grandkids' canoes

Back in the day, I set up a couple of solo canoes for my wife (105#) to paddle with one of our children (70-100). At the time I used a 13’ Mad River Compatriot and a 16’ Mad River Screamer/Traveler. The Compatriot is a fun and forgiving but not-too-speedy river canoe up to maybe 180#. The screamer had the speed to keep up but needed a little more weight to manage in the wind.

Have any of you experimented with solo canoes for tandem use by teams under 200#? Please share your experience.

I pushed a Compatriot to the brink
of its capabilities, carried the kids, but never ran it tandem. The Compatriot works best with 180 pounds and trimmed dead level. I was ~200# at the time, and sitting deep as it was, the Compatriot had to be forced to turn.

Jim Henry once took 3rd in open boat slalom Nationals in a Compatriot, but I think he knew it wasn’t the boat for slalom, not at any paddler weight.

I know of 2…

– Last Updated: Dec-06-14 11:32 AM EST –

Have had friends who paddled with their, under 100 lb. kids, and they did so in a Mohawk Odyssey, and a Mad River Guide(now called Freedom Solo).

They took out those boat's solo seat & reoutfitted them with 2 seats.

Wenonah's Solo Plus, Swift's Raven, and the old Mad River Courier also comes to mind. Have also seen Mohawk XL13, Mad River Outrage X, and Whitesell Piranha used as tandem boats on whitewater.

Funny you also own a Screamer; I was beginning to think I was the only person who still had one.


Wenonah Solitude
We used an early Solitude as a tandem for my two young sons when they were just about 200 total weight. We used sling seats hung from the gunwales. It was really quick with them paddling, though a wet ride for the bow paddle in any sizeable wave. They loved it because the wind did not blow them around in the Solitude like it did in the bigger Spirit.


Consider Used OC-1 or OC-2?
Kids do have a lot of fun on these outrigger canoes. Take off the rudder and they go over shallow water easily. Leave off the rudder and the kids learn the whirling/swirling strokes real fast.

you might still be the last man with a Screamer. I parted with mine years ago. Somewhere between kids and grandkids. Have a good one.


Or Maybe a Tahitian V-1 or V-3
Watch the kid paddle at the 1:31 - 1:53 minute mark:

Novacraft Teddy(Trapper)
I have a fun little solo canoe that Novacraft also makes in a kids tandem, the Teddy. Bonus is, when the grandkids are finished, it’s a nice solo. Don’t let the dimensions fool you, it’s no tub.

Solo>tandem conversions
We did the same thing some years ago with a Mad River Liberty. It worked just fine, as long as the kids were still little (under about 75 lbs) and the load was kept pretty carefully balanced. You don’t want the bow sticking way up in the air with a kid with short arms seated up there trying to paddle! We used heavy-duty dry bags filled part way with water to ensure the balance when the kids were unequal in weight. However, having seen the Nova Craft Teddy/Trapper combo at Rutabaga (that one Wildernesswebb mentions in the post above,) I think that would be a terrific solution.