Personal Catamaran

What is a Catamaran?

Definition: A Catamaran, a.k.a. ‘Cat’ is a twin hulled watercraft that features two slender, parallel hulls of equal size, and an upper structure that holds them together at a distance from each other. This structure makes the typical catamaran a geometry-stabilized craft, that derives its lateral stability from its wide beam and the distribution of its buoyancy along its sides.
The catamaran’s two hulls combined often have a smaller hydrodynamic resistance than monohulls of comparable size, and therefore require less propulsive power.
Catamarans range in size from small sailing boats and motorboats to large ships and ferries. The structure connecting a catamaran’s twin hulls can vary from a simple, lightweight frame to a bridging superstructure, namely deck from which the catamaran is operated, and can be used for carrying freight and passengers.

Are the Wavewalk 700 and S4 Catamarans?

Both these Wavewalks are catamarans since they feature two distinctive hulls, but they are not catamarans in the traditional sense: The Wavewalk design is based on a proprietary (patented) invention – a new type of small watercraft. This patent is entitled “Twin Hull Personal Watercraft”, which is revealing of the fact that a Wavewalk is meant to serve one person, or a small number of persons, and closely interact with them. A Wavewalk is designed around the person and for that person, and it offers them the optimal means to balance themselves. Wavewalk and user are an integrated system that can achieve the most stability in a watercraft of similar size and even bigger ones.
Unlike a typical catamaran, a Wavewalk is narrow – It is slightly wider than its operator, similarly to typical monohull paddle craft such as kayaks and canoes.
The user of a Wavewalk operates the boat neither from one of its hulls nor from the top of a deck-like structure that bridges the hulls of a classic catamaran. Instead, the Wavewalk user operates it from within, with a leg in each of the boat’s two hulls. The user’s feet rest firmly on the bottom of the hulls, below waterline, namely as low as possible.
And this is the main difference between a Wavewalk and a typical, wide catamaran – The Wavewalk is a smaller and narrower watercraft whose design offers a hull for each of its user’s legs, combined with a longitudinal saddle seat, as means for them to balance themselves effortlessly, intuitively, and with the maximum effect.
In sum, the Wavewalk is different from a typical catamaran in that it is not a pure form-stabilized boat, but one that combines more than one feature and approach in order to maximize stability*

Another difference between the Wavewalk and a typical catamaran is the form of the structure that connects its twin hulls. This structure is called the Saddle, because it resembles the type of seat found in personal watercraft (PWC) a.k.a. ‘Jet-Ski’, snowmobiles, and all-terrain vehicles (ATV), all of which are high-performance personal vehicles.

If it’s a catamaran, can the Wavewalk be a kayak, a boat, or a PWC?

Thanks to the fact that the S4 features two totally distinct catamaran hulls, the authorities, namely the US Coast Guard, officially classify the Wavewalk S4 as a Multihull Boat. The reason the S4 is classified as a boat and not a kayak is the fact that Wavewalk, its manufacturer, set the max recommended power for it to 6 HP, which is beyond the power range allowed for motorized kayaks its size.
However, the W700 is classified as a kayak because Wavewalk set the maximum recommended power for it to 3 HP, which is within the range allowed for kayaks its size.

The Wavewalk design is considerably more stable than kayaks are, including the wide fishing kayaks. It tracks better than kayaks, and paddles infinitely better in strong wind, which is why it does not require a rudder. The Wavewalk also offers much more storage space.
But most importantly, unlike monohull kayaks that force their users to paddle seated in the notoriously uncomfortable L posture, the Wavewalk is back pain free, since it offers it users to comfortably ride its ergonomic saddle, with a leg on each side of their body.

The unique combination of maximal stability and better ergonomics makes the Wavewalk such a perfect match for a motor.

A personal watercraft (PWC)?

Riding the saddle of a motorized Wavewalk® S4 at a speed of 17 mph is an exhilarating sensation that may remind the driver of a PWC, but the latter type of watercraft features much more powerful engines, and can go much faster than the S4. Additionally, PWC are designed for instant full recovery in case they capsize and their user survives… which is not the case with a motorized Wavewalk.

