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Tandem Kayak : info please

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.


Aquatic shopper...
Jul 3, 2003
Kayak : info please

I was thinking of getting some kind of sea craft to extend my fishing range.

Originally I was tempted by getting a super dinghy with an outboard.

Typically these are open craft of about 15 foot with an outboard of about 7HP. They are used exclusively by the local fishermen for crab/lobster potting. Not really a commercial craft but just a boat that they have to get some crabs or lobster and make a few extra quid. Maybe a dozen pots or so. Cost would be about £800 to £1000 for the boat and about £300 for the outboard - total of about £1500 with other bits and bobs.

Then I read the thread on kayaks and it dawned on me that this might be a much better solution.

I would only be going out in calm conditions and once the pots were in place (probably get 2 or 3 lobster pots) I could paddle out, dive down and check them/rebait them. So only a bit of hassle to paddle them out at the start of the season and back at the end.

Most of the time I would use it for spearfishing.

So I started to look at SOT kayaks and normal kayaks.

--> Are there any SOT tandem kayaks that can be equally paddled solo ?
I will probably go with another person but am keen to get something that will handle well if it is only me. Or is it better to get a solo kayak and persuade your buddy to get one too ?!

--> If you are getting in and out of a kayak for spearfishing is it better to get a SOT or a traditional design ? By this I mean that does the ease of getting into/out of a SOT mean that their design is not as fast as a traditional kayak for paddling?

--> What is a good paddle to get ? (I am 6'2" / 90kg)

--> What kind of anchor do you need ?

--> I was looking at these models :

1 : Perception (http://www.upandunder.co.uk/eshop/c...cturer_ID=32&Activity_ID=3&Description_ID=125)
Sealion Fastnet (only one person..)
Vista Expedition

2 : Ocean Kayak (http://www.upandunder.co.uk/eshop/c...cturer_ID=44&Activity_ID=3&Description_ID=126)
Scrambler XT (only one person ...)

3 :Islander
Cayman (solo)
Grand Cayman (tandem)

Probably going to get gear from here : http://www.upandunder.co.uk/

--> If I were to buy a solo kayak :I anticipate carrying a single 100cm gun, some water, some food, an achor and a mobile. That isn't alot of gear but I was wondering how you stow it when you are paddling and also what you do with the paddle once you are fishing ?

Just trying to get my head around using kayaks !

If you could recommend a kayak that is well designed for spearing in the sea (around Guernsey - strong currents, so probably paddle out - fish and then paddle back when the tide is flowing pretty strong : hence the need for a boat as the finning would be dangerous.) I would be grateful.
Cheers & sorry for the looooong post..
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My main dive buddy, Ted, has an Ocean Kayak Agean. It can be paddled solo or with two people on board. It works out pretty well. I have also paddled an Ocean Kayak Cabo with two people on board. Solo it was a bit tricker and I woudn't recommend it for such. The Agean allows you to move the back rest into the center and you can paddle just like a single.

A rudder might be a really good thing to get put on any boat that you buy if you have strong currents.

Paddles make a big difference. going with a lighter one will help you out on those long trips home. I am not sure about size, and mine are packed away right now so I can't even see what I own until the snow melts. :duh

If you have any regular kayak shops in your area it would be worht a visit to see what they say.

Hope that helps,

There are plenty of good sit on tops now, I rather like the look of the Cobra Tourer or Navigator.
Speed and a rudder are very important to me.
paddling a kayak without a rudder in any sort of side wind is a nightmare!
Paddles are retained with paddle leashes kind of like a surfboard leash.
Most decent Kayaks will have a hatch or well where you can secure your fins/belt/gun.
Alright Jon - cheers for that - the OceanKayak Agean looks good and I think you are right the OK Cabo looks a bit large.
Also the Cabo has a hatch in the bows - might get nose heavy with weight belts and so on.
There are no kayak shops here so I would have to get one mail order - hence the need to find out who has tried what for spearfishing / freediving.
No worries about the paddle - I guess go for the best you can afford (within reason).

Huan - I'll go for a ruddered SOT then. I'll try and find the url for Cobra - but was hoping to buy from that shop in Wales (up and under).


From looking at the Ocean Kayaks again, the Ocean Kayak Scupper Pro TW (solo / large hatch / well for a scuba tank (a good fishbox ?) / optional rudder) might do the trick.

Not a tandem but I guess you have to weigh up how many times you will be going with other people vs the loss in performance of handling a tandem by yourself / extra weight. But then again it would be better to be able to go with another paddler....

