Dirigo Tandem Plus

15' 3"
Width (in)
Weight (lb)

Dirigo Tandem Plus Description

A tandem version of our popular Dirigo series, the Dirigo Tandem Plus features a breakthrough tandem design with two non-confining cockpit openings. In addition, you can bring along a third smaller passenger in the middle jump seat. And, if that’s not enough versatility for you, move the stern seat forward to allow for solo paddling. Equipped with easy-to-access storage and a Click Seal Hatch with bulkhead, this tandem kayak has everything you need for family fun on the water

Dirigo Tandem Plus Specs and Features

  • Structure: Rigid / Hard Shell
  • Cockpit Type: Sit Inside
  • Seating Configuration: Tandem, 3+
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Smaller Adult/Child, Average Adult
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Smaller Adult/Child, Average Adult
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate

Additional Attributes

  • Contoured Poly Seats
  • Removable child seat
  • Glide Track foot brace system
  • Click Seal hatch with bulkhead
  • Glove box hatch for cell phone, keys, etc.
  • Safety perimeter line
  • Deck bungee
  • Retractable carry handles
  • Paddle Holder
  • Thigh pads
  • Cup holders
  • Drain Plug
  • Stabil-form™ hull design
  • Optional Rudder System

Old Town Canoe and Kayak
Dirigo Tandem Plus Reviews

Read reviews for the Dirigo Tandem Plus by Old Town Canoe and Kayak as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!

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I love this boat! Yes I know…

Submitted by: paddler803482 on 6/22/2020
I love this boat! Yes I know we call them kayaks but this thing handles like a boat. It's super smooth and efficient with the way it tracks and our ten foot yaks can't keep up. It has so much room for storage for a day trip. Just bought a week ago but have used five times already. I love how you can slide the rear seat forward for that solo feel and proper weight distribution when by yourself. The only challenge with this kayak, and it's an obvious one, is that it's pretty difficult to load and unload by yourself seeing that it weighs 72 pounds. Luckily with a tandem, you will typically have two crew members.

I bought my Dirigo Tandem in…

Submitted by: sabadir on 4/27/2016
I bought my Dirigo Tandem in 2011. I think it was two years old then. It had been used one time. Frankly its fantastic...with a couple of places for improvement. I do know that they have updated the model since mine was manufactured but the pros and cons should be about the same.

First, its smooth. Its easy to navigate and move quickly through the water...even if its just me. I have single kayaks too but much prefer the OTDT.

Its easy to get in and out of. Its wide base makes it easy for anyone who wants to to get in and out.

Its SUPER comfortable. I have experienced the worst in kayaks and canoes. These seats are like barcaloungers. The foot rests sometimes move on their own and can be a pain to adjust but for the most part are solid and a positive experience.

A couple of cons...

Its HEAVY. I put it on top of a big car so getting it up there can be a challenge. I have solved the problem with a piece of rebar. I extend the rebar from my rack, then I lift the bow only on the rebar. I then can lift the stern and push it onto the rack. It works well.

It has a lot of surface area on top but not a lot of accessories. I added two marine eyes to clip in my paddle tethers and added four rod holders. I also added rigging for an anchor. All these were a huge benefit when taking this on the ocean.

If you take on water there is no top side drain plug and the design is such were you will not get out all the water or sand or dirt. A top side opening to help you clean the inside would be FANTASTIC...but its not there.


I have had my Old Town Dirigo…

Submitted by: jhcarpenter on 9/8/2015
I have had my Old Town Dirigo tandem kayak for just under a year now. After kayaking in five different states, I decided it was time to own instead of rent.

This kayak is a great two person kayak. It tracks smoothly and it goes through the water with little effort with the paddles. It's speedy and there is a lot of room inside. There is dry storage in the back (large) and in the front (small). There are two bungee cord paddle holders, one on either side, that holds your paddles when not in use. The kayak is 14' long, making the tracking true.

The only drawback is the weight for an older person like myself (age 60). It's hard to put up on the upper rack of my truck without help, even though I have done this more than once. I do not regret my purchase and would recommend it for anyone looking for a sit-in tandem kayak. The quality of the materials is superb. I have recommended it to anyone who will listen to my ranting about kayaking.

It doesn't come with a rudder, but that can be added later for an additional cost if you plan on being out in the wind, so far, I have not needed this option. One more thing about the dry storage in the back: it's large enough to store two life jackets for adults, two life jackets for my small dogs as well as all the tie-downs that I use for transporting it and that's where I keep the equipment when it is "dry docked" in my garage. Again, let me state that you can't go wrong with this tandem kayak.


