Submitted: 07-15-2002 by DJ
The Dagger Delta is a boat I'll never sell. I love paddling the thing, even on flat water. Regarding speed, it's fast when compared to other rec boats in its class. If you're comparing it to a touring boat, it is slow. I find that it has a nice glide at an easy pace. If you try to push it beyond its groove, resistance increases dramatically. I have no problem averaging 4 mph down slow rivers.
I have both a Dagger Delta and a Perception Sierra. The Sierra turns a little quicker, and tracks a little better, but the Delta is a little faster and wins a stability contest hands down. I used to own an Old Town Loon 138, which is as stable as my truck, and the Delta is a match for it.
However, I wanted a boat that could handle tight Class II rapids, and the Loon just doesn't like to turn. The Delta turns nicely, and also has a compliant bottom so that when you bump over a rock, it's very gentle. In fact, the Delta is the smoothest Class II ride I've ever had.
I should mention that I'm a 200-pound, very top-heavy paraplegic, and I modify all my boats by installing seats with very high backrests that reach up into my functional musculature (I'm paralyzed from the base of my sternum down). Since I have no trunk control, I have no stability of my own. I get it all from the boat. With the Dagger Delta, I feel confident and comfortable in Class II whitewater and have yet to tip it.
I also own an Ocean Kayak Yahoo for heavier whitewater, up to Class III. I use the Delta for rivers that have a lot of flat water to go with the rapids. The Yahoo in flat water is a chore. It's like pushing a bath tub and it doesn't track at all. I love the boat though, and will never sell it. It's 30 inches wide and usually refuses to tip even when I make a mistake in Class III.
I am selling the Perception Sierra because I do not feel safe in Class II whitewater with it, though I'm sure an able-bodied, normally proportioned person would.
In short, if you're looking for a remarkably stable boat with decent speed for its class, you can't go wrong with the Dagger Delta. As I said, I love paddling the thing.
Did I mention that it goes overland quite well, too? I use carbide-tipped cross country ski poles with racing half baskets to push myself in my kayaks over the land from good wheelchair ground to the water and vice versa. The Delta slides better than my other kayaks. Thank God for plastic.