Tandem Kayak

We are a family of four and new to kayaking. Mom/Dad and 6 yr old twins. Looking for a Tandem Kayak on the internet. Found a few. Which is better for recreational salt water bay (Plymouth, MA area)? I Weigh 225 and will go with my wife or with 1 of the twins. I saw a few used ones for sale. Which is better? 1) Native Marvel Watercraft Tandem Ultimate 14.5 2) Old Town Dirigo Tandem Plus kayak



– Last Updated: Jun-18-09 7:48 PM EST –

Personally I am not a fan of these types of open cockpit tandems. Not sure why as we have never owned one. Just some vague perception that they arn't quite...well I don't know.

If I were looking for a tandem, I would probably try looking at something more like a necky amaruk (we have owned one) or perception carolina II. Both have bulkheaded compartments and you can easily use a spray skirt. both are also proven adventure racing boats. (and they are heavy)

Maybe a tandem Sit on top would be suitable?

I would recommend, however, that you get the rudder option on any tandem kayak you buy.


(edited to be less...abrupt?..rude? anyway hope this is more helpful)

If you are in Plymouth…
you should go to Billington Sea kayaks over by Morton park and talk to the owner.

He is a good guy and won’t steer you wrong.

I don’t know if he has any tandems, but if he does you can demo them right there at the shop.



too many

– Last Updated: Jun-18-09 8:50 PM EST –

Are you looking for a tandem to carry all four of you? I have an old town loon 16 tandem (really more canoe than kayak) and it's a good size for me, my 6 year-old, and my 3 year-old.

Two adults and two six year-olds would be out of the question in that boat, and it's a bit larger than the one's you mentioned.

In protected waters, I think a tandem canoe would be a better choice.

Or get two smaller tandems, each for carrying one kid and one adult.

I have a Perception Swifty II kayak, and You arnt fitting two adults and 2 6 year olds in any rec kayak, and better kayaks have less room…

So, I would get a big canoe if I was you. Lots of extra room where you can put in foam seats on the bottom for the little ones, and have room left over for you beverage cooler :wink:

No, don’t get a canoe for Plymouth …

Stay with your idea of two tandems.

If you just wanted to paddle around the Mayflower a bit where there is a no wake zone, then no problem with a canoe, but if you get out in the channel after the wake zone you and your canoe will be history when the Captain John comes by.

Also you wouldn’t want to be there on a windy day in a canoe.

People shouldn’t be advising getting a canoe if they don’t know the area you will be paddling.



Find yourself a dealer that will let you demo the boats and try a couple. You really need the experience of paddling one before you make any decision on what boat to buy.

Bill H.

Ultimate 14.5 vs Dirigo
The Ultimate 14.5 is a very stable boat with the flexibility of adjusting the seat for solo paddling, a huge bonus for you when you want to lose the passenger and paddle around on your own. Seats are very comfortable and you can stand up and pole this boat in shallow water. Check out their web site for options such as skirting, which might be helpful if wind kicks up, revealing the downside of the ultimate, relatively low payload, and tendency to get wet in choppy water. It’s really meant for calm water. The Dirigo hauls more, is flatbottomed and prone to weathercocking in wind.

Personally, I wouldn’t own a tandem, but if I had to, I’d get the ultimate, which I’ve rented for trips with my dog on flatwater. Try before you buy. As previous poster mentioned, talk to a local expert about what you want to do.