Submitted: 11-07-2007 by deanjunt
I use my Catalyst 13.0 for river paddling. It's highly maneuverable for its length, so it's great on Class I and Class II rapids. The big bonus is that when you reach the flatwater sections of the river, this boat slips along like a dream. It's got it all -- strong stability, nice speed, great tracking, and great turning. Dagger found the magic formula for both tracking and maneuverability in one hull, which is very hard to come by.
The tracking is still great when going into the wind; however, with tailwinds the back end wants to blow around. Of course, in river valleys in the Upper Midwest where I live, wind isn't much of an issue.
Dagger used to make a boat called the Cypress. The Catalyst seems like a new and improved Cypress to me. I liked the Cypress, but the Catalyst turns much quicker. Plus, with the front and rear bulkheads and hatches, the Catalyst is a seaworthy boat. If big waves splash over the rear deck though, the rear hatch cover will let in some water.
Stability on this boat is awesome. Initial stability is very comforting, and the secondary is super strong and lasts forever, it seems. I'm a paraplegic over 200 pounds, so I'm top-heavy and need some stability from my boat to make up for a lack of trunk stability of my own. I'm paralyzed below my rib cage. The only modification I made to the Catalyst is an extended backrest to reach up into my functional musculature.
I know that Dagger called the Catalyst a touring kayak, but really, it's not a true touring boat. However, it is the best multi-purpose boat I've paddled to date. I've got six kayaks -- different boats for different purposes -- but if I were forced to choose only one boat, it would be the Catalyst 13.0 because I can do anything with it if need be, and it simply excels on rivers up to Class II.
My thanks to Dagger for building a little plastic piece of magic.