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Submitted: 08-26-2009 by mmccutch

My primary boat is the nice solo Enlightened T16. However, I wanted a light tandem to take along the occasional friend, but didn't want to spend a fortune for it. The Pelican Pilot 140T XE Elite ($680 delivered) is reasonably rugged, comfortable and tracks OK with my 215 lbs in the rear and 125 lbs in the front. The skeg needs dropping with heavier loads in front, with a max of about 180 - 200 lbs (less with lighter rear loads).

It has no bulkheads, the seats are fixed, and the footpegs are adjustable. It's adequately stable and has acceptable speed even with one paddler. At only 57 lbs., it's one of the lightest tandems around, and the plastic forming is well done. The only real problem I've encountered was with the footrails, which are mounted with self tapping screws into soft plastic, and can't be tightened adequately to secure the rails and prevent leakage without stripping. I replaced them with stainless machine screws and nuts, which solved the problem.

All things considered, this is a good boat for the money. You can find faster tandems, but they're typically much heavier and more expensive. But if you just occasionally want to carry moderate loads in smooth water, you can't go wrong with the Pilot.

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