I created a custom trailer for “The Dub” [Wavewalk S4] out of an old sailboat trailer. We took it to a local boat ramp and motored about an hour through the marshes to a barrier island to go shelling. Made it there and back in fine style.
We got some funny looks from people watching us go by and watching me launch the boat with one finger!
Today I was able to do my first test drive of the Wavewalk S4 with a mud motor!
As a duck hunter the potential for the S4 is incredible. Couple that with a mud motor and you can access places that others cannot go. I hunt tidal mud flats where traditional boat motors are difficult to use due to the changing tides (water depth) as well as the sand bars that constantly shift. The mud motor allows operation in very shallow water and lets me get over those sand bars. Other duck hunters hunt in flooded timber where the logs eat propellers for lunch and occasionally eat whole lower units. The mud motor is the only way to travel safely in those kind of swamps. That is why putting a mud motor on the S4 is like combining peanut butter and chocolate. This was my very first run, so I have a lot to learn about operating this kind of motor.
There are a lot of different styles of mud motors out there and the cost can be very prohibitive. But I found a kit which is created by Mud-skipper called the Twister. Rather than a straight shaft it has a curved shaft. At first I was concerned that due to this the turning radius of the boat would be dramatically effected. As it turns out that fear was unwarranted. The two hulls actually keep you from turning too sharp which could cause you to overturn considering the nature of how the motor turns. The 6.5 hp was plenty of horse power and I cavitated way before I ran out of power.
Lots of experimenting to do to get it all dialed in but it was a great first test run.
This particular tunnel is inaccessible during high tide. Most are not this narrow. But, there are plenty of fish waiting to get caught.
That 3.5 hp Nissan [Tohatsu] is a long shaft outboard that I found south of Jacksonville for 200 bucks. With a new carb and a fresh impeller (less than 100 bucks) she is a fine runner.
Note the DIY handle of the tiller extension: It is easy to grab behind my back to steer. On straight hauls, I rest my back upon it and steer with the paddle. Good vibrations…
The pics are from the stern of the boat. As the tide pulls me thru the narrow cuts, the main resistance, the OB lower unit, wants to move forward. This gives me better control and helps clear the mangrove spider webs ahead.
Also, I built a combo 3 rod holder, Go-Pro, fish de-hooker, bait knife, and line clipper holder that fits in a single support hole of the W700 and Series 4 vessels. When I get the French fry holder mounted, I’ll post a pic.
Today’s catch before filleting
This trip produced Mangrove Snappers, Caesar Grunts, and Bermuda Chubs. We ate the snappers and grunts for lunch. The chubs will be smoked to make fish dip.
The S4 is the world’s fastest kayak when motorized, as well as the world’s most stable kayak. The latter is the keys factor in enabling driving the S4 at high speed both on flat water and in rough water.
This is Wavewalk’s 4th boat series since 2004, following the 300 (Mark I and II), 500, and 700 series. Like all other Wavewalk® products, this boat is 100% Made in USA.
The S4 delivers the highest performance in the field of small boats and skiffs, even before you’ve reached the water, starting from the fact that at 98 lbs it doesn’t require a trailer for transportation, and it’s easily portable even on rough terrain. Its patented twin-hull design delivers more stability than any small boat out there, including much wider and heavier ones. This allows for driving in fast currents and in choppy water. In addition, being a true catamaran makes this boat track better than other boats. The S4’s extra large cockpit (8′ long x 38″ wide) offers ample room for two anglers or hunters and their gear, or for up to three adult passengers – a total of up to 680 lbs. The S4 features a long saddle seat similar to the saddle of other high performance vehicles, which offers maximal balancing capability as well as full comfort for going in choppy water and for long trips. The S4 features a stand up casting platform at its bow, such as can be found in a typical skiff. The cockpit’s slanted sides allow passengers to paddle with more ease and better control than what canoes and tandem fishing kayaks may offer them. The S4 has an extremely shallow draft, and this fact in combination with its portability, load capacity and high performance as a paddle craft makes it the most practical solution for shallow water fishing.
Availability: We ship to clients, and some of our dealers already have demo S4 boats.
Length: 13 ft (396 cm)
Beam (Total Width): 38″ (97 cm)
Cockpit Length: 95″ (241 cm)
Cockpit Height: 17″ (43 cm)
Saddle Height: 15″ (38 cm)
Width of a single hull: 13″ (33 cm)
Total Weight: 98 lbs (44.5 kg)
Structure Overview and Features
Patented twin-hull Wavewalk® catamaran hulls
Personal watercraft (a.k.a. ‘jet-ski’) style 7’6″ long Saddle seat featuring a series of seven molded-in brackets, and six vertical molded-in reinforcement columns
Integrated Skiff Style Stand-Up Casting Platform at the bow, with anti-skid surface. Read more »
The Cockpit’s Slanted Sides allow passengers to paddle with more ease and comfort than paddling a canoe or a common kayak of such width.
