Tandem Sea Kayak, Thing to Know before buying one^

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Carbonius
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Tandem Sea Kayak, Thing to Know before buying one^

Post by Carbonius » Sun Nov 10, 2013 1:26 pm

Ahoy,

I am paddling single sea kayak for more than 3 years now and this weekend tried double sea kayak.
Great feeling from the boat…totally fell in love.. Does anyone have experience to share or things to be careful about?

Thanx!

Tony

Steve Agar
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Re: Tandem Sea Kayak, Thing to Know before buying one

Post by Steve Agar » Sun Nov 10, 2013 3:47 pm

I bought a tandem sea kayak when we wanted to take my youngest daughter on trips. Some thoughts:
1) You will notice the extra weight if you end up paddling it by yourself with a young passenger or non-paddler, so a light boat is easier. Go for composite rather than plastic if you can.
2) If you go on a long trip with camping gear, a fully-loaded tandem is VERY heavy to carry so be prepared to pack/unpack when you launch and land or have extra help to carry it up the beach.
3) It's worth paying more for a stronger well-built boat - I tried a cheaper one first and it would not withstand a holiday at sea I think!
4) A tandem rides the waves and bigger seas better than a single, so you should always feel safe.
5) A rudder is definitely a good thing to have.
6) Have fun!

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Carbonius
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Re: Tandem Sea Kayak, Thing to Know before buying one

Post by Carbonius » Sun Nov 10, 2013 4:06 pm

Steve Agar wrote:I bought a tandem sea kayak when we wanted to take my youngest daughter on trips. Some thoughts:
1) You will notice the extra weight if you end up paddling it by yourself with a young passenger or non-paddler, so a light boat is easier. Go for composite rather than plastic if you can.
2) If you go on a long trip with camping gear, a fully-loaded tandem is VERY heavy to carry so be prepared to pack/unpack when you launch and land or have extra help to carry it up the beach.
3) It's worth paying more for a stronger well-built boat - I tried a cheaper one first and it would not withstand a holiday at sea I think!
4) A tandem rides the waves and bigger seas better than a single, so you should always feel safe.
5) A rudder is definitely a good thing to have.
6) Have fun!
Thank you Steve! My paddling partner is also as heavy as I am (95kg) so I guess we are well "balanced".
Glad to hear that tandem rides well. Quality is a "must", I fully agree with you and we are definitely ordering hard-core kevlar boat from local producer.

Thank you for you info.

Take care!

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Carbonius
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Re: Tandem Sea Kayak, Thing to Know before buying one

Post by Carbonius » Sun Nov 10, 2013 4:14 pm

Steve Agar wrote:I bought a tandem sea kayak when we wanted to take my youngest daughter on trips. Some thoughts:
1) You will notice the extra weight if you end up paddling it by yourself with a young passenger or non-paddler, so a light boat is easier. Go for composite rather than plastic if you can.
2) If you go on a long trip with camping gear, a fully-loaded tandem is VERY heavy to carry so be prepared to pack/unpack when you launch and land or have extra help to carry it up the beach.
3) It's worth paying more for a stronger well-built boat - I tried a cheaper one first and it would not withstand a holiday at sea I think!
4) A tandem rides the waves and bigger seas better than a single, so you should always feel safe.
5) A rudder is definitely a good thing to have.
6) Have fun!

BTW, these guys (http://www.michalpancir.unas.cz/1307-lofoty/index.htm) crossed Maelström with no rudder. It must of been a struggle to do it. After this trip manufacturer installed rudder additionally to skeg. I wouldn't go on a bigger trip without rudder…way too much energy wasted on correction strokes.

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Consider the flooded weight.....

Post by nickcrowhurst » Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:24 am

In addition to the excellent points made by Steve, you should consider the quantity of water the kayak will hold when flooded. There should be at least one bulkhead between the cockpits. If the paddlers are well separated, there should be two bulkheads with a watertight storage compartment in between them. There should be little or no distance between the feet of the paddlers and the bulkheads in front of them. A flooded tandem can hold an enormous quantity of water, causing waves to flood the cockpits, thereby making baling useless.
My wife and I paddle tandems extensively. Our righting procedure after capsize includes the use of a portable Waterbuster electric pump.
Nick.

