Submitted: 08-21-2005 by MMP
My custom built Southwind is the best looking, standard feature packed, and most stable tandem sea kayak on the market. Talk about comfort, safety, and storage capacity, watertight compartments with the best hatch covers in the industry. When you first climb inside the cockpit, it's more like getting in a fighter plane, minus the canopy. With rudder deployed the Southwind is 21'6" Total length. The bow is 16" high and beam 31". It is stable for 2 people to board alongside a dock. If you have mans best friend, or a child, the center hatch works great for a 3rd passenger.
There is 6' of room between cockpits and no chance of bumping paddles if you get out of sync. If you're into video, 35mm, or digital photography this is a great opportunity to capture the moment.
As for loading, The Southwind is a 2 person task. It weighs only 105 pounds, but because of its length loading on top my SUV is an art in itself. I use a Yakima saddle system with padded bar protectors to compensate for the first 6' of narrow bow. I Tried the Yakima Rollers in the back, which almost damaged the hull because the have a tendency to flip forward and jamb in an upright position when tightened down to the max. However the roller method has safely worked with my smaller 40-45 pound 10' & 11' Old Town Loons. It takes about 45 mins to safely load and tie down, but worth the time it takes.
I don't have a garage, so at present I have a conversation piece in my formal dining room on top of my china buffet.