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Bicycle and Kayak along Island Shores
San Juan Islands
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  I paddled the ol' Crossover for years...
  Posted by: holmes375 on Mar-25-13 3:10 AM (EST)
 

put several hundred river miles on it. Good boat for someone your size.

The little skeg is useful albeit fiddly. You can have another paddler raft up to your kayak in calm water and fix it in place. Practice this ahead of time.

You'll want to have that skeg out in any shallow water, water with common surface obstacles or in truly active water.

The skeg is small enough that it won't completely negate maneuverability but it does help tracking a bit especially in breezy conditions.

Developing a good forward stroke will be of greater value for your tracking efficacy and this will come with time in the cockpit and studying some videos on the topic. As your skill increases you'll find yourself using the skeg only occasionally, probably to negate the wind on longer calm water stretches.

Get yourself a pair of split bow floatation bags to install up front. Clip 'em together at the bow so the pillar keeps them in place. This will keep your boat from doing the infamous Cleopatra's Needle in the event of a capsize.

Put some weight in the rear hatch to load the stern as this will also help tracking. Experiment in calm practice waters to see what works best for you.

Class II waters are no trouble for the Dagger Crossover, C-III would want a skilled paddler and they would choose a different boat anyway. I view C-II as fun active waters and C-III as the entry to real whitewater where skills and equipment need a higher degree of refinement. The Crossover can run easy C-III but you don't want to play in it.

The Crossover is rather heavy but its a sturdy boat. The backband Dagger used was a source of common complaint - you may end up changing it. I also changed out my foot braces for a set of Yakimas which are very durable.

Bulkheads and hatches on these kinds of boats aren't known for their complete water tight characteristics, use good dry bags.

The Crossover is a pretty cool ol' Jack of All Trades but easy moving water is its most comfortable environment. I did a lot of photography out of mine and played in the local whitewater park. The latter was not always successful :) Did numerous 50 mile day trips with the Crossover on the North Platte river.

The Crossover prefers a medium/large paddler given its volume. Your weight will work nicely in this boat. I'm 45# lighter and added weight to mitigate the wind.

That's about all I can think of or remember. I liked the Crossover, its a good adventurer's boat. You should, of course, try to arrange a test paddle of some duration before you buy.

Good luck and pleasant waters to ya.

 Great Products from the Buyers' Guide:

Touring Kayak Paddles

Heel and Pegpads™

Adventure Sailrigs

Kayak Seats

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