Submitted: 07-18-2002 by TJB
Its a great boat, but does have some flaws. First the cons;
-It is bit of work to move this boat. Still more efficient than a canoe, but you never get the sense that you're just cruising across the water effortlessly.
-The plastic tab that holds the skeg line is poorly placed. I hit that with my forearm/elbow on a regular basis when hard paddling. And yes, as noted the skeg line does shrink and requires adjustment.
-Bottom is thin. I'm not sure what the norm is here, but I feel like the bottom is always a little mis-shapen and should be stiffened up a bit for more efficiency. I've only been in a few recreational kayaks, though, so I don't know what the norm is. Old Town kayaks were definitely more rigid. Maybe its tough to make a stiff flat bottom boat, but it does feel like at a minimum, the material under the seat, that carries most of your butt weight, should be thicker. ?
-No drain plug. Clearly an oversight on a "crossover" boat that is intended for light whitewater use. Anyone who hits any light rapids is going to pick up some water.
-11.5 cockpit is wider at the front than the 10.5 and probably all the newer sizes. Skirts that fit the 10.5, don't fit the 11.5
-11.5 does not include the drain notches around cockpit and rear storage cockpit that drains collected water (as found in the 10.5). 11.5 was the first boat and it looks like Dagger did not upgrade the mold when they came out with the other sizes.
-Would be nice if this boat included even a portion of the padding that can be found in the Dagger Crossover.
-The boat is a LOT of fun and fits its market as advertised. The boat is great to fish out of. Easy to get in and out of in a few feet of water which says something about its stability. Also a lot of fun in light rapids. We've had plenty of fun surfing in these boats, going through small rapids and when I get a full skirt I'd love to try learning to roll it.
-Great storage capacity. Love the tie down bungees on the front and rear deck of the 11.5. Plenty of deck storage space and holds a good bit below as well.
-Stable with your feet in the boat, on the boat, or dangling in the water!
-Appreciate the bar behind the cockpit for cable locking the boat to a roof rack.
-Skeg works great. Boat spins on a dime with skeg up, tracks pretty nice with the skeg down, although it still slightly pulls in one direction or another. Still MUCH better than a whitewater boat.
I bought this boat because I wanted to play and fish and am able to do both. Wish it had a few more features for the money, but its still fun. This boat will probably get me into kayaking as more of a sport. So, they should either drop the price and figure its an introductory SUV of kayaks or keep the same price but add some nicer features. Maybe combine this and the Crossover into one boat that better fits both markets.
Overall, though, read this as a positive review. I'd recommend the boat for purchase.