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Welyjr

Tandem SOF

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Have you thought of designing a tandem skin on frame? 

 

Yes I have.

 

Is it hard to take the dimensions from a hard sided tandem and convert it to SOF?

 

 

Yes and no.

 

To skip straight to the bottom line there is two reasons I have never developed one. 

1. I don't want one.

2. In order to design one I really need to build one and test it.

 

I would like to have one in my lineup but I really don't think there is enough demand to be worth the effort it would take. I had a freind (my wife doesn't paddle) that was interested. She liked to paddle but was very slow. Wouldn't paddle with a group because she felt she would hold them back or get left. I paddle some with her and we talked about a tandem. That would allow her to paddle with a group and give me experience with a tandem and work out the bugs.

 

Long story but her interest went to other things and she doesn't paddle any more and I never got past a couple of concepts. If I had someone I thought I could paddle with, or someone that willing to buy a finished tandem I would probably develop one. But I doubt that will happen any time soon. So I have been putting efforts into things that will sell better. There isn't a huge market for plans and tandems would be MUCH smaller.

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I don't know anyone who likes tandem paddling, certainly my wife does not and she only goes a couple times a year.  The kayak rental place at the marina I manage says that rarely do tandem rental customers come back happy.  Most wish they rented 2 solo boats.  Its a lot like wallpapering.  Few marriages can survive doing it together  :P

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Kids could probably do better if they can get along with each other. But tandems are nicknamed 'Divorce Boats' for a good reason. It takes two people that can work together and do it well. One has to let the other take the lead and both have to adjust their paddling styles and speed to match each other. It takes a lot of comprimise unless they are very similar already.  

 

I have meet one person that I think I could have paddled a tandem with regularly. David was much younger than me but we were a lot a like in paddling styles and  speed and we really got along well on the water. I started noticing our paddling styles were very similar when I first considered a tandem. I was convinced David and I could have paddled together without any problem. Before I could get started on a design he got a great promotion and transferred to the new job. I still pay attention to people I paddle with and I have yet to meet anyone that I think I could paddle a tandem for a long period of time. 

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Given my wife's trepidation about solo kayaking, two years ago, I built a Chuckanut 15 SOF tandem from Dave Gentry's site (being that it was the only SOF tandem design I could find), and so far it his given my wife and me a few hours of fun on most summer weekends. 

 

I think most of the reason that tandems have such a bad reputation is that the tupperware versions tend to be heavy and don't track well, if at all.  My wife and I rented two different tupperware tandems from two different vendors while on vacation last summer, and we finally understood why Jeff calls tandems "divorce boats."  It was so bad that my wife finally agreed to try a solo kayak.  (And that led to my current project building her a solo kayak, but that is another story from another post.)

 

No one seems to know that a decent tandem moves really fast.  My wife and I are novice middle aged members of a diverse kayak club, including some kevlar kayakers.  I doubt that there is more than one member who could come close to keeping with us in a race -- especially a long race.

 

In my opinion, for a group like yours, the best alternative is both solos and tandems.

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I just bought plans for the Tangerine Canoe, my wife doesn't paddle, she takes pictures while I do the paddling. We've been renting tandem kayaks a couple times a year, I'll probably have to live as long as Moses to justify buying the boat, but I don't care, I like building things.

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We call tandems, divorce boats around here. Still, I would like to see a SoF Tandem and some of the best (and worst) paddles I've had are taking kids out in a tandem.

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A tandem is on the list, but it is a long list. To design one means I have to buld one. Then I have to store it or sell it because I have no use for one.

 

I had one freind that I think I could have paddled tadem with. We were a lot alike in a likes, dislikes and paddling styles. But he got a great promotion and moved off. Then another long time friend wanted to learn to paddle. She got a boat but wasn't getting much time in it and was really slow. I was going to design and build one and figured I could teach since she was starting out. But her circumstances changed and that never happened. So I just have no motovation and very small market. Makes is really hard to develop any interest in the project.

 

I have a couple of designs I have played with but I just can't get serious about one.

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If you really want to design one, I'd be willing to buy plans and build a prototype. I have friends with a strip built one they love. Both my big kids and my wife do, too.

No more fiberglass for this hombre, though...

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Just link dropping. Yostwerks has plans up for a tandem sof kayak.

http://yostwerks.com/AlanDoubleA.html

http://yostwerks.com/SeaTourEXPDouble_1.html

http://yostwerks.com/SeaTourDoubleEXP_Offsets.html

I think the Tangerine Canoe will be a good choice. I was a canoe guide for a number of years before switching over to kayaking.

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The Yost double looks pretty good. It's much narrower than most of the tubby doubles offered by commercial builders - and lighter. It's slim enough that it could be paddled single if you load a couple of weeks worth of supplies in the front cockpit - if you'er not in a hurry.

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I would fear having to roll one. It would require a lot of training and discipline to think and work in concert when the worst is happening. I'm careful when my wife and I cycle. My mind tells me to do it one way and her's the other. I have hit her bike and crashed to avoid hitting her. However an open cockpit like Chuckanut 15 might be much better. One is intimately close to ones partner and more aware, perhaps. If it capsizes everyone falls out and stands up.

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I have a 1958 Tandem Folbot Super folder. Original vinyl skin too! I have done about 50 trips in it since acquiring it a few years back.  A few have been solo trips with a lot of gear up front. However, mostly I have done tandem paddling. It does take some coordinating and can be a little frustrating. Even with a less experienced partner, other boats have a hard time keeping up. The boat is fast, very stable, durable, and can haul 500 lbs. Two grown men would have a real struggle rolling this boat. I have just finished building a short shot. I am working on a design to replicate this boat as a non folder. I am probably in over my head but I will let you know how I progress. 

 

John Cecil

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I've put 36.5 river miles in my tandem so far this year.  Only one of the kiddos has confidence in moving water, so it's nice for them to have me in the back as a safety net for them.  Also put a number of hours in it fishing the local lake.  We've actually had lots of fun learning to coordinate maneuvers.  

 

Me and the wife are good to go; me and a kid are good to go; any other combo of the household...not so much.  We had a full house tandem night last week. Me and the wife in a Dirigo tandem, the older girls in the Wood Duck with the dog, and the little kids in the Wallops Island.  Holy crap, watching the older ones try to go fast in a straight line was funny, but watching the little two was absolutely hilarious! 

 

My buddy put it like this: tandem boats are like tandem bikes - whatever direction your relationship is going, a tandem will get you there faster.

 

I really like that Dirigo tandem though...

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The last class I taught up at Wallops Island when the staff took out the students the wife and I got them to take an extra tandem so we could try it. Their tandems are large, think aircraft carrier sized, FAR from responsive and miserably wide.  But to my surprise we actually worked reasonably well in a tandem.Only had one instance where I got really annoyed. 

 

We were paddling the marsh and a winding tidal creek. For some reason there were a several power boats out that day and we had to pull over to the side for them to pass. The wind pushed  us into the bank once  and it was extremely hard to get that barge away from the bank. Since this was out first time in a tandem there was some coordination issues and I did get pretty annoyed, but the biggest problem was our inexperience working together. We left hating the boat but we both agreed we could paddle a tandem together with a little practice. Honelstly I was quite surprised.

 

I used to paddle with a young man and we had very similar paddle styles. We liked paddling the same areas and we were convinced we could paddle tandem together because we were so alike down to our cadence. I was getting serious about building one and then he got a big promotion and moved. So I lost interest at that point.

 

I really need to let go or at least a couple of my boats just to make storage space. If I could sell them I might get serious about a tandem.

 

 

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