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Re: Tandem Sea Kayak, Thing to Know before buying one

Post by MikeB » Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:50 pm

Nick makes an excellent point - there is at least one large f/glass double on the market with a big centre compartment, but no bulkhead between it and the rear cockpit! Scary. Mike.

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Re: Tandem Sea Kayak, Thing to Know before buying one

Post by Aled » Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:56 pm

A good rudder - one that lets you steer the boat precisely in bumpy water when your partner wants a rest/take photos/hide/be sick/sulk
A strong trolley - you might have to pull it up the beach by yourself
A strong roof rack (KariTek?) - you might have to load it on the vehicle by yourself

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Re: Tandem Sea Kayak, Thing to Know before buying one

Post by Carbonius » Mon Nov 11, 2013 4:31 pm

Aled wrote:A good rudder - one that lets you steer the boat precisely in bumpy water when your partner wants a rest/take photos/hide/be sick/sulk
A strong trolley - you might have to pull it up the beach by yourself
A strong roof rack (KariTek?) - you might have to load it on the vehicle by yourself
Thanx! I figured it is very important to choose proper car and then proper roof rack, but that is topic for different discussion.
Absolutely agree about trolley and rudder. It takes so much energy to do correction strokes.

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Re: Consider the flooded weight.....

Post by Carbonius » Mon Nov 11, 2013 4:37 pm

nickcrowhurst wrote:In addition to the excellent points made by Steve, you should consider the quantity of water the kayak will hold when flooded. There should be at least one bulkhead between the cockpits. If the paddlers are well separated, there should be two bulkheads with a watertight storage compartment in between them. There should be little or no distance between the feet of the paddlers and the bulkheads in front of them. A flooded tandem can hold an enormous quantity of water, causing waves to flood the cockpits, thereby making baling useless.
My wife and I paddle tandems extensively. Our righting procedure after capsize includes the use of a portable Waterbuster electric pump.
Nick.
My friend made this pump and it work pretty well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePTxmrNS_EY
Do you mean bulkhead like in this boat? http://www.triena.cz/sea-kayaks/nereus/
It has up to 97l...

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Re: Tandem Sea Kayak, Thing to Know before buying one

Post by nickcrowhurst » Mon Nov 11, 2013 4:52 pm

I have similar fixed pump systems in my single kayaks, but in the tandems we use one Waterbuster portable pump: http://www.amazon.com/attwood-4140-4-At ... B000AP2XS2
We would need two fixed pumps in a tandem, which would be a lot of weight and complexity. We share the Waterbuster, which is powered by three internal 1.5v D cells. My wife enters the front cockpit while I stabilize the boat while I'm in the water. She then pumps out the front cockpit, and hands me the pump, which I then use while I'm still in the water, only entering the cockpit once it is empty, while my wife puts out a paddle float paddle brace.
I can't tell from that link where the bulkheads are in the Nereus tandem.
Nick.

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Re: Tandem Sea Kayak, Thing to Know before buying one

Post by Carbonius » Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:17 pm

nickcrowhurst wrote:I have similar fixed pump systems in my single kayaks, but in the tandems we use one Waterbuster portable pump: http://www.amazon.com/attwood-4140-4-At ... B000AP2XS2
We would need two fixed pumps in a tandem, which would be a lot of weight and complexity. We share the Waterbuster, which is powered by three internal 1.5v D cells. My wife enters the front cockpit while I stabilize the boat while I'm in the water. She then pumps out the front cockpit, and hands me the pump, which I then use while I'm still in the water, only entering the cockpit once it is empty, while my wife puts out a paddle float paddle brace.
I can't tell from that link where the bulkheads are in the Nereus tandem.
Nick.

Thank you for the pump hint. We will try avoid pump installation for a while (all the wires, wholes in the boat etc.) and get rig of the water by lifting the bow (one paddler pushes on stern another lifts the bow).
Bulkheads are right behind front paddler, between back of the cockpit and middle day hatch.

