Note: This is a review of the W300 kayak series that was discontinued in 2010.
By Andrew Kumler
Cold Water and Streams Wavewalk Kayak Fly Fisherman and Photographer
“This picture was taken by Scott Floyd at Smith Reservoir in the West Central Cascade Mountains of Oregon”
Watch Andrew fly fishing standing in his W300 kayak:
“I like my Wavewalk 300 a lot” Andrew says -“I have never flipped it. I find it very stable to fish from. I
had a close call on my first river trip..I was not used to the boat yet and I caught a cross current ..I thought I was going to flip for sure..But when the boat reached a point it righted its self..I learned
a lot about it on that trip..”
“…I do love the w-kayak.”
“That’s my Wavewalk 300 ..A great and stable twin hull kayak.”
Andrew created this ingenious cockpit cover that’s attached to the spray deflector with Velcro. It’s very useful for camping trips.
The cockpit cover can be turned into a half-skirt that helps keeping Andrew cozy and warm when temperatures drop and the wind is blowing.
This anchor system keeps Andrew’s W kayak in place in midstream
“I’m glad that those ideas are helping you and your customers out…I guess it’s a little pay back for you creating such a great boat”
Andrew can take a lot of gear with him on his long fishing trips, and this is where he keeps some of it
-“Four months have passed since I received my Wavewalk. I thought I would take some time to tell you how much I enjoy this fine little craft. I now have it rigged to my satisfaction and to what I believe is the ultimate “individual fishing platform.”
A spotted bay bass posing for Dennis’ camera.
-“Ready to start the long haul to the launching beach at Newport Harbor Back Bay. I used Scotty rod holder bases and Cabela rod holders. Installation was drilled holes with stainless steel screws, washers and cap lock nuts.”
-“Returning to landing beach in Huntington Harbor. I like the large hollow hulls because I can store my seven foot long rods, inflatable PFD, tackle, everything I need in them for transporting.”
-“Much of the enjoyment was in the actual rigging process. I wanted to get it right before I did any modifications and each decision took a lot of deliberation before fabrication and installation. I knew that I wanted to power the craft, I had to have rod holders and a fish finder, I also learned that I needed a paddle keeper and a way to transport it fully loaded on long sandy beaches. When I pull it fully loaded its gross weight is about 125 lbs. All of my rigging modifications were installed with drilled holes and stainless steel screws, cap lock nuts and washers.”
Close up on the wheel and part of the system that attaches it to the kayak. Read more
-“The uniqueness of the craft and the comments I receive about it are also enjoyable. Every time I take it out I get questions and comments. “What is that?” “Where did you get it” “How much did it cost?” I fish Newport Harbor and Huntington Harbor. These are very active kayak fishing locations and most of them envy me as I maneuver under power. One hard core “sit on
the topper” said to me, “That isn’t a Kayak.” I responded, “Well, maybe not to you because when you look at me you see that my feet and butt are dry.” I explained to him that after years of working and recreating in the sun I have become a melanoma farm and my skin can’t take long exposure to the sun or moist conditions. (I wear a hat, long sleeve UV shirt and jeans.) I switched topics to fishing techniques with our ultra light tackle. Since then, we have had several friendly fishing encounters. Last Saturday, as we were loading up to leave, I was astounded when he came over to me and said, “ya know buddy, I like your set up and I’m thinking about getting one.”
-“I needed a diversion from the stress of my occupation. Now that I have this fine craft rigged, I get to spend a few hours just concentrating on something important; the challenging relaxation of FISHING! This is what it is all about.”
-“I stern mounted a Minn Kota 30-30 trolling motor that is used for power assist during distance travel and exclusively for maneuvering when fishing.
My Minn Kota motor mount (I call it prototype #1) was fabricated out of one inch laminated hardwood. I contoured the edges and attached it to the top with eight stainless screws, washers and cap nuts. The lower portion of the mount is a laminated three inch by three inch cross member that is bolted through the hull with stainless steel lag bolts and neoprene washers on both sides. I coated it with Krylon Non-Skid Coating rather than paint.