My wife and I love our older…

Submitted by: WoodD on 8/27/2014
My wife and I love our older Old Town Tandem. Our friends use it and love it. It is very stable and pretty easy to put on top of our sportswagon. We will move up to the Dirigo Tandem Plus very soon.

This kayak is great for kayak…

Submitted by: paddler235553 on 5/20/2014
This kayak is great for kayak camping. Just move the rear seat forward, paddle it solo & load your gear in the front. Everyone in a single kayak is struggling with space this one has room.

I have had the Dirigo Tandem…

Submitted by: paddler235487 on 4/2/2014
I have had the Dirigo Tandem plus for about 2 years. I got it so my girlfriend, my dog and I could paddle around the Tampa Bay area. It is easy to paddle, stable, and lots of room. Probably not suited for surf but does great in lakes, rivers, and estuaries.

I purchased the tandem Dirigo…

Submitted by: koradogger on 4/2/2014
I purchased the tandem Dirigo plus in December 2013 and have had it out on lakes, ponds, and rivers. The seats are comfortable and easy to move forward or back. This was a demo model that a local kayak shop had, so it is in used condition and did not come with the child seat. There is an optional rudder, but mine does not have the rudder.

I haven't paddled any other tandem kayaks so I don't really have anything to compare it to. Some others have said that it is slow, but to me it doesn't seem slow. I have paddled with my husband on the river and we have not had any problems paddling upstream. I have also paddled it solo with the rear seat in the forward position, and have not had any problems with it. I have not had any problems controlling it on the lake in slightly windy conditions paddling solo. There is one watertight stern hatch and a small hatch in the front cockpit.


I recently purchased a used…

Submitted by: klcourtney on 8/23/2013
I recently purchased a used (1 time) Dirigo XT Tandem Plus kayak to be used as a spare boat for family and friends and occasionally for my wife and I to paddle together. We have two Pungo 120s that we normally use.

I have been pleasantly surprised with the Dirigo XT tandem. It tracks well and paddles quicker than I expected for a large, recreational tandem kayak. Ours is equipped with an optional rudder, which I have found unnecessary for flat water lakes and slow moving rivers. I am sure that it will be a plus in windy conditions and choppy water.

The XT comes equipped with the upgraded ACS seating which we have found to be very comfortable. I store it inside in a Suspenz 3 boat free standing rack on it's side at about an 80 degree angle and have not experienced any structural bending or oil canning issues. I do leave the child seat in place which I feel provides some additional structural support.

Overall, we are very pleased with the Dirigo XT Tandem Plus in the short time that we have owned it.


I bought this new 2 years…

Submitted by: paddler234994 on 5/8/2013
I bought this new 2 years ago, it is heavy but easy to carry, comfortable to sit in and paddle, seats were the main selling point and they do not disappoint. The material the kayak is made out of is the main problem, it is soft and very flexible, the bridge between the cockpits is totally lost it shape and is a mess, I have bolted PVC pipe under it to help restore it rigidity. It is the only tandem kayak I have ever paddled but I must say that when we are in the company of other tandem kayaks this is by far the slowest one in the group. It's stable and can carry a pretty good load so I keep it around for those long river trips where you can float more than paddle.

My biggest criticism is the…

Submitted by: Christo on 10/28/2011
My biggest criticism is the speed; it lumbers through the water compared to the 16' tandem Loon. So I am pretty disappointed in this purchase. The loon spoiled me. I bought the Dirigo sight unseen and that is a mistake. I can't stress the importance of trying a kayak out in person before purchasing!!! I should have heeded this warning!

"I do not like tandem kayaks." Having claimed so for decades, I…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/5/2011
"I do not like tandem kayaks."
Having claimed so for decades, I will drop that mantra because the Dirigo tandem proved a delight. I have paddled it with people of varying abilities. It could be a favorite among my eight other boats. It is relatively fast for what it is. Two experienced paddlers working hard can top 6 mph. Paddling easily with an inexperienced partner, the boat cruises at over 4 mph. The seats are comfortable and adjustable; footpegs can be adjusted while seated; the rear seat can be positioned far enough forward to allow fairly trimmed solo paddling.