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Re: Tandem Sea Kayak, Thing to Know before buying one

Post by nickcrowhurst » Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:26 pm

Carbonius, bear in mind that the Waterbuster requires no holes or wires. It is a portable submersible pump. The batteries are inside it. I have used it to pump out another kayak after a capsize. I just reached across and placed the pump in the other cockpit, with the outlet pipe hanging over the cockpit rim
I presume that the Nereus has two bulkheads between the paddlers, one on each side of the day compartment between the paddlers. That is the safer configuration.
Nick.

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Re: Tandem Sea Kayak, Thing to Know before buying one

Post by Carbonius » Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:47 pm

nickcrowhurst wrote:Carbonius, bear in mind that the Waterbuster requires no holes or wires. It is a portable submersible pump. The batteries are inside it. I have used it to pump out another kayak after a capsize. I just reached across and placed the pump in the other cockpit, with the outlet pipe hanging over the cockpit rim
I presume that the Nereus has two bulkheads between the paddlers, one on each side of the day compartment between the paddlers. That is the safer configuration.
Nick.
Thank you Nick! Haven't thought of no holes no wires option:) Did you use your tandem on your trips in Florida? What kind of boat is it?

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Re: Tandem Sea Kayak, Thing to Know before buying one

Post by nickcrowhurst » Mon Nov 11, 2013 6:04 pm

Carbonius, we use a Current Designs Double Vision, a short Kevlar/polyester tandem, which we chose particularly for its light weight of 69 lb. (31.05 kg). It's not a kayak for tide races, etc, but in the conditions we experience in the Gulf of Mexico it is ideal. I damaged my shoulder attempting to put our previous (100 pound) tandem on top of our truck.
Nick.

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Re: Tandem Sea Kayak, Thing to Know before buying one

Post by pete thorn » Sun Nov 24, 2013 10:27 pm

Doubles are used extensively in North America but hardly at all here. Nine of us did an eight day trip in the San Juans with four rented doubles and a single. Worked really well as you can pair up weaker and stronger. Over here I picked up a Seda Tango on Ebay. It's a bit of a monster, designed for guided tours in USA; 20 feet long and 29 inches wide. It's fast and very stable. But it does have a Feathercraft rudder and a central bulkhead. We tried deep water rescues and it was not much more difficult than a single to empty and re-enter. It's probably the only one in the country though. Google it to get an idea of potential.
Pete Thorn

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Re: Tandem Sea Kayak, Thing to Know before buying one

Post by siravingmon » Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:39 am

If you want a light tandem that can double as a single and is short enough not to need a rudder, consider the xt 17 folding kayak from Pakboats http://www.pakboats.com/
I have their Quest 135 and i think they are very underrated: very stiff and seaworthy. The xt design is so stiff they made a 21 foot prototype that performed well using the same construction, apparently. Some water comes in through the velcro deck seal but surprisingly little and with the new deck closures it's not a big deal, even in rough seas, in my experience. You need to add floatation bags of course, but with the detachable deck at least packing is a doddle.

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Re: Tandem Sea Kayak, Thing to Know before buying one

Post by tommfuller » Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:15 am

One thing to be aware of with long boats with big rudders: leecocking. The boat can want to turn off the wind (and therefore across the waves) rather than up into it. This is because the stern is well rooted in the water via the rudder, and if you're not making enough speed through the water, it doesn't steer but acts as a pivot point around which the boat can rotate.

The cure is to lift the rudder and have the forward paddler plant his/her paddle in the water to act as a big skeg until she comes around into the wind again.

Cheers,

Tom.

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Re: Tandem Sea Kayak, Thing to Know before buying one

Post by Carbonius » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:19 pm

That sounds like a big struggle!!! Cant imagine in what conditions you have to paddle to make the front paddler steer all the time. The only problem we have at the moment - it take a lot of correction strokes to keep it in straight line without the rudder. Hopefully, once the rubber is on, it will be all solved!
tommfuller wrote:One thing to be aware of with long boats with big rudders: leecocking. The boat can want to turn off the wind (and therefore across the waves) rather than up into it. This is because the stern is well rooted in the water via the rudder, and if you're not making enough speed through the water, it doesn't steer but acts as a pivot point around which the boat can rotate.

