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  Some Expert Paddlers Have Already....
  Posted by: wildernesswebb on Apr-05-13 10:00 PM (EST)

....weighed in with their opinions here. I'm just an advanced beginner who's a big guy with a smaller wife that has been paddling about 35 years. There was mention for solos and I'm inclined to agree that's the BEST solution. My wife and I prefer to paddle together but in different boats. But, if you are certain you want to get a small tandem, here are some boats and things that have worked for me over the years.

Forget the Solo Plus for tandem, it's too small for our size as a tandem boat. And the Penobscot has many fans. But that rounded shallow arch that's fine for 150-250lb paddlers, but at 325lbs every time you move a bit your wife will think you're going over. If you're sold on Wenonah, I used the Adirondack solo and tandem for years. If you paddle solo from the bow, with boat turned around you need a bit of ballast in front to trim the boat with your weight. Wenonah's Tuffweave is a darn fine layup too.

A few other boats that I've used would be the Bell Morningstar and the Bell Northstar. Bell's no longer in business, but you can find them around fairly easily. The Northstar might be a little unsettling for your wife, as the Penobscot would, but not as much so. My personal favorite is the Bell Starfire, now made by Colden Canoes.

Another tip is that I always repositioned my stern seat about 1-2' forward of "Stock," depending on the boat. This is easier in a boat with wood or vinyl gunnels. You might ask whatever dealer of boats you decide upon what they would suggest with the weight differential. I recall One of my Wenonah Adirondacks they made with Stern seat about a foot forward per their recommendations. Hope that helps!

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