I'm looking for advice on purchasing a tandem kayak for lake/pond, slow stream, and calm ocean (pass through the waves). I'm 6'5" 230 lbs so I need one capable of 400+ lbs. I would like to fish from it. I am a beginner! Stability and "sea" worthiness are important. I'm looking at the Old Town 160T. Also heard of a "Feelfree Gemini Tandem". Any suggestions or help is greatly appreciated.
Why a tandem?
You have not mentioned whether or not this would be used by two people so I am curious as to why you want a tandem? the 160T is a great boat but heavy for one person when compared to so many other stable large cockpit (and canoes) available out there.
I have seen the Current Designs Libra XT (a 2 person boat with a sort-of 3rd seat in the middle) handle some pretty crazy conditions on Lake Superior.
The boat is beautiful, wonderfully made by a great company, and would certainly handle the weight range that you’re talking about in a very sea-worthy manner.
For comparison sake, I’ve been in that boat in 4’ surf on the big lake (which is a steeper chop than the ocean would be), with 375lbs. of paddler and about 100lbs. of gear. I got soaked because the wind was blowing off the tops of the waves, but the boat can handle that sort of weather very easily. I’d feel safer in it than in most power boats, that’s for sure.
I highly recommend you check that boat out as it’s just so freakin’ huge it can handle more weight and seems less apt to flip over than other tandems I’ve been in.
I’ll go on record saying I have no affiliation with Current Designs in any way, whatsoever. In fact, I don’t even own that boat (2 single P&H boats are what I have) but on trips with friends, they rent that tandem every year.
Here’s a link:
They don’t call them divorce boats for nuthin’…
Do yourself a favor and buy 2 boats.
Current Designs Libra XT handle some pretty crazy conditions on Lake Superior?
We had a guy who paddled Libra from Monterey CA
John and i get along great
in our Walden Spirit. We thought people were exaggerating w/this ‘divorce boat’ thing. However, when we loan the yak out to visitors, they always come back annoyed, etc.
ALSO CONSIDER A BIG GUT SOT…
SOTs are superior for fishing what with a wide variety of sizes and styles available on which you can lay out your gear to great advantage.
They are easier, perhaps, to paddle, and you don’t need a roll -perhaps a roll-back-on-the-boat-roll, maybe, but not the classic eskimo roll. There are several models tghat handle ocean considtions well, and some that paddle fairly well, too.
If you’re not going to be going for speed, but rather easy crusing and fishing, think along the lines of some of the bigger OK, WS, Perception, and Extreme models, for example. They’ve been extensively used & approved by yak anglers and paddlers aropund the country and other areas as well.
And if you DO find yourself frequently paddling in the company of SINKs and you’d like to keep up with a little lwess effort, or you find yourself with a just plain need for speed -as MANY of us here who started out in an SOT have discovered -then you can always graduate to a SINK …as many of us (me included) have done.
I haven’t discarded my beloved lime green Scupper Pro TW -it’s a lean, mean, green fishing machine, and a great SUV of a yak -but I do also spend time IN my Eclipse SINK, and ON my racing fiberglass SOT, as well.
So think about how much of what kind(s) of paddling you’ll want to do -and how much you think, REALISTICALLY -of each you will ACTUALLY do…! And then condense the list a bit and narrow down a HUGE group of potential selections,
And by ALL means, if at ALL possible -get out there and test paddle: TRY BEFORE YOU BUY. That way, you’ll be a LOT better off, and better prepared, as you eventually get out on those waters and yakfish and
-Frank in Miami
great to hear someone else likes this boat too.
That’s a really long paddle.
What was the water temp?
I am a new kayaker and recently purchased the Wilderness Systems Pamlico 135T (as in “tandem”). I have been out with my wife and 20 year old daughter and when we paddle in sync, which is almost all of the time, the tandem is great and fast. Many on this site warned me of the divorce aspect of tandem kayaking but I have yet to experience it. The 135T is small and you could also paddle it solo rather than getting a divorce attorney. It is very stable so it should meet some of your requirements. It has a wide cockpit for a larger person. Good luck and happy paddling.
I have an OT 160T
And I like it. It is pretty heavy though. I’ve paddled it both solo and double. It’s very stable and nice to fish from. I’ve paddled it often in the ocean, but with that giant cockpit, it would be tough taking it through any waves. I have floatation bags bow and stern. I do not have a rudder for it and don’t feel it’s really needed unless you paddle in a lot of wind. I have had a lot of fun in this boat.
Divorce Boat or no
It is not the boat, it’s the experience level of the lead paddler.
If the guy is lead, then either he’d better know what he is doing and be able to control the boat’s direction, etc. regardless of any mistakes his partner makes and keep his mouth shut, or if not, be ready to hit obstacles or swim and STILL keep his mouth shut. friction happens when the guy is trying to control the boat and can’t, and starts griping.