Canoe vs. Tandem

-- Last Updated: May-15-08 10:55 PM EST --

So I'm at the point where my boy is big enough to go out on the water, he's been before, and he loves it. He also loves to fish. I'm thinking about purchasing a craft that we could get some really good use out of, and I'm looking at a canoe or tandem yak.

Now, first off, I've spent my fair share of time in canoes, and loved most of it. Have tipped once. All of my experience with tandem yaks has been as a bystander, and almost every time we've had a tandem in our group or I've seen a tandem on the river it has least once.

Most of our paddling will be on smaller lakes, while doing alot of fishing, so current won't be as much of an issue as wind. But balance/rocker will be with a 5 yr old!

Are there any diehard Tandem kayakers out there? Can you give me some reasons while i should go that direction instead of a canoe?

I've looked at the WS Pamlico 160 Tandem and it seems to be a very viable option right now.

add Mad River Destiny and Mad River Explorer to that list as well…

paddling with a young son
I have never paddled a double kayak so I can’t help you there.

When my son was about seven I was leading day long trips of HS kids on weekends. I found using a double paddle in my MR Explorer worked best. After a while in the sunshine my son usually fell asleep. At his young age he didn’t generate the propulsion and correction power expected from a bow paddler. I realize this recommendation violates several religions but a double blade allowed me to stay up with canoes propelled by testosterone driven HS boys, control my canoe in wind, and still enjoy being with my son.


KS, have you given any thought to
a tandem inflatable? While not as fast as a hard kayak or canoe, they are almost impossible to flip. I took out 2 squirmy 10 year olds on a half day fishing trip on a 13’ tandem inflatable and felt totally safe. I also took out one of the boys and his mom on a aluminum canoe (rental) and sure enough…over we went when the kid decided to lean over and see a fish…mama was not happy. Yup, pdf’s were on and we made it to shore safely. That said, I saw some nice tandems at Excellent company, returns never a problems, sign up for their emails and get additional 10-20% off their lowest listed price. Good luck…that little guy is lucky to have a dad like you to teach him about the outdoors.

Swim Practice
Personaly I don’t see a huge difference between the boat you mention and a small tandem canoe. Possibly you will be a bit more steady sitting on the floor (kayak). Unless your boy decides to stand up!

In either case you and your son might want to spend some time tipping over. Once he understands that falling out is part of the game you can work out your recovery plan. Better to have a plan and even a little practice than trying to deal with a frightened kid while you figure out what to do.

When mine were young they learned to steady the canoe while I climbed back in, bailed and then hauled them back in.

Keep it fun. Keep it safe.

I take my grandsons ou t. I prrefer a

Wenonah Solo Plus ?
Might be a good application for a Solo Plus

If he’s small enough now he could sit in the stearn and help out with you in the middle doing most of the work and mantaining control.

A youngster fishing needs …

– Last Updated: May-16-08 10:36 AM EST –

........ needs a bit a room to fumble around in , definately a canoe a nice roomy one as opposed to yak ........ or a small Jon boat w/electric motor (and paddle) is the best choice for kid and fish ........ get a small anchor too because kids (adults alike) can have some difficulty casting from an awkward angle , the achor helps stabilize the turning a canoe does when adrift , a man was once asked which way is the wind blowing and he answered , it's always blowing at me no matter which way I face ..

Here is a tandem
listed on Sierra Trading Posts website…,96605_Wilderness-Systems-Touring-Kayak-Pamlico-Tandem-160.html

With their current 15% discount added you are in the $600. range which is very decent for a tandem.