Tandem kayak - lake use

Ashful Posted By Ashful, Jul 7, 2019 at 6:53 PM

  1. Ashful

    Ashful
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    I was asked to look into kayak options for a mother and child (ages 6 and 10) to do short lake outings. No long trips. No river use. Just a big calm lake, one mother, one child.

    I spend every weekend in a boat, and used to do river canoe trips in my youth, but I’m a complete noob on kayaks.

    Please educate me.
     
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  2. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone
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    My wife wanted one. Probably so I could do the paddling while she talked and pointed at things. I vetoed it, lol.

    I saw one being used this week with both people paddling. It looked fun!



    Matt and absolutely no help here.
     
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  3. Ashful

    Ashful
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    The thread bump is a help!

    I should have said, mom with one child at a time. My OP may have implied two kids at once.

    I think I’m looking at plastic sit-on designs, for warm weather lake use. I see a ton of inflatable options, even at Walmart. But since I plan to double-deck this on one of my sailboat trailers, I’m thinking a hard shell option is likely better for us. I haven’t seen much in the way of hard shell tandem sit-ons locally, though.

    I suspect with smaller kids, folks just use a single sit-on with parent and child, no need for a tandem. That might work with the 6 year old, but the 10 year old is getting a little big for that.
     
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  4. PaulOinMA

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    Is there and EMS (Eastern Mountain Sports) by you? I know a lot closed, but we still have one here. Check if they have kayaks for rental. The EMS here sells them at the end of the season for very good prices.

    If they do, I'd talk with the manager for first dibs on the one you want.
     
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  5. pjohnson

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    I don’t have any experience with tandem kayaks but have 4 of the cheap plastic ones. They work great for just playing on the lake. The grand kids are 7, 8, and 10 and have no trouble paddling their own kayaks. I have the sit in ones very stable haven’t ever tipped one except getting in or out of them. The advantage of a sit on one is no chance of flipping it and getting trapped in it and if you wanted to get wet and swim you could get back on it. I prefer things with motors but the wife enjoys her peaceful morning kayak
     
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  6. PaulOinMA

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  7. Ashful

    Ashful
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    Thanks, guys. Been looking at a few options, as time allows. So far, I’m liking the FeelFree Gemini, but not settled on anything, yet.

    We do have a few local rental places, perhaps I should check in with them.
     
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  8. bholler

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    I never liked the sit on ones personally. I always feel like I am sitting to high in them and have trouble finding a comfortable paddling position. But now I have a bad shoulder so no paddling till I get it fixed. My sister and her family all have sit on ones though and they love them. So I would recommend they rent or borrow a few first to see what they like.
     
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  9. Ashful

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    You confirmed my suspicion, bholler. Not even being a kayaker, I was looking at these sit-on units, and thinking the position above the water line is less favorable than a sit-in unit. But for casual lake fun with little kids, I think the sit-ons have a few advantages, not least of which is no chance of a kid getting trapped in a capsize.

    A few have suggested inflatables, they do seem to be really gaining a lot of popularity, and the storage advantage is obvious. I already have too many toys (boats) to store, so that’s not lost on me. However, I don’t love the idea of dickering around with a pump at the lake while I’m already trying to set up one of my sailboats, and I’m not sure how they’d withstand being car-topped (or boat-topped) at 60 mph while inflated.
     
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  10. PaulOinMA

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  11. Ashful

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    I use Craigslist for selling things (including boats), but it always seems to much bother to use it for buying things, for two reasons:


    1. There is no Craigslist for my local area, so when I search based on the two closest cities, items can be 2 to 4 hours round trip for me.

    2. Most folks on there are completely unrealistic. For example, the first sit-on Tandem that comes up when I check Philly Craigslist is a Malibu Two for “$600 cash, firm”. I can buy this kayak brand new from a dealer with a warranty for $699, without having to drive to West Chester to do it!
     
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  12. maple1

    maple1
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    Hmm, how did I miss this one - I could maybe have used it a couple days ago.

    We have a cottage, on salt water. Only 3 years into it. Have had kayaks in the back of our minds for a bit now. A couple of tandems came up for sale on the local buy & sell Tuesday, at (I think) a very good price. $200 each, with paddles. They were sit-ons. Likely basic entry levels at that price. Wife is away this week, at the cottage, and we couldn't get our communications & act together in time to check them out - they went quick, we needed to jump right away if getting them. So we ended up passing - may regret it but not sure yet. There is a new rental place not far away that we will try a few out at first (I have no prior kayak experience - her some but not much), but a tandem might be good to have around for when company comes at least. So any more feedback would be good, either on tandems or kayaks in general. We're in a tidal area, and when it is out it is out a long way, but we're also close to the outlet of a nice tidal river - the rental place is on the river. We might not be in an ideal spot for the more economical options, but don't think we want to budget for nice sea kayaks. The main reservation in general, is the local FDs get called out a few times each year during the summer to rescue people that have gotten carried away part way to PEI by wind & currents - I don't want us to end up being the subject of one of those operations. :rolleyes:
     
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  13. Ashful

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    Right now, my decision comes down to inflatable vs hard shell, a sit-on tandem either way. Cost is not really a factor, either is under my threshold for caring, it really just comes down to convenience in usage and storage. Do I want to deal with the hassle of storing a 12’ long hard shell, and double-decking it on my sailboat trailers, or do I want to deal with the hassle and likely shorter life of blowing up an inflatable at the lake?

