Due to changing circumstances we may be looking to purchase a tandem sea kayak. I am interested in tandems with 3 hatches. I have looked at Seaward – Passat G3 and Southwind, the Delta Twenty, Boreal Designs – Beluga and Current Designs – Unity and Libra XT. Have tripped with the Libra XT so am familiar with it but am looking for thoughts/opinions etc on the others and any other tandems out there.
We love our tandem Boreal Designs, Beluga.
We planned the purchase for a couple of years and opted for a kevlar version that weighs in at 76 lbs.
Comfy seats far enough apart that we don't hit each others paddles . Nice big hatches which are tethered to the boat so they don't blow away.
The center hatch does not have a bulk head to separate it from the rear paddler. We love the extra room that gives us, much like a canoe, but we will add that bulk head this winter.
We have had the Beluga in pretty big water and have taken it for one week trips no problem at all.
It is by far our favorite boat and loading and unloading it off the roof racks is well within a weight range that we can handle easily.
Have you looked at the
Current Designs double Vision.
I don’t know how it compares with the others that you mentioned, and I am not sure how many hatches it has, but we have been paddling with friends that just got one this year, and they are quite happy with it
My wife and I tried it, and it handled nicely.
I’m a fan of my well worn, but fast and stable Tango. This and the Passat are probably the fastest touring tandems out there. It is exceptional in big water and has numerous open water crossings/race victories to its name, if these elements are important to you. three good sized hatches, and plenty of distance from cockpit to cockpit to avoid paddle clashes when paddling unsynchronized. It’s only detriment is that at 28" wide, it’s beamy, but it moves out exceptionally well and its speed belies its size.
How about this one?
got an unsolicited email to test “surf” that… If I see that at a break, I would head the other way.
Seda Tango Beamy
Have you had any issues with the Seda being ‘beamy’ ?
You’ll want the tall guy in the back
The biggest problem I had when adventure racing the Tango was that the wide beam at the rear cockpit made it difficult to increase cadence above a certain level. There was just too much distance to cover with the paddle swing. Still, the boat is fast. I can easily keep up with singles in a touring environment (not racing) paddling solo with a passenger in the front.
at 1:44 there’s a video break right as they surf one 1" wave as the bow buries.
Could you imagine anyone being able to paddle that without hitting paddles?
I’m surprised no one has mentioned the Valley Aleut II, 26" wide, three hatches.
Tango will handle almost anything
I have owned a Seda Tango for many years. I bought it because of it’s speed. She’s about as fast as they come. I’ve raced it many times with great success. I’ve paddled everything from small rivers like the Des Plains in NE IL to Lake Superior camping for a week. Hard to beet! Lots of room. I’m 6’3 and 200 lbs. My son is 6’5" and can sit comfortably in the front. Comfortable for hours and hours. Easy to roll. Stable enough to swim and re enter when too hot out.
Seaward Passat G3
Have paddled it extensively touring, on many 1 month self supported expeditions, in Alaska, Baja, Patagonia, BC. Can hold a ton of stuff, is fast, comfortable, and not much wider than a lot of singles. Have seen dudes up to 6,6 fit in the back, and almost fit in the front, just have to use the bulkhead as a footrest and skip the footpegs. Ditto on being able to paddle it at touring pace by myself with someone in the front not paddling. The Seaward construction is excellent. The outfitting is also great, good contact inside the boat for comfort and performance, have tandem rolled and sculled this boat.
Have paddled the Southwind, big mother of a boat, kinda like paddling a schoolbus, slow. The Necky Nootka outfitter was a great boat when it was available, moved well through the water.
Rest My Case
Tango or Passat (Smile). Whenever we’ve raced the Tango, I always have the back. Am acclimated to a surfski, so I strike the bejeezus out of the gunwhales, at least initially. The other thing I’m not too crazy about, if nitpicking, is that mine has the Yakima rails with sliding rudder controls, and the distance is wide. Have an older Epic 18 and had a QCC700 with the ToePilots, that enabled me to fabricate a brace across for leg drive.
That said, these are criticisms mainly geared toward fast paddling/racing the boat. I’ve plunked it through as little as 8" of water in the salt marshes, and it’s been around Manhattan in the Mayor’s Cup 2 1/2 times, so it’s definitely a versatile boat. She is a big girl, though.
Friends have the Nootka, and that’s another very capable expedition boat-not as fast I think, as the Tango, but very stable. For out and out speed with sea kayak capability: Westside Bullitt.
Thanks for the replys to date. I should have explained my intended use a little more succintly:-) We have been canoeing for years and due to an ankle injury, serious portaging may not be in our future(or at least trips with my wife, it’s her ankle!!) With a larger tandem and 3 bulkheaded hatches, longer trips would be easier to plan and pack for. We live close to Lake Huron, Georgian Bay and Lake Superior which would allow for extended tripping and no portaging. Like anything else we plan on renting a few different boats before purchasing. Thanks for the replies and also giving me a couple other boats to consider.