Submitted: 07-06-2004 by BMF
I'm fairly new to kayaking, but I'm addicted and have been 9 times in the past five weeks and I'm on my second kayak so I know enough to offer this limited review of the Dagger Blackwater 11.5. My girlfriend and I purchased two Perception Swifty 9.5's for starter boats because the price was inviting, but after a few trips out we realized that we were quickly out-growing these boats. The salesman at Galyan's let us return them and made us a smoking deal on the two Daggers. The first thing I noticed was the 11.5' Daggers, with the skag up, would were actually more nimble than the 9.5' Swiftys. And with the skag down, they tracked very well. I had to adjust the skag on both of ours to get it to go down all the way, but once I got them dialed in they worked great.
I did have problems with the leaking as others have. In fact, I took one back because the bulkhead had separated from the bottom of the boat and was leaking pretty bad. By the time I got the new boat home, it had done the same thing. I think it's a combination of the way the boat is secured to my car rack and the silicone used does not do a very good job of bonding the two pieces, but only provides a seal. I used some Gorilla Glue to bond the material and siliconed it to keep it water tight and have had no problems thus far.
I've never paddled a pure touring kayak, but I have little trouble getting this boat around some rather large lakes. I've done a couple 8-10 mile trips with mine and I'm still amazed with how easily it gets across smooth and rough windly lakes alike.
Overall, I'm very happy with mine. The only complaint I have is with the seat. My butt goes numb after about an hour. I got an aftermarket seat cushion and I'm now in heaven. Hope this helps.