beginner kayak for parent and child

Hello everyone, My wife and I are just gettting into recrational and possibly short daytrip kayaking flat water and slow creek and rivers that are abundant in our area. We’ve rented and borrowed and I’ve purchased a kayak for my wife and a sit on top for my son. I am in need of advice on a yak for my 6 year old daughter and I. I am a big buy, 6’0" 255 lb, and she’s in the 50-55 lbs. I was wondering if she could ride the cargo area of a Caster 12.6, a Pescador, or possibly an older tarpon 14 I’ve found on craigslist. is this wishful thinking? Is there a small tandem I should be looking for? I’d like something I could paddle solo on longer daytrips with my wife, but still be able to bring a child on shorter trips.

thanks for your help,

Don’t put a child in a "cargo area"
that is a no- no, in my book.

Get a tandem that you can paddle solo

Jack L

Look at Hobie Oddysey
You can move the seat to the center position and child can sit up front. when bigger you can move to the back seat. Paddles OK solo from the center seat. I did this with my youngest when I started kayaking.

I was in the same situation
My family wanted to go out with me, but I was scared to put a 6 yr old girl and a 9 yr old in their own boats. My wife took over my “spare” Manatou 14 and we got a Liquid Logic SOT Duece Coupe for $750 new with 2 cheap 220cm paddles thrown in. I was able to paddle from the center seat and the kids learned to paddle, or just went along for the ride. The Coupe is a battleship but does handle wind very well and the kids are able to get on and off at will. One problem is that it is heavy and hard to load on a vehicle by yourself.

Now we are looking at boats for the kids, but will keep the coupe as a swimming platform or the “can I bring a friend along” boat.

consider a tandem SOT

– Last Updated: May-23-12 9:23 PM EST –

e.g. FeelFree kayaks makes a couple family-friendly models, Perception Tribe 13.5, Cobra Tandem, Ocean Malibu, there are various others, and they provide excellent floatation to handle the weight. fun for kids to hop on and off for swimming, no worries about swamping it and self-recovery is a cinch if you manage to tip it over.

Lifetime Wave for Girl & Pungo for Dad

I do not think there is a better deal for children than this sit on top. When my children turned 6 and it was time for their first boat I bought or built each one something that did not work as well as this. One word of warning. When they are this young they won’t go very far and then you’ll have to tow them. They’ll get bored of that very quickly as well. But often they will play in and on their boat near a good swimming beach for the afternoon.

Lots of other choices for dad, but the Pungo 140 is a good one.

Pamlico 135T

– Last Updated: May-26-12 8:44 AM EST –

My wife and I paddle a short tandem 13.5 feet, WS Pamlico 135T