Tag Archives: SOT kayak

How to Keep Your W500 Fishing Kayak Cockpit Dry

Typically, very little water can get inside your W500 cockpit, because the kayak offers a high freeboard – more than any kayak does. This is true even when you’re launching in the surf, because you can lift the bow by sitting in the back of the cockpit, and thus go over the incoming waves, instead of through them, like you’d have to do with all other kayaks.

1. How to Prevent Water From Getting Inside the Kayak Cockpit

All W500 models except the R model feature a preparation for a cockpit cover system comprising a long bungee, 2 Nylon eyelets, and 12 lashing hooks attached around the spray deflector.

lashing hook and bungee for fishing kayak cockpit cover

Attaching the cockpit cover to the cockpit’s spray deflector is quick and easy, and you do it by lifting the bungee, tucking the cover between the bungee and the spray deflector, and securing it between the bungee and the lashing hooks, this way:

Fishing kayak cockpit cover

Any plastic sheet, tarp, or waterproof fabric can serve you as a cockpit cover, and you don’t have to cut or sew it in any particular shape (unless you feel like it…)

You can use the cockpit to cover any part of the cockpit: Whether it’s just the front, or all the area between you and the hull tips,  or just one side of the cockpit, or the entire cockpit, including yourself. It all depends on the size of your cockpit cover, and what you need the cover to do for you. You can even use two, separate covers for covering different parts of the cockpit.

Here is an example how you can use a simple, low cost 3′ x 8′ tarp as a cover for your W500 cockpit:

How to attach tarp cockpit cover the your fishing kayakFishing kayak cockpit fully covered with tarp cover

Here’s a real life account of a large size cockpit cover used to protect a W kayak bass angler during a rainstorm in Connecticut:

Prtecting yourself in fishing kayak during rainstorm
Outside View of Weatherproof Fishing Kayak

 

Dry fishing kayak in rainstorm
Inside weatherproof fishing kayak during rainstorm

Read the entire report on Rox’ bass kayak fishing trip, in which she got caught in a rainstorm, and managed to keep perfectly dry in the cockpit of her W500 >>

And this is the initial design, by a W300 fly kayak angler  from Oregon, which inspired us to develop the universal preparation for cockpit cover:

Cockpit cover for fishing kayak, protecting fly angler from snow and cold

A cockpit cover can add to your personal protection from the elements, even in cold weather, wind, snow, and hail.

This picture shows a car topped W500 in Ohio – Note how the owner covered its cockpit with a tarp:

fishing kayak with cockpit cover, on top on car, Ohio

2. What If a Little Water Gets In?

Like everything that has to do with the W500 kayak, it’s easy:

First, you don’t have to care too much about a little water getting inside, because unlike sit-in kayaks, all water that may get inside is automatically drained to the bottom of the hulls, where it doesn’t bother you. This is true for drops falling from your paddle, rain, spray, etc.  The 14 inch high W kayak saddle stays dry, and since this is where you sit,  so do you.

Keeping the bottom of the hulls perfectly dry is easy too, if you simply put a big sponge at the bottom of each hull. The sponge will absorb the water by itself, since the water will eventually reach it due to the kayak’s natural movement. By the end of the trip, or anytime during the trip,  you’d just have to  squeeze the water out of the sponges, and that’s it.

3. What If a Lot of Water Gets Inside Your W Kayak Cockpit?

Again, since the water is drained automatically to the bottom of the kayak hulls, and you sit on the 14 inch high saddle, or ride it, water in the bottom of the hulls doesn’t necessarily bother you, even if there’s several gallons of it down there.  This is true even in cold water and weather, if you’re wearing rubber booties.

In any case, getting rid of this water is simple: Just scoop it out with a hand bucket, also called a bilge bucket. Making one from a 1 gallon plastic bottle with a handle is cheap and easy, and such DIY bilge buckets are perfect for the job.

If you feel like being more sophisticated, just use an inexpensive, plastic, hand activated bilge pump,  the same as sea-kayakers, canoeists, and other small boat passengers use for the same purpose:

Fishing kayak bilge pump

4. Getting Rid of Water on Land

You may want to get rid of water that’s in your W kayak’s cockpit when you’re on dry land. Again, nothing could be easier: You just overturn the boat, and the water will get drained out through the special drainage holes at the top of the spray deflector. Normally, this is the kayak’s highest point, but when it is upside down, the holes are at its lowest point, which makes the water come out in no time, and from all parts of the kayak hulls.

5. Safety – Why Are SOT Kayaks Hazardous?

Simply, because if your kayak hull is leaking, you want be able to detect the problem immediately, in real time, since any delay might be critical. Therefore, closed hulls, such as sit-on-top (SOT) kayaks feature, present a potential hazard, because water can leak inside them without you having any way to notice it, until it’s too late. This is one of the downsides of the so-called ‘self bailing’ (paddle board) SOT kayak hull. Worst of all – those SOT hulls are rarely fully watertight, because of various reasons – The first being the basic design flaw putting their parting line too low above the water, combined with the weakness in the scupper holes area. The second reason being the fact that once the SOT kayak is molded, it has numerous big and small holes drilled in its hull for hatches, rod holders, seat etc., and such holes are extremely difficult to waterproof in the long run, and can easily leak, since the  SOT kayak deck is too low above waterline, and is often washed by waves, or immersed in case the SOT kayak is overturned in the water.

SOT kayak anglers are required to drain their kayak hulls through special drain plugs installed in them, preferably after each trip, and sometimes even during the trip, if they can find a place to beach. Read more >>

In comparison to SOT kayaks, the W kayak’s parting line is 6 to 12 inches higher above the water surface, the kayak features neither scupper holes nor hatches, and its deck is much higher too, and the cockpit part of it is protected by a spray deflector. Since it sold its first W kayak, back in 2004, Wavewalk has received no complaints about water leaking into a W kayak hull.



