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Product Reviews > Kayaks > Dagger > Alchemy 14.0L Add Your Review Now!

Reviews for Alchemy 14.0L Kayak by Dagger

Rated: 9.31/10 Based On: 13 Reviews

Alchemy 14.0L Kayak by Dagger

Length: 14' 0" - Width: 24.00" - Starting at: $1229.00
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Submitted by: JbeadSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I've had an interest in the Alchemy for several years, but had never had the opportunity to paddle one. Having sold my seakayak last fall, and having a trip to Hatteras Island, NC planned for this past weekend; I bought an Alchemy 14.0L without a test paddle.

After about 5 hours total paddling, I am very pleased with the purchase. First about me - 6'0", 210 lbs. Fairly experienced paddler in both ocean and whitewater, but have not paddled for the last year post a shoulder injury. In general, I greatly prefer maneuverable boats and don't mind trading some tracking or speed to get it.

Conditions - Ocean side, 1.5 - 2.5' shore break and swell. Also paddled at Cape Point in confused claptois type conditions. Sound side, winds about 15 and running across the 1' wind chop.

The Alchemy exceeded my expectations in the surf and claptois - loved how controllable it is on a wave. Several times, I was able to bring it back on line after starting to broach pretty significantly. I'm not a great surfer and was definitely rusty, so it made me look better than I deserved. Speed is acceptable, but if max speed is your objective you probably aren't considering an Alchemy.

Perhaps more surprising was how much I enjoyed the Alchemy in the wind chop. While it did weathercock more than I expected, it was highly responsive to the skeg. I could leave the skeg up and control with edging and sweeps; but found that by adjusting the skeg - I could paddle my desired course across or even away from the wind or waves without extra effort. Playing with the amount of skeg deployed reminded me of using a rudder and setting it to hold course.

The boat is lighter than I would expect for a 14' plastic boat and shoulder carries well. It is a wetter ride than many similar boats, owing to the relative low volume in the bow and low deck height. I particularly noticed this paddling into the waves and wind while on the Sound. Having barely paddled for a year, the impressive primary stability was appreciated. It felt a little less comfortable way over on edge, sculling than I expected with the hard chines to lean on. Perhaps just a function of my rustiness.

Overall, very pleased with my first weekend of paddling in the Alchemy 14L

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Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I test paddled the Alchemy and the Wilderness Systems Tsunami 140 on the same day for a about three hours and here's what I thought. The Alchemy does almost everything better than the Tsunami.

I timed myself paddling both boats as hard as I could from fixed locations (about 708ft). I repeated this three or four times. The Alchemy was 20 to 40 seconds faster every time. There wasn't a lot of difference in the initial or secondary stability. Maybe the Tsunami was a little better. The Tsunami tracks like a train and the Alchemy needed to be paddled very carefully to keep it straight without deploying the skeg. With the skeg down it paddled fine. The Alchemy weathered cocked badly without the skeg but deploying the skeg solved the problem.

As for maneuverability, hands down it goes to the Alchemy. I could turn it 180 degrees with two forward sweep strokes. The Tsunami was like turning a tractor/ trailer. The seat in the Tsunami was much more comfortable. I had no problem with its backrest as opposed to a back band. The Alchemy with its back band was OK, but not as good. This might make a difference on a long trip. I am 5'8 and weigh 160lb. The cockpits in both fit me fine.

In the end, I purchased the Alchemy. It is just too much fun to paddle and can get me from point A to B faster.

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Submitted by: robertoSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Excellent kayak; very fun when the day is windy and there are waves in the sea. The skeg works very well, the seat is very comfortable and the kayak is maneuverable even for a beginner, it was a very good choice.
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Submitted by: aschroederSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My wife and I each purchased a Dagger Alchemy 14.0L four months ago. I'm 6'5", 215 lbs. and I fit comfortably. It's a bit tight for by big feet, so I purchased fitted water shoes and my feet fit much better now.

It is a great boat with plenty of adjustments. The seat is very comfortable with adjustment straps to set it perfectly for every size person. My only complaint is the smaller storage lids are extremely difficult to remove. But I guess I don't have to worry about them coming open on the water. The length is perfect as I kayak on both a lake and rivers. The skeg is really nice when trying to hold a straight line on the lake and very easy to pull up and down quickly.

My wife is 5'7" with an athletic build and she is less snug in the boat, but the cockpit is not overly big. She may have been better suited for the 14.0S, but we purchased these boats on clearance and weren't able to test out a 14.0S. I think the 14.0L is better suited for her since I've read that the cockpit on the 14.0S is much smaller. My wife likes the fit of the 14.0L.

