Wavewalk

Better than a full size skiff

Many people who own full size skiffs are acutely aware of the problems that come with such a boat, among which are the large footprint when stored on your property, maintenance (time and money), transportation by trailer, and being restricted to launching and beaching at crowded boat ramps (time and aggravation). The maintenance problem is more acute for boats that stay in the water for a long time.

Others are aware of actual shortcomings in performance that large size skiffs come with, namely poor stability in choppy seas, insufficient seaworthiness, and too much draft.

The first issue, namely stability and seaworthiness, turn driving a large size skiff in the ocean, or fishing for from it, into a problem, or simply an unpleasant experience – Passengers on board have to pay too much attention to their own stability, due to the action of waves, and as a result of the impact of wakes from fast motorboats passing nearby. Lackluster stability and low seaworthiness can reduce the fun of driving a large size skiff in the ocean, as well as the pleasure of fishing from it.

The second problem, which is excessive draft, is equally annoying – Typically, a large size skiff drafts more than a foot, because actual draft is measured at the lower tip of the motor’s skeg, and not at the lowest point of the hull. Such draft may not seem like a noteworthy problem unless you like to fish in shallow water, and it becomes more acute at low tides, when lack of proper planning or simply bad luck could result in your skiff being stranded for hours, with no means to move it due to its size and weight, which prevent dragging and paddling.
This is to say that shallow water fishing requires a lightweight boat with a very shallow draft, and large size skiffs are too heavy, and they draft too much to be considered as optimal for it.

There aren’t that many good substitutes to big skiffs, and not any micro skiff or portable boat can provide a solution without imposing other problems on their owner. Generally, portable boats are even less stable and seaworthy than bigger ones, and some craft such as a motorized board designed for a solitary user are not seaworthy at all, while being too heavy to car top.

Wavewalk’s new Series 4 (S4) can serve as a good substitute for a full size skiff, since although it can carry on board up to three anglers and their fishing gear, it is still lightweight enough to be car-topped by one person. The twin-hull of the S4 combined with its personal watercraft style saddle seat offer better stability and means for the passengers to balance themselves than most skiffs do, which makes this small boat highly seaworthy where bigger skiffs feel uncomfortable and even unsafe. The S4 can be launched from practically anywhere, and it can take a powerful 6 HP motor that makes it go at a good speed.

 

One person, car-top in thirty seconds –

 

 

Launch and beach anywhere –

 

 

Fast and fun to drive! –

 

 

Three full size anglers –

 

 

Two passengers –

 

 

Seaworthy! –

 

 

What’s a skiff, really?

A skiff is a small boat that can take you and your fishing buddy or another person on board, and lets you fish comfortably in shallow water and flat water, as well as drive in moderately choppy water.
The capacity to take two full size passengers on board is a minimum requirement, and a watercraft that fails to cross this threshold is not a skiff. Such a sub-skiff may be a tiny Jon boat or dinghy, a motorized kayak, or a motorized paddle board, but it’s not a skiff. In fact, it’s not even a micro skiff, namely a small skiff, dubbed “microskiff”.
Whether a skiff features one type of hull or another is practically irrelevant, since skiffs come with some variations on their hull shapes, as do Jon boats and many other types of boats.

A portable skiff should be a car-top boat, and one that a single person could upload to the roof rack of their vehicle without an effort.
A skiff that’s too heavy to allow you to go fishing on your own if you want to or have to, is not portable.

The Wavewalk 700 and Wavewalk S4 are the only skiffs that fit both these requirements, namely of being a skiff that’s also portable, and the following video demonstrates how well a motorized S4 carries two full size adults on board, in moderate chop, and while both of them sit in the rear part on the cockpit, in full comfort and absolute stability –

 

 

Note how relaxed and comfortable the crew looks, and the fact that the front passenger sits while facing sideways, that is with both legs in one on the hulls. If this passenger felt unstable to any degree, she would have ridden the saddle-seat facing forward, with a leg in each of the hulls, similarly to the way the passengers of a personal watercraft (“jet-ski”) sit, since this posture provides the highest degree of balancing capability. Stability in small boats is the result of the boat’s own design, namely the way its buoyancy is distributed in the hull, and the way the passengers are seated in it. The above video shows the S4 to be a skiff that’s stable enough even if one of its passengers chooses not to take advantage of the balancing capability that this boat offers, and they rely solely on the static stability provided by the hulls.

The video also shows that even with a crew that weighs over 400 lbs and a 40 lbs outboard motor, the S4 skiff could very well carry a third passenger on board – In terms of space, the front half of the cockpit is empty, and so is the front deck that can serve as a casting platform, and in terms of carrying capacity, as can be seen from the high free board at the front of the boat, and the passengers’ obvious well being, which comes from their being stable and comfortable.

The most lightweight skiff

At 98 lbs without accessories, Wavewalk’s S4 is the world’s most lightweight skiff.
In fact, it is lighter than some fishing kayaks.

How does the S4’s light weight translate into advantages for its users?

Advantage in ratio of weight to carrying capacity (payload)

With its carrying capacity of over 650 lbs, the S4 boasts a weight to payload ratio of 1:6, and no other skiff comes close to delivering such performance.

In other words, every pound of Polyethylene from which this skiff is made, can carry six pounds of passengers, motors, equipment and provisions.

In this photo, Captain Larry Jarboe drives his S4 skiff at 10 mph with two adult passengers on board. The total payload carried here is over 550 lbs, and the position of the bow above the water shows that this S4 could have taken some extra weight on board.

Wavewalk S4 skiff carrying a 550 payload at 10 mph

Both the captain and passengers are relaxed and comfortable – This is a leisure trip in the mangroves of Key Largo, Florida, an area where many motorboats go, including fast powerboats that leave big wakes behind them.
The free board seen here, combined with the S4’s unrivaled stability, provide this crew adequate means to deal with this problem that everyone who goes in small boats, including Jon boats and micro skiffs is aware of, and often wary of.

Advantage in transportation that saves time

This micro skiff is so lightweight that one person can car top it on any vehicle by themselves, and transport the motor inside the vehicle.

 

 

No other skiff or micro skiff offers such performance in transportation. Not even paddle board style skiffs designed to carry just one person on board.

The economic advantage of being so lightweight is that the owners of the S4 skiff waste no time launching it at boat ramps, and they have more time to spend on the water, fishing, touring, and diving. In addition, they can save the money that other boat owners must spend on a trailer.
One person is enough to launch and beach the S4 practically anywhere.

Advantage in mobility and fishing in shallow water

In paddling terms, the S4’s light weight combined with its catamaran hull and its cockpit’s slanted sides makes it fun and easy to paddle, even for a solo paddler, who doesn’t necessarily have to be particularly strong or experienced, as told by this Texan angler in his “first impression” review of the Wavewalk S4 »

The ability to switch to anytime to an effective paddling mode is a major advantage for anglers who fish in shallow water, grass, seaweed, and no-motor zones, namely highly productive fisheries, such as the flats, mangroves, marshes, etc.

Paddling this skiff kayak is easy both seated and standing. The latter is yet another advantage since it greatly improves the ability of the angler who practices sight fishing to spot fish at a greater distance. This advantage is critical for fly fishing in these areas.