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Reviews for Vesper Kayak by Dagger


Rated: 7.8/10 Based On: 15 Reviews

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07-27-2014
Submitted by: DWSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Absolutely awesome boat! Mine was fitted with a smart track rudder system which made this boat an absolute dream to paddle. There are some that were built later in the vespers manufacturing run that had a tendency to pull to the left. So I would recommend that if you buy one of these and it doesn't have a rudder, add it.

It is very stable. I'm 5'8" about 150lbs and I stand up and paddle this without a problem. It's incredible fast for its size. Comfortable to paddle on long distances and is able to handle heavy chop with confidence.

I would highly recommend this boat! Best suited for a small to average site paddler.

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07-03-2014
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I bought my Dagger Vesper a few years ago when I moved to the East Coast, and I wanted to start doing some paddling on lakes and in the bay. I got it for a good price, and it has been a good boat to fit my needs. I have used it every year in a kayak triathlon race, and was able to come in first in my age division with it.
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07-20-2013
Submitted by: David ClunasSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I have owned a Vesper for at least 15 years and used to call it the "pig" because you had to paddle like a white water situation to maintain direction and control. Recently, I was forced to use it on open water with wind and waves due to my daughter using my Sealution SS and of course was pushed around due to the flat bottom no skeg design. However, I have solved the problem by installing a Feathercraft temporary skeg. Now this boat is incredible in open water (with moderate waves) and still a joy in flat water.
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08-31-2011
Submitted by: DustinSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I'm the mostly Proud new owner of a Vesper made in 1993. In those years, it came to me with severely oil canned hull and generally beat on pretty hard.

I've really wanted one for a while( some do call me crazy) despite the myriad of bad reviews overall lack of total reviews or any real internet/word of mouth information about the model. i kinda think mine may have been one of the warped ones,as it does the very same hard left turn,but with proper paddling it's no problem.

First impressions: This is a seriously fast boat for sub-14 feet. I've impressed the local college rowing team one of the first times out,when i barged into their glass smooth training lanes! Enough so that they didn't kick me out,hah. you really have to tweak your paddle technique for this boat to wake up,but once it does the performance is stellar for the size and shape of the boat,and all this is an old beat to death,oil canned boat.

Quality: As good as anything else from the 90's. Maybe even better. I much prefer the hinged hard mounted seat back of the vesper to my Necky Looksha sport. Other than that, it's all the same. Dagger has been around long enough to afford high quality throughout the product line.

Performance: As stated. For what it is( shape x size) plus mine being old,ragged out,and severely oil canned, This boat is a hot rod. You just have to spend time with it and learn it's quirks. My boat does the same hard left as many others on here. Warped mold or not, proper paddling deals with mine almost entirely. as you take a paddle stroke lean the boat into the opposite edge. This balances out the boats drift and keeps it tracking razor straight. Were not talking secondary stability, just edge away from the stroke slightly. I still plan on Fabricating a drop skeg from Aluminum and carbon, but that's only for open water crossings, Which do take some chess games,but confident paddling will send the boat where you want.

That's pretty much my conclusion. You have to be confident in this boat. You have to very smoothly manhandle it. (oxy moron,eh?) Maybe some just don't accommodate,But i had the same problems with the boat. Tweaked my long practiced paddling technique and the boat just woke up like a sleeping beast. Is it the best boat in the world? not by a long shot,But I do like it much more than my Looksha( crazy remember?) When the vesper is in it's element. Which I find to be lazy rivers and glass smooth water. For high winds and heavy hop, I'll be in a looksha, For everything else, you find me in the old Blue beat up Vesper with a huge Grin on my face!

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09-10-2008
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I was very surprised to find poor reviews on this kayak.
I found after experiencing different types of kayaks that the Vesper does require a bit more skill to handle properly. This kayak is very fast when paddled properly. Great workout yak.

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08-01-2007
Submitted by: MI paddlerSend Email
Rating: 6 of 10

     I've borrowed a friend's Vesper (no skeg) a few times. I'm 6'2" and 165. Once I squeezed in, I fit fine (but it wasn't like I spent hours in this kayak).

Tracking - Oh, but the tracking was miserable. After a few powerful strokes, it would pull to the left and it took several left only strokes to get it back in line. Then it would go to the right.... I wouldn't own this thing without adding a skeg. Maybe it is a later one with the worn mold tooling.

