Tandem Kayak Question

Is there a tandem kayak that: allows for asynchronous paddling, under 80 pounds, $5000 or less that would be good for day tripping in Long Island Sound ( up to 2 to 3 foot swells)? My wife and I enjoy our singles but would like to try tandem along the coastline of New England. Suggestions?

Temiskawa . Some potential for colliding paddles but easy to avoid. I got one for paddling with my wife, who likes kayaking but isn’t anywhere near as strong a paddler as I am, and we like it a lot. If you want to try one, see:

Marshall Seddon

The River Connection, Inc.

Charter Member ACA Pro-Paddling School




And Another Recommendation
Seda Tango


I have an eight year old heavy fiberglass model, that I regularly take out in the Sound in the Norwalk Islands. It is a premier expedition class boat, maybe a bit of overkill for daytrips, but supremely stable, and deceptively fast. It is available in lighter layups and the build quality is excellent. Ours has been around Manhattan twice in the Mayor’s Cup Race, and seen everything from placid saltwater estuary paddles on Cape Cod to seven foot refracting waves on the East River. See my review:



paddle length?

– Last Updated: Jan-19-08 11:43 AM EST –

For some cockpit placements paddle length could make the difference between whacking or not. You don't always need a longer paddle if the seat is high enough.

for under 80#'s you're looking at something other than any of the standard 21'x30" sea kayaks in glass or kevlar. How much do you all weigh and how much do you anticipate carrying? What singles do you have as a guide to how important rock solid stability is a priority?

Nortwest makes a BIG 18' double with widely spaced cockpits, not particularly light but max kayak for it's length.


they say 65lbs in kevlar,,that probably means 75 so there you go. If you're a couple of 130lb people it'll be a big tandem but it's perfect if you're a couple of 200lb people.

I have no experience with WSBS K2 but his other boats are known to be good. I'd be tempted to go for one of these to take advantage of on the the attributes of a double for going faster as one boat than two compared to the Seascape.5


+1 on the Tango
I believe the “Raw” Kevlar layup comes in at about 75#. The boat is very stable and glides extremely well. It’s a mile eater…

we had a glass one in rentals
felt close to 100lbs.

Our body mass is
wife: 5’3" 110 / me 6’ 190. I would be in the rear. The reason for the limit on weight is I (we) are not getting any younger. The reason for the tandem is that my wife does not have the upper body strength to keep up when we go out. I hope to narrow the search to 2 or three then find them to try out.

Hi CTYankee
We’re about the same size (me 6’ 180, Margaret 1’7" and 125) and have the same paddling discrepancy. To do most of the summer group flatwater paddles, we have to use the tandem or she won’t go. I prefer paddling a single, so that happens to, more than using the tandem, but it is a wonderful option to have when you want it. The nice think about the Temiskawa is that it is relatively lite weight, perfect for overnight camping, easily maneuvered, and capable of handling moderate conditions if needs be.

look for smaller doubles

– Last Updated: Jan-19-08 7:16 PM EST –

some shapes are more efficient than others, I bet the WestSide Boat shop boat would be slippery compared to the Northwest. Given her height it'll be a challenge to find a double that's not too deep and the footbracing may require some mods for a short front paddler.

15yrs ago I paddled a light Prijon fiberglass double, it was around 16'x26" with two 175lb paddlers.

Just for something completely different check out a CD KEstrel 170, it's supposedly a rec. kayak but I've heard it's not as wet as you'd expect for the front paddler. Not to sure she'd be comfortable in a snug neoprene deck with the pull loops so far away, they're big cockpits.

regarding the desire for wide spaced cockpits for assyncronous paddling AND a smaller double for her light weight AND you taking on a bunch of the paddling hp. you might consider reducing the necessity for wide cockpit spacing. If you end up doing most of the paddling you'll appreciate the smallest double possible and your weight closer to the center. All it takes to work well together is for her to paddle slow and EVENLY and you to apply power at that even cadence.

wow,,that Seda Amigo looks intersting. I know, I know you want wide enough for whack free paddling. The problem is that you're likely to be in a BIG tandem for wide spacing that'll be a lot to move when she's not paddling. If she could paddle slow and steady you can paddle the same cadence with strong strokes and fly with a smaller boat. But more importantly have a boat that'll be responsive to your sole hp. if that's all that's really going to move you in an emergency.

The other alternative is a skinny low volume double like CLCs sport tandem or Shearwaters Eider. The Eider would be a neat possibility.


the dual cockpit Eider is listed at $4000 without rudder. Wood won't be as bashable as the glass boats but like the glass boats you can specify some reinforcements that can make a BIG difference where it matters.


We demoed a Boreal Beluga last year, and my 5’ wife was impressed that the front cockpit didn’t feel like a bathtub.


With that budget, you could have someone build you a Pygmy and have a lightweight boat that was also elegant.