The cure is to lift the rudder and have the forward paddler plant his/her paddle in the water to act as a big skeg until she comes around into the wind again.

Cheers,

Tom.

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Re: Tandem Sea Kayak, Thing to Know before buying one

Post by Carbonius » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:22 pm

siravingmon wrote:If you want a light tandem that can double as a single and is short enough not to need a rudder, consider the xt 17 folding kayak from Pakboats http://www.pakboats.com/
I have their Quest 135 and I think they are very underrated: very stiff and seaworthy. The xt design is so stiff they made a 21 foot prototype that performed well using the same construction, apparently. Some water comes in through the velcro deck seal but surprisingly little and with the new deck closures it's not a big deal, even in rough seas, in my experience. You need to add floatation bags of course, but with the detachable deck at least packing is a doddle.
thank you! I am afraid that folding kayak would be less safe and more fragile than composite. Somebody wrote me that there must be also a bigger distance between paddlers in a tandem, and I understand why. I guess folding kayak will not solve it...

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Re: Tandem Sea Kayak, Thing to Know before buying one

Post by MikeB » Fri Dec 06, 2013 3:26 pm

I paddle a Valley Aleut II which has sufficient length between the cockpits to allow the paddlers to paddle out of sync if necessary - I've also paddled an old North Shore double which had the cockpits much closer together and was a real nuisance as a result.

The Aleut is however a massive, heavy and expensive boat so unless you are doing long trips and/or paddling with an inexperienced companion, it's perhaps a little big. I can confirm the potential problem with lee-cocking if the rudder is down and you don't have enough speed.

Image

Some friends paddle a Feathercraft double - again, an expensive option, but it certainly is more than capable of dealing with big seas and is easily as robust as the Aleut. It can be paddled a little of of sync.

Image

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Re: Tandem Sea Kayak, Thing to Know before buying one

Post by WhitePaddler » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:55 am

Hey guys,

I've learned a lot from this thread so far but am still a bit confused.

My wife and I have been contemplating on getting a tandem kayak for quite some time now, trying to get the best one out there right away so we wouldn't have to regret our decision in the long-term, money is not an issue.

So far we've been considering getting this one:
http://www.tandemkayakreviews.com/old-t ... ak-review/

They say it's suitable for both lakes and mild rivers, which is what we want (especially the rivers) but would occasionally want to take it out on the sea as well, but would this specific model handle it? If not, why?

Does anyone have experiences with it or perhaps could recommend another one?

Thanks,
Karl and Sandra
Soon to be tandem kayak owner (Y)

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Re: Tandem Sea Kayak, Thing to Know before buying one

Post by MikeB » Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:51 pm

I think this is the giveaway - "the Old Town Dirigo Tandem is a dream to cruise lakes or even mild rivers with on a hot summer day".

I question whether I'd want to take it on the sea in anything other than flat calm conditions - or indeed on any water other than flat calm. Why? Those massive cockpits are going to ship water - I suppose it would be possible to get large enough spraydecks to fit, but even then I'd be a bit dubious of its use in any sort of a sea.

That said, within the stated parameters, it's had reasonable reviews at http://www.paddling.net/Reviews/showRev ... ?prod=2092

I wonder perhaps if a Canadian / Open canoe might be another option to consider?

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Re: Tandem Sea Kayak, Thing to Know before buying one

Post by WhitePaddler » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:07 pm

MikeB wrote:I think this is the giveaway - "the Old Town Dirigo Tandem is a dream to cruise lakes or even mild rivers with on a hot summer day".

I question whether I'd want to take it on the sea in anything other than flat calm conditions - or indeed on any water other than flat calm. Why? Those massive cockpits are going to ship water - I suppose it would be possible to get large enough spraydecks to fit, but even then I'd be a bit dubious of its use in any sort of a sea.

That said, within the stated parameters, it's had reasonable reviews at http://www.paddling.net/Reviews/showRev ... ?prod=2092

I wonder perhaps if a Canadian / Open canoe might be another option to consider?
Thanks for your input!

I guess I'll do some more searching, not really a fan of the way you have to paddle canoes, kayaks seem so much more efficient.

