas are restricted to motorboats, but not to ones that are powered by electric motors.

What are the drawbacks of electric trolling motors?

There’s a much broader choice of electric trolling motor systems on the market today, which means there are numerous advantages and disadvantages to consider.
The most common disadvantage in electric trolling motors is their limited range and speed, and the two are closely linked to each other. Gas motors offer unlimited mileage at high speed, since you can take plenty of extra fuel on board in a can. This is not the case with electric systems that depend on batteries that are either very heavy (too heavy to carry more than one on board at a time), or very expensive. Going at full speed with an electric trolling motor, even a weak one (30-40 lbs thrust) can drain your battery pretty quickly, even if it’s an expensive high-tech battery. This leaves you with a choice of a weaker electric motor, and consequently reduced speed.
When evaluating the potential of an electric trolling motor, you need to remember that going at full power instead of half power would never double your speed (in fact, in some cases the effect of adding power may be hard to notice…) but it would surely drain your battery at half time. You also need to bear in mind that both water and weather conditions often require using more than a fraction of your electric motor systems’ capacity, because the real world is not an ideal one. Knowing this, you need to view electric trolling motors data as representing perfect world situations that have partial, or little relevance to real-life situations in which you could, and eventually would find yourself on the water.
Weight: A standard, deep cycle marine battery can weigh between 40-60lbs. That’s a lot for a small, car top boat such as the W500 kayak. On top of this, the motor itself adds weight, so the entire electric trolling motor system can weigh more than the kayak itself, which is counter productive and problematic. For example: If your heavy, deep cycle marine battery runs out of juice far from your starting point, you’d need to paddle your kayak back with an additional heavy load on board – It’s a point worth consideration, especially if you imagine going against a tidal  current, and/or strong wind, while being tired after a long kayak fishing or touring trip.
Price: A battery, cheap electric motor and charger can be yours for less than $250. This is a good deal, but you’ll pay the price in high weight and low speed. At the other end of the spectrum, a computerized electric trolling motor system with integrated GPS would cost you over $1,500, and although it will be lighter than an outboard gas engine, it would still offer less speed and a smaller range of travel.
Maintenance: While electric motors are practically maintenance free, their batteries need recharging, which takes both time and a power outlet that might not always be available to you.

Thrust, Horsepower (HP) and Kilowatts (KW)

People outfit their W500 kayaks with electric trolling motors ranging between 25-70 lbs thrust, with the typical range being 30-50 lbs thrust.

As for outboard gas motors,  the range for W500 kayaks goes from 2 HP to 3 HP, with the typical unit being a long shaft 2.3 HP motor, and up to 6 HP for the W700 in the special RIB configuration.

We recommend not to overpower your W kayak, as doing so may be hazardous.

Kilowatts and Horsepower
  • 1 KW = 1.34 HP
  • 1 HP = 0.745 KW

This basic information could be useful when you read electric motor specs…

Conclusion? -Between outboard gas engines and electric trolling motors there is no winner or loser, and it’s up to you to systematically weigh the pros and cons, relatively to your touring, camping and fishing needs, as well as your carrying capabilities, and last but not least – your budget.

Tip I: If you’re thinking long trips, camping, moving water and tandem – think outboard gas engine. If you’re thinking short trips, flat water and lighter loads, think electric trolling motor. Needless to say that more power equals more fun, but too much speed could be hazardous.

Tip II: Whether you choose to outfit your kayak with an electric motor or a gas outboard engine, if you’re planning to take your W kayak in saltwater, make sure the motor is rated for saltwater.

Understanding Thrust vs. Horsepower – read more »

Smarter electric motors and Lithium-Ion batteries – A winning combination for kayak fishing By Gary Thorberg

Wavewalk 500 Battery Pack  By Captain Larry Jarboe

Motor Kayak Recovery

Whether you motorize your kayak with an outboard gas engine or an electric trolling motor, you’d need to take into consideration the extra weight, and consequently add flotation to your kayak, so that you may be able to recover it case of an accident. Read more about flotation »

How To Motorize Your W500 Kayak On A budget?

The number of options and price range of small outboard gas engines is limited, which makes it easier to decide. The choice of motors for the W700 series is much broader.

As for electric trolling motors, you can find inexpensive ones online and in stores, and the same is true for batteries and chargers, although buying a battery online doesn’t make much sense due to the high cost of shipping – unless the battery is shipped free, for store pickup.

Side Mount or Transom Mount?

It’s possible to mount a small, lightweight gas outboard on the side of the W500, as demonstrated here »    But due to their weight and power, we recommend mounting such motors at the back of the W500 kayak cockpit, using a transom mount. In this position, steering is made easy by the use of a long, articulated (U-jointed) tiller extension.

As for electric trolling motors, being lighter, they can be mounted either at the back of the cockpit (transom mount), or on its side.

Some of the more expensive electric motor systems come with a kayak mount, but we recommend you double-check if the mount is compatible with the W500 kayak – Chances are that it is not.

Short Propeller Shaft or Long Shaft?

20″ Long (L) propeller shaft outboard motors fit both the W500 and W700 series perfectly, and these are the motors that we recommend using.
As for short (typically 15″) shaft motors, they don’t perform well with Wavewalk® kayaks and boats, and we do not recommend using them. This is true both for electric and gas motors.

The 20″ distance is measured from the inner top side of the motor’s clamp bracket to the horizontal ventilation plate located above the propeller. More info on how to measure the outboard propeller’s shaft length »

Any motor, whether electric or gas, whose propeller shaft is shorter than 20″ is not recommended for use with Wavewalk® kayaks or portable boats.

More info:  Testing 15″ short (S) shaft outboard motor performance with Wavewalk kayaks and boats »

Accessories For Motorized Kayaks

Wavewalk offers 2 models of transom motors mounts for its 500 series –

  • The TMM 20 fits 20″ long (L) propeller shaft motors
  • The TMM 20-A fits 20″ long (L) propeller shaft motors
  • The TMM 700 HD (Heavy Dury) fits 20″ long (L) propeller shaft motors. This is a W700 accessory.

high volume DETACHABLE inflatable flotation modules

inflatable-side-flotation-modules-motorized-kayak-640

More information about these Inflatable Flotation Tubes »

DETACHABLE transparent spray shield

beached motorized kayak

More information about the Spray Shield »

Overpowering your motorized fishing kayak

Overpowering a kayak or a boat can be hazardous, and result in accidents, which is why we recommend not to do it.
The following article discusses various aspects of overpowering, and features a video of a W500 powered by a 6 hp outboard motor »

beached motorized fishing kayak

W500 motorized kayak

Important SAFETY ADVICE

For users of Wavewalk’s motor mounts from all models: Before going on a motorized trip, verify that the wide wooden bolt knobs that secure the Wavewalk® motor mount to the kayak are safely tightened to the maximum. Failing to tighten the bolt knobs could result in unwanted vibrations and noise. If you feel such unusual vibrations and/or hear unusual noise, stop the motor, turn around, and tighten the bolt knobs to the max.
Driving with loose bolt knobs is hazardous, similarly to driving with the motor’s clamp screws loose, and it could result in an accident.

Adding a pair of 5/16″ nuts would lock the knobs in place, and prevent them from getting loose.

Never operate the motor without the motor’s stop switch (“kill-switch”) attached to your arm.
For motor operation and maintenance please refer to your motor’s owner’s manual.

 

Read more: 10 good reasons to motorize your kayak