The Wavewalk™ 700 promises to be the world’s best fishing kayak in the tandem plus solo category, whether human powered or motorized. This means it would work great for both a crew of two fishermen as for one fisherman.
In order to create such an unrivaled fishing kayak, its designers had to invent some new ways to make W catamaran kayaks in rotationally molded Polyethylene (PE).
Here’s a short computer-generated animation video that shows how the W700 is made:
We look forward to see how users of this new boat will rig it for fishing, and outfit it for other usages!
I bought my Wavewalk a couple of months ago after driving up to Palm Coast Florida and meeting with Gene Andrews of “High and Dry Kayaks“. Gene is one of the most accommodating and genuine people I have meet in a very long time. He met with me at a boat ramp where he showed me how to launch the “W” without getting your feet wet.
And the demo went on from there and he let me paddle his yellow boat and I stood up my first time in less than five minutes.
I fly fish on the Indian River Lagoon in South East Florida where I live and the “W” fit my needs almost perfect, but at 64 years old I wanted more stability and such a higher vantage point when I needed it.
It really makes it a one man fishing machine and I absolutely love it.
I had labored over my decision to buy a stand up fishing Kayak for months reviewing almost everything including the [build-in outriggers kayak] line of boats that are sold at our local fly shop here in Stuart Florida.
I knew I wanted the stability of “W” and I wanted to be able to take a passenger on occasion.
I’m going to outfit my W kayak with the cockpit hooks and bungee as I don’t think there is a better more affordable way to keep my boat dry will it is sitting on the floating dock waiting for me to use it. Plus I love the idea that I can deploy it when caught out here in our rather numerous summer rain storms and hide under it until it lets up.
I paddle the boat standing on the platform, and use it that way a lot in the back creeks and small mangrove lagoons.
Pictures of my “W” outfitted with a leaning post and outrigger pontoon system:
Not an easy question to answer, since a kayak is essentially a solo boat, which doesn’t lend itself easily to tandem applications –
In principle, it’s possible, since many kayaks are big enough to take two passengers on board. But practically, having two anglers fishing out of a small vessel such as a kayak is problematic with regards to several aspects that command serious consideration:
The first problem is Safety – two passengers moving about in the cockpit or on the deck of a fishing kayak in an uncoordinated manner can easily destabilize it, with the result being one of them overreacting, and causing the kayak to capsize. Obviously, having fishing rods, lures and fish flying around in all direction in such a limited space isn’t the best a recipe for safety.
The second problem is Convenience – Every angler wants and needs to have an unlimited range of motion, in order to perform basic things such as casting, reeling, landing the fish, unhooking, etc. Angler also need to have a comfortable workspace for attaching lures and bait, and doing other technical work involving the manipulation of fishing gear, including sharp objects such as fishing hooks and knives.
The last thing you want when you’re fishing in tandem is to get your fishing lines entangled with those of your partner, or get poked in the eye by a misguided fishing hook, etc.. -The possibilities for a disaster are so numerous that it’s practically impossible to list them all in this article, but we assume the reader gets the point…
Unlike paddling a kayak in tandem, kayak fishing in tandem is more complicated, and more difficult, and as a rule of thumb we don’t recommend it, unless the crew is composed of one experienced adult kayak angler and one junior kayak angler, such as a child, who needs guidance and often even technical help with handling their fishing gear. In such case the obvious choice for a kayak is the W500 that features a 6 ft long cockpit, and a longitudinal seat that makes it possible for the two anglers to sit separated by a long span, but also to approach each other effortlessly and safely when they need to do something together, such as in case the experienced angler has to instruct the novice, or help them hands-on perform a fishing related task.
As far as standing up while kayak fishing in tandem, this is even more problematic, and should be practiced only after both anglers have practiced tandem kayak fishing before, as well as stand up kayak fishing. Needless to say that the kayak used for this type of fishing should be fit such such activities to begin with, and vendors’ claims about their kayaks’ stability should be taken with a good dose of caution, common sense, and sufficient skepticism. It’s good to remember that it’s you and fishing buddy that are going to be out there in the real world, and not some guys who get paid to demonstrate fishing kayaks in front of a camera…
Kayak fishing offshore in tandem is even more difficult, and hazardous, and we do not recommend it, unless both anglers are lightweight and very experienced fishing together out of small boats, such as dinghies and canoes. Fishing in tandem out of a kayak equipped with a powerful motor, such as an outboard gas engine adds yet another level of risk, and in such cases you may consider outfitting your kayak with a pair of large size outriggers, such as this South Korean couple is using on an offshore fishing trip:
Storage is obviously very important in any fishing boat, and not just in fishing kayaks, because as every experienced kayak angler knows, you need to take your fishing tackle and a lot of fishing gear with you on board, and you should be able to secure all that stuff, protect it from the elements, and access it anytime you need it.
Most fishing kayak manufacturers try to lure potential buyers by offering bigger storage hatches, and additional space to put gear on top of their SOT kayaks’ decks. However, such those solutions are neither effective nor user-friendly, although there’s nothing else that can be done to solve the storage problem if you’re a manufacturer of sit-in or SOT kayaks.
The W500 offers several times more storage than any kayak on the market – be it a fishing kayak or a touring kayak, a sea-kayak or an ‘expedition’ kayak. In fact, the amount of storage space available in the W500 sets this kayak in a league of its own.
Moreover, the storage offered by the W500 is internal, dry, and always accessible to the passenger – be it an angler, a paddler, or a camper. In fact, there is so much room in the W500 kayak hulls and cockpit, that it can comfortably accommodate a second adult passenger on board, or two children >>
The total storage space available on board the W500 kayak is 14 cubic feet, or 0.4 cubic meter. It’s way above the kayak league, and comparable to the storage space offered by canoes and some small motorboats.
Have a look of Jeff McGovern’s W500 fishing kayak, and how he organizes storage in the kayak:
Sometime it’s nice to go paddling with passengers on board your fishing kayak. It can be fun to combine such a trip with fishing, camping or bird watching, although fishing in tandem from a kayak is harder and more complicated than just paddling it in tandem.
Storage space is not a problem since the W kayak’s hull tips offer a big storage space, and you can attach additional gear on top of its hulls, but in case you need to take two passengers with you in the cockpit you’d better plan ahead. In such case canoeing style paddling offers certain advantages over paddling in the kayaking style, since the shorter, single blade paddles are less prone to hit each other.
Paddlers’ roles should be well defined and understood, in order to facilitate tracking.
The paddler at the stern should be the one responsible for steering and tracking, since they can see the two others, as well as apply long J strokes (canoeing style) that help steering and tracking.
The paddler in the front can switch sides more easily than the two others – in case an additional blade is needed in the water on the other side of the kayak.
In case you use kayak (dual blade) paddles, it’s important that the front paddler set the pace, and the other two follow his/her paddle in parallel, otherwise the paddles will hit each other.
Like most things related to paddling – practice makes perfect.
This movie shows a couple of paddlers paddling their W500 fishing kayak in tandem, using dual blade paddles.
Note that regular kayak paddles are too short for paddling a W500 fishing kayak.
It’s always good to remember tat unlike canoes, kayaks are primarily designed for solo trips, and tandem is an advanced kayaking application. Therefore, you must be well acquainted with your fishing kayak before inviting a second person on board. Your passenger should also be experienced with paddling your kayak solo, in order to give you both a chance to go through a relatively easy and short learning curve as a crew of two – and be aware that a learning curve is inevitable.