The majority would probably be done on lakes and rivers anyway, not rapids and sea, so it might still be a viable option when searching for comfort..

Sea kayaking is a bit more dangerous as well, or at least it's more frightening so might steer away from that. Can always rent a sea tandem kayak when we get the urge to do that and use our Dirigo when doing regular stuff.
Soon to be tandem kayak owner (Y)

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Re: Tandem Sea Kayak, Thing to Know before buying one

Post by MikeB » Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:42 pm

WhitePaddler wrote:- - not really a fan of the way you have to paddle canoes, kayaks seem so much more efficient.

The majority would probably be done on lakes and rivers anyway, not rapids and sea, so it might still be a viable option when searching for comfort..

Sea kayaking is a bit more dangerous as well, or at least it's more frightening so might steer away from that. Can always rent a sea tandem kayak when we get the urge to do that and use our Dirigo when doing regular stuff.
Yes, well, the indigenous peoples chose their craft wisely, according to the conditions - -

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Re: Tandem Sea Kayak, Thing to Know before buying one

Post by Skua » Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:59 pm

We use the Duo extensively for tripping in South Africa - it was designed specifically for our expedition requirements (we were taking a party to paddle around Lake Malawi in 2001).

The difficulty people seem to experience with paddling in synch is easily overcome - the aft cockpit watches the shoulders of the forward cockpit...keep in time. SIMPLES = people make it sound more difficult than it actually is. If we can get people who have never paddled before in their lives to do it happily, I am sure experienced paddlers can manage it - from comments above, perhaps not.

A long Duo with seperated cockpits to avoid paddle cashing - people forget the inertia generated by weight at each end. A Double with the cockpits closer toegther and stowage at each end - exactly like an extended single - handles so much better, paddles better and is much easier to handle off the water. Ours went through extensive wave tank testing before production. It has also proved itself on many expeditions. It isalso not a lot longer than a solo - it was designed specifically to fit a 20ft container - 19ft 8in and comes in at 31kgs fully rigged with seats, hatch covers and rudder. Many makers only provide shell weight, not rigged kayak weight!

It is interesting that we sell nearly as many Duos as Solos in a year (40% - 60%) not including fishing kayaks or open cockpit kayaks such as surf skis.Stability should b e a given. One kayak/canow club that borrowed my own, had to try 4 times before it would capsize (they were TRYING to capsize it!) It will edge with the keel out of the water, but they still couldn't get it to capsize - that is because we designed it to be responsive, but stable for total newcomers to paddle, on day trips, and we knew they couldn't capsize it! Having capsized it, they had emptied and both paddlers back in within 3 minutes - 1 experienced, 1 total non paddler.

It doesn't have to be difficult.

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Re: Tandem Sea Kayak, Thing to Know before buying one

Post by Carbonius » Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:53 pm

Thank you! What Duo are talking about? Model. Cheers

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Re: Tandem Sea Kayak, Thing to Know before buying one

Post by Carbonius » Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:43 pm

Thank you everyone for sharing. We ordered http://www.triena.cz/sea-kayaks/nereus/
and it should be ready in a week or so.

I wonder if it will be possible to surf in tandem. I realise that it is a bit more restricted than in a single kayak but I hope it can be fun.
Anyone has experience?

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Re: Tandem Sea Kayak, Thing to Know before buying one

Post by Drahcir Ris » Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:06 pm

Interesting, a beautiful looking craft - a bit over 22.5' long, no rudder evident, fair amount of rocker. How heavy, I wonder?

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Re: Tandem Sea Kayak, Thing to Know before buying one

Post by Carbonius » Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:13 pm

Drahcir Ris wrote:Interesting, a beautiful looking craft - a bit over 22.5' long, no rudder evident, fair amount of rocker. How heavy, I wonder?
This is a demo picture. Ours will come with rudder!!! (rudder is a MUST) I asked to make it with just 5 layers of kevlar and 6 layers under paddlers in epoxy, so i hope it will be fairly heavy :)

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Re: Tandem Sea Kayak, Thing to Know before buying one

Post by The Tundra kid » Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:57 am

Dear Carbonius....
I am new to this or any forum...I just love the ridiculous names people use...myself included.

