Quick update from Guam 🇬🇺 The S4 is now registered and legal.
Had the chance to go spearfishing last weekend for the first time here on the Island. I didn’t take anything but my dive partner scored a nice eating sized golden trevally.
The S4 makes a perfect platform for a pair of spear fishermen to cover a great deal of water in a day. It’s easy to launch and recover from.
After years of fishing from an S4, the stability amazes me for the size, no worries of anyone capsizing while re-entering.
Moving down the to-do list of rigging, I’ve installed bilge pumps again in this S4, one for each hull. The advantage of buying the same boat twice is that you can improve what works best for you.
For most people in calmer waters an installed electric bilge pump would not be worth the time IMO. For me, when spearfishing I get quite a bit of water inside while making multiple drops, and a lot of fish blood. Having pumps installed allows me to wash up with a bucket as I go.
Since I was installing bilge pumps, I went ahead and wired in a field switch in each side, that way the pumps will cycle automatically when the water covers the field switch. Each pump has its own 3 way switch (on-off-auto) and it’s own 8ah 12v battery with 5 amp inline fuse.
For watertight hatches I’m using hobie 6″, they require some trimming to fit. I went this route because the latching mechanism works very well and I frequently open it to use as a dry space for my phone, vhf & plb.
A simpler project was to tie a couple loops of bungee on the gas tank handle. Using the supports protruding from the bench the loops hold the tank in place. Keep things from sliding around against your feet makes for a more enjoyable cruise.
That is all for the time being, several more projects to come in the near future (fishfinder, bait tank).
I’m planning a day of fishing this weekend so long as the winds cooperate!
Editor’s note: This is Terry’s second S4. His first one was green, and he used it when he was living in Hawaii.
Join The Navy And See The World! 🙂
So what is a microskiff? – A microskiff is a fishing skiff that’s less than 16 ft long.
What makes a fishing skiff a microskiff?
A legacy microskiff website is self-described as Dedicated To The Smallest Of Skiffs, and that’s fine, since micro is a word-forming element that means small in size or extent, and skiff means small fishing boat, so by definition, microskiff means the smallest of small fishing boats.
So far so good, but that website frequently reviews skiffs that are 22 ft long, and even bigger ones, which raises the question is a 22 ft skiff really small?
Arguably, word definitions and product classifications should be accurate in order to be descriptive and thus useful, and boats this size are not small, considering the fact that many anglers fish out of boats that are less than half this length. Indeed, some very small two-person boats for fishing flat water are just 10 ft long, and they are real fishing boats for flat water, not motorized kayaks, canoes, or paddle boards that have somehow found their way into the microskiff class.
Additionally, most skiffs are smaller than 22 ft, typically in the 16′ to 18′ range, if we are to judge by the content of most articles entitled “Best Fishing Skiffs of The Year”, “Fishing Skiffs Review” etc.
Going back to the question is a 22 ft long fishing boat a microskiff, it seems like it would be both more sensible, professional and fair to classify boats of such size as skiffs. Yes, a good-size fishing skiff is a description that best fits a 22 ft long skiff, while classifying it as a microskiff is inaccurate and potentially confusing, and the same is true about other skiffs that are 20 ft long, or in this range.
If most people, amateur and professional, think and talk about boats that are 16 ft long as skiffs and not as microskiffs, then arguably they are skiffs, and not microskiffs, and the term microskiff should be applied more carefully and restrictively, to skiffs that are indeed the smallest in this boat category, namely smaller than 16 ft, in an effort to avoid classifications that are non-descriptive and therefore unproductive.
This 16 ft figure is somehow arbitrary, of course, and the smaller number we choose the more accurate our microskiff classification would be, but we must not restrict the microskiff class of boats to a number of boats and boat models that’s too small, because that too would be counterproductive.
In sum, we think that skiffs that are 16 ft or longer are just that, namely skiffs, and not microskiffs, and for a skiff to be included in the category of The Smallest Of Skiffs, namely microskiffs, it should in fact be small, and not of medium size, or large size, because words matter.
So what is a microskiff? –
A microskiff is a fishing skiff that’s less than 16 ft long.
