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.
Is a portable boat better, and how do micro skiffs rank in portability?
A fishing trip begins at home, and it ends there. Avid anglers strive to spend as much time on the water, fishing, and as little time as possible driving to the water, launching their boat, and driving it to the spots where they like to fish.
Driving to a boat ramp and waiting in line to launch your boat after you already arrived there is a frustrating experience, and so is waiting in your boat for others to take their boats out.
This frustration over wasted precious time is the result of the dependence on trailers for boat transportation, and it explains some of the popularity of kayaks and car-top boats, both of which are trailer free.
You want to be able to launch your boat anywhere that’s close enough to where you want to fish, and get there in as little time and effort as possible.
Ironically, few microskiffs can be transported on a pickup truck bed, and fewer can be car-topped. In this sense, although the common microskiff can be trailer-free, it doesn’t necessarily rank high in portability.
Wavewalk’s new Series 4 (S4) is a 13 ft long, 38″ wide, high performance micro skiff based on the company’s patented technology.
One person can easily car-top the S4 on any vehicle, from sedan to SUV. Uploading the S4 on pickup truck bed is even easier.
Since the S4 weighs just 98 lbs without the motor, carrying it from the car to the water and back is easy as well, and unless you need to go over pavement, you can do it without wheels or a trolley, in many cases.
These facts make the S4 the world’s most portable micro skiff.
Solo skiff, or skiff with room for your fishing buddy, family members, etc.?
You may want to fish alone, sometimes, and you might be forced to do so in other times, if your fishing buddies are prevented from going with you. But a skiff that can carry only you on board, with no ability to take at least one additional passenger, is simply a bad idea.
Even motorcycles have a passenger seat…
The S4 can take from 1 to 3 adult passengers, depending on their size, and it can accommodate in full comfort 2 large-size anglers with all their fishing gear and camping equipment.
Forget about paddling?
Human powered propulsion, namely paddling or poling, is a most important capability that every skiff must offer, simply because skiffs are designed to be used in shallow water, as well as in water where vegetation abounds, and these are factors that limit the use of motors. In addition, many good fisheries are legally limited to non-motorized boats.
Most skiffs are too broad and heavy to offer paddling as a realistic option, which leaves their users with poling as the only human-powered option for human powered propulsion, and this is not a good thing, because poling is difficult, and a most ineffective mode of propulsion.
Flats fishing can be greatly affected by tides, and being able to paddle your boat as the water gets too shallow for motorizing at low tide adds to your mobility.
Therefore, you can’t “forget about paddling”, and no sensible angler would want to forget about it.
Wavewalk’s S4 offers full paddling capabilities to any crew ranging from 1 to 3 paddlers, seated or standing. Its shallow draft offers unrivaled mobility in skinny water, and the ability to launch and beach anywhere, including rocky beaches, and beaches with abundant vegetation and underwater obstacles.
A seaworthy skiff?
Like Jon boats, typical skiffs feature flat-bottomed hulls, and the smaller ones offer little free board. This combination is designed to work well on flat water, but as soon as the wind picks up and waves appear, many anglers who fish out of these boats return to base, and in extreme cases they seek nearby shelter. On top of this, passengers in these small boats are exposed to big wakes that fast powerboats generate. A wake hitting a Jon boat or a micro skiff while an unprepared passenger is standing in or on it could cause that person to lose balance and fall overboard, and in case the skiff is small enough, overturn it.
Jon boats and micro skiffs are sometimes required to cross bays and estuaries, and go in fast moving water, where both waves and wakes are present. Any boat that’s not stable enough, or doesn’t offer enough free board cannot travel in these waters.
The Wavewalk S4 introduces a higher level of stability and seaworthiness to the small skiffs. This is the result of the successful combination of several design factors, which are –
The S4 is true twin-hull (catamaran), and none of its buoyancy is wasted along its center line, where it would be useless in stability terms. Each of the boat’s two hulls can support the weight of a heavy guy standing in it.
The driver and passenger sit and stand at a low point in the boat, with their feet below waterline.
The S4 features a personal-watercraft (PWC / jet-ski) saddle seat that its passengers ride. The riding posture is the most stable of all sitting postures, and it allows the passengers to balance themselves more easily and effectively, in a way that’s fully intuitive. The same principle is applied in other high-performance vehicles such as ATVs and snowmobiles, and for riding horses.
High Performance, Convenience, and Extreme Versatility in Videos:
W570 INF 20 Microskiff Configuration with inflatable side flotation and spray shield
These two short videos will demonstrate performance that you might not have thought to be possible –
The new W570 series from Wavewalk is a great car-top, motorized solution for offshore fishing. Models from this series feature a transom motor mount, a detachable spray shield, and a pair of high capacity detachable, inflatable flotation modules.