When out on the water, the boat performs excellent. It doesn't maneuver as well as a shorter boat, but it does hold your line much better and goes faster. It's a perfect "in-between" length to venture on lakes and rivers.

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Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Maybe the best kayak I have paddled. Have owned or paddled most of British performance boats. A surf magnet. Fast for it's length, WW type outfitting, Swede form, nimble but great stability. Great for beginners all round boat or advanced looking for surf toy. Thinking it will be my storm boat of choice. Seems like a stiff hull for plastic boat. Two bulkheads, good/secure rubber hatch covers. Shocked to get this at $1100 or less.
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Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I am 5'11" 190lbs, and I also own an Alchemy S and added the L for less aggressive rides and as a "ride along" boat for friends. The relatively low cost of the Alchemy makes it easier to supply a decent boat as a loaner.

The L does feel considerably larger than the S and gives a little dryer ride in rough conditions. The L still handles and turns as quickly as the S, but it does catch the wind making it a little prone to wind cocking. Tracking is excellent for a boat this short, the skeg is handy in windy conditions to control cocking in side winds when you are not moving. The Alchemy seems fairly efficient as far as speed and glide are concerned for a shorter wider boat.

I would not classify the Alchemy a rec boat as it likes confused water and surf, but it would suit a beginning kayaker as the primary stability is pretty good, secondary stability can be felt once you learn where the "edge" is.

The outfitting is comfortable and very adjustable. The seat does seem a little forward in the cockpit to me making it tough to get a tight fitting skirt on quickly, also the day hatch is not very accessible unless your back is very limber.

I gave the boat an 8 as it can do many things pretty well but not as well as a design built boat. It is a good jack of all trades boat, it relatively low cost and good quality make it an excellent choice for a paddler that sees themselves in multiple types of water, day touring, lakes, flatwater, light rapids and surf are all do-able with the Alchemy.

Would I recommend this boat, yes I would, I bought two of them because you can have a lot of fun in them where ever you wind up in your adventures.

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Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     2013 Dagger Alchemy, I purchased this 14 foot boat because I wanted a kayak that has varied use. It tracks fairly well for open water and very well with the dagger board even partially down. But it still has enough rocker to bring in fast running streams and is short enough to turn around in small back waters.

I have a traditional back band seat which is comfortable though I've not been in the seat for more then 3hrs at a time. Only issue I have with the boat is that the dagger board when fully lowered bangs from side to side which when sneaking up on wildlife is a bit of an issue. I just retracted it half way which stopped the noise.

I give the boat a 9.5 of 10

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Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     If you're looking for a kayak that's good for beginners to intermediate paddlers, the Dagger Alchemy 14 S or L is a great choice. The kayak is 14' long and 23" wide making it very stable even on large lakes and rivers. The design lends it self very well to those who want a kayak they can grow in (skill wise) with room to spare. The kayak edges nicely and the drop down skeg is a very nice addition. This kayak has a low deck, so on choppy days a spray skirt is recommended.

All in all this kayak is an all round fun day or short weekend tripper and will not disappoint.

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Submitted by: T MolenaarSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have had my Alchemy 14L for only a few weeks but it is a great kayak. I am 6'2 and 240lbs so the cockpit is a bit snug but not so tight as to feel uncomfortable. The kayak tracks very well especially when the skeg is down.

All in all it has been a great buy. I encourage anyone considering this kayak to try it out on the water and you will likely fall in love with it. It was the best feeling boat that I tried out.

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Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I recently purchased a new Dagger Alchemy 14.0L. This boat is made from roto-molded polyethylene and weighs in at 53lbs. This boat brings my fleet of paddle craft to 8 including two canoes, to plastic recreational kayaks, two plastic 14' transitional touring kayaks and two hand built cedar strip sea kayaks with another strip boat under construction.

I had wanted a plastic transitional touring kayak to fill the void between the slow and fat recreational kayaks that my family uses for bumping down rocky class I streams in Georgia and the high end cedar strip sea kayaks that I have built over the past few years. I wanted a kayak capable of up to class II river use where rocky shoals are common but also for bigger, slower rivers where reasonable speed is needed but also to be able to do some coastal day touring where crossing bays would be encountered.

I sat in about every 14' boat made including offerings from Wilderness Systems, Perception, Necky and others and then found the Dagger Alchemy 14 on the Dagger site. The description and reviews on made it sound like the boat I needed to try. However, I was not able to find a dealer within a 250 mile radius of Atlanta who had one I could sit in or paddle. So, after about a month of continuing to pour over the specs and reviews, I decided to order one, having never touched one. Not recommended and I broke my own rules on this one...