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12-16-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 7 of 10

     I am buying this boat as a second boat both for myself and the family.. My primary is a Looky Sport..I like the lighter weight of the Vesper, I can load it myself without injury ..It is a nice little boat that handles ok,, I am going to add a skeg to it and hope that helps with tracking..I have found it quite stable with no pronounced "tippiness" and it reaally does fit me better than the sport does..I will say by the end of a 6 mile slow river trip that turned a little windy I was missing the LS,,this will be a secondary boat used for day triping and exploring areas that the LS is just too long for..
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02-19-2001
Submitted by: R.S.Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I've owned the Vesper for awhile now and it's true that the boat is for smaller paddlers. I'm 5'7 150lbs and I feel like I'm the max size for the boat. But nevertheless the Vesper is a good boat :) I've had the boat in rough sea's and on calm lakes and for a short boat it handled great. I now own the Seeker by Dagger and a Shadow by Perception. Seeker is great :) I still have too get into the Shadow and paddle it in different types of water. I'm sure I wont be disapointed. So if your a smaller adult and you want a fun veratile Kayak, that is, "Sea and Lake" the Vesper is for you.
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10-15-2000
Submitted by: CLG
Rating: 10 of 10

     I must admitt, the Vesper doesn't track the best. But being only 13' 10", it doesn't do too bad. The Vesper was recently dicountinued, not due to people not liking the boat, but because the mold wore out. They made so many vespers, that the mold began to warp. Maybe the boat that the lady below had was one of those boats that came out warped. Towards the end, many boats were sold to dealers that were in fact warped The Vesper was one of Dagger's first, and best selling models. The new Callisto is the updated version. But I don't like it quite as well as my vesper.
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06-19-2000
Submitted by: CherylSend Email
Rating: 3 of 10

     My husband and I have rented kayaks many times and had been in Daggers and Perceptions (variety of different models). We finally decided to buy and someone told us they were not going to make the Vesper any more and so it was a deal...silly us for not trying it out first. Long story short we brought them back after three attempts to go for a nice paddle (lake and bay) these kayaks can not be controlled. With the skeg you go straight - maybe - if there is no wind or tide. Without the skeg you paddle on the right and make a right turn and paddle left and VOILA a left turn. When we brought them back the salesman said they really are bad without a rudder. I was not interested. They sold mine for me and now I am getting a Perception Corona. Took it for a spin today and was very impressed. Tracks well without the rudder and has much better fit. Good bye Vesper!
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05-13-2000
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     We purchased this boat for our 9 year old son who weights 55#. We added a 25# bag of steel shot behind the seat for more stability. We could not be happier with the results, he can keep up with us pretty well and can paddle in calm water up to 4 miles without stopping to rest. As for stability, he can not flip it over himself and as of yet he can handle any wake that he has meet. The boat tracks great even though he can not use his legs enough to brace with. This is a great boat for children and small paddlers. I am 6'-- 215# my results were not as favorable when I have tried to paddle it though.
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04-21-2000
Submitted by: DougSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     Very hard to give this boat a rating. For what I wanted in a (my second) kayak, the Vesper's specs seemed to fit the bill perfectly. Also, as my first boat is also a Dagger, I knew the reliability of the product. But after months of scrambling to get the money together to actually buy it, my test-paddle was a major disappointment: the Vesper is, just as Dagger claims, for smaller paddlers. I'm 5' 10", around 185 lbs, with average size legs, yet it was cumbersome to enter and exit the cockpit and my feet (size 10.5) felt cramped up in the bow. Alas.... instead I bought a Current Designs "Breeze."
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11-08-1999
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     This is a somewhat short(13'10") touring kayak that is lightweight (45# ) and great on lakes and rivers though it also handles well in the gulf. While it is supposed to be for smaller lighter weight paddlers, I am 5'9" 180# male and took it out for a trial out of curiosity. I fit snugly but comfortably in the cockpit and the boat paddled beautifully. I knocked a full 5 minutes off my best time on a 7.5 mile lake paddle around an island. It beat out an Edisto, Carolina, Spectrum, and Prism for speed. It paddles easily and I think its lightweight contributed to my fast trip as well as the fact that I was much less tired after paddling than with other boats. I am amazed at the performance of this boat and suspect that we will all be hearing more about it in the coming months. I plan to use it in my next triathalon. The shorter length gives is a better handicap and it tracks very well. Ideal boat for lighter paddlers who want to carry gear and for folks in my wt range who want a good exercise and day excursin boat. Bravo!
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11-06-1999
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     I just purchased this kayak, and so far, so good! I agree with the earlier review that this boat fits a smaller paddler quite well. I'm 5'2", and I feel really comfortable in this kayak, and I'm able to handle it quite easily. I haven't been able to go out much, but it's been fun paddling so far. It's a keeper!
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09-21-1999
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     I can't believe there were no other reviews of this kayak! It was the one that fit me the best, being a woman, and 5'4", most of the other boats I tested had to big of a cockpit. This kayak is perfect for smaller paddlers. I added a skeg to help with tracking, otherwise, the way it came was great! It is easy to turn, and very fast. I've used it on 2-3 foot whitecaps and it felt very stable...all and all, a great boat! (especially for women and kids).
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