Submitted: 10-29-2002 by detjen
A warm weather friend for 2. I bought a Reggae and liked it so much I bought the Festiva which I would say is the tandem version of the same boat. I wanted a boat to carry people for their first ride in mild rapids. If you want to do flat water then any other tandem sit on top out there would be better for you. This boat is slow, and like a mule it's going to occasionally change course. I would forget about making it track with a beginner in the front - because they are going to shift their weight and such - and that'll make it veer a bit. It's real stable - it just doesn't have any V shape to the hull (think of an egg and you have the shape of the hull's leading edge).
What you get in trade though is a tandem that turns easliy and is real comfortable. Every edge is rounded - so crawling (or falling) on is easy (don't ask). Unlike most SOT (Sit On Top) tandems the paddlers are spaced to the edges of the boat. I didn't get the paddle clash I would get on a Malibu 2. The front foot wells are much more protected than most. The wells go all of the way to the edge of the boat - and are down low enough that it protects your feet (and you don't feel like your clicking your heels). Most SOT's leave a bunch of space between the edge of the boat and the edge of the footwell - in the Festiva you get all the space out to the edge.
My passenger said that when we ran into stuff she felt safe because of the way the boat came up around her feet (What can I say - I hit every rock and tree no matter what I paddle). :)
I give it an 8 instead of a 10 because of the workmanship. Just like on my Reggae all of the eyelets for the seats and thigh braces are pop riveted in - and they didn't put any silicone in when they instaled them. Either live with them leaking like a sive - or silicone the insides of the ones you can reach - and replace the rest while putting a blob of silicone in the hole first.
This one's the expedition model. I really love having hatches on my boats - (even when the boat leaks) because it gives you a place to secure stuff. The passengers take up most of the deck space on this boat - so if you like to bring a towel and lunch - get the expedition (it protects your stuff being inside anyway).
Islanders lack of attention to the hatches they installed cost them the second point. The back seat has a large hatch between their legs - and on mine they put it on crooked enough that it hangs over the edge (Doh!). Come on people - pay attention when you're cutting holes in your kayaks! I think I'll replace the front hatch with one a little bigger - there seems to be room. The stern has 2 straps on it - but with no recesses I don't know what they expect you to strap there. Whatever you put there - it needs to be in a dry bag. I think 20liter is the biggest that will fit (10 fits fine). I think a huge Cobra A hatch would fit there - and that would make it simple to get a tent or spare paddle in there. I could get a spare 230 paddle in through the big hatch between my legs (10" hatch?) - but it was a tight fit.
The only other thing is that the handles for solo carry are BS. They are plain nylon webbing with a single pop rivet on each end. With a weight of 69 lbs before it sucks water into it - would anyone like to guess how long those will last? Replace them with some Ocean Kayak handles (very nice) so that they don't rip out and damage the hull.
I bought it used for $350 - but it was like new. Plan on $100 to ship it - cause it's big and heavy.
P.S. If you have a little dog that like mine likes to ride on the bow of your boats - they won't be able to do it on this one. Minnie Mouse (yes that's my dog's name - what about it?) ended up standing on the flat area between the 2 paddlers. I think that's supposed to be the solo seat - but I haven't figured it out for sure... :)