Capacity, Christmas, Kids and Crates

Vermont duck hunter Bob Glandon called me yesterday to discuss how he had motorized his W500 and to see if I had any suggestions. Bob is a pretty smart guy so, other than the advantages of using a u-joint extension tiller, I really wasn’t able to offer much in terms of changes.

Not surprisingly, a discussion of boating conditions included the weather which led to how warm this past winter had been in the Northeast. I mentioned I saw people in shorts playing golf on Christmas Day on my way to Syracuse, NY. That reminded Bob that he had a taken a photo of his grandchildren, 4 of them in his W500 all at once, on the lake in Vermont on Christmas Day!

I asked if I could publish it and here it is:

4 Kids in a W500-Glandon
Christmas Day in a W500 in Vermont!

Whenever I see videos and articles about how you can add a crate to an ordinary fishing kayak I always ask myself: “If these ordinary kayaks are supposed to be so big and so roomy, why do they need crates for storage?”. They do because they are not.

If you are looking for a kayak (for hunting, fishing, photography, camping, etc) that has serious capacity, and still weighs only 6o pounds, you may want to consider a Wavewalk. Oh, and as far as stability goes, what other kayak would you put 4 of your grandchildren in?

Thanks for sharing, Bob.

The W500 is fast in more ways than one.

This under-3-minutes video shows how I usually land, exit and transport my Wavewalks. I only car-top if I will be traveling on the interstate where traffic moves at close to 75 mph. I hope it helps viewers understand some of the real-world advantages of this most excellent fishing kayak.

Winter Pictures from 2 clients

Despite the warmest and most snow-barren winter on record we still have to wait for spring to get out on the water. Still, I received these photos and comments from 2 very happy upstate New York customers.

Rob Nilson's RigRob Nilson got a W500 because his knee problems made it impossible to fish from ordinary kayaks. He sent me this photo with the following message: "Yes, it's a great boat - this pic was last year at 7th. Lake outside of Inlet,NY. The boat seat is just a little to low. After a while my knees hurt. The chair is perfect & comfortable! Gets a lot of remarks too."
An Invisible Kayak?
An Invisible Kayak?

It took me a few minutes before I could find the W500 in this photo from duck hunter Bob Glandon. His comment on the Wavewalk: “Camo cloth for duck hunting. Worked well– just not my aim. Very solid for shooting from seated position. Had a dozen decoys in the hulls. Very comfy. Just wish my aim was as high quality as the boat!”

First Video of 2014

The spring weather in the Northeast has been challenging to say the least! It was once again, windy, windy, windy but still a beautiful day so out I went in my W500.

Here’s what happened, short but sweet.

Notice that, even though the camera is mounted directly to the Wavewalk’s gunnel, the shots are rock-steady. This was shot with my Nikon Coolpix AW100, no stabilizers and no stabilization added during editing or by YouTube.

Winter Discoveries

It’s cold and snowy and I can’t go fishing or kayaking. What to do? Well, I can read about fishing and kayaking, of course!  This led me to an article explaining why the Wavewalk W500 kayak is a superior paddling craft was that just posted on the Wavewalk blog (www.wavewalk.com/blog).

The information is presented in straightforward, non-technical terms. The author (Yoav Rosen, inventor of the Wavewalk) also includes links to some of his other, more technical writing on kayak design and performance.

Perhaps the most useful “take away” for most people deciding on which kayak to buy was the simple formula; 6:1. This 6-to-1 ratio of the length to the beam (L/B)  gives you an immediate “thumbnail” way to estimate what kind of performance to expect from each design. Kayaks with an L/B of 6:1 or greater should paddle easily and efficiently, those with the first number lower than 6, not so much. While there are many other factors that affect speed and enjoyment, this is an excellent place to start.

Reading this posting led me to go exploring for 2 things; how do the L/B ratios of common kayaks stack up to the W500 and just as importantly, what kind of technical information and education are other kayak manufacturers providing to potential customers? The results were startling.

I went to the web sites of 8 other kayak manufacturers (including the 6 top-selling brands and 2 “hybrid” types) and checked out this L/B ratio for their “fishing kayaks”. I DID NOT FIND A SINGLE KAYAK WITH AN L/B OF 6:1 OR GREATER! What I did find were endless claims about these kayaks being “easy to paddle” and “very stabile”. The stability is supposed to come from the increased overall width (and humps and air-pockets molded into their mono-hulls!) but there is never a mention of the impact on speed and ease of paddling from the ever-widening waistline they employ in their designs.

My other, less obvious discovery was what I did not find; NOT ONE SITE OFFERED THE READER ANY TECHNICAL INFORMATION WHATSOEVER! Nothing about hydrodynamics. Nothing about the impact of length vs beam (width at the waterline). Nothing about tracking and wind or the effect on speed when a rudder is added, etc.  But of course, rudders are available and recommended by these companies.

One has to wonder why they don’t provide any scientific data about what makes kayaks perform the way they do.

If you are already a Wavewalk owner you might want to suggest to anyone you know who is shopping for a kayak (for fishing or otherwise) to read the numerous technical articles available on the Wavewalk’s main site, www.wavewalk.com.

If are looking buy your first kayak (or replacing the last one you bought which isn’t quite what you hoped it would be) I make the same recommendation. And in addition to reading and watching videos, you should take an extensive test-ride. The proof is in the paddling.

Now, how many days until spring?

No hands method to load and unload a Wavewalk

Late this season Al Arioli purchased a W500. He is working on a plan to add a rowing system for the coming spring such that he will be facing in the direction of travel rather than the traditional method where you are always looking where you’ve been.

In the meantime, Al has devised a method to get his Wavewalk on and off of his Prius (see car-topping story W kayak attached on top of Toyota Prius at the Wavewalk blog) without even touching it!

The system is  effective and low-cost. Just some rope, a few pulleys and some 2 lengths of dowel.

The suspended Wavewalk
The suspended Wavewalk
Detail of pipe slipped between handles
Detail of dowel slipped between handles

 

Close-up of pulley system
Close-up of pulley system

Al just pulls into the garage, slides the dowels under the handles at each end of his W500 and pulls the rope. When its time to head out he just reverses the process.

Simple is best. Thanks Al!