Did a kayaking trip with the most recent version of my front deck bolted on. Works great. The all welded aluminum set up is super light, probably only 15lbs. With the bottom of the deck being shimmed to have multiple points of constant on the S4, it is rock solid and you can walk around and stand on it with no issues, as well as grab the railing to pull the S4 around very easily.
My next step will be to finish building my trailer for the S4. Then putting hydro turf on the front deck, some accessions to include lighting, and then I will work on getting a motor. I’m quite a ways from being done but the current setup is awesome for doing some paddling with gear on the front, and using it for camping. I had roughly 40lbs in that bag as well as a cooler with 6 drinks in it behind the bag, and also my wife as well. I paddled us by myself very easily even with the extra weight. The pontoon design helps a lot. I have found that the weight distribution can be a little tricky to get it tracking properly but once you figure out the best way to distribute the weight is is easily maneuvered by one person!
I mounted 6 hp Mercury on my S4, and I took it for a drive around Grande Isle, in the gulf. There was a 12 mph wind blowing, and the water was choppy and sometimes rough, but the S4 handled it perfectly. This boat always has enough free board, and it’s very responsive. I found that thanks to the S4’s extreme stability and generous free board, I can drive it faster in rough water than other microskiffs I’ve driven.
Launching it and taking out is so easy!
The S4 is very comfortable to drive. After several hours in it I had no back problem, knee problems, or any other problem, and this is something I can’t say about my [one person] skiff, which is painful to drive and fish from.
Update: Pictures from our family trip to Sam Rayburn reservoir, Texas –
I bought a brand new Honda 5 hp motor and it sure is fun!
Also, the S4 paddles surprisingly well and tracks superb!
I am very happy indeed. I told my wife that I have no regrets and if I ever need another boat, I will buy one… but it’s going to be another S4! 😀
Your boat design is exactly what I envisioned. Practical and flexible. The Catamaran hull adapted to a kayak/skiff design is absolutely outstanding. I used to keep [expensive pedal driven] kayaks but that changed after I saw your S4 boat. I sold them by the way.
Now I’m planning to put up a bow trolling motor. I want the one that has a spot lock GPS.
We definitely do not recommend transporting your S4 cartop microskiff with it resting directly on the roof of your car, without a roof rack, but since it’s possible, and there may be a case where there is no alternative for doing it, here is a picture that shows how it can be done successfully.
Note that Matt made sure to protect the roof of his car with a thick and wide mattress, and he used three straps to attach his S4 to it.
The big problem is not that uploading, transporting and downloading this 100 lbs microskiff might leave scratches on the car’s paint, but the worst case scenario is that if you don’t attach it well, it might fly away, and hit another vehicle.
Attaching a Wavewalk 700 or S4 to the roof of a car that does not feature a proper roof rack with crossbars is particularly risky in long distance trips, since the boat is exposed to powerful, high speed winds, as well as sudden stops, slowdowns and accelerations that are also characteristic of urban trips.
This is to say that extreme caution is advised, and stopping every now and then to check that the boat still sits well on top of the roof is very much recommended.
Needless to say that in such trips, your motor should be transported inside your car, and never stay attached to the boat.