Tag Archive: standup

15 miles round trip, offshore, in my Wavewalk 700 skiff

This is the story of my trip across Buzzards Bay, to the Elizabeth Islands, a chain of small islands between Martha’s Vineyard and the mainland.

Before the actual trip…

My first trip was ‘preliminary’ to the actual one, because it was cut short due to time constraints – I arrived to the boat ramp in Gooseberry island at the Horseneck Beach Reservation, found the parking lot full, and headed back on the causeway.
I parked a quarter of a mile down the road, next to a rocky beach, a.k.a. a ‘Rock Garden’. It was early in the afternoon, and by the time I launched, filled the gas tank, and tested the boat (and myself), I realized that since I’m a novice seaman, I’d have to drive slowly, namely at less than 5 mph, which would have made the trip longer than I had planned. That meant that I might have gotten back home too late, which is a no-no.

What’s left from that preliminary, or shall we call it ‘Test’ trip are the panoramic view of the parking lot and the beach, and the still images from the end of the trip, where I’m seen dragging the boat on the beach, and up the ramp, back to the parking lot.
Joao, a local resident, shot these nice photos – Thanks Joao!  🙂

The actual trip

I came back the next day to the same parking lot, before noon. I wore blue shorts and and a blue shirt that’s identical to the one I wore the previous day – It’s called ‘Movie Continuity’ 😀
Speaking of continuity, the weather was identical in both days – sunny and beautiful. That wasn’t due just to luck, since I had planned this trip a week in advance.

Launching in that rock garden was a piece of cake.
To start the motor, I dropped the anchor about 100 yards from shore, turned around in the cockpit so I faced the motor, added fuel to the gas tank (I did it standing up, using a long spout), and I started the motor in full comfort, like I would on a big boat.
I turned around, which is easy to do in the W700, raised the anchor, grabbed the joystick, pushed in the choke, put the motor in forward gear, set the RPM, and headed to the islands.
I drove at a leisurely pace, giving myself time to enjoy the ride and shoot video.

I had two cameras on board – a Sony 400 with a telescopic x63 optical zoom lens, and a Sony Xperia watertight smartphone with a 4K Ultra-HD camera, mounted on a selfie stick. I used both cameras, and it turned out that the 400 performed well, while the Xperia didn’t produce good results, mainly because I failed to operate it properly 🙁

Offshore-Trip-Elizabeth-Islands-MA-1024

Massachusetts South Shore, Buzzards Bay, and the Elizabeth Islands.

At about 6 miles from shore, Penikese island was closer, but I decided to go a little further, and land on Cuttyhunk island, which is 7 miles from where I launched. It just looked better the trough the telescopic lens of my camera…

I approached Cuttyhunk island, scouted for a good landing spot, and beached without a problem. I didn’t even have to step in water 🙂

As I was making my first steps on that beautiful beach, enjoying the pristine nature and solitude, my cellphone rang… It was my mother in-law, who was concerned about me  😀   That conversation added a comic touch to the situation…

I refilled the gas tank, and checked how much water got into the boat. I had a towel tucked in each rear hull tip, and both towels were almost dry, which is to say that hardly any spray got in. This is due to fact that I drove slowly and didn’t give the waves a chance to splash into the cockpit.

Going back

The first half of the trip back to the mainland was a not that pleasant – The wind had picked up, and the boat was getting hit by waves from 7 o’clock, which made it harder to drive. The joystick offered me the perfect means to drive responsively and with precision, as I needed to, given that the W700 is such a small boat. Comfort wise, it was perfect.
Under these conditions, driving while facing sideways and gripping the tiller directly would have been hard, and even driving while facing forward with an articulated (U-jointed) tiller extension would have been somehow uncomfortable.

The motor didn’t sound like it appreciated the continuous abrupt alternations between acceleration and deceleration, as each passing wave projected the boat forward and then dumped it behind…
It turned out that this 6 HP Tohatsu motor isn’t just quiet and easy to operate – it’s also reliable.

The second part of the trip back was easier.
As I approached the shore and recognized the area from which I had launched, I allowed myself to drive faster, and even standing up, which felt great.
Spray getting into the boat was no longer a matter for any concern as this stage, of course.

Beaching in the rock garden was a piece of cake, but I have to admit that due to the shallowness of the water I wasn’t able to drive the boat high enough to step on dry land, this time.

Dragging the boat up the beach and back to the car wasn’t easy… After a few steps I stopped, and I used a little manual pump that I had with me to get water out of the hulls. I also took the towels out and squeezed water out of them. Altogether, I removed a couple of gallons of water from the boat, which made it easier to pull it up to the parking lot.