The Wavewalk 570 NF 20-15 in offshore action, in the chop:
Here’s a new video showing the W570 20-15 microskiff mounted with a 6 HP Tohatsu outboard. This boat is very overpowered, but still, it’s interesting video to watch –
W570 20-15 overpowered with a 6 HP Tohatsu outboard
Same boat viewed from behind. Note that the TMM 20-15 motor mount had to be reinforced so it could withstand the weight and torque of this powerful outboard motor.
Downsize and Upgrade
Since 2004, people around the world have been fishing from this small boat, inshore and offshore, and according to them, it’s the world’s best personal fishing craft. The boat is commonly known as the W fishing kayak, thanks to its small size, light weight, and the fact you can also use it in no-motor zones (NMZ), but the term ‘kayak’ belittles this unique craft –
The W Personal Micro Skiff gets you anywhere a full size skiff would, and beyond, to fishing spots unreachable by other skiffs, jon boats, and even by conventional fishing kayaks.
It offers you full comfort and control, both riding its jet-ski style saddle, and standing up.
You can launch, go and beach anywhere, and never use a trailer or boat ramp again.
One person can cartop this boat that weighs less than 60 lbs without the motor and detachable motor mount, and 93 lbs with a 2hp Honda outboard attached to it.
Two of these personal micro skiffs can be easily uploaded and attached on top of any car rack, even that of a sedan. A pair of 2hp outboard gas motors fit in the trunk of any car.
This personal microskiff outfitted with a 2hp outboard gas engine can tow another kayak or canoe behind at a 5mph speed. This option offers the owner to take with them other people on prolonged camping and fishing trips, as well as carry additional gear, for longer expeditions.
Watch this video to get a more realistic insight of the possibilities this small craft offers –
Wavewalk is a kayak manufacturer licensed by the US Coast Guard (USCG).
This unique craft is an embodiment of our US Utility Patent Number 6,871,608 ‘Twin Hull Personal Watercraft’.
Patented Twin Hull. Catamaran Style Hulls With Longitudinal (Jet-Ski Style) Riding Saddle.
Main Advantages: Unchallenged Stability, Dry, Most Comfortable, No back Pain. Unmatched Tracking.
Comparable to a mid-size kayak. Length = 11’4″, Width = 29″, Height = 17″ (without motor).
Weight: 60lbs (without motor), 93 lbs With 2hp Outboard Motor, Fuel and Motor Mount.
Main Advantages: Fully Portable, Easy to Car Top. Launch, Go, Fish and Beach Anywhere.
Recommended – 2hp 4-Cycle Honda Outboard with a 20″ propeller shaft. Works with outboard motors featuring 15″ propeller shafts as well. Other types of propulsion include electric motors, propane outboards, kayak paddles, poling poles, canoe paddles, rowing oars, and various sailing rigs.
Main Advantages: Unrivaled versatility, No-Motor Zone (NMZ) Compatible when non-motorized.
1 Person Micro Skiff (Motorized) for Fishing, plus Kayaking, Canoeing, Sailing, and a Yacht Tender.
Tandem: If the driver is not heavy, they may take an additional, lightweight passenger on board. Alternatively, when outfitted with a small outboard gas engine, this boat can tow a kayak or canoe with another passenger, at a 5mph speed.
Main Advantages: High Performance, Full Service Micro Skiff for One Passenger. Unrivaled Versatility, Unrivaled Ease of Use, Unrivaled Mobility.
Why choose a W Personal Micro Skiff over a typical micro skiff?
The W Personal Micro Skiff offers you almost all the advantages you get from a typical, conventional micro skiff, plus some extra advantages in transportation, portability, mobility and versatility, and the only price you pay for these advantages is being able to take less passengers on board.
In other words, this small watercraft offers unbeatable value –
The following chart summarizes the advantages and disadvantages of the W Personal Micro Skiff, compared to a typical micro skiff:
W vs. Typical Micro Skiff – Comparison
Typical Micro Skiff
W Personal Micro Skiff
5-15 hp: $2-10 K
2 hp: $1 K
Boat Net Weight (Without Motor)
Max. Load Capacity
Typical # of Passengers
Max. # of Passengers
Mobility I – Obstacles
Mobility II – Portable
Watch a video playlist of this personal skiff:
How easy is it to transport a personal microskiff?
It’s pretty easy, since the personal microskiff weighs just 60 lbs without a motor and motor mount.
Watch this movie shot by a Wavewalk fan who outfitted his W500 with a 6 hp Tohatsu outboard motor shows the boat going at 13 mph at 1/3 throttle: