Crescent Crew Tandem – The Big Man’s SUV Kayak
I’ve had the Crescent Crew tandem for about a month now and wanted to do a more in-depth review of this great boat.
I’m a big guy at 6’ 1” and 240 pounds. I was looking for a “big man’s” kayak that could haul people and gear like an SUV. I also wanted to have the option of adding a trolling motor on the transom. Stability in open rivers and bays was important since I mainly paddle the Rappahannock River and Chesapeake Bay in Virginia. The Crescent Crew seemed to meet all of these needs and at an affordable price point. I was also glad to support an American company.
At 13’ in length and 80 pounds empty, I decided very quickly to modify my trailer with 5’ bunks to carry the kayak. It has really made it easy to load and unload the Crescent Crew when there is a ramp available.
The frame seats are one of the Crew’s best features. I really like staying dry and supported all day. It can be set up as a tandem kayak or a solo rig. With a total weight capacity of 600 pounds, I can’t image a situation where this boat couldn’t carry everything I could manage to load up inside. The front seat can also be reversed for kids or animals when they don’t want to help paddle. There are two tracks for the rear adjustable foot pegs for solo or tandem use.
At 35’ wide, I was afraid it would be difficult to handle turning the boat, but that isn’t the case. It has a unique hull design with plenty of rocker – that famous banana shape – so with even a little edging and a sweep stroke, it turns very easily. I did move up to a 260 CM paddle since the boat is so wide.
The hull design also features multiple chines and a keel to help the boat track in a straight line. Even on windy, choppy days, keeping it on track is no problem. I wouldn’t even think about adding a rudder at this point. And the stability this hull shape offers is amazing.
Another unique feature of the Crew is that the hull is totally closed. There are no hatches anywhere. I added YakAttack gear tracks in all the cutouts so I can use their cleats, paddle holder and tie downs. I still need to install the Mighty Mounts behind the rear seat to hold my flag/light pole and camera pole. The only concern I have is not being able to get inside the hull and use backing plates on the Mighty Mounts.
I also added buttons in the front to hold a cargo net. I have found that in solo mode, I need some weight up front to trim the boat and keep the bow down, so the cooler has moved from the rear tank well to the bow. It has helped the Crew cut through the chop more easily. Even in 1’ to 2’ river chop, the bow doesn’t torpedo and the waves splash away from the boat. It is amazing how dry this boat stays.
So far, I am very pleased with the performance of this kayak. The engineering that went into the hull really pays off in a kayak that is super stable and easily handles rough water. I call the Crescent Crew the Big Man’s SUV Kayak!
Thanks for visiting Virginia By Kayak!