Submitted: 02-18-2002 by Todd
The Dagger Blackwater is a decent boat for casual flatwater paddling. key words: casual flatwater paddling. If that's what you are planning on doing, than this boat may be perfect for you. The kayak tracks fairly well through the water. It takes a bit of effort to get the Blackwater up to cruising speed and the bow tends to bounce up and down when you paddle on water with any type of wave (even when paddling through moving water on a windy day). The boat has great initial stability and decent secondary stability. It is great fun to paddle the Blackwater on edge and test its limits.
I have the expedition model which includes a rear bulkhead and hatch. I have found that the bulkhead tends to get small leaks in it and if you plan on submerging (or accidentally flipping) the boat, water will get in through the hatch. I'm not talking about gallons or anything but it does add up. The Blackwater has a very large cockpit. I had thigh braces put in and let me just say they should be called knee braces. The cockpit is very long and wide. If you plan on rolling, be careful. The seat is not attached to the plastic seat molding very well. When you reach a certain angle, the seat slides making it quite a nuisance to roll. Actually, nusiance is not the right word. It doesn't make it harder. It's just that it should be better secured.
With all this said, the price is right. If you are looking for a boat to paddle on calm water or very slow moving streams, this MAY be the boat for you. Give it a "test paddle" if you can.