Submitted: 06-23-2010 by MB1
This is one fast boat. The quite low initial stability can be a bit exciting at first but as soon as you get moving the boat settles down nicely. Still it isn't the sort of boat either of you are gonna take a nap in.
We have been out a hundred plus times now and seem to like it more and more each time out. We were looking for a tandem kayak for exercise and didn't really worry about carrying anything more than lunch. Since we were fairly new paddlers we didn't want a race boat. We also wanted a tandem that was light enough to easily carry and load. This one fit the bill so we gave Doug at West Side a call, the ordering was pretty painless and 6 weeks later we drove up to Buffalo to pick the thing up.
I gotta say we were clueless as how to use a boat this performance oriented. Doug gave us a few tips and we were off. That low initial stability was pretty exciting and the tiller steering took some getting used to (now I wouldn't have it any other way).
I am still impressed by how easily the boat accelerates and the glide is fantastic. Doug suggested we always use the rudder which actually was very good advice. With the rounded bottom the steering is surprisingly nimble for such a long boat and using the rudder allows us both to concentrate on our forward stroke all the time. We have gone out without using the rudder and the boat tracks well enough but I think we lose some speed having to adjust the stroke to steer (and this boat is all about going fast).
It took a while and required some seating adjustments before my very small wife was comfortable and the boat is very stripped down; there are no deck lines and only one bulkhead and hatch. Even with the rounded bottom (and the builder says it can easily be rolled) we have yet to get wet by accident.
So if you are looking for a tandem for fast paddling and day trips and you want it to be easy to load (I can put it on the roof of our van by myself) this just may be the one.