I am looking to buy 2 tandem kayaks. in 1 kayak will be my wife and young daughter and myself and my other young daughter in the other kayak. both my girls are too young too paddle so its up to the adults. we will be running slow rivers and streams so im looking for something that will track nice and be easy to paddle. the kayaks that have caught my eye so far are the wilderness system 135t , 145t and the old town diringo. being there will only be 1 person paddling do I want a long or short kayak? also if there are other recommendations please offer them to me.
Works great on smaller rivers, and calm lakes, great tracking, and can’t break them when you hit, or run over things. Not much flotation so not suitable for big or rough water. About half the price of roto-molded from other manufacturers, if that is an issue. tkamd
I really like my Necky Manatou II
The rear seat has enough adjustability to allow for a non padding front passenger (small child) and still be efficient in the water. It is also adjustable while you are out on the water, to fine tune for every load you happen to have.
One thing most people do not think about is that a lot of tandems are wide boats, depending on how you haul them. Two tandems laying flat side by side can be a wide load for most racks. They are also heavier than most singles, so it may be easier to load them from the rear of your vehicle while flat, not on edge.
One of the reasons I got the Necky is it one of the narrower recreational tandems.
I recently reviewed the Manatou II in the review section.
Kayaks and Young Families
I was in your situation many years ago. I would actually recommend that a good high capacity canoe is what you want to use until your older daughter can paddle her own kayak. It sounds lovely having the whole family out in tandem kayaks, but in practice unless everyone are as enthusiastic about paddling as you are it just does not work to get out much. It’s much easier to keep track of the littlest one in a canoe and everybody can go together. Get a starter kayak on the side and add it to your paddling trips or take it out by your self, but unless everyone is really enthusiastic buying two heavy expensive tandems, is probabaly not the way to go. In today’s market you can buy a decent used canoe that the whole family will fit in for not a lot of money. When your daughter is old enough to paddle her own kayak start moving to kayaking with the family.