This is just a reminder that fishing from a kayak that’s purely on a human powered mode is not the safest idea for elderly anglers who fish in large size bodies of water, such as big rivers and big lakes, and in the ocean.
Simply, weather and water conditions can change quickly, and may make it hard or even impossible to return to the starting point of one’s fishing trip, and this is a matter of safety, which should not be taken lightly.
On top of this, kayak fishing is about spending time outdoors, in a natural setting, and about seeing the world, and as you grow older, paddling and pedaling become increasingly limited in terms of one’s range of travel and exploration. There is always more to see and more places to fish in than you could reach just by paddling, or activating a pedal drive. And this is where motorized kayaks make even more sense.
You can motorize your kayak with an electric trolling motor, or with a small, lightweight yet powerful outboard gas motor. But not all kayaks work well with an electric motor, and only a couple of models work well with an outboard motor, and by this we mean the Wavewalk 700 and Wavewalk S4.
Gary’s new book is a most comprehensive guide for kayak fishing enthusiasts.
Gary Rankel is a biologist who worked for decades in research and management of fisheries across the United States. Years ago, he retired in Citrus county, Florida, and became an avid kayak angler. Since then, Gary founded the local Nature Coast Kayak Fishers club, and published dozens of articles on fishing and conservation in local newspapers.
Gary’s new book is a most comprehensive guide for kayak fishing enthusiasts. It includes a wealth of valuable information on kayaks, local fish species, fishing gear, and angling techniques. The book is edited as a guide for kayak anglers, and it features dozens of local maps with suggested launching spots and directions to productive fishing areas.
Gary suffers from a sensitive back, which is why for the past decade he has been fishing from a Wavewalk 500. He summarized his experience with his Wavewalk 500 in a review of this kayak that he published on his website.
The new world speed record for motor kayaks is 17 mph. This world record holder is Captain Larry Jarboe, a retired businessman and county official from Maryland, who settled in Key Largo, Florida, where he runs a Wavewalk dealership and a fishing and diving business. Visit Larry’s website »
When Larry broke this motorized kayak speed record, he was driving his Wavewalk S4 powered by a 9.8 HP Tohatsu outboard motor, on flat water. The S4 is a twin-hull (catamaran) watercraft designated as a kayak, and it can serve as such, namely as a paddle craft, as well as a portable boat for fishing the flats (I.E. microskiff) and for offshore fishing.
Note that Larry prefers to drive his S4 facing sideways, in the side-saddle position in which he’s used to drive dinghies. Another position that the S4 offers is riding, namely with a leg on each side of the saddle seat, similarly to the way personal watercraft (PWC), ATVs and snowmobiles are driven. Riding is the most stable posture for driving, and the combination of the balancing capabilities that it offers the driver and passengers with the catamaran hulls, delivers unrivaled stability. Without this extreme stability, such speed would have not been possible.
The unique, patented saddle seat featuring in the S4 is back-pain free, unlike other kayak seats that force their users to sit in the notorious L position, with their legs stretched uncomfortably in front of them, and their lower back exposed to continuous pressure.
Larry driving his S4 side-saddle in the ocean chop
The above photo shows the motorized S4 kayak catamaran kayak driven in the ocean, in choppy water, with the driver facing forward in the riding position.
For decades, Captain Larry Jarboe owned and ran sawmill in Maryland, and served as a county commissioner there, and all this time, his passion was fishing and diving.
When Larry retired in Key largo, his plan was to keep fishing out of a commercial fishing boat that he owns named the Line Dancer, and offer guided fishing and diving tours from this boat. At that time, Larry was already a fan of the Wavewalk 500, which he had used in Maryland, and he became a Wavewalk dealer.
Then came the Wavewalk 700 series, and Larry discovered the potential for using it for guided fishing tours in the mangroves and for diving tours on the reef. He also discovered motorized kayaking. Both discoveries led Larry to reassess the business potential of the Wavewalk 700, and put a greater emphasis on this small watercraft, in combination with the Line Dancer, serving as a mother ship.
Larry also discovered the option to use a motorized W700 for driving clients into the mangroves, and as the creek becomes narrower and tortuous, continue in a paddling mode.
The advent of the S4 changed things for Larry and his business. He found that he could use a motorized S4 to tow two Wavewalk 700 kayaks, each one attached to each side of this versatile boat. This innovative setup is extremely stable and comfortable, and it allows its passengers to chose between paddling autonomously or being towed by Larry’s S4 skiff.
Larry developed a climbing ladder for the S4, which allows practically anyone, including big and heavy clients, as well as elderly ones to get back into the boat easily.
In addition, Larry found that practically anyone could drive the S4 and fish out of it, and this includes people who simply cannot used any other kayak, and would feel uncomfortable in a conventional small boat such as a Jon boat or a skiff, such as this 330 lbs guy –
As Larry keeps finding new ways to use the Wavewalk S4 and 700 to better serve the clients of his burgeoning fishing and diving business, he’s very excited about advising others who may benefit from the versatility and high performance of these skiff-kayaks that practically anyone can use, including people with a sensitive back, back problems, back injuries, arthritis, sciatica, excess weight, and other limitations and disabilities.
And let’s not forget couples who just want to paddle in tandem, or go motorizing in the mangroves –