Just a short video shot while driving my S4 around the corner…
Couple observations –
This 6 HP outboard is no 10 HP, and this 8″ pitch prop is no 9″ pitch 😀
Driving this little boat in the chop is super easy and fun, whether it’s against the wind, in lateral waves, or in a following sea.
I live close to the water, and I need to transport my motorized Wavewalk S4 over mildly rough terrain, and a sandy beach. The outboard motor I use is a 6 HP Tohatsu that weighs close to 60 lbs, so carrying it by hand is not easy.
Therefore, I had to make a trolley that features wheels that are bother high and wide. The trolley also needed to be transported on board the S4 without taking too much space.
I made a simple wheel cart from a pair of 13″ high and 6.5″ wide flat-free (non inflatable) wheels, and 3/4″ stainless steel tube mounted on a 1/2″ thick plywood board. This structure is attached to the S4 by means of straps.
The plywood board features a small wooden extension in its center. This extension fits in the first, widest slot in the S4’s front deck, and it allows to easily attach the wheel cart vertically, by means of a single shock cord (bungee).
Launching with this trolley is easy, and so is getting the wheels under the kayak after beaching.
The plywood is coated with two layers of urethane that protect it from the water.
Pulling is done either by holding one of the two molded-in front carry handles, or a strap attached to them.
Since these wheels are, big, another thing that this wheel cart offers is to run the outboard motor in a bin filled with freshwater, in order to rinse the salt out of it. This way, the motor can stay attached to the boat, and be clean of the salt.
This setup is enough to let the motor run in freshwater for a few minutes
I guess some readers may ask if this wheel cart offers the front passenger some protection from spray when the S4 moves in waves, and the answer is that it does offer a little protection compared to having nothing there.
The spray shield that Wavewalk developed years ago for the 500 series is made from a 48″ x 12″ Polycarbonate (PC) sheet.
This accessory bends around the front of the W500, and stops spray from getting into the cockpit from the space between the front hull tips, as well as from their sides.
Since there isn’t that much difference in design and size between the W500 and W700, this spray shield works for the latter as well, and it allows for driving both motorized kayaks at high speeds in choppy waters.
But the S4 is different –
To begin with, the S4’s front deck blocks most of the spray generated at the bow while bumping frontally into waves at high speeds, and let’s not forget that the S4 is faster than the W700 and W500…
But the S4’s front deck is less effective for blocking spray generated on the sides of the boat while it hits waves in diagonal. This is by no means a major problem, and the worst outcome can be that a passenger sitting at the front of the cockpit could get a little wet when the boat goes at high speed in choppy water.
This little problem can persist even with a W500 Spray Shield attached to the S4 –
Since the S4 skiff is 9″ wider than the W500, a 48″ long spray shield bent and attached at the front of its cockpit won’t bend enough to protect both its front and its sides.
To achieve their goal, an S4 owner who wants to outfit their boat with a totally effective spray shield would have to make one from two sheets of 48″ x 12″ Polycarbonate – One sheet in the center, and a 24″ x 12″ extension riveted to each side of that central sheet, forming together a 96″ long sheet.
The DIY designer can cut the Polycarbonate, and reduce the height of the spray shield’s ends, and thus give the final product a cool, professional look that’s higher at the center and tapering down on both ends, namely backward when attached to the kayak’s cockpit (See images below).
Drilling holes in a Polycarbonate sheets is easy, and so is riveting lashing hooks to it.
These hooks will serve to attach the spray shield to the deck with a shock cord (bungee), in a way that makes attaching and detaching easy and quick.
Other methods can serve as well to attach the spray shield to the S4.
We recommend using Polycarbonate sheets that are 0.1″ thick or slightly thinner, in order to keep the end product lightweight and assure its flexibility.
Polycarbonate (PC) sheets are not expensive, and they can be purchased online.
W500 Spray Shield made from one 48″ x 12″ Polycarbonate sheet
The W500 Spray Shield bends easily without heating
I’m a retired guide, and I live in the mountains of western North Carolina.
I bought my S4 early this year, but so far I had only one chance to take it out on the river because this year has been been very unusual, since it kept raining until July, and the rivers have been high. The S4 was very stable in fast moving water, and easy to maneuver.
I outfitted our S4 with a 1987 6hp Johnson outboard, and it works perfectly.
My wife and I took our S4 to Florida, and we enjoyed it very much. She likes it, and she even likes driving it.
I drive my S4 with a tiller extension, and I can drive it standing with no problems. I drove it in saltwater at a top speed of 15 mph, and at 13.4 mph in a sustained mode. I noticed that it was going faster in saltwater and at sea level than in freshwater in the mountains. I attribute this to the combination of more oxygen and more buoyancy. Note that the place where I live is at a 2,700 ft elevation.
I take a lot of gear on my fishing trips, and the first time I went fishing with my S4 was confusing for me, since I didn’t know how to store my gear in its hulls. But after I gave it some thought and arranged things properly, the boat turned out to be perfect. I added a storage hatch inside the saddle, works great. I also stiffened the gunnels with wooden ribs so that I could use the sides of the boat to store my fishing gear, and I laid foam on the bottom of the hulls.
I’m planning to add rowing oars to it.
Here are some pictures that show how I rigged it.
Wavewalk S4 motorized kayak skiff
I need the gunnels ridged because I will be attaching oarlocks soon
We went out on the jetty for a bit and I shot a couple nice snapper. Candy cooked up the fillets.
I made this spray shield from Lexan. Before I bend it around I wanted to see how it does out wide like this.
I also finished my two tank holder for scuba diving. It just slipped right in. I painted plastic dip on top and on the bottom to keep it from sliding around, and cut a groove for the saddle bracket. It fits right in.
We tested the spray shield today.
Candy: -“I’m near the front and this is my current view. Jesse did an amazing job on the spray shield. Pretty much dry!” –
I ended up bending it around, and it works really good –