Staying Dry in a Motorized W500 Kayak

Bob Glandon (duck hunter) travels a good distance in the water to reach his hunting spots. To speed things up he mounted a 15″ outboard motor to his W500.

Since such short-shaft (S) motors are not standard for use with Wavewalk kayaks, at high speed he was still getting some water splashing up and into the boat from the open space between the shaft of the motor and the cockpit.

Engineering is Bob’s background and here is how he solved the problem:

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Short-Shaft Motor on W500

Bought two 11x32x1-1/4″ open cell kick-boards at the grocery store (only used one).  A little stiffer than a pool noodle stock.

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Seen from below, kick-board tucked under floatation

I stuck one end up above the underside noodle floats and bungied the back to the motor mount with it sticking back to make contact with the motor shaft.

Ran it around in the chop of Lake George, NY, off my dock and didn’t get any water in except some side splashing.
I rode forward slightly but kept the bow up for the wake chop so I’m sure I would have gotten water without the deflector.


Didn’t shape the Decorative fins but could to shape to motor. Foam meets the motor above the swivel point so I can get a tight fit.

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Secured splash-blocker… no drilling!

Back shock cord goes up to motor mount. One 6″ forward goes up onto inch clips on deck.  The unused board gives perspective. A 13″ wide would have been a snug fit but the side flanges of the motor mount seal it fairly well.

This provides an additional 16# floatation should you swamp — or slide way back while catching a big fish!
Simple and cheap!
Regards, Bob”

Thanks Bob, a really smart solution!

Note that Wavewalk recommends motorizing with 20-inch shaft motors, so that the head can be tight to the cockpit, the unwanted splash eliminated, and overall performance optimized.

 

Honda Outboard on a W500 Fishing Kayak

What’s it really like when you are on the water in a lightweight Wavewalk that’s being propelled by a 4-stroke gas motor? Well, it’s a lot faster than any pedal-driven kayak and still easy to paddle and transport. Take a look-

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?

Extended Family

Here are a few photos of Ernie, the latest customer for New York Fishing Kayaks, gliding along on a scenic waterway near Saratoga Lake, NY. Ernie and his wife already have several power boats, canoes and kayaks, but he test paddled a Wavewalk and took it home that same day.ernie wavewalk1

Because Ernie is a big guy he knew he should add saddle brackets, which he did. But he didn’t buy them, he made them himself. This is well within his ability as Ernie is a professional sign maker (Balchsigns.com) with CNC equipment and expertise in fabrication.

It’s hard to see in the pictures but his fishing crate and attached bungee are color-matched to his Wavewalk. Later he plans to add a custom paint job and various other modifications. I expect they will be outstanding!

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His first words of feedback after using it for 3 days were: “Not wet footing is nice”. I think this will mean even more when the water temperatures drop this fall and are in the 40’s next spring.

Photos were taken by his wife, Diane who handles the decal, lettering and promotional products side of the business.