WS Tandem Kayak info

We are considering a WS Tandem Pamlico 145T. Looking for info on tracking, speed, capacity, comfort, spray skirts…Etc… I will be going solo 60% of the time for fly fishing. Any comments would be appreciated. How does it handle Lake Michigan waves?

We’re just trading ours in.
We’ve had it for five years but want to singles. I often take mine out solo on local small lakes, and have even had it out on the Hudson. It handles nicely and is great for fishing, though it can feel a little cramped if you have 2 people and fishing gear in it. I never bothered rigging it with pole holder or anything like that. My only complaint when using it solo is that I’m 5’6, and anything that makes its way to the front of the cockpit is impossible to reach until I beach the boat. The other fishing problem is ocassionaly snagging a hookon the deckrigging, which also requires me to land the boat.

Lake Michican waves?

and how would these vary from say Pacific ocean waves?

not as salty?


the pam family is a recreation boat family and while quite seaworthy are not designed for much wave action. wind and waves, while quite fun and exciting, can put a ‘rec’ style boat into a lot of stress.

think freeboard height vs wave height and you see the issues.

some serious lessons would be in order, IMO.


Agree with Flatpick
I have a 135T (love it) but would be uncomfortable taking it on Lake Michigan at times when the Lake was fickle. It’s a rec yak as is the 145T.

If you’re paddling solo 60% of the time, why not consider a solo and a tandem? That’s what I have. The tandem is great for two but very cumbersome when I am alone.

Palmico is good
and perfect for that solo/double use if the other passenger isn’t big,ie. total load under 350lbs or so. It’s small enough to be manageble for one paddler. But with questions like “is it good for …” X conditions you enter into issues unrelated to the boat. It’s a little like asking, “if I get this car will my sex life improve?”

A very versatile kayak…

– Last Updated: Jul-21-05 12:49 PM EST –

I've had one for about a year and a half. I suggest you look at the Product Review section, where there are a lot of posts, including one I added recently about river paddling. I sometimes take mine on a bayou that empties into Lake Pontchartrain near New Orleans. That lake is much much smaller than Lake Michigan, but it's shallow and you can get waves over 3 ft. almost instantly when a squall line comes through. I would be very hesitant to take my Pamlico out on the lake in such conditions, even with a spray skirt, especially if I was alone and there were no other boats around for rescue in case something happened. Having said that, it's a versatile yak that does what it was designed to do. It handles easily either tandem or solo. I do fish from mine, and it allows me to get to places I could never go in a power boat. As for your specific questions: tracking - very good on calm bodies of water, even on windy days, especially with the rudder, but takes some work on fast moving or hazardous water; speed - you won't win any races with it, but it's probably fast enough to get you where you would want to go with it and back without wearing you out; capacity - adequate for two, more than adequate for one, including solo fishing if you bring minimal gear, but probably not enough for two people and camping gear; comfort - superb, and one of this boat's best features - the Phase 3 seats are terrific, since they can be adjusted in multiple dimensions. I have paddled solo on multi-day trips and by changing the seat adjustment from time to time my back and legs are never tired or cramped; spray skirts - I have one that adjusts for tandem or solo use, but never use it for the type of paddling I do. It might be useful if you are going out on open water, but I would also advise investing in an additional flotation bag for the bow (see my post on this in the Product Review section). HTH...BayouBill

One other thing…
You didn’t ask about transporting this kayak, but, at 65 lbs for the plastic model, it can be “interesting” cartopping this thing by yourself. I’m a very fit 5’7"/175 lbs, and I struggle with it, especially if it’s windy. But it’s no problem at all loading it with two people. I regularly transport it on top of my Toyota Camry using some inexpensive bar racks (not one of the “name brands”). I load it upside down, bow-forward, with the cockpit coaming resting on the racks, which I’ve wrapped with foam pipe insulation to prevent dents or other damage to the hull. I strap it to the racks with heavy duty bungies, tie the bow’s carry handle to the front tow eyes underneath the front bumper, and tie the stern rudder bracket to my trailer hitch. Once it’s secured that way, I can travel at interstate speeds for hours without worry.

Thanks for the help
Thanks for the advice. It looks like we will be buying the 145T. any accesories that I should buy also? Does anyone recommend the Thule Rollercoaster 877XT?

A rudder would be very useful on open water or calm streams, especially on windy days; not so useful on twisty or fast-moving streams. See if the dealer will loan you paddles of various lengths before buying any, and try them both tandem and solo, since the cockpit and hull dimensions might require a different paddle length than you might think. I bought a 220 cm and a 230 cm. At 5’7" I find the 220 to be just right for solo paddling, but when going tandem I use the 230 in the stern, where the coaming is a little wider, and the 220 in the bow, where it’s narrower.

great resource
Thanks Bill, You are a great resource for info. This is a big purchase for us, and I want to make it right the first time.

Thanks Again

I agree with different paddle lengths
I also use a 220 and 230 [Aquabound Seacludes]. I bought both, not knowing what length I’d find best. But I found that I liked having both on board for the reasons already mentioned.

As for the boat, I own a Loon 160T tandem, which has a 500 lb capacity. Like others who have posted opinions in the Product Reviews, I am well pleased with it. I have taken it in waves on lake Huron [close to shore] but it can get quite wet with two people in it. After all, it’s not a sea kayak. Better suited for calmer conditions.

The Thule Rollercaster
is what I use to get the boat up on the roof of my Chevy Tracker. When I first bought the boat I bought a set of the foam blocks and watched my roof cave in every time I tied the boat down. With the roller I can easily load and unload the boat by myself. Even with the roller coaster you want to use a piece of padding under it to prevent scratcing the cars paint job. I use an old piece of carpet doubled over so the weave side is both on the car and the boat bottom.

Do you mount the rollercoaster to the Thule rack bars?

Its mounted on the Thule Bars.
I have also seen cheaper rollers that mount in the space between the roof and an SUV door, that you would just drop in place when loading and unloading.

aftermarket rack rollers
do you have a location or web site for this afternmarket roller?

Can’t remember the exact brand
or website, but I came across them while either searching the web, or on ebay.

Thanks for info.
We are going to buy the 145T. We demo’d it on Saturday. Also Demo’d the Pungo 120 and Tsunami. Total cost of both would be > $1500. The 145T is $775. No need for a rudder at this point. We had a blast in the 145T, with a heavey chop…no problems at all. I am going to buy a full skirt for trips on Lake Michigan, and maybe outfit the 145T for fly fishing.

Good for you. Enjoy the boats.

Actually, Lake Michigan waves are…
different. They tend to have shorter wavelength (less fetch) but significant amplitude, so it can be quite the adventure. Not to mention better tasting and less filling!

WS 145T outfit for fly fishing
Does anyone out there have any suggestions or ideas for outfitting my new 145T? I am thinking of rigging with bungies, a milk crate that would sit in the rear seat when solo. Any ther ideas?