I’d like to find a simple open cockpit tandem kayak that would fit 2 medium/small sized adults and a small child in the middle if necessary for short trips on slow moving rivers or lakes. Any suggestions/advice?
You’ve probably talked to the outfitter
at Lake Norumbega. Your problem may be the kid in the middle, because that’ll be on the legs of the person who’s paddling the rear position in the cockpit. A good outfitter and dealer will know which open tandems will accomodate a kid in the middle.
You should also consider a canoe. I have both canoes and kayaks, and for inland rivers, lakes, and camping, a canoe has advantages. The main advantage of a tandem rec kayak is it’s easy to learn to paddle with reasonable speed. But that comes soon enough in a tandem canoe. And, paddling a tandem kayak solo isn’t always easy. Some medium sized canoes adapt pretty well to solo paddling.
I agree that you should consider canoes.
This is an interesting boat:
There is a way for a child to be seated right behind the front paddler facing backwards. I have no experience with this boat – just seen it online, but I do know Eddyline is a respected kayak manufacturer. Their thermoformed kayaks are more expensive than comparable rotomolded plastic, but the material is lighter, more rigid and more attractive (IMO)
This Hobie tandem is very good for families, and you can easily paddle with a small child on the center seat. This was my first kayak, when my sons were old enough for their own boats I sold it to a another family who used it with small children.