A boat?

Even a small boat is still much wider than a kayak, or canoe, which is why it’s practically impossible to paddle a boat to any meaningful distance. This extra width gives a boat a significant stability advantage over kayaks and canoes, and typically, a normal size person can stand on one side of a boat without tipping over.
But a normal size person can do this in a Wavewalk® 700 too, and this unique fact places the Wavewalk® 700 in a class of its own – a kayak that offers the stability of a small boat.
Motorized, a Wavewalk® 700 offers the stability performance of a small boat, on top of its unique and unrivaled performance in terms of mobility, comfort, storage space, etc. As for the S4, it is considerably more stable and seaworthy than other boats of similar size.

What about A canoe?

Canoes can be very big, and transport up to dozens of passengers. The popular North American recreational canoes that measure up to 17 ft in length can take 3 to 4 adult passengers on board.
While Wavewalks work perfectly with single-blade (canoe) paddles, both solo and in tandem, they can carry less payload than large size canoes do. However, a Wavewalk tracks better than a canoe does, and unlike canoes, it is easy to paddle in strong wind.

… and a motorized canoe?

A motorized square-stern canoe performs much like a lightweight dinghy, and as such it doesn’t work very well as a dedicated paddle craft, namely a canoe…. In addition, it is usually less stable than a typical dinghy, which is wider.
Thanks to its slender, parallel twin hulls, the Wavewalk® 700 tracks better than a motorized canoe, it’s more stable, and being narrower it paddles better as well.
Driving a Wavewalk® 700 is easier too, thanks to the ergonomics of its saddle, and the fact that the motor is located closer to the middle of the boat, away from its stern, which improves balance.


In the sense that it works well as a micro skiff, namely a small, flat bottomed boat used for fishing in flats, estuaries and protected bays, yes, a motorized Wavewalk® 700 is an ultra lightweight, trailer-free micro skiff, and it can even be outfitted with a bow mounted electric trolling motor powered by a battery fed by the alternator in a small stern mounted outboard motor. This said, its form is very different.

The Wavewalk S4 is more seaworthy than other micro skiffs, as well as more versatile since it works well as a paddle craft, so unlike other microskiffs, it cannot get stranded in shallow water and ebbing tides.

* Interestingly, the crew of competition sailing catamarans has to relocate from one side of their boat to the other in order to help stabilize it.

Review of the Wavewalk 700 on a Vermont camping trip

By Galina Slastenko


The kayak was beyond all expectations!
On the very first time we used it to get to our camp site, loaded with all the gear we got into a strong rain storm with wind, so strong, that it was difficult to see on a mile paddle.
Not for a moment I had any doubt in the fact the kayak just doesn’t care. It was easy to handle, incredibly stable and just a pleasure to operate.
We actually loaded it on top, front and back, and between us – it was still stable.
I did have some trouble to get out when the gear was around. But this is a fishing boat, not a camping canoe, maybe I am asking too much.
I think for the next trip we will make some kind of harness to attach to the front and back, and load our most light dry bags on top connected with harness for security. That will free leg space. We do not have that many pictures though – just two worth to show – one right before the rain and one on our way back – beautiful Vermont summer day!

Before the rain storm – Wavewalk 700 Tandem kayak loaded with camping gear, Vermont
On the way back – Wavewalk 700 Tandem kayak loaded with camping gear, Vermont

More Wavewalk® 700 reviews »

Wavewalk 700 Lobster Scout Sea Sled

By Capn’ Larry Jarboe

Key Largo Fishing Kayaks and Skiffs

With the advent of Spiny Lobster season coming, I decided to convert my W700 into a search sled to hunt those crafty crustaceans.

A conventional tow sled that is used to drag a snorkeler behind a boat costs about a hundred bucks. The hapless free diver has no control over boat direction and has to breathe the fumes from the boat engine or engines. If the vessel has one or more two cycle outboards spewing exhaust upwind of the towed snorkel diver, there will be a lot of poisonous gasses inhaled.

