According to this article, the answer to this question depends on who’s asking – It’s possible for young and fit anglers who are willing to compromise substantially to fish out of kayaks, but all others are effectively prevented from doing it, because typically, kayaks are neither stable nor comfortable enough for serving in the capacity of a fishing vessel.
Stability and comfort, namely ergonomics, are related directly to boat design, and kayaks don’t necessarily have to be unstable or uncomfortable. With the same size of a typical fishing kayak, Wavewalk’s W720 and S4 provide a much higher degree of stability, seaworthiness, and comfort. People who use these boats never suffer from back pain while they travel in them, or fish from them, and neither do they experience instability when they stand up, as they would in SOT fishing kayaks, .
And by “people” we mean everyone, not just persons who are young and fit.
Speaking of Boat Design, words are not enough, and one must use numbers: The above series of images shows the W720, a patented catamaran kayak skiff that weighs 85 lbs, and is 31 inches wide. These dimensions make it easy to paddle compared to the top tier SOT fishing kayaks who are always wider and in most cases considerably heavier, while providing less stability than the W720 design does.
85 lbs and 31 inches are low figures in this field of top-tier fishing kayaks, and they also make Wavewalk’s kayaks easier to cartop, transport, and carry than other fishing kayaks, which can weigh over 100 lbs (up to 140 lbs!…), and be as wide as 42 inches, namely “barges”.
Wavewalk recently announced the new THE W720 CATAMARAN KAYAK-SKIFF.
The W720 is the newest model from the classic W700 series, and it comes with an integrated motor mount, standard. This mount is suitable for outboard motors up to 3 HP.
The W720 catamaran kayak-skiff weighs 85 lbs without a motor, and it’s perfect for inland fishing in ponds, lakes, and slow moving rivers.
With its roomy cockpit and its carrying capacity of 360 lbs, it can comfortably take up to two anglers on board.
Its price makes it even more appealing: $2,200 without shipping.
The W720 is not the S4, but it’s a stable and comfortable motorboat for up to two anglers, and it’s the easiest to cartop and carry.
In kayak fishing terms, the W720 is the most stable and roomy one or two person kayak out there, and the easiest to paddle (only 31 inches wide!).
And last but not least, the W720 is the only kayak out there that’s back pain free.
Whether human powered or motorized, the W720 is certainly the best of breed in fishing kayaks, and the only microskiff in the “even lighter than the S4” class.
Wavewalk recently updated its S4 photo gallery on its microskiff.us website »
This picture gallery includes over a hundred photos, and it is worthwhile visiting, since it offers a quick visual review of the S4 as its owners outfit and use it.
This is a unique experience, whether you’re a prospecting S4 client or already an owner yourself.
Design, including boat design, is about choosing the formula that would best answer the requirements of the user. In the case of the S4 Microskiff, the requirements for extreme portability (easy car topping) and versatility (ability to paddle) led to a limitation on engine power, mostly due to its weight.
Many boat owners care about being able to reach the maximum speed that their boat allows for, so they spend much time and money on trimming their boat, and this article offers S4 Microskiff owners information and hand-on advice on how to trim their boat for speed.
Prior to this, Wavewalk published the review entitled More S4 rigging projects, and 10 HP motor » By Terry Pritchard. It is very interesting to read, especially if you’re looking to turn your S4 into a lightweight, compact, and almost full-featured bass boat.
One of the fist questions that future S4 owners ask is about motorizing, and more specifically, what size motor would best fit their needs –
3.5 HP or 6 HP outboard motor for my S4 microskiff? »
Wavewalk and its dealers sell the S4 microskiff non-motorized, and it’s up to the boat owner to choose what type and size of motor they will use. Wavewalk offers plenty of info and good advice on these subjects, and this is the latest article in this series.
It’s worth mentioning here that Wavewalk’s website offers dozens of articles including on subjects related to boat design and DIY projects. Articles Directory »
Wavewalk developed a twin S4 “quadramaran” boat – a double catamaran featuring four hulls in total.
People have been tying together small and bigger boats for many years, from canoes and kayaks to larger vessels, and the S4X2 is simply a new version of this concept.
With its total width of over 80 inches, the S4X2 is extremely stable and seaworthy, and its estimated load capacity is over 1,000 lbs, which means that it can carry a driver and three full size adult passengers, plus plenty of camping, fishing, hunting or diving gear. Everyone on board is expected to be able to stand up at the same time as the other passengers, and fish in this position, at least on flat water.
This double boat is made from a pair of Wavewalk S4 multihull boats attached together by means of a lightweight wooden structure reinforced with bolts and metal brackets. The total weight of this boat is 230 lbs without the motor and payload. This includes two times the 100 lbs that each S4 weighs, and 30 lbs for the connecting wooden structure.
Portability and Mobility
The main advantage that this boat offers over other boats of similar size is that even one user can take it apart quickly and easily, and transport it non-assembled without a trailer, if the transporting vehicle is big enough, such as a minivan, a big SUV, or a big pickup truck.
The boat’s easy transportation and assembly capability greatly enhances its users’ ability to launch it almost anywhere, without necessarily relying on boat ramps.
Power and Speed
Being stabler and more seaworthy than its individual component boats, the S4X2 can be powered by a bigger outboard motor. How powerful remains to be seen, and current estimates are up to 20 HP, which means that it may reach 30 mph.
Alternatively, two S4 owners could join them together, and power their ad hoc S4X2 with two small outboards normally used separately on each of the S4 boats. In such case, a wooden connecting structure would not be necessary, since the main purpose of this structure is to enable driving the S4X2 with one powerful motor attached along its center line.
Note that the combination of two small motors will not be yield much more speed than each of the small outboards can deliver separately, but it will be more powerful than a single small outboard, and useful to move heavy loads.
The ability to quickly assemble and disassemble this boat makes it perfect for multiple uses. For example, in a capacity of a tender (service boat) for a big boat, a group of passengers can go on shore in an S4X2 , and return to the mother ship in different times, in two smaller groups, each using a single S4.
Similar scenarios can be imagined for hunting, fishing and diving trips, and tours with people who have different interests and/and schedules.
In this context it is important to remember that the S4 works perfectly not just as a motorboat, but as a paddle craft (canoe or kayak) as well. Carrying a spare, small electric outboard on board an S4X2, or even a small gas outboard is easy, and doing so can turn the two S4s components into completely independent vessels.
However, if the owner of an S4X2 is interested mainly in versatility, they should bear in mind that a single S4 is not capable of taking a 4-Cycle outboard motor that’s over 10 HP, due to the motor’s weight at the stern. In other words, there will be a tradeoff between maximum speed and maximum versatility.
Skiff Casting Deck
Outfitting an S4X2 with a large size casting deck is very easy – just cover the front end with a sturdy plywood board cut to the desired shape.
Four hulls for one boat is excessive, but the exceptional tracking ability delivered by this rare structure, combined by its extreme stability will be most useful for sailing.
Paddling is very limited in the S4X2, pretty much like paddling is for passengers of a good size skiff or a big Jon boat. This could be a bit of a challenge when beach launching and beaching, especially if there is only one person on board.
Wavewalk has done sea trials for the S4X2 during the summer. The R&D tested the strength of the connecting wooden structure, the boat’s performance in rough water, possible need for a spray shield, launching and beaching, carrying the components over short distances, assembly and disassembly, and so on.
Bigger motors will be introduced at a later stage, possibly next year.