I have paddled doubles for 20 years. Now I..we ..paddle an Aleut 2 from Valley Canoe Products in UK and a K2 folding kayak from Feathercraft in. Canada. On longer adventure trips..especially when aeroplanes are involved.

I appreciate that by this time you have bought your tandem kayak....but I decided to give you my opinion anyway,,,perhaps other people will be thinking about a double...and read this in the future...and anyway retro fitted kit gives the kayak that experienced credible look....
They say never ask opinions of a mountaineer with new kit.... Retro fit a pump and buy respect and influence into the bargain.....you get to talk rubbish on forums......

My 10. Minutes of wisdom in no order.

Pumps..absolutely essential (in my opinion)..and I disagree that 1 mobile pump will do...when the shit happens..it is not the way you planned. And the pump may or may not be in reach...you may even drop it..ok it floats....but in which direction? first year..maybe..but slowly as confidence grows..so strict method slide....it is only human...perhaps military training would help..but not guarantee discipline.

Each paddler must have a personal pump.

Electric pumps..fantastic...when they work...they always stop working..salt water humidity etc. THey are not reliable.

Solution??...2manual pumps..always and electric pump as valuable luxury. 90% of the time the electric is great ,but one disaster and you die..a little dramatic..but if you have ever been in a dangerous situation you never forget the feeling in your stomach and the thumping in your head..and the fear of panicking rising...
You must have 2pumps.
I would recommend a pump in each cockpit permanently fitted ..and 2cheap manual plastic stirrup pumps on deck .

More..the best fixed pump in the world cannot help another kayak sinking next to you...

You must have 2bulkheads. MUST. You must minimise the possibility of water logging. The larger the dry compartments the better.
CAPSIZE +REENTRY....buy or have made spray decks with a pump hole in them..like a dry bag top in the middle of the deck (sold by REED UK)..but elsewhere too I am sure.
Get the rear paddler in first..unless the front paddler is very nervous or panicky...if panic sets in it will be a nightmare..avoid panic..
Generally the wife..lady is in front. Sitting in the front does not add stability like if the rear paddler is in the boat....so the front paddler helps with stability by holding on and lying flat out on the surface..or whatever..keep talking to them..never let go the boat.
You should have a paddle float too..a solid one of foam..north water product...it makes a great seat on shore 99% of the time....
Deploy it with your paddle....always have paddles on a leash.

Then rear man gets back into the cockpit..displacing majority of the water.....put on your sprayedeck immediately..seal it properly...it stops new water getting in.....start pumping or press the button if electric..but keep your fingers crossed..if electric.... Ensure you are stable. Keep talking to partner...get the second paddler in the boat as soon as possible

Get the partner in the front cockpit and second sprayedeck on....PANIC is over??and tell partner that..then start pumping..perhaps most panicky or coldest first??it creates warmth and gives the partner structure?? She he. Can measure progress. Back to normality and safety

Get the boat empty..or if danger is cliffs or ships or something....paddle away from danger immediately the kayak becomes stable ..finish pumping etc..in deep water or on shore.

If you have hatches and suspect a hole in the dry compartment...be very careful if you open the hatch...if air can get out....water can get in..I once saw a kayak nearly sink for no reason when a hatch was opened to get a warm jacket out.

When you're in a double..you are together..but completely separate...sharing or passing drinks food pumps...can be difficult. I disagree that a single paddler with an empty front cockpit can paddle meaningfully anywhere....the bow is sky high etc...ok if you weight it..but generally..a double needs two paddlers...nice day flat water ok..

Doubles need a team that is happy..2leaders is a nightmare..the stronger paddler must recognise the limitations of the weaker...and accept it...or shut up..and paddle harder. There can only be one leader..most friends who have tried doubles stop due to personality clashes when bolted together. Kayak design or whatever generally have nothing to do with failure..it's always about personalities.
Use carry straps..Kari Tech UK sell them..have 3straps..6 people can help carry..or 4 and you have a spare if one gets lost....every body will want to borrow them.

Fit extra webbing rubber handles ..so 2 each side fore and aft..to encourage help when carrying !!

