What makes this motorized kayak a personal microskiff?
Both performance and comfort levels comparable to those offered by small microskiff:
This is not merely a fishing kayak outfitted with an outboard gas engine – It’s a W kayak, which means a patented, twin-hull watercraft that offers a much broader performance envelope.
Its small size, light weight and portability make it comparable to a midsize fishing kayak, but that’s where the comparison ends. When motorized, this craft’s stability, comfort, dryness, storage and speed are comparable to those offered by a small microskiff.
Additionally, this personal microskiff delivers unmatched mobility, as it’s easy to launch and beach it where in spots that are not accessible even to kayaks, and going in difficult waters where neither kayaks nor skiffs can go.
What other advantages does the personal microskiff offer over a conventional microskiff?
It’s a cartop boat, and 100% trailer free. Two of these tiny microskiffs fit on top of any car rack. Transporting it is easy too – you can just drag it on the ground (sand, pebbles, rocks, dirt, grass, etc.), push or pull it with a wheel or lightweight trolley (wheel cart), and even carry it on your shoulder if you’re strong enough –
What about additional passengers on board this little boat?
If the operator isn’t very heavy, an additional, lightweight passenger can fit in the cockpit. However, when carrying two passengers, it is not recommended to go with this microskiff in fast moving water, or offshore. A personal microskiff outfitted with a pair of good size outriggers can go offshore with two lightweight passengers on board. However, the total weight carried by this watercraft should not exceed 360lbs in any case, and this includes the weight of the motor and motor mount.
Can this personal microskiff tow a kayak or a canoe carrying passengers and gear?
Yes, it can, and while still moving at a good speed.
In fact, this is a convenient way for two people to go comfortably on a long distance, motorized boating and fishing trip, without needing to transport a boat on a trailer towed by their vehicle, and while staying dry.
How fast can this personal microskiff go?
When outfitted with a 2hp outboard gas engine, it travels at a 7.5mph sustained speed in rough waters, and 8mph on calm water. Interestingly, its speed is similar with a 1.2hp outboard motor.
With a 3hp outboard, it reached a 9.6mph speed, and would have probably reached a higher speed if the driver hadn’t experienced some steering issues due to planing that may have been solved if he sat further forward in the cockpit.
This is to say that while this little watercraft is not a racing boat, it’s fast enough to get you where you want to go, even in unfavorable water and weather conditions.
In comparison, the common numbers used for a flat bottomed dinghy or small microskiff are two horsepower per 3.3ft (1 meter) of length to reach hull speed, and ten horsepower for the same unit of measurement to make such a boat plane.
The hull speed of an 11ft long boat is 5mph, which means that if this tiny craft had the form and weight of a regular flat bottomed dinghy or traditional skiff, it would have required a 6hp outboard motor just to reach 5mph.
In sum, the special form and light weight of this personal microskiff make it both fast and economic in motor-boating terms, and the fact that a very small and lightweight outboard is enough to propel this boat at a good speed makes it even easier to transport and carry.
What About Electric Motors?
I general, we view electric trolling motors as a means of propulsion that’s suitable for flat or slow moving water, in short distance trips. The reason for this is that electric batteries are heavy and cannot be recharged on board such a small craft, and a powerful electric motor would drain any battery after a few hours, while an outboard gas motor can be refueled from a fuel can carried on board.
But what we hold to be true isn’t necessarily a universal truth, as these two offshore fishermen from Panama demonstrate: