-- Last Updated: Oct-15-10 4:06 PM EST --

Looking for a tandem that can be paddled solo and has a 600lbs capasity. does it exsist? Looked at a Swift Mattawa but it only good for about 400lbs

a little more info. The 600lbs would be in tandem capisity. When used solo would carry maybe 300lbs or so. The paddler that would use it solo is 240#

I’m a kayaker but…
I bought a second hand Escapade this past summer so I could have something for fishing on my days off from training and to take guests out on the river since my kayaks are mostly too tippy for non-racers to use.

It works. It isn’t fast as a solo but it is smooth and steady and goes where I point it and it is controllable even in a breeze. It would probably be a bear for lighter paddlers to go upwind though. You can plod along solo all day at 4mph out of the wind but going upwind gets really slow, easy to control heading in head and side winds as the boat seems really well balanced and you do make headway, but the going upwind is slow (but then everything short of a racing ski or k1 feels slow to me).

Also, Wenonah says that they re-designed the boat recently. The newer model has a narrower overall beam as well as a narrow beam at gunwale. It is probably more solo friendly than the older version that I picked up. It may or may not have similar tandem capacity depending on what they did with the remainder of the volume when they pinched in the middle a bit. Maybe someone has experience.

All that rambling aside. The older version of the Escapade that I’ve got seems to be working pretty nicely as a solo fishing platform for the St. Johns River and the ICW and it paddles pretty nice daytrip-loaded tandem with two 180lbs males.

Wenonah Solo Plus!

Sure but you will need a longer larger
deeper tandem. And to paddle one of those solo you will need to be able to paddle Canadian Style.

The Prospector comes in several models…but none really max out at 600 lbs for a 16 footer…you will need to think 17 feet or so.

Optimum capacities…

– Last Updated: Oct-15-10 9:24 AM EST –

Bell, Swift, Hemlock, Placid and Colden all give meaningful figures for optimum capacity / capacity at different waterlines in their tandems... but those figures are presumably all about what's optimal for two-up...

Should the figures be revised for solo paddling? Can you look, instead, at the 2"-4" waterline capacity as a guide for a tandem paddled solo? Does it change if you are intending to paddle on a standing heel? No idea.

FWIW... here are a few figures for smaller tandems...

Bell Prospector (16'): 300-600lbs
Bell Northstar (16'6"): 250-500lbs
Hemlock Eaglet (15'7"): 200-450lbs
Hemlock Eagle (16'5"): 400-700lbs
Swift Kipawa (16'6"): 360-510lbs
Swift Prospector (16'): 375-525lbs

For comparison purposes... the 15'6" Bell Rockstar (31" beam, designed for huge paddlers) has an optimum load range of 160-320lbs... Bell's more reasonably proportioned Merlin II and Yellowstone Solo have an upper figure of 280lbs... and the Swift Osprey has an upper figure of 260lbs.

Read into those what you like...

Vermont Canoe Encore…
16’2", plenty of capacity, kneeling thwart standard for enhanced solo paddling.

May we ask, why 600 pounds?
My wife and I spent 12 nights in Quetico and had maybe a total load of 580 pounds. Why would you need to carry a total of 600 pounds, traveling solo?

Is that including you? I have had 400#+ of wood and me in my Nova Craft Pal in calm water and it handeled it OK,but wouldn’t want to brave big waves that way. It does paddle well unhealed from near the center. I’m sure a prospector would do it flat,but it needs to be heeled to reach the water if sitting in the middle which probibly greatly reduces capicity a lot. Interesting question. If the weight could be kept foreward you could paddle solo from the stern seat even in a big tandem. I met a man hauling a huge deer and all his gear out in the ADKs once in a tandem paddling from the stern doing fine-but slow. Contact me to come try my Pal,or I’m pretty sure we could get a Vermont Encore and Nova craft Prospector here for you to try. We also would need volinteer ballast!


600 lbs
is for tandem load. Figuring about 425 for paddlers and 150 or so for gear.

Hi Rob
didn’t know that. not sure if my friend is looking for a new boat or not but I will relay the info to him

Doyou know someone with an Encore?

I belive that’s the model Wrangler has.


Wenonah Encounter!

Bell northwind (16.6)royalex
Add a center seat for solo and you should do well.soloing takes some adjustment but not bad. just did 5 out of 7 days in my new northwind with center seat . and other than a easy learning curv frome a 14 ft solo wildefire. it was pretty nice. the capacity is 1100lbs so should work either way. just add a few pounds of watever in the front and it does well.

yep go longer
such as a Prospector 16 or 17 add a kneeling thwart, buy Bill Masons book and learn Canadian style and you are good to go.

If you really have to solo backwards on the bow seat, make sure your tandem is symmetrical in waterline shape and symmetrical rocker otherwise you could have difficulties.