I think generally doubles are safer..the problem with that is that. If you are too confident...wow!,, You can get into some shit!,,
Ultimately..a double shouldn't encourage trips that will be dangerous in a single....if a double goes wrong..it might be double issue to redeem ..
When it gets rough with steep white tops..when a wave gets hold of you..it can be harder to stay in control..and if you have singles with you Keep a distance. To allow for sudden surfing or broaching or side slides on strange waves.

I have found that sometimes I need to lay horizontal over the water to resist a steep sideways wave..because I know if it grabs the boat..we are off on a 10mtres sideways surf ride ...
Generally I paddle on safe days. But sometimes you set off on a safe day..and it all gets ugly quickly..despite the forecast.

I think in truth that issues are not so much heavy water..it is unexpected problems that are the danger...I once was with a group and the other double buried its nose to the first cockpit in a steep wave...no problem..but the front hatch popped off..!!...I never read that in sea kayaking books!,, OK we were a group ..but had they been alone....then what..doubles need other kayak company just the same.

Towing..always a big subject...I use a cleat behind the aft cockpit..no knot just rounds and 1figure of 8... I want control..you need a long line because you always seem to tow a single. And you move differently to a single. And faster

I have a rudder..but fitted a big retractable Skeg...I prefer the Skeg. It is less vulnerable...BUT...you must drill a small hole in the bottom and attach a thin cord...when..not if... A stone gets jammed in the housing..you get a friend to "pull your string".
Be careful about placing dry bags on deck amidships...once...I don't do it anymore..we used to have a big..big black heavy dry bag...ortleib.we called it the " Father Christmas" bag..very useful for carrying anything or if the kit is best outside the tent..everything goes In'it no problem...perhaps a "possibles" bag as trappers used to say....anything you might... possibly.. Need goes in it...".
Anyway..half way through a 2week trip I got sick of packing 2big sleeping bags in small hatches..at the ends because they are light....so I put them in the Christmas bag and strapped it in the middle on top of the cargo hatch..perfect.... It's light..stability not affected....WRONG... A large side wave hit us..I had increased surface area by 50% and placed that area high up???leverage???we were driven sideways and nearly capsized.. In the Hebrides with offshore wind..and cold...slip sliding away discipline..

You need good thick extensive deck lines...the boat is heavy..keeping hold of it in a sea can cut your hands if the rope is thin and shiny ..
TOGGLES.. A final whinge...I love toggles and hate the modern trend of ignoring them or tying them elastically to the foredeck. When the boat is upside down and you are shocked from cold water unexpectedly..the toggle is trapped underwater about a foot down given the sheer..and you need to feel for it in a moving unexpected environment.if you come out you will be aft of the cockpit...
I like toggles on a six inch double rope..BUT...that rope must be heavily bound with PVC tape so that your fingers can't get trapped between them.. If it's rough and the boat rolls the safest place is on the end..but not trying to keep hold of a twisting double waterlogged..thanks for listening.

A sobering thought regarding capsize rescue deck lines etc.. I have a kayaking friend who for 30 yrs was a commercial North Sea diver....he says that survival times are all very well..survival suits and all.. But apparently at zero degrees your hands go numb and become inoperative after maybe 10-15 minutes..at that point holding on becomes harder and less effective...you slide away...and so have about 30spare minutes to contemplate your mortality as you you drift away." Lovely!,,

I am sure I know so much more interesting and impressive stuff...that I would like to share..need to share?.. I only really want a friend....will you be my friend?...but I will save it up for another incredibly erudite missive...

Reading this back..I sound a bit dramatic..I recall 5 or 6scarey moments in 30 years..including Greenland and Southern Ireland and West Scotland..so let's keep some prospective...it's more that if you relax discipline...you leave doors open for accidents and monsters to come visiting...it only needs to happen once..if your partner or you get spooked..a wonderful hobby evaporates..and your back to playing..candy crush on the iPad !!!..or of course..worse....so don't risk that and more by being lax....what a good catholic I am..

Thanks for listening..I enjoy hearing myself dispense wisdom..
..you have been a great audience..I have been "the Tundra Kid"....Good Night Vienna xx :-)

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