The aftermath

Other than getting my face and knees sunburned, I feel no physical impact whatsoever. No muscle tension in my legs, not even the slightest sign of back pain, and no pain in my left wrist and forearm, which could have happened had I used the articulated tiller extension in such a long drive.

Thinking forward

The 6 HP Tohatsu outboard features an alternator, which means that it could feed the battery powering a small electric bilge bump, and thus turn spray into a non-issue. Some smaller Tohatsu outboards feature an alternator as well.
Anyways, a long manual bilge pump such as many kayakers use would do equally well, I guess.

Bass boat standup swivel seat for my W fishing kayak, by Paul Harrison

Thought I would share an idea I am working on. I became intrigued with having a “standup” pedestal/swivel seat similar to what I have used in bass boats. Some call these leaning posts or butt seats. You are in more of an upright posture for fishing, and for paddling in the case of a Wavewalk kayak.

1st prototype of bass-boat style standup swivel seat for W kayak

I developed a prototype of this idea as shown in the attached photos. I am testing different mounting locations and heights more than the perfect attachment/mounting scheme. This is pretty satisfactory as is with the center of the pedestal 7 inches behind midships and the height of the seat 24 inches above the hull bottom. This works well although I might shim and raise it a few inches when I finalize. Fore/aft balance seemed about right and I can still sit on the saddle in front of it if needed. The various parts are all from Ba$$ Pro except of course the saddle bracket. The fixed pedestal unit has a 7″ rise and a swivel is bolted to the top of it with the butt seat on top of that (need to attend to something at the stern or paddle out backwards? just spin around). There are all sorts of stainless adjustable pedestals and pedestal sockets but this turns into more than I wanted to spend!

Click images to enlarge:

The attachment scheme doesn’t require any holes in the kayak and can be broken down to two major components with a couple of bolts and maybe wing nuts in the final form. It is very secure when installed which was an important goal for me. An advantage is that it doesn’t require altering my saddle bracket or permanently tying it up with this application. I could allow the seat to be moved forward and aft with some more holes in the board that is running down the saddle.

Most importantly I was very pleased with paddling and sitting in this position. Having the seat pedestal to brace against provides great leverage when paddling from this position. Also, it extends the time I can standup paddle due to less need to balance and make adjustments with my feet, which can get tiring after a while (granted, a long while). And the ability to sit and relax at this height while fishing or sightseeing is a big plus. Stability was very good at this seat height and with my 5’10” height. You can use the different sitting positions as you would use on the saddle alone, although feet forward is very comfortable. One would obviously want to stick with more calm waters with this setup but you can always “just sit” on the saddle if things get squirrelly.

I would be interested in ideas to improve this. An obvious choice would be mounting the seat base between two saddle brackets as some have done with lower seats. This might require some additional bracing or a couple bolts in the saddle due to this height (don’t want to hinge the whole assembly off the saddle if applying a lot of pressure). I like not having to permanently use the saddle bracket for this setup though. It just boxes the system in so that it won’t slide forward. It is available to me then for tandem paddling or heavy loads.

Safe paddling …

Paul


More from Paul »

New W Kayak Stuff

When it comes to pushing the boundaries we’re always trying to come up with something new, even if it doesn’t always makes sense for daily paddling or fishing.

Our latest experiment is paddling standing in tandem, and by ‘tandem’ we mean two adults – In this case it’s a 6′, 200 lbs guy with a 5′ 6″ , 130 lbs gal.

Standing tandem paddling in fishing kayak

It certainly required keeping cool, considering the water temperature was below 40 F… -A good exercise in team spirit building.

We’ll keep experimenting as both weather and water get warmer.

Kayak Fishing and Paddling Standing

There’s something really enjoyable about being to paddle your W kayak standing – It adds another dimension to your experience, and makes you view the world around a little differently.
Just imagine going down a snowy slope on a snowboard or skis for the first time after all your life you’ve been used just to sledding.
Except there’s a little bit more to paddling standing because you’re doing something that’s been not only impossible but forbidden as well…
As for jumping in your W kayak, that’s something that I can find no parallel to.

I feel a little sorry for some kayak fishermen who claim they can fish standing on top of their SOT kayaks:
-Can they do it when the water gets choppy? (No)
-Can they do it if there’s a strong wind blowing? (No)
-Can they do it in full confidence (No)
-What happens if they lose balance (They inevitably go overboard)
-Why would anyone want to try standing on a SOT when it requires so much attention just to keep your balance? (Beats me)

Yoav

This little video might take a few seconds to appear:

W kayak stability