kayak as tender
Does anyone have advice on which type of kayak is best to use as a tender for a cruising sailboat? Would prefer a tandem.
It really depends on how you want to use it, but for my wife and me, the inflatable Skedaddle tandem from WM is great. We don't need to go grocery shopping, so it's just to get from the boat to the shore when we're visiting on longer weekends. It has some storage room, so you can wrap up a change of clothes in a large ziplock bag to be more presentable on arrival.
The kayak folds into a large suitcase that fits nicely into the lazarette or quarter-berth, takes 5 minutes to inflate and is easy to launch and retrieve by way of a long polyprop line attached to bow and stern.
We've paddled round-trip to shore, about a half-mile each way, in a stiff cross breeze and it tracked nicely. I was concerned that an inflatable would just be blown sideways - didn't happen.
Got it on sale for $300 and consider it money well spent.
We use two 9.5 foot "Perception" brand plastic kayaks. I'd recommend a couple of short ones for deck storage rather than a longish tandem, esp on any boat under 30 feet.
We use them exclusively as tenders unless we have company, when getting 4 people ashore raises some issues... then we inflate our dinghy.
The kayaks are GREAT for everything else - running stern lines ashore quickly, landing on barnacle/rock/oyster beaches, exercise, access to nooks and crannys otherwise inaccessible. kids love them and these beamy boats are virtually uncapsizeable by a small child (but adults can do it if you 're not careful)
We get in and out of them off the stern ladder without difficulty.. they each weigh only 36 pounds or so, they are easily manhandled up on deck. Tied amidships they behave themselves and being plastic are soft enough to be easy on the boat.
In 7 weeks of cruising this past summer we blew up the dinghy once - for a couple of days.
A comment on the inflatable kayaks... obvious storage advantages, but recently we went on a two hour "cruise" with a group of kayaks in slightly breezy conditions - those with inflatable kayaks were exhausted half way through.. the seating position is lower in the boat so the paddles are more awkward to use. The flexiblitly means a lot of lost energy. If you can't possibly carry some hard kayaks on deck, then they offer an alternative.. but otherwise a hard kayak is miles ahead on all other points. Those inflatables with rigid frames probably fall somewhere in between.
I would recommend a kayak with more of an open cockpit. For awhile I used my wilderness systems tsunami and it could be tricky getting into the smaller cockpit. If you are using a kayak to ferry the dog to shore then absolutly an open cockpit so the dog and you can be comfortable. Get something short, wide for stability getting in and out, and light for getting on and off deck.
something like this:
or a sit on top like this:
a few brands that come to mind:
and for sit on tops:
There are other, this is just what pops into my mind. Old Town makes some, but i think the are much heavier compared to other mfgs. There is one Old Town that is 10' but weighs 48lbs. That doesn't make sense at all. Maybe they put some lead ballast in that thing.
Old Town Canoe / Kayak
I would go with something like the Hobie mirage i14t inflatable tandem w/ mirage drive
The two that we have on the boat are a OceanKayak prowler 13' angler and the other is a Hobie Revolution 13' w/ the mirage drive, both are a stable platform and both can carry lots of goodies but, it's two kayaks
They are expensive, but these are great kayaks:
Tarpon 120 Ultralite Angler - Wilderness Systems Kayaks
Good features: Comfy, only 12 feet long, < 50 lbs, 350 lb capacity, can put a very large dry bag (or the dog) in the well in the back.
We tried (rented) sit-on kayaks for a season or two... work well but come September I'm not sure I want a wet butt all the time.. in most of these it's tough to stay dry. We use the skirts when it's choppy or raining and stay quite dry.
I've buitl one myself.
Due to the obvious space limitatons in Fulô (my Piver Nugget 24 trimaran) it had to be quite small, but if you care enough to scale up the plans and fancy building something yourself this canoe makes a perfectly stable and very light (quite a lot lighter than the plastic types) dinghy that you can even tow arround in windless days with almost no drag.
I've built mine for arround 100€ in 4mm plywood, epoxy, fiberglass, paint and a couple of days of work and it wheighs arround 20Kg
Here are the plans
And here are a couple of pics of my brand new dinghy:
And here are a couple more of the building process
Hope this was of any help!
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