Decisions, decisions...
The OK Scupper Pro Tank well (TW) is THE most popular Kayak amongst US competition divers.
The reasons are: (in no particular order)
Good carrying capacity
Rudder can be fitted
Relatively low windage
good price (maybe this is important)
I tried my mates Tandem last year and found it to be heavy to handle and also quite slow paddling and storage was a problem especially for long fins.
With 2 fairly hefty fellas aboard (15+16 stone) the ride was wet.
I could dive off it but it really was a pain with 2 people.
The make was Boreal (French)
I found this :

Pretty interesting.

I was thinking that the OK Scupper Pro TW would be a good one (but I know nada about kayaks). Good that your info confirms this - anyone you know tried it ?

Also I saw the OK Prowler 13 and 15 - maybe the 15 would be good too.

I was thinking that for tha times that I would be going out with someone else it might be worth just getting a solo and if anyone else came along then I guess they could sit backwards in the tank well ?!

Both the OK Scupper pro and the Prowler 15 are rated to carry at least 300 pounds. So this might work. But then again ... hmmmm might not be such a good idea !

Yeah the price isn't too much of an issue at the moment but will be soon as I have to fork out on a house extension - but if I can buy it before then - well I wont miss it :)

The Scupper looks lower profiled than the Prowler and less tubby too - in fact it looks pretty sweet !

Think I will go for a solo kayak.

If your gowing solo then the Scupper Pro TW with a rudder kit is a good choice. Another buddy of mine has one and it seems to be really nice for spearing/ diving off of. Here's a shot of his boat, brand new, next to my 10+ year old scrambler.

You can put lots of stuff in the front hatch and strap anything too big to fit inside on the back. I have a small, round, hatch on mine that sits right between my legs. This is an option on the Scupper and you may want to get it. In my hatch I tied off a small mesh bag and another small dry bag. The mesh bag holds keys, water bottles, compass and granola bars. The dry bag has my wallet, cell phone, and GPS.

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I have noticed that a lot of people seem to think that a Cell phone is the best method for communication at sea.
It is my firm belief that a handheld VHF should also be carried as well as a mobile phone.
prices are pretty good for waterproof handhelds now and they are much more suited for marine work than phones.
I use a Perception Freedom. I find it stable and easy to paddle.
I was looking at a Scupper pro, but was talked into the Freedom after trying a few different kayaks out. I found the tandem kayaks at bit unwieldy with one person.
www.kayaksandpaddles.co.uk are a good source for Perception in the UK
Oh dear...
I made the mistake of looking at old posts last night and read about Pablos kayak - the Cobra Expedition.

Seems really really nice: (and the John Dory and Bonita pics helped too :))

http://kayak-adventure.net/Cobra Expedition Kayak.htm

Hmmmm as the price escalates... still, it will be cheaper than a super dinghy with outboard and more flexible.
I'll see what the UK prices are like but suspect that they will be high.

It is also about 5kg lighter than the O-K Scupper Pro TW.

I'm not sure how easy that one would be to get back into, but at 18' I am sure that it would be pretty darn fast! Hull length= speed

Once you start getting into that kind of a price range you might want to start looking at something like this: http://www.surfskis.com/models.html

Still, that 18' Cobra looks pretty sweet if you can get a decent price on one.

Cobra Expedition
Length: 18' / 5.46 m
Width: 23.5" / 59.69 cm
Capacity: 425 lbs. / 192.78 kg

The Cobra Tourer iis slightly more forgiving than the Cobra Expedition.
Length: 15' / 4.55 m
Width: 28" / 71.12 cm
Capacity: 475 lbs. / 215.46 kg
Be careful, the catalog weight doesn't normally include the hatches and other additions...

For an anchor I use 8mm polypropylene rope (the twisted one), spliced around a SS eye to 1.5m of light chain, shackle (secure the shackle with some SS wire) to a small (1 pound I think) 4 foldable arms anchor. Use a bullet proof anchor system, and avoid the experience to see your kayak drifting on the wind: I was lucky enough to lift my head just in time... a diving weight tied to some old string wasn't a good idea!!!

Never try to haul a pot from a kayak... you better have something a bit stable!

The only way to chose what you really like and need is to try the boat on a rental place: It Is cheaper to rent 10 times a kayak than buy the wrong one...

