A New Look At Motorized Fishing Kayaks and Portable Boats

Elderly fishermen welcomed the kayak fishing trend that became popular about a decade ago, mainly because they felt jaded with having to deal with big motorboats and cumbersome canoes, and they welcomed the promise for physical exercise that came with paddling kayaks.

Nowadays, many senior anglers perceive the reality beyond the hype, and they are not as enthusiastic about kayak fishing as before. The reasons for this are primarily ergonomic, namely the discomfort and fatigue associated with staying seated in a kayak for long hours, and the risk of developing sciatica and other back injuries as a result.

Pedal driven kayaks have failed to provide solace to senior anglers, and in fact they proved to be harsher on the operator’s back and legs than regular, paddle propelled kayaks.

Electric trolling motors proved to be a good solution for ponds, small lakes and slow moving rivers, as far as shorter fishing trips are concerned. Whether trough assisted paddling or as an alternative to paddling, electric motors have become quite popular with older anglers who can tolerate being seated in the L position, or similar uncomfortable postures.

Wavewalk is a manufacturer of patented kayaks that solved the back pain problem in this field, as well as a host of other physical problems that plague kayaking and kayak fishing. Wavewalk also solved the motorizing conundrum, namely the insufficiency of electric trolling motors as means of propulsion for long fishing trips and for traveling in fast currents and in choppy water – something that only outboard motors can do.

Wavewalk offers three products lines of different sizes, all of which can be easily and effectively paddled and motorized with either electric motors or outboard gas motors.

The Wavewalk 500 is a lightweight (60 lbs) super stable and back pain free twin-hull (catamaran) kayak that anyone can car-top, launch paddle and beach anywhere, including people in the late seventies and even early eighties, as well as people with serious disabilities.

The Wavewalk 700 series is a lightweight (80 lbs), super stable and back pain free twin-hull tandem kayak and portable skiff. Anyone can car top a W700 on their own, as well as carry it and launch it. It can take powerful portable outboard motors, and it’s fun to drive, even in choppy water.

 


 
The same skiff serves as a fishing kayak in places that can be accessed only by the smallest and most nimble paddle craft:

 

 

Wavewalk is now offering a third line of small craft named Series 4 (S4). This portable (car-top) skiff can take on board two big and heavy anglers, a strong outboard motor, and plenty of fishing gear. It can also serve as a paddle craft (canoe, tandem kayak) when its crew needs to go in extremely shallow water, or in no-motor zones (NMZ). Being more stable than bigger boats makes it an ideal solution for elderly anglers who fish in a variety of waters, and do it either solo or together with a fishing buddy.
 

Motorized fishing – something to reconsider

Many years ago you used to fish out of a motorboat, and you didn’t like the hassle, noise, trailer, and launching and beaching in boat ramps. So you looked for other fishing craft, non-motorized ones, and you weighed the options that were available to anglers back then, which were canoes or traditional (mono-hull) kayaks.
Whichever you chose, it did the job for some time, until you realized that a human powered fishing boat is a great idea, but at your age you can’t handle paddling long distances, not just because you’re no longer in great physical shape, but mainly because the ergonomics of these craft isn’t suitable for you – Your back is sensitive, and your legs tend to get numb, and your body neither forgives nor forgets any abuse.
Fishing out of a Wavewalk TM kayak would have made things easier for you, but still, you want to go places and your paddling capabilities won’t suffice to take you there, and back from there.
This is where you may be interested to consider fishing out of a motorized Wavewalk TM – You can outfit your with either an trolling motor for short fishing trips on flat water, or with a small, lightweight outboard gas engine for longer fishing trips and for traveling in moving water. And if you’re imagining that you’d need a trailer, think again, because this fishing boat can be easily car topped, and as bonus you’d be able to launch and beach it pretty much anywhere.

This short video can make this new concept a little more understandable:

It shows the Wavewalk TM 570 in action. This new series is designed especially for motorizing and fishing in moving water with an outboard motor, but you can still use a Wavewalk TM to paddle and pole when you need to, such as in skinny water, or weed infested water, or when you launch or beach in difficult spots that aren’t usable for other boats and kayaks.

More info on this car top microskiff »

More about motorized fishing kayaks »

70 Year Old Fly Kayak Angler: My Experience With The W Fishing Kayak

A fishing kayak review from an experienced angler who’s tried various fishing styles and fishing boats often tell a lot. Here is Glynn Gantenbein’s account of his experience with the W fishing kayak:

I have been flyfishing around the world for 20 years, much of it in a kayak.
I found only two things were missing: a comfortable seating position and the ability to stand up for sighting fish.
After studying videos at Wavewalk, I ordered an inventory of Wavewalk kayaks without even seeing one.
Upon receipt I tested the Wavewalk… -I am 70 years old, weigh 230, have a bad back, need a knee replacement, and have constant vertigo from a chronic ear condition.
During my initial test I was able to stand up and paddle and really enjoyed the seating position called Riding.
IF I CAN DO IT, ANYONE CAN!!
The Wavewalk 500 is fast and runs straight.
Everything you read is correct.
One of my customers put a $100 trolling motor on his and said he was “going water skiing”… which was his way of saying its fast.

Glynn

big redfish caught in a kayak fishing trip Texas

My first red fish, caught on a fly

DIY motor mount for fishing kayak. Texas

Motorizing Your Fishing Kayak – Why, What, and How

Let’s face it – being a senior kayak angler can also mean that you’re not in the best shape, and you either don’t feel like, or are physically incapable of paddling long distances.
This leaves you with a rather limited range of operation in terms of fishing, and could get frustrating, at times, as well as hazardous, in case bad weather or a strong, fast current prevent you from getting back to the spot from which you had launched your kayak.
Another way to look at it is saying that time is fishing, and you don’t necessarily want to spend your precious time paddling to your favorite fishing hole, if you can get there faster, and back from there without cutting your fishing trip short.
Pedal driven fishing kayaks fail to offer any true solution, which leaves you with the option to motorize your kayak, and a series of questions about the technical feasibility of such project, how much you’d need to invest, safety, utility, and much more.
In many cases, an electric trolling motor can do the trick for you, and in other cases it won’t, and you could find yourself disappointed and frustrated, and wishing for more power and speed, a longer range of operation, and less weight. This is where outfitting your fishing kayak with an outboard gas engine becomes a solution worth considering, but there’s only one kayak out there that’s suitable for this type of project.
To learn more, this article about motorized fishing kayaks discusses these issues in breadth and in depth.
And watching this movie may make you want to learn more:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=439ZQaJX6t4?rel=0&w=640&h=360]

What’s A Suitable Setup For A Fishing Kayak’s Electric Trolling Motor?

In other words, what’s a suitable setup for a senior kayak angler who would like to motorize their fishing kayak?

Obviously, it has to be lightweight, and easy to install and dismount.

Apart from this, the electric trolling motor must be easy and comfortable to operate, or in other words – ergonomic installed.

Most SOT fishing kayaks are heavy to begin with, because they must compensate for their initial instability by excess width and overall size. Adding a trolling motor and heavy battery makes things worse.

Here is the best setup for an electric trolling motor for a fishing kayak, both in terms of weight, ease of installation, comfort in using and overall ‘fishability’: