Tandem Speed

We have a couple nice single kayaks, QCC 700 and Q10. We have a friend that is not very athletic but we would like to get her out paddling. How do the speed of the performance tandems compare to boats in the class of ours? Would it be a reasonable option for us to get her on the water? One of us would be in the tandem with her and the other one of us in one of our QCCs.


Performance Tandems
Depends on the class of tandems you’re exploring. The Seaward Passat and Seda Tango will have no problem matching Q-Tip speed, provided you have two reasonably fit engines. If you’re looking at something like the Westside Bullitt or any of the speedier K-2 style boats, then your Q Ships can ride wash. The more touring oriented poly tandems might be more difficult. (Owned a Q700 for years and now have a Tango and a Pygmy Osprey double. The Osprey is not a fast boat, but is a joy to paddle.)

4.5 to 5 is our speed
We can push them faster but those speeds are normal for our general paddling. It sounds like the tandem may work. Thanks for your help.

A “performance tandem” with two…
capable paddlers will leave your QCC-700 in it’s wake, so with one experienced and one newbie, it should work just fine.



What he says.

My wife and I can easily sustain a
5 MPH speed in our bulbous and squat WS Pamlico 135T.

That said, I feel we have very good synchronization of our strokes and we understand our roles in the tandem (cadence for her and directional control for me).

I would venture to guess that two adequate paddlers could sustain 4-5 MPH in a sleeker tandem.

Yes, what he said and he said. That is a perfect way to introduce a new paddler; experience in the stern, novice in the bow.

I have a tandem. My wife enjoys being on the water but is a poor paddler. With the tandem, she can paddle (dip the paddle into the water) or not. Either way, we get out there and back.

A few years ago, my kayaking buddy and I did 22 miles along the scenic Pictured Rocks in Michigan with our single kayaks. A few mohths later, I took my wife on the same trip with the tandem. Surprisingly, we covered the same distance in pretty much the same time. Leisurely paddling, not trying to set new records.

The trick is to get the right tandem. Most are very wide and designed for hauling cargo. Mine is about as narrow as they come and has adequate distance between the paddlers so they aren’t constantly banging paddles.

If I didn’t have the tandem, the wife wouldn’t get out on the water.

An added advantage is that when the gang wants to go paddling, I can invite the wife. If she elects not to go, I can take my single. (But at least I invited her to join us.)

3.5 knots
with me paddling and my 6 year old daughter shooting iguanas and squirrels with her water gun.

CD Double Vision

A good friend has a Double Vision
he and his wife cruise at 5 MPH

That is a sweet tandem although it is not a performance one.

We had a Westside Bullitt, and we over the hill paddlers could cruise at 6MPH



Agree about non-performance
but it’s a very good family boat.

Since I paddle it mostly with my daughter and I have to load it / unload it by my self it’s one of the few I can handle.

And it’s less the 18’ and fits in my garage :wink:

Oddly enough (or not??) I dont like to use my greenland paddles with it, I switch back to EP (actually a Toksook) for this boat.

tandem yes
Normally I say paddle solo, sleep tandem, but tandems do have their strengths and I’d definitely recommend one for you purposes.

I once screamed across a 6 mile crossing in an Aluet Sea II. Did the math and we were cruising at just under 10 mph with a slight head wind. Tandems can be fast beasts.

One boat that impresses me is the Current Designs new tandem, the Unity. It’s well built, light for its size, and fairly well priced.

Thanks for getting other folks into paddling. Maybe after a handful of trips she’ll be looking for her own boat.

My wife hardly ever paddles
in our Necky Amaruk tandem due to an old shoulder injury. With just me paddling I keep up just fine with the others in our normal paddling group with members paddling 15 to 17ft touring boats…in fact, I’m usually setting a faster pace than the others, but then again I love going fast and getting the extra exercise. I’ve never clocked us on GPS, but would guess I can easily maintain a 4-4.5 mph cruising speed by myself, so with two people paddling you could really make some head-way.