I carry both, VHF and cell phone: the next think after NZ is South America and I rather take a plane to visit the ladies
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Hey Pablo - what length of anchor line do you use ? Twice the depth ?
Is the anchor just a very light boat anchor or is it a specific kayak anchor ?
Wasn't planning on hauling the pot - just drop em at the start of the season and make sure you can reach the depth by diving on a low tide (we have 9m / 33ft tidal difference....). Go down with a bag of bait and hopefully come back with a lobster or two.

Do you find it unstable ? Is it hard to get in and out of ?
(The review links I posted seemed to indicate that contrary to poular belief the Cobra Expedition was pretty stable and relatively easy to get into and out of.)

I wish I could try them but no rental places here - guess I can go and bother the local club and see who has what or is they will lend me theirs for an afternoon (I suspect not !)

VHF sounds good.

Huan - yes - maybe the Cobra Tourer would be better - perhaps the middle ground between the O-K Scupper and the Cobra Expedition in terms of stability.
How do you think it would handle in the wind ?

Jon - those Futuras seem slick !
I must admit I was put off by the colour of yours (which is a silly reason...) - which model do you have ?
I looked at the link and those outrigger models look cool - I guess you get super stability ?

Are they all fibreglass ?

Cheers everyone - had a good day dreaming of new kayaks at work when I was meant to be concentrating on Java / Databases / code etc

I guess I will have to buy one and then try it for the season and if it doesnt suit then sell it second hand and buy another - hope I can get it right first time though. Perhaps the O=K Scupper would be a better one to start with.
I have two 14m lines that "in loop" connect. I try different cleats and gizmos, but at the end I like this simple two depth setting. I dump all the clips and stuff, and start to use "in loop" and splicing connections for my peace of mind while diving... there is no way one of those to become undone!

Must of the times I try to leave the kayak in the shallows (about 6m water), somewhere the wind would push the boat to the rocks rather than offshore. The second line is only when I go for scallops, or the viz is excellent and I decide to dive deeper spots.

The anchor is from a small dingy... I'll try to post a picture on the next days.

I only pop out the explorer twice (I doesn't count wave surfing): the first day on top of a sharp wave, and the second trying to haul a 32 kg kingy inboard.
To do anything stupid from the kayak get the legs over board and fit the float under them...

The tourer is a really nice boat: not as fast, but miles more stable and good "on deck" storage. When I get novices to come diving, we rent tourers and they get along quite well (with ruder and wing paddle).

The old cobra plastic rudder suck (there is supposedly a new one)... broke mine the first weekend and end up building my own one in alloy.

Most of the big shops have club, and rental... if you go to buy you should be able to try a range of boats. On my case they got 5 yacks and 3 paddles on the trailer and there we went to the next beach for some trial.
I have the 15' sport. You can get them in almost any color you want. They will even do custom color jobs- like flames if you want.

Mine is fiberglass, but they also make all diferent types of super light fiber/carbon lay-ups if your looking for a super light boat. One of their new models is made out of plastic, but the rest are all fiberglass or lighter.

I've also tried out their C4 (20' long and 17" wide) but it was too tippy for me to dive off of. They no lomger make that one, but it was very similar to their BLade model. It was SUPER fast on the water and fun to paddle.

I've always used a wreck reel and a folding canoe anchor for my boat.

Jon - is that the Futura Sport 15' looks good - just been reading reviews on the Futura II Sport Touring (19') - seems like it is super stable for the kind of craft it is (http://www.paddling.net/Reviews/showReviews.html?prod=429).
Thanks for pointing out the Futura Surfski kayaks - now I want one of them ! Too bad - I think that I'd be jumping the gun and probably need to leanr to walk first.

Mind you a nice kevlar/carbon fibre Futura II could be just the ticket.... (well I can dream at least.)

Not sure they are available inthe UK ? Have yet to find any references.

So you can easily get in and out of the Futura 15' Sport ?

Guess I have a wish list now :

-- Ocaen Kayak Scupper Pro TX
-- Cobra Expedition
-- Futura II kevlar/carbon

THe reality is that I will probably end up getting the O-K Scupper as for the first season I guess I will be flailing around nearer to shore.
It is a 3 mile paddle to Herm (http://www.herm-island.com/) but going across the Little Russel channel - think the currents are 9knots at max flow....but they have nice bass over that side.

Jon said:
They will even do custom color jobs- like flames if you want.


hey!! a kingy painted boat may bring over the brotherhood for some party rofl rofl

I may try to stick reflective tape underneath the hull to act as a flasher :duh

you can not go wrong witht the scupper XT: is an exelent, well priced, all around boat.

I never though about carbon on a kayak as a good choice for an everyday use boat... for sure the salesmen love it $$$$. Dreaming I would opt for a kevlar/fiberglass fish form hull.

