The Libra XT has all the features you need for extensive touring or family outings. The middle cockpit can accommodate a child, or carry a raft of expedition gear for the most luxurious adventure. Long and deep, the Libra XT always gives a comfortable ride. The watertight bow and stern compartments, along with the self-contained middle compartment, offer tremendous capacity. The Libra XT's efficient hull design is easy to paddle and provides ample stability. The XT has proven itself with many tour operators where safety, seaworthiness, comfort, carrying capacity and quality construction are essential.
We purchased this boat 20 + years ago in 1996 or 1997 and have paddled thousands of miles in the Great Lakes (mostly Lake Superior) and the Atlantic ocean (Penobscot Bay in Maine). It's the ONLY tandem we know of that will carry all you need for extended, 2-4 week wilderness trips that involve sometimes heavy seas. After many years, the steering cables needed replacing, and we've had to replace the seat backs (probably the weakest component) and a hatch cover. But the manufacturer has the parts available. A reviewer mentioned it wasn't car-toppable, and that may be true for them, but we've always car-topped it on vans and our Toyota Highlander. It's heavy, at around 95lb, but Yakima Hully Rollers and Showboat roller help a lot.
Boat turns easily with the rudder. Didn't try it without yet as it was the first trip. Good in waves and handles well. Very relaxing to use with a partner as you can paddle separately or in sync. Finish and workmanship are usual CD high quality.
I have the older Yakima pedals which I will change to Sea-lect as the newer Libra's have. Yakima is not really comfortable. I had to tie a few additional deck bungees to use my deck bags which is easy and cheap.
I have the fiberglass layup unlike the other CD's I have which are Kevlar. They is some core material in the floor for strength. It weights about 90 lb, but the big surprise was loading it on my high roofed Ford SUV Excursion. Seemed fairly easy for it's weight and I think it is because of the length giving you leverage. I am 6' and 220 and 62. Called and ordered a few part from CD which is always easy and reasonable in price.
Not a divorce boat as tandems are called. Nice because I don't have to worry where she is or if I had and new paddler with me. Will use it all winter as I do the other kayaks on Long Island. Only thing I could see is if you have long legs the pedals where mounted now could be a bit tight. I have 32" inseam. I may move the Sea-lect pedal forward if required. I can even mod the Yakima for another 3/4" . Very happy with my purchase.
It's stability is amazing, we never tipped. IT HOLDS A TON OF GEAR. We packed every inch of the inside and strapped bags on top...approx 220lbs of gear.
I would highly recommend this kayak for anyone planning a long trip, has 2 adults and one child, prefers stability over speed, or wants a kayak that will last. The only downside to this was coming home to FL and realizing the small need for a 22ft kayak.
We like the roominess, and the storage capacity (you really can bring the kitchen sink!). I read that the boat was hard to turn and that the rudder didn't work. The rudder worked well for us and we found the boat easy to turn with or without the rudder. In fact, I didn't use the rudder most of the way back, even after the wind picked up. You can't turn it on a dime, but you could run circles around a fifty cent piece all day!
I particularly like the length of the boat, which allows the cockpits to be far enough apart that there isn't much spray from the front paddler. You can also paddle asynchronously, however, we found the boat to move better when we were in sync. It also tracks like an arrow, in sync or not. Rudder up or down, I didn't have to have my feet on the pegs at all. It held a line with hardly any effort.
There are a couple of minor things about the boat I don't like The largest of the minor issues is the boat speed. I figured it would be slow since it has a 32 inch beam. I mean, we don't plan on racing it, but I was very surprised how slow it actually was. Both of us together paddling leisurely were only averaging around 4 to 4.5 mph. My Tesla does that without much effort. Maybe we just need more practice. We did manage to get it up to 7.5 mph but we were paddling hard.
Next, I don't like that there isn't any drainage around either cockpit or around the front and rear hatches. The large center hatch does have drainage in the design. Also, there isn't any deck rigging in front of the rear cockpit. There are loops for rigging, but since the center hatch is so close to the rear cockpit, when you string it up, it crosses over the center hatch cover. Which means you'll have to move the rigging and anything you might have stowed there out of the way to open the hatch.
Also, there wasn't much rigging behind either cockpit. I added a couple loops behind the rear cockpit and rigged up an X. I also rearranged the rigging behind the front cockpit to form an X. The factory rigging was weak. I am going to rig up a glove box in rear cockpit and possibly add some deck rigging to the center hatch cover. That should solve the rigging problem.
Overall we are very pleased with the boat. More to come as we paddle it.
A week after delivery I took the boat out with my paddling partner. He pronounced the boat an aircraft carrier and scoffed that it could be any fun. We skirted in and took the boat out for a shake down and were amazed at it. With strong paddlers this boat is incredibly fast and agile. It handles waves without a care and is stable as they come. We are already planning trips to include our wives and we are not concerned about their safety or ability to keep up. I still prefer the connectiveness of my Extreme, but think that if you have a spouse and child or dog that you want to include in your paddling adventures, you can't go wrong with this boat. I gave it a 10 for layup quality and design. It is not a 10 in handling, but it is a much different boat than a single and I doubt any double has the paddling characteristics as a single. I can say that even my snobbish paddling partner thinks it is a great boat.
We passed Navy Pier on our way back and the spectators all cheered us... I guess they got tired of watching beer bellied sailboat operators and wild-eyed jet skiers... Can't think of a better way to be on big water. My wife and I even had fun together...