Fast Tandem Kayak

I have been paddling solo for five years and have recently gotten into several recreational races 2-5 miles, including a recent 5 mile race in a tandem kayak. I’m interested in finding a relatively fast tandem kayak in the 18 foot range. I recently paddled a Necky Manitou II with another experienced paddler in the Josh Billings Triathalon. We peaked out at around 5mph and really could not achieve speeds much above that. Does anyone have any suggestions on fast 16-18 foot tandem kayak?

NDK Triton

– Last Updated: Sep-22-06 1:55 PM EST –

a bit longer than you specified.

Why so short?
Any tandem that short is going to have to be wide, or deep, or both to carry the load.

The Seaward Passat is a nice fast tandem, but it’s 22’

Getting longer still …
Mako XT Tandem surfski … WOW ! That was fun … totally stable and super comfortable.

Seward Passat
Well, since your having long tandems thrown at you, it might be in your interest to look at the Seaward Passat. At 22 ’ by 26" it is stable and fast. Weighs around 85 lbs. We cruise in ours at 5-6knots. Its the tandem of choice for the Yukon River race between Whitehorse and Dawson.

The Triton is fun to paddle, but doesn’t hold anywhere near the gear two people would need, and doesn’t have the foot room to make paddling long distances a pleasure. Its heavy as well. I noticed the weight is hard to determine on the NDK site.

Have you considered building one?
Eric Schade’s Eider:

(18’ and about 60lbs.)

Eric Schade’s Double Baidarka

Nick Schade’s Doubles:

(designs/paddles/builds touring kayaks and racing kayaks)

And then of course there is Pygmy and CLC…


Pouch RZ 96
Two weekends ago I thought we were just poking along, barely paddling. I was in the bow and my friend was in the stern, fiddling with a GPS and not paddling at that moment. I’d guessed our speed was about 1.5 mph, GPS indicated were moving at 3.3 mph while I was making no real effort.

Building Osprey
Ditto Singalong2.

The top speed of my Excursion with two rusty engines was 4.9 miles/hr. I plan to build an Osprey HP double, which is 35 lb lighter. That should help. I don’t race. Just like to have the ability to go faster when I want to.

Pygmy double
that one needs a coaming recess to get the foredeck lower like a Necky Tofino.

Not sure what you mean. Is there a picture of Tofino available?

looking at plastic?
If you are looking for a good and fast tandem try a Riot Polarity. Its poly, 16ft. 6in. long 26 in wide. If you don’t paddle in sink you will clank paddles. I have owned one for a year now. I can paddle it with my 4 yr. old grand daughter in front and my son in my cd sirocco can barely keep up. Last but not least is that it is a fun kayak. Hope you try one out.

old Necky
It’s a wide double with fairly low foredeck between the cockpits . I think there’s a tendency to make doubles too boat like with single kayak proportions making for lot’s of unnecessary volume/windage. Anywho the old Tofino is a nice boat, I could imagine dropping some of the coaming height with a big recess for the coaming.