Lower Volume Tandem Kayak recommendations

We have a Current -Designs Libra-XT tandem. It is great for loaded multi-day trips - as it has a huge capacity. It is a bit bit beamy and has high decks (15-3/4" depth) that are better suited for loaded touring.

We are looking for a tandem that is narrower (near 26") with lower decks (near 13" depth). We’d still like a boat with 4 bulkheads (which usually means a hatch between the cockpits). We’d want a boat that can be used on open water.

The C-D Unity pretty much fits the bill of what we’re looking for length-wise, width-wise, depth-wise and has 4 bulkheads. This boat is made in China and we are hoping to find something similar made in North America. We realize that the cost will be higher for a N.A.-made boat.

We’ve found a bunch of boats that are expedition tandems - but those are not much different than our Libra. We’ve found some adventure-racing boats - but those may a bit too narrow (<24") - and these typically don’t appear to have 4 bulkheads.

Any suggestions are appreciated!


4 bulkheads? I assume that means the boat should have a day hatch (so 2 bulkheads behind rear paddler)? Or a hatch and 2 bulkheads between paddlers (but that is an expedition thing, which it sounds like you aren’t after)?

If a boat doesn’t have a bulkhead between paddlers, it shouldn’t be too hard (at least in composite boats) to add one there.

Not sure if I have ever seen one live, but would this work? https://www.valleyseakayaks.com/our-kayaks/classic-models/aleut

The Seaward Passat has the width, and I believe is made in Canada.

Looks good. We’ll check into these…


1 for bow
1 for stern
2 between cockpits, creating a watertight area there (usually accessible via a hatch)

Seaward Passat looks like a great boat and has a great reputation. It is on my list LOL I have a Libra XT and love it. Would like the Passat G3 for it’s width.

There is another brand made in Canada but the name escapes me at the moment. British make some too. Ok came back to me so it’s an edit LOL


Thanks. We’ll check out the Triton and the Aleut.

Check out the Stellar Tandems.


We looked at the Stellar-21 but are trying to see whether we can find one that suits us that is not made in China.

A tandem kayak really streamlines the look of my car. It’s going to be a good weekend!

Is that a Unity?

…and we were concerned about the overhang on our CD Libra-XT.

Since there don’t seem to be many lower volume doubles of decent length made in the USA we’re good with Canada, UK and Estonia…

It looks like you have full-width concave foam snap-on pads on your crossbars. We thought about doing that - as the 4 saddles can put quite a psi load on the glass hull when hitting some road bumps while in a turn. Do those work well for you - stay correctly positioned during extended highway trips, etc?

Yes, that’s a Unity on those regular foam blocks that you put over the bars.
Same line of thinking of minimizing pressure points. The cam straps loop under the bar on each side of the kayak, and the one side of the kayak butts up against the pads on the back side of the j-racks on the other side. With that and the bow and stern tie-downs, it doesn"t move on the rack at all.

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I use 4 Yakima saddles for my Libra XT then by the windshield I have a Malone kayak block.

There is a law in NY which limits length of overhang based on your wheel base. I think CA also.

My gut feel was that since our overhang appears to be less than a lot of ladders that I see on service trucks - we should be OK as far as not getting stopped.

We thought of adding some more contact area somewhere along the length - just to spread out the load somewhat.