    Can an inflatable be towed inflated, or would the wind be hard on it at highway speeds? Anything else to push me one way or the other? Anything I’m missing?
     
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  14. SpaceBus

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    I'm in a similar situation and I ordered a pair of folding kayaks for $705 USD with paddles. I really wanted an Oru Bay or Beach, but that's a lot of coin. The Tuktec kayaks I ordered weigh less than 30 lbs and only need 3-4" of draught so we can launch from just about anywhere. If we get serious about kayaking (my previous hobby was grassroots auto racing, so I am looking for a new away from home hobby) then we will upgrade to the Oru XT seafaring kayaks. We really decided on folding kayaks so the MIL, or really any of our friends, can pick us up and take us home after a day of paddling.

    Many years ago I used to kayak on some lakes and fish from it. Unfortunately I used to store at a friend's house and it was stolen. That kayak was an open cockpit sit in with storage. I did not enjoy the hassle of transporting it, despite the low weight. The water here is too cold for a sit on, at least that's how I feel.
     
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  15. SpaceBus

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    Oru makes a foldable tandem kayak, I saw it for sale at the LL Bean outlet.

    They also have a modular system that I like.
     
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  16. Ashful

    Ashful
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    Hmm... the only Oru tandem listed at REI costs $2000, and gets an average 2 star review. Maybe this isn’t their best option?

    I’m in the under $1k class, for my wife to do simple day excursions with the kids on a lake. This ain’t whitewater territory, where there would be any reason to spend $2000 on a kayak.
     
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  17. maple1

    maple1
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    Would you have a link for what you got?
     
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  18. SpaceBus

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    https://foldupkayaks.com/products/six-pack

    Many reviews mention very slow shipping, so it will probably be a while until I can share our experience.
     
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  19. SpaceBus

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    Wow, I hadn't seen the price on the tandem. If I were in your shoes I'd be looking pretty hard at an inflatable. Get a dewalt 20v inflator and make it easy to inflate at the lake. If your wife and kids like the inflatable tandem, they will probably want their own. Then the modular hard shell system looks better.

    Here's one I hadn't seen before https://www.campsaver.com/snap-kayaks-snap-on-top-tandem-kayak.html?_iv_code=3BE-WS2-000139151303&gclid=CjwKCAjwvJvpBRAtEiwAjLuRPW3ifi_X6cMkWtnWhHF7apTf_n9LhTCzq_IOOVXgK-nTr4OovvbfMRoCTHsQAvD_BwE
     
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  20. Ashful

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  21. SpaceBus

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    I think the version LL Bean sells has sections that fit inside of themselves, but I'm not sure. Monday required a visit into "the city" over an hour away, so a stop at LL Bean was required.
     
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  22. xman23

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    Not that I've had an Inflatable, but you do bang these boats up. I assume there are a lot of different grades of material. I'm guessing an inflatable in a lake is a slug, slow. Some people do use high end duckies on white water rivers. I've seen them and they are extremely tough material.

    The quality hard plastic recreational boats hull is designed for good primary stability, but poor secondary stability. All that means is you can put a lot of weight off center, but when you get it over to far, it then rolls over quickly. A reck boat is fast. They have a keal, gunnels and rocker that makes them easy to keep straight. You sit low, the center of gravity is low. Easy paddle position. I would not be concerned with getting out of the boat in a roll over. You fall out, even with a skirt.
    White water boats have hulls designed to do none of this. They turn on a dime don't go straight and you easily go up 90 degrees on the side and return.

    Originally sit on top were used in the surf. Some issues for me. Higher center of gravity. I didn't like that you sit in water, as there are drain holes that lets water come up. Maybe more of a white water thing. And there a bit heavier. But what I like is you roll it over and get right back on.

    I've done some lake and reservoir kayaking, but never felt comfortable being a long way from shore with the potential to roll over. The boat has flotation and won't sink. But getting back in and pumping it out, well to much for me. That's where a sit on top is nice. But in a class 3 - 5 river I'm at home.

    A Kayak is a good thing to find used, because the condition is what it is. Check how worn thin the bottom is from bouncing off the river rocks. A major issue is boats left outside. The plastic gets brittle from UV sun damage. And then they crack and split. I've stored my boats inside for 20 years old and they are perfect. They hang off the basement ceiling so not much issue with taking up room.
     
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  23. Dobish

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    i have spent a lot of my time paddling in kayaks, selling kayaks, and transporting kayaks. I think something sit in is a way to go, like a Wilderness Systems Pungo 120 is a great boat for most people's needs on the lake. It is big enough and stable enough that you can have someone sit in front, but you also aren't sitting directly on the water. You can fish out of them, chill out, and they are relatively maneuverable.

    Most people that I sold boats to came in 3 categories- whitewater, long distance sea kayakers, and families with lake houses that just wanted something to have fun in. No need to buy a $2K boat when a $625 boat will do the same thing. The biggest thing i would say it is worth spending money on is the paddle and a bilge pump! A lightweight paddle makes all the difference, even for a novice paddler.

    I sold a handful of inflatable kayaks, and every single one was used approximately 1 time....
     
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