Stroke victim tandem advice

My wife recently had a minor stroke that effected her right side strength and her balance. Her skills prior to the stroke were advanced with rolls and self rescues nearly bulletproof.

We have had entry level tandems (Pelican 140t and LL Duece Coupe)but got rid of them. We have been looking at getting a tandem again until she gets her strength and confidence back. This will be a temporary situation but we are looking for a tandem that can be converted into a single and is not a SOT (we paddle year round). Primary use will be flat water and slow rivers. We will be keeping this as a “spare” boat, but want to stay pretty cheap. Used tandems in our area are pretty rare.

We have been considering a WS Pamlico 145T or Point 65 Mercury. I am a little leery of the Point 65 due to quality control issues. Has anybody had any experience in comparison of the two boats? or has any input or advice?


Adaptive Paddling
First off, I’m sorry to hear of your wife’s stroke. There’s a family history of it in my family and I know the effects of a stroke can range greatly both in the degree of disability and sometimes in the duration of the disability as well.

I’m an open boater, don’t kayak and so have no base of experience in this area to offer advise from…

BUT - There is a fellow, an engineer who lives in Minnesota (I think), who used to frequently post here as “Ragamuffin” and who has started a a pretty successful cottage business designing and building accessories for paddlers with various sorts and degrees of physical disability.

That’s the guy you need to ask this question of. He has a great deal of knowledge in this area. He always has a booth at Rutabaga’s Canoecopia in Madison WI.

Perhaps if you emailed Rutabaga they could put you in touch with him and you could get the benefit of his experience by that route. ACA also has an adaptive paddling program and they might be of help in this also.

I wish I could help more - but please understand its not for the lack of willingness. Hope this is helpful and that you can get this question answered by someone with more experience in this area than I have.

I took the ACA adaptive program
about ten years ago and found that it is all about the outfitting. We had some paddlers with balance issues and worked with them in ways to adapt single occupancy craft with their needs.

We found that outriggers worked well. Also paddle adaptations to make handling a paddle easier and make use of muscles which do work.

Its not so much a matter of the right boat as much as the right adaptation. It takes time and patience to work out the outfitting which has to be tailored to the particular functional disability.

Here is a list of adaptive paddling instructors who might help you in outfitting your boat or who can help you find suppliers. Most of the things you will need can be made by you. Paddle grips are not hard to make. Outriggers can be done by double float bags but there may be better less clunky options commercially.

Janet Zeller has written an excellent book you might try to find

Canoeing and Kayaking for People with Disabilities

Dat be CVCA…
Chosen Valley Canoe Accessories

Speak ta Kevin an’ Karen… nice folks.


Luckily it was not a bad stroke
She can get around pretty good, we are expecting a full recovery. The neurologists is advising that the faster she continues her normal exercise and routines, it will re-train her brain to connect new pathways.

Her concern is that winter conditions can be dangerous, and her confidence is low right now. Some of her first experiences in “big water” were in our entry level tandems, the tandem will give her confidence until she figures out her balance and skill situation on the water.

Consider a Klepper Aerius 2
They are very stable and can be found used less than $1000. Plus they are easy to take on planes, trains and buses.