A tandem that can keep up

-- Last Updated: Aug-02-05 6:09 PM EST --

I'm looking for a boat that I could use to bring friends along. I don't really want to loan out my good stuff, but I don't want somebody struggling to keep up with us...I pretty much know that it will have to be poly and used...the question is which ones are dog slow? I've read reviews here and most almost seem like ads, no matter which boat I look at. I'm guessing if you really looked hard and spent a lot of money, you're gonna like the boat...or say that you do. I had a Ocean Kayak drifter which was slow as molasses and I later found out, 'what do you expect from a fishing boat", but nobody told me it would be THAT much slower than a fiberglass touring boat (which my friends have). I now use a Perception Airlite Sundance, and that is fast enough. I'd like to find something that we could use to paddle together...any ideas? Or is this an impossible thing in the under $1000 range...think 'unbreakable')

CLC Sport Tandem
but you’d have to assemble it yourself. Fast, light, 1 man carry and load.


I like that! but my abilities lie more
along the lines of computer programming…hey maybe they’ll trade me an assembled boat for a new website!

thanks for the quick reply…this must be a very active board.


Old Town Loons
I have an Old Town Loon 138T. Old Town stopped making the 13’8" tandem, I think, but still makes the 160T. I’ve never been in a 160T. I’ve taken the back seat out of my 138T and now use it as my camping/fishing/carry-the-cooler kayak.

What I have experienced is that my Loon is not “dog slow” compared to most other RECREATIONAL kayaks. If you could arrange to take a Loon tandem for a spin, you might find you like it. I think a 138T is a bit small for two adults, but depending on you and your planned use, it might work.

I can definitely recommend that you put both the 138T and the 160T on your list of boats to check out. New or used, I think it’s in your price range.

Hope this helps, I’ll be interested to hear about what you try and decide.


In my opinion the Wilderness Systems
tandems are faster than the Old Town tandems. Check out Pamlico 135T and 145T.

Additionally- A tandems’s ability
to keep up, in my experience, will depend significantly on the synchronicity of the paddlers and the efficiency (effectiveness) of their strokes.

Thanks-and about the paddling ability
Thanks for your input. My plan is to have something in the next couple of weeks. Paddling…that’s a problem to determine, but this is what happened to me: I was perfectly happy with my drifter (I like to fish) until I started going with friends that had fiberglass boats. They had sea kayaks, I don’t remember the brand, but they weighed less than 40lbs and cost about $1300. We all started kayaking within a few months of each other. At the end of a 3 hour paddle, I was struggling to see them off in the distance. I sold that and got the Perception Airlite Sundance and I have no problem keeping up. My wife has a Hobie Mirage, it’s poly, heavier than anything, but she pedals that thing like a power boat…so now we can all ride together. The guys at the store thought I should have been able to see that…so the deal is, if you are traveleing with others and want to have fun, make sure you have something that can keep up.

Here’s the keywords I’m looking at in reviews: speed and weight.

I’m a strong guy and I can barely deal with the Hobie by myself, even though we have a trailer, it is a bear to pick up.

BTW, another problem with the Hobie, it is useless in very shallow water, even with the pedals out. I would say it draws more water than some of the other boats…but great for fishing!


– Last Updated: Aug-03-05 7:24 AM EST –

Used Necky Amaruk Tandoms(17'10")from $750.... GH

Didn't have my coffee and thought this was posted by a local S. Fla.. sorry..

Tandems are generally heavy

How far south?
I’m heading to the Tampa Bay area in the next two weeks. I’ve been all around Florida, so if you’re near a cool place to paddle, even if it’s a good drive from Orlando, it would be an adventure.

I won’t drive all the way to the panhandle though…I usually tend to head south on my trips.

How about
a canoe? Canoes seem to do tandem better than most poly kayaks. By the way, I have paddled a Keeowee 2. It was a dog! More like a paddling a bathtub actually. Now, I know that there are some folks out there who love their Keeowees, and that’s great. But, for speed, no way.

I had a Loon 160T, no trouble keeping
up with solo kayaks and tandem canoes with me paddling it solo. It seemed to have reasonable speed as a tandem alto. It was definately much nicer to paddle solo or tandem than my Keowee II. I’ve only paddled those two tandem kayaks.

I sold the Loon 160T because of it’s about 75 lbs weight. It was too heavy for me to load by myself (my wife can’t help me load). We bought a used royalex Wenonah Solo Plus and it works just fine tandem. It has plenty of speed. My wife likes it alot. It’s too big for me and my 150 lbs to paddle solo on a windy day, especially if I’m trying to keep up with kayaks and tandem canoe paddlers going into the wind.

Oh, yeah, my Phoenix Vagabond

– Last Updated: Aug-03-05 11:43 AM EST –

tandem kayak could easily keep up with solo kayaks. It's 16'6" long and weights 46 lbs. Much easier to load than the Loon 160T and more maneuverable, but the stock seats aren't as comfortable as the Loon's. My wife prefers the Solo Plus canoe over the tandem kayaks we've had.

Thanks guys…I have a canoe
I have an old mohawk fiberglass canoe, but for some reason, the kayak experience is what my family and friends are seeking. We have used the canoe for fishing and the springs around here, but the salt water stuff I like to do seems better suited to kayaks…I do feel a little more protected from alligators in the canoe, but I think that is a false sense of security!