Preparation for a vertical mounting plate for outboard motor or rod rack at the stern
Two Medium Density Overlay (MDO) 0.75″ thick Saddle Brackets – One bracket at each end of the saddle. The bracket in the front provides additional support for the stand up casting platform, and the rear bracket serves as extra support for a motor mount. Each bracket is attached to the vertical wall that’s adjacent to it by means of two rivets. The rivets are sealed with waterproof adhesive. Click thumbnail to enlarge
Built-In Flotation – The S4 Saddle is a watertight compartment that offers 180 lbs of positive buoyancy.
Two pairs of integrated, molded-in heavy duty Carry Handles – A pair at the bow, and a pair at the stern.
Average Wall Thickness: 0.150″ (3.8 mm)
White Color – Click images to enlarge
Light Gray Color – Click images to enlarge
Mud Brown Color – Click images to enlarge
Max Total Payload: 650 lbs (295 kg)
Max Number of Passengers: 3 adults, or 2 adults and 2 children
Internal Space for Dry Storage : 34.7 cubic ft (0.98 cubic meter), namely 260 gallons
Empty: 0.75″ (1.7 cm) With 200 lbs Payload (90.7 kg) : 2.5″ (64 mm) With 400 lbs Payload (181.5 kg): 4.25″ (108 mm) With 600 lbs Payload (272 kg): 6″ (152 mm)
Max Outboard Motor Power Recommended for Regular Use: 6 HP
Outboard Motor Compatibility: 20″ Long (L) Propeller Shaft
Hull: Rotationally Molded High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Saddle: Rotationally Molded High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Heavy Duty (HD) Saddle Bracket: Medium Density Overlay (MDO).
Our boats are made from 100% recyclable materials
Country of Origin
Our kayaks, paddles and accessories are 100% Made in USA
4. PRICE $2,570.
This price includes shipping in the US to land addresses in the contiguous 48 states, with insurance and call before delivery service. This price does not include the S4 mounting plate, whose cost is $104.
S4 Heavy Duty (HD) Motor Mounting Plate: $130
1.5″ thick. Made from Medium Density Overlay (MDO) and coated with urethane. Each mounting plate ships with a pair of 5/16″, 3″ long bolts, and self locking nuts. It takes a couple of minutes to attach this mounting plate to the boat: Just insert it into the molded-in stand for transom motor mount, drill two 5/16″ holes, and secure in place with the two bolts provided.
Fits 20″ long (L) propeller shafts.
Click image to enlarge
Wavewalk® 9 ft long dual blade (‘Kayak’) paddle: $190
Common dual blade (‘kayak’) paddles are neither long nor sturdy or rigid enough for paddling this paddle craft, pole it in shallow water, and paddle standing.
Wavewalk® 9’8″ extra long dual blade (‘Kayak’) paddle: $230
For very tall people, or people who plan on paddling standing and poling most of the time.
Wavewalk® Detachable Spray Shield: $140
For high speed motorizing in choppy water.
Wavewalk® Joystick Steering System: $270
For easy and fun steering seated and standing.
Best Stability in Small Boats
Initial (Primary) Stability: The S4 is more stable than any kayak, canoe, Jon boat and small skiff, including Wavewalk’s W700. A 200 lbs person standing with both feet in one of the S4 hulls will make it draft barely 1″ lower than it would if that person stood with one foot in each hull – hardly a noticeable difference.
Secondary Stability and Balancing Capability: The unique combination of a saddle seat (such as ATVs, PWC and snowmobiles feature) with high-volume twin hulls enables the passengers to balance themselves easily, intuitively, and more effectively than in any other boat, including kayaks, canoes, Jon boats, dinghies, skiffs, and personal watercraft (PWC / ‘jet-ski’).
The 15″ high saddle featuring in the S4 is similar to the saddle featuring in other high performance land and water vehicles, such as All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV), Personal Watercraft (PWC / ‘jet-ski’), and Snowmobiles, as well as certain Rigid-Inflatable Boats (RIB) designed for high speed motorizing offshore. Passengers riding this saddle can travel for long hours, including in choppy water, without suffering from back pain or fatigue. This is due to the fact that while seated in the Riding position, with a leg on each side of the saddle, the passenger’s legs support them in the most effective way, and no horizontal pressure from a backrest is being applied on their lower back. In addition, the S4 passengers can stand up any time they want, and keep driving and paddling while standing up. They can even lay down with their back on the saddle, and relax. Switching between positions assures that no extreme fatigue or tension would build up in any part of the passenger’s body.
