I've kayaked for about 3 yrs and needed a boat for my wife and me so our kids could come along in our old 12 Waldens. Our yaking consists of small lakes and calm rivers. The boat in question is a Pamlico 160T w/rudder.
1st and foremost this thing is a barge. It's huge. And if you’re not a diehard kayaker you'd probably be happier with a canoe. But if you’re a kayaker this thing is the waterborne equivalent of the Ford Excursion. The SUV of kayaks.
You need the rudder. You simply will not be able to make it go straight without it. Yes I meant to say it like that.
My wife and I can maintain a speed of 4 knots for endurance and sprint up to 7 with it. (GPS) The seats are top notch. And with the extra length between us keeping perfectly in unison with our paddling is not necessary, but only barely. If it was 2" shorter our paddles would collide. Pay the extra over the 145.
She weighs a lot, 85lbs. is underestimating. You'll be quite the hombre' if you can heft this up on a roof rack by yourself. 2 words....Hully Rollers....enough said.
Storage is adequate for 2 people camping for a weekend. But you'll always be able to carry more in 2 hulls than in one. The advantage is speed and cost. And in our case, roof rack and real estate. We needed to carry enough hull area for 4 people so the extra length of a tandem made sense over buying, storing and transporting 2 more kayaks.
Misses in my opinion. A rear hatch and bulkhead. The bow is taken up by the front paddlers legs but there's good space behind. Easily 3 large drybags. And the center between paddlers fits a good size igloo if you’re so persuaded. Maybe one med drybag in the bow but then you’re sacrificing the front paddler's wiggle room. Also I wouldn’t want to flip her and try to bail it out. The good news is initial stability is very good. Never once have I felt she was on the edge. Even with both of us looking over the same side at the river bottom going by.
For style.....it's just not there. It doesn’t have that "sexy" flair of Capehorn or Tsunami. But it's a no nonsense hauler. Out of the available tandems of this size this one is the best.