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Topic: Crescent Crew Review  (Read 4343 times)

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BigDistance1

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I will say upfront that this is my first kayak I have owned, so I have very little to compare the kayak to. That being said, I love this kayak!
The Crescent Crew is a tandem kayak built by Crescent kayaks. They are available at a few places in Northern California. I am aware of them being sold at Lodi Paddlesports (formally Headwaters), Headwaters Kayaks in Redding, and Napa Valley Paddle. Napa Valley Paddle also does rentals, so you cant give it a test paddle if you are interested in purchasing.
This is a large sit on top kayak capable of taking the whole family, but also performs well solo. I have taken my wife and 2 children (ages 4 and 6) on trips on the Cosumnes River, Tomales Bay, and a few other locations. I have also taken the kayak out duck hunting with my hunting partner and there was plenty of room for decoys, shotguns, and blind material.
As with many tandem kayaks, the chairs are removable and you can place one chair in the center of the kayak for solo paddle trips. I have taken the kayak solo into Bodega bay. I have not tried the kayak on fast moving water, I would expect it not to perform very well.
Out of the box this is a very feature slim kayak. This is probably a turn off for many people, but I felt like all my money was going towards a solid foundation and not potentially cheap features that I may or may not use. There are upgrade kits available for things like Yakattack rails and seat risers. This is also a fully enclosed hull kayak (expect for a small drain hole). I have seen some people modify the kayak by cutting a hole in the top and adding a hatch, but that is not something I expect to be doing. So this may also disappoint some kayakers. I appreciate the reduced risk of a hull leak, but something to keep in mind when looking at kayaks. This is also a paddle only kayak, with no holes in the bottom for pedals or a fish finder. The company claims this is to keep the paddle performance at peak, which I guess is true? One of my favorite things about this kayak is that it is designed and manufactured in the USA and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Now that we are past the design of the boat, lets talk about performance. Since I can't compare this to any other kayak, take this with a grain of salt. The kayak is stable enough to stand in, but still agile enough to lean into turns. I feel like they hit a sweet spot between stability and agility. My kids probably wish it was more stable, because it does move, but I have never felt like we were going to tip, even with the kids leaning into the water. I hope to be able to stand and flyfish or use a thrownet, I have not tried these activities yet, but I expect they would be possible. The Crew does well in the surf, the front of the kayak has a bit of a "bulbous nose" that does seem to cut well into oncoming waves. Two adults can take it crabbing or bay fishing easily, even through the surf. The small sloughs and lazy rivers around here are also fun and easy to navigate, although there has been a few times where we couldn't turn around after going up a small channel. Wind hits this kayak pretty bad, and it can be difficult to handle if the wind picks up too high, but I imagine that is true for most kayaks. If going solo there is room enough in the front to lay down (and strap down) poles and other fishing equipment. With two people it is a bit harder to find the room, but it is still possible. In solo the rear of the kayak is so big that I find it difficult to reach the farthest cargo areas, but there is lots of room to lay and strapdown equipment in that direction as well. I run with a softshell cooler and it fits nicely in the cargo area in the back. The kayak weighs in at 79 lbs when empty. So this is a heavy kayak, but I am able to load it myself and transport it to most locations with a cart (or dragging in the sand).
Hope this helps anyone looking to purchase a tandem kayak, I have really enjoyed my Crescent Crew!


Sin Coast

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Great review, thanks! I love the Crescent kayaks. Especially since they’re made here!
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Sailfish

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Thanks for the review BD1.
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