By Sid Perry
I had an unfortunate accident this spring that resulted in my hand being crushed. After surgery and pins, my hand is expected to make a full recovery.
Physical therapy was challenging but necessary to return my hand to normal. After a month or so I was able to begin kayaking again in my Wavewalk. The therapist was impressed at my improvement. I explained how paddling seemed to improve my hand strength and dexterity. My surgeon confirmed that it was perfect therapy for many reasons, the most important was that it was an activity I enjoyed.
As time went on , later this summer I was able to fish again. Back to exploring new waters, this time a remote lake in Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I found a few bucketmouths and pike. It was great to be fishing and exploring in my Wavewalk again!
The spray shield that Wavewalk developed years ago for the 500 series is made from a 48″ x 12″ Polycarbonate (PC) sheet.
This accessory bends around the front of the W500, and stops spray from getting into the cockpit from the space between the front hull tips, as well as from their sides.
Since there isn’t that much difference in design and size between the W500 and W700, this spray shield works for the latter as well, and it allows for driving both motorized kayaks at high speeds in choppy waters.
But the S4 is different –
To begin with, the S4’s front deck blocks most of the spray generated at the bow while bumping frontally into waves at high speeds, and let’s not forget that the S4 is faster than the W700 and W500…
But the S4’s front deck is less effective for blocking spray generated on the sides of the boat while it hits waves in diagonal. This is by no means a major problem, and the worst outcome can be that a passenger sitting at the front of the cockpit could get a little wet when the boat goes at high speed in choppy water.
This little problem can persist even with a W500 Spray Shield attached to the S4 –
Since the S4 skiff is 9″ wider than the W500, a 48″ long spray shield bent and attached at the front of its cockpit won’t bend enough to protect both its front and its sides.
To achieve their goal, an S4 owner who wants to outfit their boat with a totally effective spray shield would have to make one from two sheets of 48″ x 12″ Polycarbonate – One sheet in the center, and a 24″ x 12″ extension riveted to each side of that central sheet, forming together a 96″ long sheet.
The DIY designer can cut the Polycarbonate, and reduce the height of the spray shield’s ends, and thus give the final product a cool, professional look that’s higher at the center and tapering down on both ends, namely backward when attached to the kayak’s cockpit (See images below).
Drilling holes in a Polycarbonate sheets is easy, and so is riveting lashing hooks to it.
These hooks will serve to attach the spray shield to the deck with a shock cord (bungee), in a way that makes attaching and detaching easy and quick.
Other methods can serve as well to attach the spray shield to the S4.
We recommend using Polycarbonate sheets that are 0.1″ thick or slightly thinner, in order to keep the end product lightweight and assure its flexibility.
Polycarbonate (PC) sheets are not expensive, and they can be purchased online.
We had a few hours of spring weather this morning so I loaded the W500 and hit the Oconomowoc river. Fishing was slow but the birds and migrating waterfowl provided the opportunity for photos. My W500 makes a great platform for my photography hobby.
More images at john-fabina.pixels.com
I use a kayak to go in rivers and creeks for the purpose of relic hunting for Civil War and Colonial era artifacts with a waterproof metal detector.
I make videos of my adventures and publish them on my YouTube channel. I find items such as Civil War cannonballs, bullets, a colonial era shoe buckle, and sometime I get wildlife footage such as a black bear crossing the river.
My interest in a Wavewalk was primarily so that I could use a small gasoline motor in order to get to more remote areas that are too far to reach by paddling.
I have a “Swamp Runner Mini” long tail rig with a 3 HP motor that I thought would couple nicely with the W500. I was looking for a lower-cost alternative to a Mokai.
I found a sand-colored one with Joe Stauder, Wavewalk’s dealer in PA, and I drove up there to pick it up.
I have everything rigged up and ready. I made a short test run over the weekend and it went upstream very quickly in a fast current. The rivers here are all high right now but as soon as they come down, I’ll take it out and get some video and photos on the water.