Submitted: 11-10-2005 by R69S
Tandems. You either swear by 'em...or swear at 'em! They go by the very unfavorable nickname; divorce boats. My wife and I came to kayaking with over twenty five years of two-up motorcycle touring experience. We are used to sharing close quarters and working as a team in a multi-axis environment. No doubt about it, we swear by 'em!
The NorthStar is a very big, heavy boat. Car topping requires a certain regimented skill set, especially in brisk winds. Once in the water, however, the kayak really comes into its own. Ours has handled everything from relatively tight rivers and streams to very aggressive open water with equal success, comfort and confidence. Fit and finish are good. The Phase3™ seat is probably the Gold Standard for comfort and adjustability. Our boat's rotomolded plastic construction can get pretty soft while being transported in the hot sun. Wrapping the boat in two white bed sheets sewn end to end looks a little strange, but it sure solves the problem.
We were surprised at how fast this particular design is. An adult paddler and an enthusiastic child can keep up with most solo boats. My wife and I are often the fastest boat in our group, especially on long legs where staggered hydration breaks give any double a strong advantage. With two aggressive, full size paddlers looking to show off, we routinely leave even elite solo paddlers gasping after an hour or so.