Tandem with a kid

I just bought a Pelican 140T tandem to take my 11 year old out. Probably not the best choice of boats, but it was cheap and will do until she can handle her own boat. We have yet to get it wet, and I am wondering who gets to sit in front? The 60 pound Kid, or the 140 pound Mom? I’m sure we will figure it out, after trying both ways, but what is the general consensus?

In the front
Lightweights always go in the front. The canoe will handle better.

Not to mention, it will be easier to keep an eye on your daughter when she’s ahead of you.

Put the child in the front.

You should paddle in synch. The little one will have enough trouble learning to paddle without trying to stay in sync with you

You being in back can watch and make sure you stay in synch.

Have a lot of patience and believe me once the to of you become a harmonious team you will both be happy paddlers



They are talking about a kayak …
not a canoe.

But a little education if I may on the tandem canoe.

First the lighter weight paddler should not necessarily be in front.

Geneal practice is to have the power paddler (stronger)in the bow.

Second: the canoe should be as trim as possible. Not bow light.

With all that said it works best for my wife and I to contradict that and she paddles in the bow, and we always have to work on keeping the canoe trim.



Easier control
Putting the child up front and you sitting in the rear will give you much more control over the canoe. It will also enable you to snag their paddle if it is accidently dropped. I prefer sitting in the back every time I take my young daughter canoeing, allows you to keep an eye on them also and point out mistakes.

Adult in back
I paddle an acadia 2 with my nephew(8) in the front. depending on lots of factors, you should be prepared to do most of the work. this is not the case always but enough to count. if you both enjoy your selfs then its worth it no matter what.

It’s not her first time out
She has been a passenger, riding in front of me for the last 5 years. Either in our Daggar Blackwater 11.5 or the OT Loon 138. Now she’s just too big. I have given her the paddle, and she can move the boat where she wants it to go, so I think we will be OK. I toyed with the idea of getting her a solo beginner yak, but I don’t think she could keep up on her own just yet. My older child got her own boat at 13, so this one has to wait a couple years.

Shes old enough
to handle her own kayak. C’mon, shes 11 now, definetley old enough.

get her her own kayak and buy a tow rope for just in case.

She shouldn’t have to keep up, you should follow her. (imo)

From Experience
Just for fun I tried going in the bow with my 2 boys in the stern of a canoe. The rear of the canoe was so high out of the water that their paddle strokes were barely in the water, therefore very inefficient. The bow so low in the water created a greater workload as we tried to plow through the water.

Furthermore, directional control is overwhelmingly in favour of the stern paddler (the rudder on a boat is at the rear for a reason) and therefore the stronger paddler should be back there to give the greatest amount of control.

Finally, let the youngster concentrate on paddling, not on directing the boat. Sure, try it out for a few minutes yourself, or if you’re just playing around by the beach, but not for getting somewhere.

That’s my humble opinion.