Sadly, the lamination glue was not equal to the task and it has started to crack at the joints. It remains solid and functional but I will be replacing it after the fishing season. I am researching various materials to use.”
-“I made a removable holder for my Humminbird Piranha Max fish finder out of ¼” hardwood. I attached a scrap piece of one inch hardwood as a bottom extender. To use simply force the one inch extender into the first saddle recess. The friction holds it in place.”
A narrow foam mattress attached to small diameter tubes that fit in the saddle grooves – Dennis’ ingenious solution for extra comfort.
Dennis’ version of a ‘storm proof’ paddle holder. Read more
Thrust is a unit of measurement that manufacturers of electric trolling motors for fishing kayaks and other boats use to describe propulsion capability. Thrust is measured in units of weight. In the USA it’s usually pounds (lb.).
This can be confusing, since we often tend to think of propulsion in motion terms, or in horsepower (HP).
Before going further, we’d better clarify what weight and thrust have in common:
This (rather crude) illustration shows a small boat on the water. The boat is equipped with an electric trolling motor and propeller unit whose measurable output is 36 lb. The boat is attached by a line to a 36 lb weight that’s pulling it backward. Since the motor unit can provide 36 lb of thrust it will keep the boat in place: It would be strong enough to counterweight the 36 lb weight, but not strong enough to get the boat to move forward.
Once the battery gets weaker and/or the propeller entangled in seaweed the thrust achieved will diminish and the 36 lb weight will drag the boat backwards.
Similarly, if we lifted the propeller out the water it would still thrust the boat forward, but much less so, since it would be pushing against air that’s hundreds of times less dense than the water this propeller was designed to work in… In this case the 36 lb weight would easily win this tug of war.
Note that this simple model describes thrust without using speed terms.
There is no simple formula that can help you convert thrust to horsepower or vice versa, although the terms are closely related to each other when motorized boats are concerned.
In our case Thrust is the directional force resulting from the rotation of a propeller at a certain speed. Different propellers rotating at the same speed will generate different thrust. The same propeller will usually generate more thrust at a higher rotation speed (RPM).
Horsepower is a unit of measurement for power (it’s quite obvious isn’t it?…), which is the ability to do work. Power is described by weight lifted over a distance during a certain time.
1 HP is equal to the power needed to lift the weight of 550 lb over a vertical distance of 1 ft – in 1 second.
Just by looking at these numbers we can sense that not every human is capable of producing 1 HP – not even for a short period of time. Most of us can produce much less than 1 HP over long periods of time, such as when paddling, biking etc. Estimates vary from 0.2 to 0.4 HP, but that doesn’t mean much for us as individuals.
So, going back to our illustration, if we had a 1 HP gas engine on top of the dam, and that engine was attached with a pulley to the line holding the 36 lb weight, we would be able to lift that weight up at a staggering speed of over 15 ft per second (550:36 = 15….).
Apples to apples: How can we compare the 1 HP gas engine to our 36 lb electric trolling motor?
We need comparable, that is mutually convertible units of measurement. In this case it’s HP and Watt. To convert Watts (W) to a horsepower rating (HP) simply multiply the Watts by 0.00134
In other words, a 750 W electric motor (1:00134 = 746…) produces the equivalent of 1 HP.
In boating terms, Thrust would be the result of applying this power to move a boat through the water by connecting the engine to a suitable propeller and letting it move water… In order for such a comparison to make some practical sense we need to assume certain things about RPM, type and condition of propeller, boat size, boat speed etc… It’s really not that easy.
More specifically, when it comes to electric motors for kayaks you shouldn’t be tempted to get a strong motor that would consume your battery power too fast. If such a thing happens you’ll have to paddle your kayak back with a heavy battery and motor on board…