advise on a Dagger Adventure 17

-- Last Updated: Jan-26-14 9:08 PM EST --

so the story goes, my old canoe a basic aluminum job as been taken out of commission and i was looking for a replacement. i wasnt planning on anything special just a cheep 15 footer to do some slow floats and paddling on lakes, fishing and camping with friends. but when i started to look i stumbled on a dagger adventure 17 with float baggs and nice paddles is real good shape, no cold cracks no dents or deformities and no repairs. it is $800 for the package, but i figure a roaylex boat with quality paddles and float bags it could be a pretty good deal. i like dagger as i have a dagger animas kayak for the frothy stuff.

my questions is what can i expect from the adventure 17. it seams to be a pretty flat bottom boat with minimal deadrise or rocker, yet smooth with no keel. is this the best of both tracks decent on lakes but still turns ok in the river?

fully loaded for a trip, what could a couple of decent paddlers expect to be able to enjoy? class 2-3? middle telico?

fully loaded on lakes will it track well enough to have a good time tripping like in the BWCA or similar

what about empty will it still track? can it be soloed down some white water?

from what i have read about it it sounds like a good boat, just not sure i want to drop that much unless i know what i can expect from it.


Dagger Adventure or VENTURE
I think you mean Dagger VENTURE! I am sure there are some people here experienced with this canoe and even Cliff Jacobson was crazy about it at one time. Certainly you can look at the reviews section above and read lots of testimonials.

advice on a Dagger Venture 17
whoops, my bad. yes the venture 17. i still had sleep in my eyes as i posted before work this morning.

yes, i have read many reviews and it sounds like it might be what i am looking for.

Tracking, Size

– Last Updated: Jan-27-14 12:11 AM EST –

I can't imagine a reason to be concerned about tracking of this boat when tandem paddling. According to the specs, it has 1.75 inches of rocker in the front and 0.75 inches in the rear, and that's not much (further, wide Royalex boats can easily lose 0.75 inches or more of rocker just from the buoyancy pressure exerted by the water under the hull). Further, tandem canoes with much more rocker than that track pretty effortlessly if both paddlers have good form. A better question might be whether or not it has the speed you want for straight-line cruising since canoes designed to track well are often faster than average as well. I'd expect it to be sort of a "middle" performer in that regard based on specs alone, but numbers aren't necessarily the whole story.

Overall, the specs show it to be just about average in terms of overall dimensions, as tandem canoes go. I'd be surprised if it had any bad habits or quirks to deal with, but for the same reason, I'd not expect it to excel in any specific category of use. It just looks like a pretty generic tandem to me, that would get the job done in a wide range of situations.

I see that you'll find a LOT of on-line discussions dealing with this canoe, either directly or as a sideline in other topics, if you do some searching.

By the way, your question about Class II to Class III rapids is a common one, but be advised that "real" Class III is a situation that I suspect is beyond what you'd be jumping into anytime soon, just because your questions suggest you haven't paddled canoes much, at least not with precise control. Real Class III of any length is rough enough that you can expect to take on a lot of water, likely even swamping, though very short Class III drops can be pretty straightforward. Anyway, for more moderate whitewater, all sorts of tandem canoes in this "generic, average" category are usually just fine, though for the maneuvering required in much Class II or higher, both paddlers knowing a good variety of control strokes makes the difference between going through with finesse and control, and charging in and hoping your luck within the pinball machine goes your way (most tandem paddlers use the second method and are not even aware there's another way).

Okay, continuing, you ask "can it be soloed okay on some whitewater?" Sure it can, with emphasis on "some" because first, it's a long, low-rocker boat, and second, it appears that this is all new to you. A good way to get a feeling for what goes into solo-paddling a tandem canoe in whitewater is to watch instructional videos of Bill Mason. I'd encourage anyone in your situation to buy "Path of the Paddle", but I think it can be found on YouTube (gotta wonder if it's legal, considering copyright infringement and all, but I've seen some of the episodes from that video there). Bear in mind that he usually used boats with more rocker than this one, and most "mortals" really can't come close to the dexterity he had solo-paddling big beasts like that (partly because nowadays, most good paddlers choose smaller solo boats for that job, and as I'm reminded by g2d's post below, he usually didn't paddle a canoe as long as this one). Still, it might give you an idea, especially since many of the tricks he illustrates to avoid becoming a pinball on the rocks can be used far less skillfully and yet to good effect when negotiating scaled-down but similar situations in much smaller rapids (while you're at it, you might as well check out his tandem-paddling instruction in "Path of the Paddle" too). Bear in mind that with the differential rocker, you wouldn't want to sit backward on the bow seat for solo paddling, as is often done with symmetrical canoes. You'll need a center seat or kneeling thwart for solo paddling.

A 17 foot boat is rather long for solo
whitewater. I used to solo an OT Tripper on class 2+ whitewater, but only when the water was high and wavy, or when I planned to stand and pole part of the time.

The Venture would make a pretty good poling boat. Otherwise, I’d regard it as mainly a tandem river canoe. It’ll be a bit slow on lakes, and heavy on portages.

But the price is good for a Royalex canoe in very good shape with outfitting.

looks like a nice all around kinda boat
should work for introducing you to whitewater- if you get bitten by the whitewater bug you’ll want to swap it out for something better suited. For a long time I didn’t know there were special canoes for ww-I used alumacrafts, grummans,trippers, explorers, discoveries, blueholes-I took some major beatdowns and even wrapped a few boats- first read and then watched path of the paddle. I was several years into it before paddling my first true ww boat, an ME and then a flashback. I still take my adventurer 16 (a cheap polyboat) out on class II and III and it certainly isn’t designed for that. Sounds like a good deal to me. I say go for it! Go have some fun.