Submitted: 08-23-2002 by Tim Hanford
I purchased a Blackwater 11.5 after trying various models of kayaks. I opted for the Expedition model which includes a sealed foam bulkhead. I purchased this kayak for the sole purpose of fishing rivers and creeks. It has fit those needs fairly well.
The sealed bulkhead leaked from day one and has gotten worse with time. The sealant Dagger used has dried, cracked and separated from the boat and the foam bulkhead, rendering the boat as if no bulkhead was installed. Definitely not worth the extra money for the Expedition model in my opinion. I've taken this kayak through rapids up to Class III and it does fine for me. I don't seem to notice the plowing that others have mentioned. It turns quite easily and handles quick turns well. I really like the lip on the cockpit and rear hatch that catches most of the water.
The drop down skeg needed adjustment right away which included adjusting the knots in the skeg rope. I hit the platic ball on the end of the skeg rope often without realizing it which is a pain in rapids and faster water. The seat in this kayak is the worst I have seen. I added padding immediately which has helped but I feel like Dagger forgot they needed a seat in this kayak and added one at the last minute the cheapest way they could. I would not purchase this kayak if I had to do it over again. Dagger needs to do some refinement and they would then have a nice kayak.