Need Tandem Recommendations

My wife and I ride a Burley tandem bike so a tandem kayak shouldn’t be a relationship challenge. We just don’t know anything about them.

I found what seems to be a good deal on a Dagger Blackwater 13.5, whole setup (kayak, 2 PFD, 2 paddles, skirt) for $1350 total. We’re in Texas and, for now, don[t plan on any winter paddling so the skirt may not be necessary. I can get the boat alone for $799, $550 for the other itmes seems a little high. The paddles are Werner Rec Tour, are they really worth $175/each?

We plan to paddle lakes, a little on milder rievers and maybe some along the gulf coast back bays.

Dagger and Perception seem to have the same relationship as Ford and Mercury or Chevy and Pontiac, which is the Mercury?

We’re ready to hit the water.


Werner Rec Tour
I can’t comment on the boat, as I have never paddled it, but I do have the Werner Rec Tour paddle for my Necky Gannet II, a 220. I bought it online for $100. They are on sale currently at Northern Mountain Supply. They have 220’s & 230’s for $100. Here is the link.

I like them and it is still a fairly light paddle. good luck

Perception is the “Mercury”

– Last Updated: May-17-04 6:30 AM EST –

My pick:
Actual Heritage is the Chevy (or Dawoo), Blackwater = Pontiac (or Ford), and Perception = Oldsmobile (or Mercury).

Of the three companies, get the PERCEPTION Acadia II, 14.0, more stable, easier to control, and roomier than the blackwater. When I first tried the blackwater, I felt, "Ok, I could live with this boat", but when I got into the Acadia, it was WOW, this is the one for me. Dont get the larger Perception Sundance, it more money for much less features. The Acadia has the dry compartment, niether the Sundance or the Blackwater offer that. Acadia also has ample deck rigging.

More ideas. Get LOOOOOOOOONG paddles 230cm is the shortest you should get for tandem recreational. The Acadia is less than the Dagger, but a much better boat.

Acadia retail (why would you pay retail? - you might be able find a good used one for much less) $649.00

Paddles: Get light weight and long. Epic, Cannon and other paddles often sell under branded names like EMS, LL Bean, etc. I would think $135 per paddle is good.

PFDS: For a recreational boat, get backless PFDS, where all the floatation is up-front. If I can remember the brand I got, I'll add to this post. standard PFD's with all-around flotation make a comfy Recreational seat a real bear. I would think about $120 per would be do-able.

Are there any paddlesports conventions in your area? Rental shops that sell off last year's fleet? These both offer great boats at great prices. Dont worry about bottom scratches in rotomolded plastic. You'll get them on a brand-new boat the first time out.

Here's mine:

Also, the Acadia being paddled as a solo:

hope this helps

Is it ok if…
… I draft you guys on the flats with my QCC ???



No challenge here, JackL
I would have to consider that the QCC is the “Caddilac”, well more like the Lexus of Kayaks. But he did not ask about luxury vehicles, so I did not include the QCC.

Acadia II vs other tandems
I am also looking to buy a tandem kayak for my husband and son. I liked the comparison of Blackwater to Acadia II and wondered if anyone had any experience with Old Town’s Twin Otter or Loon 138T.

Tandem choice
I also ride tandem(Cannondale) and paddle double

(WS Echo Pro).

Tandem (just like single kayak or bike) should be chosen depending on your body (hip) size.

Tandems run especially big in average.

Judging by the price it is “rotomolded”.

Get fiberglass.

It is quite possible you would be happier in a canoe, partly because they tend to be lighter than a double kayak.

Neither you (or your profile) mentioned where in Texas you are living. Please let me safely assume that you will have the opportunity to try out the tandem (as well as several others) BEFORE you buy. Kayaks are no different than a pair of shoes…some look great on the shelf but kill your feet and some feel just as if they were custom made for your foot. Pardon the rhyme but to maximize your long term experience, please “try before you buy”.

If you are in the D/FW area I would strongly suggest that you get in touch with Chris at Mariner Sails and Watersports in Dallas. Mariner is a dealer for both Wilderness Systems and Hobie. Both companies have a good variety of tamdems that fall right within your budgeted dollar range. These guys are honest and will treat you fairly.


Pamlico 135T
My wife and I just bought our first kayak; a Wilderness Systems Pamlico 135T for quiet rivers and lakes. We have used it a few times and are very happy with the performance and stability. It has a very open cockpit, and weighs 55 lbs. so it is easy to store and transport. It tracks well and can move quickly. It is a new model for 2004 so we took a chance by purchasing an unknown entity. In the short time that we have owned it, we have had many pleasurable hours on the water. We also bought very lightweight Werner paddles which are also excellent.

Paddled one of these at a demo last year, and compared it the the 160T. The 160 was best hands down. Too easy to bash paddles in the 138 and the 160 rides better. If I was in the market for a tandem the 160 wins.


Another Pamlico 135T
Here another dimension of the 135T that you my find interesting - the 135T is also an excellent solo craft. Tracks better than the Blackwater (w/skeg) and runs straighter than the Acadia II. As a solo it is faster than the other two and handles very well in chop. It is also great in the wind. Very stable boat as well. I would buy another tomorrow without another thought.

Evidently you are not a cyclist !
I wasn’t telling him to get a QCC.

Hopefully some of the cyclists got my drift.



Thanks for the info
Thanks for the info Saranac. The 135T was advertised as a good solo boat. We have only used it as a tandem so far. It is good to hear someone confirm its solo capabilities.