We and some buddies decided we wanted to take a trip into Hawkin lake, it is almost the most NW corner in the state of Montana. We decided to try to bring the S4.
I knew that the other wheel systems I had for the boat were not heavy duty enough for what I wanted so I made my own. The trail heading to the lake is relatively short but it has some steep sections and is rocky the whole way, plus it has several narrow squeezes between large trees that I new were going to be tight to get the boat through.
I started with rubbermaid big wheel cart wheels. I then used a 3/4 inch square tubing attached to a 2×4 and 6 inch 9/16 bolts (washer on both sides of the wheel) that were drilled to accept a cotter pin to make an axle.
Here is a picture of us heading up the trail. We alternated between what positions worked best depending on the terrain. Having straps to handle the front and the back of the boat really helped in saving the hands. We did a lot of lifting over the big rocks.
We got the boat to the lake and had a heck of a good day pulling in trout. We only put two in the boat at a time and the front man would flyfish and the back man would paddle and use a rod and reel. It worked really well this way. I am willing to bet that this is the largest boat that has been on this lake. I know a few canoes, kayaks and float tubes/inflatable boats have been in there but probably nothing this substantial. The boat held up great despite being drug over rocks and stumps. A few scratches to the bottom but that is it. The S4 is a fantastic boat and had served me well in what I want from it.
When you drive a motorized W700 or S4, you still need to take a paddle with you to go where the water isn’t deep enough for the propeller to work, such as when you launch from a beach, beach in such a difficult spot, or go over a sandbar in a receding tide. The paddle you take doesn’t have to be a long, full fledged dual-blade paddle (kayak paddle), and a mere single-blade (canoe) paddle works well enough for such short distance paddling and poling tasks. If you take a passenger on board, they need a paddle too, because moving a kayak with two people on board is harder that doing it when you’re on board by yourself. Compared to kayaks paddles, the advantage of canoe paddles is that being shorter, they take less room on board.
Still, the question remains how to store a paddle, or a pair of paddles on board, without adding to your boat unwanted accessories such as paddle clips, or paddle holders, bungee cords, etc, while keeping the paddle both secure and available for use at any time.
The above picture shows how we recommend storing your canoe paddle on board a W700 or S4 – You simply slide the paddle’s blade in the narrow space between the saddle and the molded-in saddle bracket. This way, the paddle won’t be in your way when you sit or stand in your Wavewalk, and when you need it, it will be ready for you to pull and use instantly.
BTW, this method of storage can also work for storing a cutting board for bait, a filleting board for fish, and other objects. You can use the molded-in brackets to attach things to the saddle, in order to secure them, so that they won’t travel back and forth on the bottom of the hulls.