Best expedition tandem?

Dear Community, We’re thinking about getting an expedition tandem - we’ve done a lot of long touring in our singles, but would like to some touring in the Canadian Maritimes this summer and were thinking maybe a tandem would be a good idea. Any suggestions on which boats? Your experience? Pros/Cons? And what about the boats that break into three pieces? Looking forward to your insights!

Seaward Passat G3 is a great expedition boat, fast, paddles well, and can hold a ton of stuff.

Necky “Nootka Plus”
It is a 23 foot long 100 pound monster and a ideal expedition tandem.
We used it for two years in the 300 mile Everglades Challenge in two of the worst years they had.
We came across the five miles of Tampa Bay in four foot quartering white caps and in another place we surfed into a pass with monster breakers .
If you are a decent paddler it will handle anything that gets thrown at you.


Do you need some portability? That demands compromise in performance, assembly time and/or cost.

Tandem’s obvious con is that the stern paddlers would have to synchronize with the bow paddler, which may be uncomfortable for some.

Then there is the weight penalty. The above two recommendations weight at over 90 lbs, if that matters.

Pakboats makes some performance folding tandem kayaks. But assembly time is at least 20 min.

Sea Eagle 473rl (kayak) and TC16 (canoe) are high end drop stitch inflatables that offers good performance, but them won’t perform as well as folding kayaks like Pakboats, which in term would perform slightly worse than hard shells.

Point 65 Mercury GTX is a sectional hard shell that weights 77 lbs for a tandem. All pieces for the tandem should fit inside a big SUV and leave room for driver and at least one passenger.

Some kayak makers may custom make sectionals (at least they used to), but they may charge you $3000 USD for it.

I have a current Designs Libra XT. Great kayak. Tons of room. Average 3.5 when paddling around. One strong paddler one ok paddler. Goes through anything super stable.

That said the Passat G3 has great rep bit thinner than Libra XT so bit faster about 100 lb. for both. Passat has made some three peice Passat G3’s. You can see them on their website. From memory Passat G3 is 28" and Libra XT is 32". I don’t do expedition’s but we love the tandem Libra XT. Did want to try a Passat G3 but none around to even see.

I’ll 2nd the Necky Nootka Outfitter Plus. It is well designed holds a ton of gear, and can be edged easily to help control your direction! I’d recommend kevlar if you find.

@zzffnn said:

Tandem’s obvious con is that the stern paddlers would have to synchronize with the bow paddler, which may be uncomfortable for some.

Most big expedition kayaks have enough distance between the bow and stern cockpits, usually a large storage compartment, so you don’t have to paddle in sync.

Libra XT cockpits are far enough apart where in sync paddling is not required. You really have to exaggerate and reach to hit.

Dear All - Thanks for the advice! I really appreciate the responses! We will check all these out…and yes, not having to paddle in sync would be better for us (LOL!) . Thanks again!