22 February 2019!
Tandem Kayaks or Double Kayaks enable paddlers to share experiences together within the same craft similar to canoes. The difference from canoes is that tandem kayaks sit much lower in the water. This lower centre of gravity offer the benefits of additional stability and less affected by wind & wave conditions.
There are two distinct types of tandem kayaks to consider:
Tandem Performance Touring Kayaks
Longer and leaner than recreational doubles, tandem sea kayaks exude efficiency. These types of tandem kayaks always include bow and stern hatches with sealed bulkheads to keep gear dry as well as providing additional flotation and higher safety.
Smaller cockpits enable spray skirts to be used, which keeps water out and heat in to keep paddlers warm and dry. Tandem sea kayaks offer a very high degree of stability through length and increased capacity to satisfy day trips and long excursions and can handle virtually any water conditions with reasonable paddler skills.
Tandem Recreational Kayaks
Shorter, wider, and with a much larger open style cockpit area, recreational tandem kayaks are distinctly different in appearance than tandem sea kayaks. Recreational tandems are designed for more general multipurpose family, kids and cottage day pursuits. These kayaks may ‘NOT’ include bow or stern hatches or sealed bulkheads and the large cockpit area will hold far more water.
The stern seat is usually on a sliding system so the seat can be easily moved foreword or backward to optimize solo paddling and/or best trim the craft. Spray skirts are ‘NOT’ always an option as the cockpit opening is simply too large to keep a skirt on and still disperse water. Recreational tandem kayaks provide a fun way to get to people out in calm protected waters.
Pros & Cons of Tandem Kayaks
|Allows you to share your on-water experiences with your spouse or your best paddling buddy more closely||Tandem sea kayaks are not able to be paddled solo, so you always have to have a paddling partner along for the ride|
|Recreational tandems allow parents to keep their kids close if they are hesitant to have them paddle solo||Short, wide, recreational tandem kayaks have been nicknamed “Divorce Boats” as paddlers are very close together resulting in inefficient paddling|
|Both styles of tandems offer a very high degree of stability and user-friendliness.||Recreational tandems with wide, open cockpits have the lowest degree of safety due to minimal bulkheads and positive buoyancy|
|Tandem sea kayaks have exceptional gear capacity making them great for extended adventures – they also handle bigger water crossings than a canoe||Tandem kayaks are large boats, so they tend to have higher weights making carrying and transporting a challenge for some|