Note that the microskiff class in itself is broad enough to include the sub-category of cartop microskiff, or portable microskiff, namely a microskiff that’s lightweight enough to be transported attached to a car’s roof rack.
The Wavewalk S4 is a cartop microskiff.
Not everyone lives in a rural or a suburban area, where properties typically feature big yards and plenty of room for parking a boat trailer. And not many people own a dock or a slot in a marina, or can afford to rent one for their boat.
Besides, docking in a marina works if you travel and fish in an area that’s well served by that marina, but it’s counterproductive when you prefer to do a bit of traveling, and fish in different locations at different times. In other words, docking in a marina can be a problem in itself, on top of being expensive.
When most anglers and boaters think “Boat”, the second thought that comes to their mind is “Trailer”, because a boat needs to be transported, and most boats require a trailer for transportation. That is of course, unless you’re willing to compromise and fish out of a kayak, a notion which most sensible and/or experienced anglers would reject, and rightfully so, as fishing from a kayak is neither easy nor fun, to say the least, and in many cases, fishing kayaks are so big and heavy that transporting one without a trailer is not possible.
Why are boat trailers problematic?
As hinted in the opening paragraph of this article, a boat trailer requires a place to park it, and this place can be pretty big, but not necessarily available.
Parking your boat trailer on your driveway can mean that you would have to park your car on the street, or another member of your household would be forced to do so, and that could be a problem.
A boat trailer requires registration and maintenance, which means spending money and time that you don’t like to spend.
But these are the small inconveniences of transporting a boat on a trailer, and the big inconvenience is the absolute need to launch at designated boat ramps. This is because boat ramps can be few and far between, and they tend to be crowded in areas and on days and that are particularly good for fishing, simply because more people want to launch there and then, and consequently, the same people want to take their boats out in the same locations and at the same time. This high demand inevitably leads to scarcity, and to long queues on the way to the boat ramp, at the boat ramp itself, in the parking lot, etc.
It’s impossible to overestimate the frustration and sometimes outright despair that anglers experience in these situations, as they see their precious leisure time being wasted waiting in endless lines.
Which brings us to a third type of solution –
Portable boats – the trailer free boats
Portable boats are discussed in a number of articles on this website, including Portable Microskiff , Seaworthy portable microskiff , Portable boats , and others. We recommend reading them, as well as reviews that some S4 microskiff owners have contributed.
To summarize these articles, there are boats out there that are portable, namely that can be transported without a trailer. These are either folding boats or inflatable boats, and the bottom line with these trailer-free boats is that they are not very comfortable, and more importantly, they require precious time to assemble and/or inflate and deflate. In other words, they don’t necessarily save you much of the precious time you’d rather spend fishing, and besides, inflatable boats have other problems that are outside the scope of this article on boat transportation.
And then, there is the Wavewalk S4 cartop microksiff, which is a trailer-free boat that requires neither inflating nor assembly, and is lightweight and durable enough for you to carry from your vehicle to the water and back, without a problem.
On top of this, the S4 is very comfortable, extremely stable, and seaworthy, and it works remarkably well both in the ocean and in shallow water.
The S4 microskiff is rotationally molded from High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), which means that it’s maintenance free, and you can leave it outside in your yard or on your driveway rain or shine, or snow.
However, the best thing about the S4 in the context of boat ramps, launching and beaching, is that you can launch it anywhere, and this is not an empty phrase crafted for marketing purpose, it’s reality, as you can see for yourself in this video –
So you can launch and beach the S4 microkiff without a trailer, and you can do it in places where a trailer would be totally impractical.
It’s called Freedom.
Here’s a pic of my S4 under a tarp, using a “tent pole” structure I made from pvc pipes.
I put 50g fishing weights on the grommets and bungee front & back. Lots of submerged tarp, but it does the trick.
My S4 lives in the ocean… so I’m having to constantly clean algae and barnacles.
After I got my S4, I was just going slowly in circles in the bay, and then I really got to take her out and open it up.
Love the S4!! And island hopping with it.
I think it’s performing as well as it should with the Yamaha 6hp 20″ long shaft motor.