Do You Have Compulsive Kayak Fishing Disorder?

Here’s a link to a new, funny blog post about Compulsive Kayak Fishing Disorder (CKFD).

Some anglers refer to themselves as being ‘fisholic’, and that’s basically the same thing, although phrased in different pseudo scientific terms :)

That new article is amusing, but it’s also serious, since anglers and paddlers who spend too much time in sit-in and SOT kayaks can develop chronic pain, especially in the lower back (yak-back) and eventually be forced to quit kayak fishing and paddling, as many do – and that’s too bad.

Enjoy the read, so you may enjoy the ride!



John Hunter’s Review of His W500 Fishing Kayak – Seattle, Washington

I have back pain and  and have to say my w-500 is the most comfortable boat I’ve ever paddled. I had an unfortunate encounter with a bad chiropractor and have issues with L5 and sciatica now, and had tried SOT kayaks with bad results… but I could see the w kayak is entirely a different story after only one outing!

fishing kayak, Seattle, Washington

After I’ve had my w500 out for only 4 times and I could see that once you get your technique down it’s FAST, easily as fast as a 13′ kayak (if you’re in the aggressive mounted position)… and the leaning into a turn works really well, especially if you’re seated near the stern. I have gotten used to a milder cruising stroke in the seated position that allows me to paddle for literally hours with no problems or back pain (holding the paddle closer towards the center and letting the paddle and gravity do some of the work).

Last night I took it out into some choppier, high traffic areas and got a lot of inquiries from some sea-kayakers who were very impressed with a boat you can stand up in.

fishing kayak, Seattle, Washington

I am loving my w-500… After I’d been out about 6 times, took it out with a 230lb friend… I am an intermediate paddler and my friend had minor experience. After several failed attempts to paddle together I had him try it solo. He had a good sense of humor, and I’m not deterred!  :) Good times indeed!

fishing kayak, Seattle, Washington

I am very comfortable paddling it by myself now and spend 1/3 of the time paddling it standing, and get tons of inquiries. I’m getting questions from Salmon fishers and sailboats (mostly because I row near a fishing/sailing boat moorage now).

I did not try my W500 first before I ordered it, I simply did TONS of research and asked many people I know who are experienced. I am one of the very satisfied customers who’s incredibly happy with his decision, it was not hasty.
I was asked last night by some kayaker where he could try a w-kayak… i said “right here, right now… pull up to that dock and I’ll let you give her a spin”

fishing kayak, Seattle, Washington

The last 3 times I’ve been out on my w-500 was to lurk outside the fish ladder and watch the salmon return to spawn, kind of fun watching 24″ fish jumping all around you, oh but I have a better view than everyone else! :D

I have still yet to try my w-500 for fishing, but will soon once I find a few good nearby spots, and will be sure to take more pics.

Thanks again and happy paddling!

-=John


Read more fishing kayak reviews that our clients have contributed >

Francis Muldoon – W500 kayak owner, Key West, Florida

I really like my 500 Wavewalk kayak.
Previously I had used a sit on plastic Kayak (which belonged to my nephew) only to rig hurricane lines to offshore moorings in order to keep my fishing boat off the seawall during storms. I would never have considered a pleasure cruise in that tipsy slow slug.
My nephew reclaimed his SOT kayak earlier this year, and with hurricane season approaching once again, I began looking for a replacement.
Although more pricey, the Wavewalk caught my eye, and since it arrived I’ve been taking near daily trips around the shallow water here in the Keys. I love the way it glides and tracks as well as it’s ability to go in real shallow water.
By the way, I can paddle standing up but don’t seem to make as good speed as sitting down. I admit to still feeling awkward standing, but love the view it allows of our shallows here.
I wonder if I shouldn’t be able to go faster standing up since I’m using my legs too.
I’m looking forward to refining my technique.
-Francis


Read more fishing kayak reviews that our clients have contributed >

Range of Motion and Protection From the Fish – Kayak Comparison

By Jeff McGovern

Range of motion and protection from the fish – Sounds a little weird but the W kayak offers a far better range of motion for anglers and some measure of protection when landing fish.
I’ve noticed this the most dealing with saltwater speedsters in the form of jacks and ladyfish. Both are considered trash fish but only in terms of eating them. For getting into lots of pulling and yanking they are a blast. But when brought boat side for landing they always have far better ideas than the angler. Leaping and jumping at the last moment can easily put one into your lap or worse. Since they also have a face full of hooks the results of this last moment dash for freedom can be a disaster. If you are stuck in that L position you are too low and too limited in movement options to do much about it. These are also fish that will run in any direction and in a boat you can’t turn your body very well chances are you’ll be tangled up in no time.
In the W kayak, because you are upright in the riding position you can turn much more toward the fish and it’s angle of pull. Also when you go to land the fish you are above most of the danger zone and far better protected. After netting a fish you can simply rest the handle across the cockpit rims and hold in in place. You don’t have a net to worry about getting caught up in the rod, a portion of your body, or other gear. Plus if you are dealing with a fish you might want to keep for a great fish meal if it does jump around it’s going to end up at your feet in one of the hulls safe for the table.
Even in the course of battling a fish if all goes according to plan the L position is a lousy one to fish from. Since you can’t rotate well from the waist or really brace for the battle your shoulders and arms take some real punishment. The L position acts to deny using your core muscles to fight the fish. The W offers so many fish fighting advantages but as with many things about the boat they are not truly realized until the angler actually can try it. If there is a problem with that it’s simply that nothing compares to the W. No other boats have the advantages.
Anyway I just wanted to shoot a note along this line. Sometimes you just have to feel sorry for all those other non W kayak fishermen out there.