Submitted: 10-26-2009 by clrose
This is not a divorce boat!
This past summer, I helped take our Boy Scout troop on a 54 mile trip in Voyageur’s National Park. For safety reasons (tandem as a superior rescue boat, transporting hurt or sick kayakers, better fishing platform, etc.) I have insisted that when I take Scouts on kayaking trips that we have at least one tandem. The Current Designs Unity might be the best tandem on the market for kayak camping.
First, it was very stable. In practice sessions, the boys could lean the Unity over until the cockpits were taking water without flipping it. We had a Scout stand up and jump out without difficulty (but he was the same one who tipped it on the trip, go figure). Paddle floats were available for reentry, but they were not needed and probably would only be needed in the roughest conditions.
Second, we found that while two singles have more room for gear than one tandem, the Unity's big hatches and large covers resulted in easy packing. In my Sirocco, I put a pair of rain pants in the farthest reaches of the bow hatch, I couldn't grab them with my arm, I needed a tent pole to get them out. With the Unity, that is not a problem in bow or stern.
Third, the keyhole cockpits allowed the kids to easily enter and exit (this was important when approaching a rocky shore) and lets knees and legs to be stretched without compromising stability. We had full cockpit skirts but the boys preferred paddling without them; even in harsher conditions half-skirts would probably be fine.
Fourth, the speed and agility of the Unity exceeded my expectations. Fully loaded, two 16-year olds were able to sprint to over 7.5 mph and cruise (when they felt like it) at 4 mph. One boy paddled it solo without any problems. Last year, when we paddled the Apostles, the boys would argue about who had to paddle a Current Designs Crosswind tandem, this year they argued about who got to paddle the Unity. Being 20 lbs. lighter than the Crosswind is a plus as well. Great boat.
Full disclosure: we were able to borrow the Unity from the Current Designs factory for the trip. Thanks.