This incarnation of the Wavewalk design as a lobster search sea sled allows the critter gitter to control direction and speed while breathing clean air. Electric trolling motors produce no air pollution and operate for pennies a day. It is easy to fly a dive flag planted in a support hole of the W700 support bracket.

This first test run worked very well but remember to cinch up your bathing suit real snug. I nearly lost mine a couple times…

Camera: Mrs. Jarboe

Electric Wavewalk 700 attached to the mother ship



More fishing adventures with Capn’ Larry »

Wavewalk’s booth at ICAST 2016

Finally, we’re back from the show, and we’re also back to normal, whatever that means  🙂

ICAST is the world’s biggest fishing trade show, and ICAST 2016 in Orlando, FL, was the first trade show that we participated in.

Here is an overview of our 400 square ft booth:

Camera: Yadin Rosen

Captain Larry Jarboe (wearing the Wavewalk cap) worked in the booth during the entire show. Larry did a fantastic job, and his presence at the booth was very enjoyable.

We had many visitors, both expected and unexpected, and we had a lot of fun.

Larry and Yoav standing next to the Wavewalk 700 Microskiff
Larry and Yoav standing next to the Wavewalk 700 Microskiff

We showed 4 Wavewalk 700, in the 4 color combinations. 3 boats were displayed on the ground, thus allowing us to give dry demos and letting customers get a close look and feel of the product. The Microskiff was displayed higher, facing the main isle.

Captain Larry Jarboe
Captain Larry Jarboe
Wavewalk team with Jeff
Left to right: Orit, Yanay, and Jeff McGovern who worked at the booth of a reel manufacturer, and came to visit us.

The booth wasn’t very elegant, to say the least, but it was practical, and allowed us to engage multiple clients simultaneously on its four sides.

We had two laptops playing Wavewalk videos non stop, and a virtual office that allowed us to stay in contact with the world outside…

Combat 700

A ‘dry demo’ on the floor. People could walk into the boat, feel it, and step out. They could also lift it, and see how lightweight it is.

Wavewalk team members before the show
If our booth wasn’t the most elegant at least we were  🙂  … Each one of us wore a white shirt with a blue W monogram, and a blue blazer with a golden W monogram.

Electric Wavewalk 700 in Key Largo snorkeling tour

By Captain Larry Jarboe

W700 shuttle to the reef –

Wavewalking is not just about fishing.

Yesterday, in Key Largo, the wind was ripping about 20-25 kts. out of the East. We had a friend from NYC who was facing her last vacation day in the Keys. My wife had promised her a snorkel trip on the reef and it was my job to make it happen.

Despite the gusty wind and skirting a large squall, I knew the conditions would afford a calm pocket of water behind Grecian Rocks on dead low tide.

After a rather tumultuous ride offshore, we tied to one of the mooring balls behind the reef. Due to shifting wind, the mooring lines have to be far away enough from the coral rocks to allow boats to swing 360 degrees and not hit the shallow reef. This means snorkelers have to swim the distance of about half a football field of grass and sand to get to the edge of the reef where most of the fish reside.

This is a long way for many people to swim against the wind surge but it beats trying to snorkel in 4-5 foot seas which was the norm everywhere else..

I launched my W700 with a bow mounted Minnkota Rip Tide electric trolling motor from the mother ship. A line tied to a ring buoy trailed as a stern line to tow my two masked grand matrons to snorkeling nirvana. Of course, I waited at the edge of the reef to provide a place of rest and a leisurely ride home.

In addition to fishing, duck hunting, exploring, stand up joystick water skimming or laid back paddle yakking, the W700 makes a fine yacht tender as well as a snorkeler shuttle service to the reef.

Saddled aboard his trusty Wavewalk steed, indeed, Larry, The Stable Guy, got ‘er done.


More fishing adventures with Capn’ Larry »