I picked up the Dagger Alchemy 14.0L Friday night and paddled it for a couple of hours Saturday morning. I paddled on the Chattahoochee River from just below Roswell Road up river to the shoals at Island Ford (about 2 1/2 miles) against a moderate current (estimated about 2+mph). It took about an hour and 15 minutes to get there and about 30 minutes to come back paddling easy.... Quite a workout.

So, what did I think about the boat??? I liked it a lot. It's a fairly loose tracking boat but can be paddled on a straight course without the skeg down if you are paying reasonable attention. If you stop paddling, it will broach fairly quickly without the skeg down but that's true of most boats and not a problem. With the skeg down, it tracks relatively true when you stop paddling. It turns easily with paddle strokes and if you lean it a bit, turns quickly.

I'm 5'11", 165lb and size 12 feet. I found the cockpit roomy enough that my feet were comfortable (wearing booties, not water sandal) and I could easily pull knees up through the coaming for a stretch or to exit. The seat is nice and comfortable with an adjustable backband and adjustable thigh support. It's not a recreational seat with a high back but a seat with a low back band so you could execute layback rolls (assuming the paddler has the skill). The seat bottom has an adjustable thigh support that I found quite comfortable. I could easily adjust the backband, the thigh support and foot pegs to "lock-in" the boat if needed by paddling conditions.

When you deploy the skeg, you immediately notice a slight bit of drag and the skeg tends to bang a bit against the sides of the skeg box as you paddle and put pressure on alternating sides of it. I found the loose fit of the skeg a bit annoying but if I had a tail wind or was paddling in following seas where the tracking was really needed, I could easily ignore the sound as a reasonable trade off for being able to stay on course... The skeg deployment "slider" worked very smoothly.

I found the primary stability to be excellent so a novice could easily paddle this boat and grow into it's capabilities. It makes leaned turns easily and comes up to speed quickly, has lots of storage and is comfortable. All in all, I think I'll be quite happy with it...

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Submitted by: Naturelover - Rating: 10 of 10
This review courtesy of

     The Alchemy is the first kayak I have purchased. This decision was made after trying out many kayaks in the water. This kayak is very stable, easy to paddle and maneuver. This is my second season and couldn't wait to get back in the water again. The sleek design makes it easy to paddle up stream or just paddling around the lake.
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Submitted by: Lester Mandoll - Rating: 8 of 10
This review courtesy of

     Here is a great new all-around boat from Dagger. I haven't been the biggest fan of their touring designs in the past, but this is a fun boat to paddle! The outfitting is comfortable, and the performance works great in a variety of conditions.
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Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     One might wonder why Confluence would position a "touring kayak" within its moving water brand. One would only need to paddle the Alchemy. This paddler is a short-legged 5'10" with size 11 feet. I went with the larger model because of my "bike rider" thighs. I paddle 2-3 times a week, open and white water.

The search was for a mid-range boat with some performance and versatility. The significant rocker of the Alchemy (somewhat unusual in a 14-footer) caught my eye and turned out to be the decisive factor.

The hull is of reasonably good quality, with decent rigging and grab loops. I'm not a big fan of pop-on hatches, but don't see them as a major drawback. The skeg control is well recessed and functions reasonably well. When you want help going straight, it makes itself known.

Overall, the outfitting is above average. The seat is comfortable and the backband permits laying back. I favor this over a chair back seat that impedes torso rotation. With the performance this boat is capable of, I'd have preferred a ratcheted backband or something more easily adjustable from the cockpit. The thigh braces will satisfy most paddlers. But, anyone who wants to throw this around will want to engineer something more aggressive. The footpegs are easily adjustable, but I have some reservations about the durability. Nothing has broken, but I like something more substantial to kick at.

I believe they missed the boat with the stiffener that runs along the keel. They could've incorporated a bottle holder there. This is a boat you'll want to take into bumpy stuff and you won't enjoy your bottle rolling around.

This boat invites you to dive into the foam and have a ball doing it. The rocker provides ample spinnability, but lay it over on an edge and you've really got something going. Decent speed, predictable stability, unreal maneuverability and rolls like a log. Have a blast in the surf zone, rock garden or on a moderately fast moving river.

This boat is hard to classify. It paddles something like a long "crossover" kayak with harder edge. If I was going long and strong with a load, I'd take a different boat. But, if you want a fun rough water craft without busting up some expensive composite or the credit card limit, I'd slide in here.

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