Tandem recommendation - Malibu 2, Kona?

Hi all,

We’re looking to get our first kayak, for recreational use around lakes, rivers, and maybe some ocean use out to the Thimble Islands or near the coast in nice weather. We’re looking at a tandem, and have come down to the Malibu 2, Hobie Kona, or catch-all “other” (Pamlico 140?) We’ve tried only sit-on-top thus far but plan on trying out at least one sit in kayak before deciding. We’d also like room to bring the 10-pound dog along. There’s currently a place nearby selling its rental stock of Konas for $500 including paddles, making it about the same price as the Malibu.

Reviews for the Kona and Malibu 2 both seem pretty positive, but I haven’t been able to find people’s thoughts on one versus the other.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated. Thanks for the help.

Malibu 2
The M2 is a great platform for what you are intending it for. I’ve outfitted mine for fishing and camping. It’s stability through ferry wakes is rock solid. I’d suggest the clip on seats offered through this web site for trips longer than an hour. If surfing (or if you/partner are smaller than 5’ 2") , the clip on thigh straps are a must for staying on in the surf zone and lower limb purchase for productive strokes for those longer trips.

If you are taking along the pup, get the M2XL. A friend of mine has that model and has plenty of room. It will also reduced paddle induced head bonking of the bow partner.

It’s a versatility is unlimited. I can convert it from a surf boat to a fishing/camping boat in a matter of minutes. With a good quality drysuit, we even use it during the winter.

Hope this helps.

We’re loving our Necky Manitou II.
We haven’t had it very long - couple of months is all. It has two cockpits, one dry-storage in back and some foam in the bow. It’s 14.5’, weighs about 65 pounds. It comes with a kid seat, which we don’t use. A canoe chair works better. We bought this boat with the intention of carrying a kid between us and it works very, very well for that. We’ve also put the pup in that spot (though he was pretty worried about this procedure). He’s a big dog, 75 pounds or so and he fit well.

So far, I’m surprised at how much I love this boat. We bought it to be able to put a kid in it, as I said, but honestly, I like paddling together almost better than paddling my solo.

We tried some smaller boats, but quickly rejected them. We decided early on that a rudder would make our marriage smoother ;-). The Necky feels amazingly stable. We’ve paddled in some pretty wild weather and of course, been hit with some fairly big boat wakes and it is absolutely rock-solid. I’m a wuss and I’ve never yet been scared in this boat. If you’ve been paddling sit-on-tops, it probably won’t matter to you that the bow paddler gets pretty wet in the Necky. Any significant waves or wakes give me a good face-full. It gives the kids something to laugh about. Wouldn’t be much fun in cold water, though.

Good luck with your choice. I’m interested to know what you end up with.

I found a used Pamlico Excel (predecessor of the pamlico 160t) and it is an awesome vehicle for hauling plenty and very manueverable with the rudder system.

check the reviews and you will find many who love it.