The kayak is pleasantly narrow for a recreational boat and very stable. Most striking is the roominess, seemingly yards of space between paddlers. Dual cockpits provide a sense of privacy but offer so much open space that the feet of the stern paddler are in daylight. The design provides reasonable protection from spray. Intentionally paddling through boat wakes as a test, the kayak usually shipped no water. What the deck failed to shed, the cockpit coaming deflected. Aside from an occasional splash, the boat is generally dry. (I purchased two Seals Splash Deck skirts but found no need for them in warm weather and water. They will provide good protection in cooler weather while leaving a wide cockpit opening.)

The three layer polyethylene is much better than single layer poly. It is inherently buoyant and should resist the "oil-can effect" common with cheaper material, i.e., the tendency of the hull to deform. Listed at 80 pounds (seems lighter), the boat is easy enough to shoulder because of the easy grip the cockpit affords. I am an old 130 pounds and have no trouble loading it atop a car solo. Locking the seats in their forward positions and securing the seatbacks prevents the seats from unexpectedly sliding and changing the balance of the boat when carried.

The child "seat" has a structural purpose, serving as a wedge to support the deck against the hull. It is held in place by a pair of thumbscrews on the top and Velcro on the bottom. The Velcro is nearly useless. When removing the seat, both parts of the Velcro tape stuck to the seat, peeling free from the hull. And the seat should be removed periodically because the drain hole in its bottom obviously allows water to enter. Left in place, the dregs of water would turn foul.

Other shortcomings:
-The hull is quite soft, subject to pressure dents. Plan storage accordingly--hanging from wide straps or in well-padded brackets; not upside-down because the deck deforms.
-The rear bulkhead in my boat was poorly fitted. It is a thick piece of closed-cell foam glued in place with an adhesive that adheres poorly. It arrived partly detached. Some fussing with silicone sealant made it all right, but it is a bit shoddy.
-The knee braces are flimsy but comfortable.
-The seats adjust forward and aft, sliding on aluminum tracks, but if the seats are anywhere other than in their fully aft positions, integral plastic locks tend to slip on the tracks. Adding SS hose clamps around the tracks fixed that problem.

The Dirigo comes in a version with a rudder installed (and fancier seats), but paddled tandem, that is unnecessary. Paddled solo in wind, a rudder could be an asset. It is drilled and fitted for a rudder, so adding the optional kit would be easy.


Finally had a chance to put…

Submitted by: paddler233115 on 5/11/2009
Finally had a chance to put our new Dirigio Tandem Plus in the water this Mother's Day. What a treat! I am former whitewater boater who has not been paddling for some years. My wife is a novice paddler and both found this boat to meet our needs and expectations.

We took the Dirigo out on a breezy day on the local lake. It tracked extremely well, even in the wind. It is stable, surprisingly quick and very comfortable to sit in. My wife who is just starting to paddle felt very comfortable in this boat. It is a longer, heavier boat to transport, but you would never know in the water. My wife and I have no problem lifting this boat.

This is a great recreational boat that is versatile, fun and should meet the needs of a range of paddlers!


I've owned a number of kayaks…

Submitted by: paddler232429 on 1/23/2008
I've owned a number of kayaks and this one is by far the best. I've had my two kids in the back while I paddle and control in the front with no problems. The inside is large enough to sit in for hours. It is a bit heavy but all tandems will are. I'm looking for another for when the kid get bigger.

I bought this and the Dirigo…

Submitted by: okieplantdr on 11/16/2007
I bought this and the Dirigo 140 in the spring. Love them both. I use the 140 on my solo trips but take my girlfriend and son with the tandem. She can paddle in the stern with him in the bow seat(while I'm in the solo yak) or I'll 'drive' while she gives direction up front and the son will comfortably sit in the optional middle seat (at least for a couple more years). It is definitely heavy though! She struggles helping me lift it on top of the SUV.

The wife and I picked this…

Submitted by: Jester on 8/30/2007
The wife and I picked this Kayak up the other day and we just love it. The boat seems to be very fast and responsive even in choppy water. The hull of the boat is very sturdy. The whole boat is very sturdy in the water and almost impossible to tip over even if we tried. The boat is very well made compared to some lower priced boats for the same price.

I love the space hatch in the back and the little water tight compartment in the front. The wife puts her keys and cell phone in the compartment and they stay dry. I am 6ft 2in tall and I fit very nice inside the back seat with lots of room for my legs. The wife fits in the front seat very nice and she also has lots of room.

The boat is heavy at around 80lbs so make sure you and the wife can lift the boat before you buy. I carry the boat upside down on my Thule rack on my Subaru Forester with foam blocks and straps. The boat is nice and stable on the roof. For the money, this is a very nice Kayak.

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