Seaward Passet
In kevlar layup should do it… beautiful boats

Different Builds
Hi LeeG,

Seda has a variety of builds. If you had an regular outfitter “standard build” Tango, I expecty it would be 100 lbs. The standard layup was designed to save money for outfitters, and to last 10 years in hard use. The Tangos used by outfitters in Alaska & Baja for the most part request this heavy duty build, what many of my competitors call “expedition build” and charge more for…

For customers looking at today’s Tango, our weights are running right to the numbers on the website. A Deluxe Fiberglass Tango will run just around 82 lbs. Either way, depending on what you want to use it for we can build it heavier or lighter based on your input.


John & Jim

Owners, Seda Kayaks

Seda sez
Weight: Fiberglass 82 lbs 37.2 Kg

Hybrid 76 lbs 34.5 Kg

Kevlar® 72 lbs 32.6 Kg

Fiberglass $ 3370

Hybrid $ 3820

Kevlar® $ 4270

Feathercraft™ K2 Rudder Included

John and Jim
sounds good. By now you know how much customers really like the numbers in the catalog to coincide with what they buy, or at least to fit a stated range.

The one real crack in my Express was doing a t-rescue with that Tango across my deck. I don’t know what layup it was, the beast did paddle well but it was a beast to transport on hot days.

It appeared to be regular 24oz roving, it was purchased used from an individual. I’m guessing it was 8yrs old when we got it in 1999 and it was USED a lot after that. The hull was flexed so many times on flat surfaces, against racks, sat in on docks that it leaked right through the gel coat in two 4"x6" patches in the aft cockpit. I sealed it up with epoxy and two layers of 6oz glass cloth. I glued on a couple minicell blocks forward of the glass seat to provide a bit more underthigh support.

Honestly I’d be wary about trying to make a big double too light for regular use.

just over 80lbs
The aciadia(perception) 2 is 84lbs. but stable quick(eneough) and around 800$

John and Jim from Seda speaketh the truth (and incidentally, are wonderfully helpful in supporting their products). My Tango is one of those fleet boats; formerly owned by a kayak guide who purchased it from a store’s rental fleet. It is probably close to 100 lbs. and has seen abuse for sure. Ended up regelcoating sections where it was dragged repeatedly up onto sand, over rocks, railroad tracks…God only knows what. Why do people do this? (Although at 100 lbs., I might postulate…) Since I paddle it frequently with my daughter, Dad does all the loading/unloading. I use a roller for the loading, and have found that if I grab the coaming of both cockpits, I can move it/carry it around solo. She is a big-boned girl though.

As to ease of paddling, my daughter is prone to reclining back, throwing her legs over the side and contributing very little to forward motion. It is extremely easy to paddle solo with her up front. Just for fun, one day we were coming back into the river from the Sound, and I was teasing her about not paddling. I challenged her to paddle me solo all the way back to the launch, a distance of about a mile and a half. “If you can do this,” I offered jokingly, “then we’ll start shopping for that new boat to replace the Umiak you’ve grown out of.” (Never thinking she’d make it.) Guess who’s looking for a new boat? Not only did she do it, but the she and the Tango kept a very respectable pace-that boat is fast.

As someone who paddles the Sound frequently, a rec tandem is definitely NOT what you’d want-an Acadia would be fine for inland rivers and lakes, but you’ll have dumping swells pretty consistently, along with significant boat wakes in the waters you’ll be paddling. Bulkheads, bulkheads, bulkheads. Check out the bow on the Tango (I might say ‘prow.’). It will slice through a wave and your ride will be dry. I’ve raced against the Seaward boats before, and they’re very nice. The Westside Bullitt K-2 is a little on the extreme side (I want one.), with tiller steering, etc. It’s a rocket, as JackL can attest to. If you’re considering the wooden boat route, Nick Schade offers his fast touring tandem, which is a thing of beauty. We raced against one of these in the last Mayor’s Cup-it’s a very quick boat. I couldn’t stop looking at it as we were neck and neck for sections of the course.

Its about 18.5’ long, and in my opinion, the most beautiful Tandam kayak ever made.

re. bulkheads
on one level I’d agree with you except for the fact a double can ship on as much free water/flotation as any rec. kayak with float bags. I saw a couple paddlers in an ACA IDW/ICE with a WS plastic Northstar that had front/back bulkheaded compartments. They dumped it just outside the surfzone and COULD NOT affect a rescue. The amount of water in the double just rolled it over in 3’ waves. I think this is one of those things that can vary boat to boat where you can make a judgement call trading stability and likelyhood of capsize for self-rescue capability.

I’d put a couple electric pumps in a big double if I really wanted self-rescue capability.

Northstar too heavy / Seda looks

– Last Updated: Jan-20-08 5:20 PM EST –

pretty good, add the Tango to my must try list - need to find someone that carries them in the area. Boreal Design Beluga and the Northwest Seascape Point 5 are also on the list. Thanks for all the input


Kevlar Passat G3
The Passat is sweet and the G3 with a center hatch puts the paddlers farther apart. You can’t beat Seaward quality IMO. I do hate their seats though.