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 –