Pedal-powered Tandem gives canoeists some face time
By Ben Coxworth
July 29, 2013
While it can be fun canoeing with another person, there is one problem with the setup of a traditional canoe – the front passenger has to turn around in order to see the back passenger’s face. British engineer Joe Rutland decided to do something about that, so he designed the Tandem canoe. Not only do the two passengers sit facing each other, but instead of paddling the boat, they pedal it.
The Tandem has a fairly traditional hull, which can be transported on top of a car just like a conventional canoe. Once at the water’s edge, the users install its two adjustable seats, dual-crank drive unit, and rudder. This can reportedly be done in about five minutes, without tools.
From there, it sets off into the water, with both people pedaling and one also steering using a tiller-like handle. While there are no hard figures on exactly how fast it can go, it appears to be moving along at a fairly decent clip in the video at the bottom of the page. In its current prototype form, the Tandem weighs 60 kg (132 lb) and can carry up to 250 kg (551 lb).
Rutland is currently raising production funds for his canoe, on Kickstarter. A pledge of £2,000 (about US$3,068) will get you a Tandem of your own, when and if they’re ready to go.
If you’re content with just having one passenger do the pedaling, and don’t feel any great need to sit face-to-face, you might also want to check out the H2Pro-Ped canoe. Should you be looking for the ultimate two-person pedal-powered watercraft, however, you may be interested in the one-of-a-kind WiTHiN super sea kayak ... just be prepared to write a big check.