Those are my favorite kayaks... and a really interesting reading for those zzz zzz office hours http://www.sissonkayaks.co.nz/sea.htm

The NZ coast to coast is one of the harder sport races you can find (about 35km mountain running, some 65 km grade 3 kayaking, and plenty on a bike... record: a bit more than 10h :martial )

I'm not sure if you've made up your mind so I'd like to add my personal experience with kayaks for spearfishing. My experience is only in California, USA so take it for what it's worth.

I've owned six Sit-On-Top kayaks over a period of eight years and have used them as fishing and freediving platforms. Typically, the longer and narrower the kayak will be the faster and less stable ones. So if you're paddling 5-12 miles roundtrip to the dive site, those kayaks would be worth a test paddle. The opposite is true for the shorter wider kayaks. Some things to consider when considering a kayak for spearfishing are: scuba or freediving, distance from launch to dive site, size of quarry (capacity of kayak), launch and landing conditions, sea conditions are among the top concerns.

Those concerns will narrow down your list of candidates. I believe someone already mentioned that the scupper pro is used by many divers at tournaments and they are favored for good reason. Good speed with a good deck layout. The prowlers are an "improvement" marketed to the kayak fisherman but I've only heard good things from people who've tried them.

The cobra Fish n Dive is very popular with people who don't have to go very far and value stability over all else. Those that don't like it have called it a "barge" because of it's lack of speed, but they do admit that you can practically stand up on it.

I don't recommend getting a tandem to dive with another spearfisherman. With two people, gear, and whatever you spear or collect, the kayak will reach it's capacity in short order. Also it's very hard to get back onto the kayak without causing it to rock and pitch. I have a tandem (OK cabo) but I only use it as a single when I dive out of it.

Whatever you decide, try to test paddle it first. Kayak rental places here in CA offer free test paddles. You can borrow a friends or rent it for a half hour. Because you're so intimately connected to your kayak (relative to the water) you'll have to see how it really performs FOR YOU before you buy it. How it performs on paper or for another person could be meaningless to you, in the conditions that you intend to use it. I also recommend packing all your gear and practicing it in shallow calm waters for the first few times to get comfortable with the kayak and weight distribution before going out to your cold waters.

Lastly, clip or tie everything down. Many people have lost lots of gear from accidental rollovers or while launching or landing in rough water.
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Dave - someone else mentioned the Perception Freedom - they look alright - might have to add them to the list.
Are they wide ? I didn't find the spec on their site...

Spinal Tap - cheers for the info - no, have yet to decide.
I think I can sacrifice some stability for a better speed.
The currents are strong so I would prefer to get a kayak with more of an emphasis on speed to cut back through the current and get me home.

Definitely freediving - never tried scuba but hooked on freediving.

Distance from house to launch = 50m :)))
Distance from launch to dive site ? Mostly up and down the coast so I guess 6miles round trip ? (At about 4mph to start off with... maybe venturing further in summer - more like 12m round trip - see attached pics of coastline)

Size of fish - small compared to USA ! Mostly bass / occasional bream (but I am working on that) / hopefully a garfish or two and maybe some flatties - best bass I had last year was about 9 pounds ([ame="http://forums.deeperblue.net/showthread.php?p=462588#post462588"]Guernsey Sea Bass[/ame])
So I guess about 10pound max of fish per session.

Sea conditions - changeable ! I live on an island in the Channel. Can change in a very short space of time - hence the preference I have for a faster boat over a more stable one.

How would you rate the Prowler compared to the Scupper Pro ?
Stability vs speed ?

.. not going to add the Fish and Drive to the list - looks like a log.

... ditching the idea of a tandem - solo is the way to go.

I can't rent kayaks here but I might get to try some by hanging out on the beach.
i dont have too much choice other than to buy one and try it out unfortunately.

I'm 6'2" and about 90kg so dont want to get something too small.

Nice tips about tying it all down - lost some kit wind surfing due to the same reason. Very hard to find glasses in the sea that have just been knocked off (-6 prescription).

Pablo - if I get the O-K Scupper Pro TX what is a good paddle for it ?
Is this any good : Lendal Kinetic Touring SF EG1

Do I need a high angle paddle or a low angle paddle ?

Would the Werner Corryvrecken be any good or would I be better with the Shuna or are both of these too advanced / not the right paddle for me in a Scupper or Cobra Expedition ?

Think I have narrowed it down to the Scupper vs the Expedition.

Now the paddle....

Cheers for everyones help