Has anyone out there experimented with tandem paddling a Wilderness? How did it work out? for what size paddlers?
It is a foot shorter and a couple of inches narrower than the Solo Plus - Wenonaha solo/tandem combo. I paddled in the bow of a solo plus and it was pretty tight for me (5’ 10", 230 lbs.). Might work for small paddlers.
Why would you want to turn it into a tandem?
@peterj, I considered buying a tandem a few years ago. Wilderness was a primary consideration. However, the entry level model with open cockpit design didn’t have features that would give me enough confidence to take it out on open water. The high end models were so expensive and heavy, the size and weight would make the boat hard to load, store, transport and manage in higher winds and current. Then it would be of use in filling a specific niche.
One advantage of the forum is how many followers have cross experience with other types of boats. What eventually shaped my decision to pass on a tadem was the members who discussed the versatility of canoes.
While looking for a tandem kayak, I overlooked the fact that I own, but don’t use, a Mad River, Adventure 16. It has two seats with back support, a molded bench for a third passenger or a pet, and it is a tandem. I paid around $569, I think, about 15 or more years ago. Now its $999. I looked up the 14 foot model. It’s about $1,499, and the Pamlico 135T is $1,329 (all estimates). You need what you need, but my point is to not overlook some reasonable options. The canoe isnt a kayak, but a good canoe cam outperform a marginal kayak. I also have a 16 Foot Penobscot that is a fraction of the weight, has a higher weight limit, and seems fast, but I never checked the speed. Hope it helps.
I had one and if you have two paddlers of say 150 lbs or less, it would be fine. I paddled mine solo and it was a tight boat for my 250lb frame.
Better to turn a small tandem into a solo boat, than to turn a large solo boat into a tandem.
I converted by Old Town Canadienne into a solo boat. It is the 15’7" model.
I think paddlinpals nailed it. I remember putting my two nieces in my Wenonah Rendezvous solo and it made a perfect tandem for them. Wilderness is on the big/stable side for a solo so I think paddlinpals is exactly right that if you keep the load under 300 pounds and if the two paddlers are of similar size it could make a fine tandem.
I ended up selling my Wilderness and bought a Royalex Bell Morningstar. Converted that to a solo pulled it in 2" and it makes a perfect big boy solo. One of my compadres found a Fiberglass example and basically matched my outfitting and it is just gorgeous after a few weeks of sanding and polishing.
Thanks ( to all respondents) for the input. I’m just testing possibilities for a geriatric 30 pound tandem for my wife and me. We only weigh 250 together so a big solo isn’t out of the question.
If your finances are up to it, you might take a look at the Savage River Deep Creek. 16’ 6" by 30 - 35 lbs.