Easy Transportation and Full Portability
The S4 weighs 98 lbs without a motor attached to it. This means that it does not require a trailer for transportation, since it can be car-topped. The S4 can be dragged or carried over rough terrain, and launched practically anywhere, whether it’s a rocky beach, shallow water, and other difficult spots that are not accessible to other boats.
Mobility and Range of Travel
The S4 can go anywhere, thanks to a number of special features – No other boat offers such a combination of shallow draft and total multi-modal propulsion, namely the ability to keep going in an effective paddling and poling mode even if the water is too shallow and/or infested with weeds to allow for motorizing. No other small boat works so well both on flat water and in the chop.
On Board Storage
The space available for dry storage on board the S4 is equivalent to the storage offered by a good size Jon-boat, or a regular skiff.
So far, the speed record for the S4 is 17 mph. This record was set with a 9.8 HP Tohatsu outboard motor by Captain Larry Jarboe, and documented in video. Based on the boat’s perfect performance at this speed, it could go faster with a more powerful motor. Please note that Wavewalk does not recommend using motors that are over 6 HP with the S4.
7. S4 vs. W700
W700 advantages over the S4: Solo kayaking, tandem kayaking, solo canoeing, portability.
S4 advantages over the W700: Motorizing, tandem motorizing, tandem fishing, stability, offshore trips, load capacity.
Shallow water – The S4 drafts less than the W700, and it features a skiff stand up casting platform, but the W700 paddles better, generally.
Offshore – Being more of a boat than the W700, the S4 offers a clear advantage in the chop.
This is the first duck hunting season we have used both the W500 and the W700 as duck hunting boats and they are doing great! It would be easy to put a blind on it (we have one all designed) but we mostly use the boats for transportation. The area we hunt is tidal mud flat. So the cover is minimal, actually non-existent. We sit on beach chairs in the mud and pretend to be a log. However, where the Wavewalk’s shine is in getting us to the spot. We paddle for 1.5miles over water that runs from 6 inches to 20 feet, with lots of logs, mussel beds, and all sorts of things that are a constant danger to motorized boats. In addition once we get to the spot we will be on the move the whole day. For instance yesterday’s tide went from 1.9 feet at 3 am to a 14.4 feet at 9:54 am and then back to 4.9 feet at 4:43 pm. We hunted from 5 am until about 4:00pm. So we saw and moved through most of that. We start on a mud flat, retreat to a log and end up back on the mud flat. It is work intensive hunting! The Wavewalk makes it possible for a couple of reasons. One it handles the current and wind with great proficiency. Tidal current is a constant, one direction or the other. In addition, this is the mouth of the Nisqually river, so you have a lot of water coming from there. And it seems there is always a wind and often with accompanying waves. With the Wavewalk you are able to paddle through all of this and feel secure knowing that you can handle it. It is not just a convenience it is a safety issue. We are paddling in water that has a constant temperature year round of 54 degrees, but the air temperature yesterday started at 24 degrees raising to a balmy 36, and oh yeah we paddle to the spot in the dark. If you get in trouble you are on your own. Often people ask me why not put a motor on it? For one simple reason; MUD! We move about 200 yards between low and high tides and then back again. During that we are dragging our boats forward and backward with the tide. We drag them in mud that can actually be a danger if you get stuck. The Coast guard had to airlift rescue a duck hunter from this marsh already this year who was stuck in the mud. Dragging 60 or 80 lbs of boat through mud is a challenge, but if you added the weight of a motor it would become impractical. The second reason the Wavewalks are so perfect for this hunting is the sheer storage. In the W700 I am able to transport 36 decoys, camo blankets for the boat and hunters, shotgun, lawn chair, hunting bucket, thermos, and myself with ease. In fact there is so much room in W700’s it hauls all of the decoys!
Yesterday I was able to take a friend who had never hunted in this way and put him in a Wavewalk for the first time. He is a big fellow so I put him in the W700. With very little effort he was comfortably and efficiently paddling, and we had a great hunt.
These boats are not just for fishing but they make great duck boats as well. So far this duck season the Wavewalks have gotten us 63 ducks, and we still have January to go!
Loving the Wavewalk as a great duck boat! Enjoy a few pictures of the season!
Wavewalk 700 (front) and Wavewalk 500 (back), guns, and ducks…