Vibe Yellowfin 130T Tandem
If you are shopping for a tandem sit-on-top that also works great when you’re solo, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better option than Vibe Yellowfin 130T. Stable and comfortable, this boat can still be handled (and even cartopped) alone fairly easily. The wide hull, lawn-style seats, useful hatches, and adjustable footrests all work together to provide maximum comfort on the water.
- Comfortable seats
- Adjustable footrests
- Dry ride
- Quickly converts to solo
- The deck might flex with time
Size and Weight
Vibe Yellowfin 130T is 13 ft (396.2 cm) long with a 35-inch (88.9 cm) beam. Without the seats, it weighs 80 lbs (36.3 kg), so you can still handle it alone if you have to.
Vibe Yellowfin 130T is rated for 500 lbs (226.8 kg) and can easily carry two average-sized adults and some gear. If you and your paddling partner are both on the heavy side, you may want to take a look at some other models such as FeelFree Lure Tandem, which tends to behave a little better under heavy loads.
Vibe Yellowfin 130T has all essential features for comfortable recreational and fishing trips.
Starting from the bow, there is a drain plug and a rigid plastic handle with some padding on the inside. The handles, updated in 2019, are quite comfortable and solid, making it easy to handle the boat or drag it around. Keep in mind, however, that the Yellowfin models do not have a replaceable skid plate, so you don’t want to drag this kayak over harsh surfaces.
A tiny storage area on the bow is too small for anything except a lightweight rain jacket or maybe a lunch box. It does, however, have a bungee to secure your stuff.
Further back, there is a molded central console. It has a small shallow bin (which can be used to drop a couple of lures or similar small items), a Scotty or RAM mounting plate with brass inserts, and a simple molded-in bottle holder.
Next, there is an 8-inch, quarter-turn day hatch between the front paddler’s legs. The hatch seals pretty tightly and there’s a waterproof cat bag inside, so your stuff will stay pretty dry.
The rear paddler gets his/her own Scotty mount plate, bottle holder, and day hatch.
On each side of both seats, there is a bungee-secured tackle box slot, so each paddler can have two boxes at hand, plus some more gear under the seat.
The rear tank well is quite small but will hold a small cooler or milk crate. It has a rectangular shape and is more useful than tapered tank wells that some other tandem models have. The tank well also has a bungee cord to secure your gear.
Finally, there are two flush-mount rod holders and another heavy-duty carrying handle.
Both paddlers have adjustable footrests, which is a great comfort feature. Also, each paddler gets two gear tracks on the gunnels, so there is a lot of customization options.
There are four scupper holes on the deck. They come with rubber scupper plugs, which is really convenient.
Vibe Yellowfin 130T is pre-plumbed for a rudder (the rudder kit is sold separately). The rudder is tow-controlled and adds another level of comfort, especially in rough waters or windy conditions.
The seats are a huge selling point for the Yellowfin 130T. Unlike many tandems on the market, it features Vibe’s updated Hero seats. The padded aluminum frame seats are made from a breathable, quick-drying material that’s comfortable and durable. In the new upgraded version, the backrests fold flat (the previous version could not do that). They even have high and low positions and can be easily removed for use as a beach chair, which is really great for kayak camping.
Finally, the kayak converts to a solo configuration in a matter of minutes. Remove one seat, put the other one in the center position, adjust the footrests, and you’re good to go. In the solo version, you get tons of storage space and a huge walkable deck. Really cool for fishing.
Vibe Yellowfin 130T is a well-rounded performer with a good balance of stability, maneuverability, and speed.
Its wide, bulky hull makes it easy to stand up and cast, especially in the solo configuration. The standing area is somewhat limited by the central hatches but is still usable.
A pronounced keel runs the whole length of the boat, helping the kayak pierce through waves and track really well. Point it where you want to go, and this kayak will get you there. In choppy waters and currents, the optional rudder will add another level of control and comfort.
With the right paddling technique, you’ll have no problem maneuvering the boat, either. A couple of sweep strokes is all it takes to turn it around, which makes the Yellowfin 130T a viable option for rivers and tighter places.
Finally, Vibe Yellowfin 130T is pretty fast for a sit-on-top tandem. It picks up speed fairly easily and does not require a lot of effort to keep it going.
Construction and Materials
Just like Vibe’s other models, Vibe Yellowfin 130T is made from High-Density Polyethylene using the rotational molding technology. Beads of polyethylene are poured into the mold as it gets heated up and slowly rotated so that the material fills up every nook and cranny. After the mold cools down, you get a one-piece construction that is extremely rugged and durable. Kayaks manufactured with the rotomolding process tend to be long-lasting and sturdy.
The downside of polyethylene is that it is a very non-stick material. If you manage to put a hole in the hull, you can’t just glue a patch to it. The most effective way to patch the hole is to heat-weld new HWM PE or HDPE plastic pieces (or the same material) into the crack. It’s best to use a flat surface such as a soldering iron or blow torch by utilizing welding techniques to bond the material for an air-tight lasting patch.
Vibe provides a limited lifetime warranty for defects on all new kayak purchases and one year on the attached parts. This warranty covers only Vibe products that are purchased from an authorized Vibe dealer. This warranty applies only to the original purchaser and may not be transferred. Proof of purchase must be presented at the time of the warranty claim. Normal wear and tear are not warranted.
In case your Vibe kayak gets damaged during shipping, Vibe Kayaks recommends the following:
If you find any significant damage, such as holes or deep gouges, have the carrier document in writing a detailed description of the damages before signing anything, take pictures, return the damaged kayak to the driver, and contact Vibe immediately.
If you find minor damage, such as minor scratches, dings, and dents, note the damage on the Bill of Lading, take pictures and accept the shipment. You can contact Vibe with any questions.
If the product is signed for without damage being reported or if the driver leaves the property without the damage being reported, Vibe Kayaks won’t be able to replace it. You will have to pay return freight charges (which range from $185 – $390) to get a replacement or accept the kayak as is.
New items are eligible for a full refund within 14 days of purchase.
To read the full terms of Vibe Kayak’s warranty, click here: https://vibekayaks.com/pages/warranty
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Specification: Vibe Yellowfin 130T Tandem