I am in the market for a new boat this year and need some real world advice. I need a good tandem river boat. I only paddle rivers, it needs to handle class 3+, but I also want one that tracks fairly well on long dead pools. I like to float faster heavier water with my buddies, but I also take my kids on milder water.
I paddle an old town charles river now, it tracks well, turns well, and has great secondary stability. The only problem is its low volume bow that cuts big waves and causes the boat to take on water. I would keep it for the family if I could, but most likely will have to sell it to get a new boat. So I need to find a good boat for both whitewater and relaxed family floats.
Give us an example of class 3+
that you plan to negotiate in your area. Lesser Wesser on the Nantahala is considered a middle-of-the-road class 3, not + or - (though some kayakers call it a class 2).
Eric’s suggestion is very good. My erstwhile Old Town Tripper would fit your request, as would a Mad River Explorer. The old Dagger Dimension might be drier, but slower, and it’s no longer made and getting rare.
A couple more
Old Town Appalachian
Trailhead Prospector 17 Rx
And I must agree that the Cascade is a nice big dry boat, and I also agree that the MR Explorer would be fine, though you would get more wet more often.
I’m just guessing because all I do is mild moving water usually, but how about the Bell Yellowstone? Seems to be one of the nicer tandem river boats. In RX they’re not all that expensive either.
examples,Little MO, Illinois bayou, parts of cossatot, Big piney.
nothing getting close to class 4, but class3 to heavy 3 sometimes.
You might consider one of the various Prospector designs made by multiple manufacturers.
The old Dagger Legend 16 (now Mad River Legend 16) will sacrifice some paddling efficiency on flat water but is quite dry in Class III water and will carry a family with ease.
Mild moving water…
The Bell Yellowstone tandem would be fine on mild, moving water of the class 1 & class 2 level.
It might be ok to "iffy" on the Piney; depending on the paddlers & the water level. It would NOT be suitable for the Little Mo, and would most definitely NOT be suitable for the Cossatot.
If the water level on the Cossatot was up; it would eat a Yellowstone tandem for lunch & anyone dumb enough to be paddling one. Several much better tandem canoes have already been mentioned.