Tandem Family Boat Input Please?

Hello everyone. I’m brand new here and I’m looking to get my first Kayak. It is for my wife and I. We live in Missouri, where lakes and rivers are plentiful. We are interested in a very stable and spacious tandem boat that can also be captained solo for lazy days on the river. We have narrowed it down to 2 options:

Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL

Perception Tribe 13.5T

They appear to be quite similar in specs and intended purpose. I was wondering if anyone had input on which would suit us better and why. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Hey MP, my story is sort of similar to yours …
We too reside in Missouri. We often paddle the Current, Jacks Fork, & the Eleven Point.
Our first family boat a few seasons back was a Wilderness Systems Tarpon 135T.

@ the time, our then 4-year old could sit between my wife & I (or he was also keen to float/swim beside us in the water :smile: ).
Now 7-years old, I’ve “HAD” ; ) to invest in another boat so each of us has a place to sit(!).

Anyways, I have some solo-experience paddling the tandem & it proved only marginally successful if I did it whilst loaded up front w/ all of my gear for a self-support, multi-day float. Otherwise, the boat—w/ all of the weight aft—doesn’t track or handle as designed/intended.
Think of a vessel w/ the nose/bow up in the air, a bit.

I can’t think of any specifics off the top of my head, but I BELIEVE there may be a couple/few tandem sit-inside yaks on the market that allow for a seat to be moved from the back, to the center, to allow successful solo paddling

if you are not adverse to a sit-inside design, maybe look into that?:man_shrugging:t4:

Additionally, I believe there are also some tandem cables that do the same.

Anyways, good luck w/ your boat search! It’s GREAT when you get a boat onto the water for the first time! :v:t4:

The Malibu 2 XL is a staple as a rental boat of the two places I work for. Good rugged boat. Possibly not something that benefits you, but stackable (the bottom of one boat is made to fit stacked inside the top of another boat).

Can be set up with seats for 1 (though it is a large boat, so a bit ungainly to paddle solo), 2, or 3. On 3, the people need to be of moderate size (max of about 3 100lb kids or 2 adults and a small kid). I find that when the load starts exceeding 350 pounds, it does sit low in the water and is a very wet ride (your butt will have water around it). Something about 400 pounds and it can start feeling a bit unsteady.

Not as familiar with the Perception, but it is a good brand and the boat is probably fine.

Thank you both for your responses.

As mentioned above, there are certain tandem kayaks on the market that allow one of the seats to be placed in the center of the boat for solo paddling. I’m sure there are more than one make available, but the one I am familiar with is the Vibe Yellowfin 130 T tandem. Might look at that as a possiblity since you mentioned maybe wanting to solo paddle it as well.

I had a Tribe 13.5, great boat that can easily handle rough water and large boat wakes. To me better quality than OC, get a 2019 model, Perception now owned .by Pelican and they cheapened the boat a bit.