Performance tandems

Discussion in 'Gear Talk' started by Dipper, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. Dipper

    Dipper Paddler

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    Jul 23, 2011
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    I am thinking of adding a tandem to the fleet and just recently started researching the subject. I recently paddled my friends NDK Triton and loved it but in terms of using it for a 10 day tour its storage capacity is too low.
    Most of the other tandems I have seen are like freightliners with 30" plus beams. One exception, the Seaward Passat 22'x26" beam.
    Can anyone recommend a performance tandem I should consider?
     
  2. Tatlow

    Tatlow Paddler

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    Nanoose Bay
    Atlantis Talon, hard to find and you might have to send an email to the owner/builder of Atlantis models, Robin, but we love ours and have owned it for 5 years now with no issues regarding performance or storage. They are a fast double FYI. Good luck.
     
  3. Dipper

    Dipper Paddler

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    Thanks so much Tatlow for your input. More questions if have the time.
    We paddle open ocean and the hatches must be bomb proof, so to speak. Are you totally happy with the hatch design?
    I see Talon has similar specs to the Seaward Passat. I assume you considered/paddled other boats so what made you choose the Talon?
    Is there anything you dislike about the Talon?
     
  4. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Dipper, the NDK Triton is listed by NDK as a day/weekend double, and consequently is well below the norm for doubles one might select for a 10 day venture. A ten day trip out of a 30 inch wide double is tight for storage as it is, because performance doubles with the fine ends needed for speed have much less storage in bow and stern compartments. Some so-called high volume doubles achieve added storage volume by fattening the ends, which compromises their efficiency.

    In short, before you eliminate all 30 inch beam doubles, you might demo a couple of them and see if one fits your needs for speed. To wit, our 22 ft long 30 inch wide 1993 vintage Current Designs Libra (not the Libra XT, which supplanted the earlier Libra) is plenty fast enough, and adequate in storage for 10 days only if we deck load lighter gear. To make a boat large enough for 14 days (market: for hire guided expeditions) CD's Libra XT has fat ends, at the cost of more form drag. We have paddled both, and the difference is remarkable ... our old boat beats the newer one to the beach every time.

    I suspect some careful scrutiny of specs for Seaward's offerings may point you at a boat or two to try.

    As well, reconfiguring the forward bulkhead on a stock "performance" double aftward to enlarge usable dry storage up front, and perhaps re-siting the bulkhead separating the rear compartment from the cockpit may similarly help. We did this on a Pygmy Osprey Double in the construction phase from the kit, which converted it from a nice weekender into a killer 10 day boat, with minimal deck loading.

    Moving a bulkhead is actually fairly easy, with some contortions, but if an aged overweight guy like me can do it, any fit paddler should be ble to manage it.
     
  5. GJH

    GJH Paddler

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    I noticed some Talons listed in the Deep Cove Outdoors (North Van) fleet sale.
     
  6. Tatlow

    Tatlow Paddler

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    Are you totally happy with the hatch design? I assume you considered/paddled other boats so what made you choose the Talon? Is there anything you dislike about the Talon?[/QUOTE]

    The hatch design on the Talon has served us well on two lengthy multi day trips in the Mid Coast area of BC and many shorter ones. We have been in rough water (swells, currents and wind generated waves) and hot sunny calm waters as well. I add the latter because I am always curious how plastic type materials behave in heat. The Talon to my mind is the upsized version of the Atlantis Titan, which I have also owned for a number of years. The hatch design is the same on both. You can cinch down the hatch cover and it fits over a rubberized stretch fabric which provides a second inner layer of water seal. So is it bomb proof? The only leak I have experienced was due to 'operator error'.

    We paddled other boats. The Passat was a great contender and still would be the main alternative (versus for instance the Libra options). I thought, and am now convinced, that the Talon is both faster overall and better in winds with the lower profile (it is also shorter but for us that did not play a part as our vehicles could handle the Passat's length). The Passat can haul more (and weighs more) but space for the two of us has not been an issue including on a 19 day trip in the Talon. I bought my single Titan new from Atlantis and had it tweaked as it was built. The Talon I purchased already constructed and had the centre hatch created post build which required some alterations to both the rear and front cockpits based on how much leg room each of us required. I am 6' and my better half is 5'3". Mentioning this is simply to suggest that getting your order tweaked at the prebuilt stage if buying new is a great way to go however Robin does alterations and can rework the boat to suit your needs. I really like the centre hatch for stowing items like our stove and lunches: quick access and I can remember where I put these consistently.

    Bottom line (not talking about the keel strip...tongue firmly in cheek) is that if I had to choose between the Passat and the Talon I would choose the Talon...with the usual caveats: price about the same, condition the same, colour the same or both with attractive colours, and similar features (third hatch etc.). Just a suggestion...perhaps visit any rental outfit that has both kinds of boats and ask them for their experiences. Happy & safe paddling.