Am I HV or LV

Hey folks,
I am very very very keen to get my first kayak.

I’m looking at the Dagger Halifax 17 (High Volume) as it ticks all my boxes for a Sea kayak / Tourer, and there isn’t a whole lot second hand here in Victoria, Australia at the moment.

My only concern is whether it will fit me well, as I think I cusp on the edge of volume sizes, being 6.3 tall and 75kg (165lbs)

From what I read, my height puts me in a high volume but my weight and thin build puts me in a low-mid volume kayak.

What do I do?
Go for it and add some closed cell foam to the thigh and hip braces?
Or wait for something else?

Any help much appreciated,


I don’t think you’ll be happy in a high volume boat. At 165 pounds you are closer to needing a low volume boat if you’re not loading down with camping stuff; a mid volume if you are loading it down. If you go lower volume just move the seat back to accommodate your long legs.

I concur with Rex in that the Halifax will be too big for you based upon your weight. Even the brochure states " a big boat for big paddlers". Yes you can pad it out but the hull would not be sitting low enough at the designed level in the water. You can always ballast it out with needed gear and some water bladders.

I am a slender 160 lbs and 6-1 tall. My size 14 feet are a major factor as to what boats I can comfortably fit into and then paddle in comfort for hours.

Is the Vic Sea Kayak club still around? I was a member while I lived in Moonee Ponds from 2003 to 2006. They were always a great source of information, training and access to gear.

As Andy said, foot size is often more a limiting factor than leg length when it comes to deciding how small a kayak you can fit into. You really need to be able to try, or at least sit in the boat.

I’m 5’ 10", 155lbs and have always been in boats that are technically too big for me. After many years of paddling I decided to go smaller and bought a Delta 12s thats spec’d for paddlers up to about 160 lbs. There’s a small penalty in speed with a shorter, smaller boat but now that I’m older that’s more than offset by the lighter weight and actually being able to sink a boat to it’s designed working water line makes for much better control and handling.

If it is a used boat for a decent price for its condition/age, I’d say go for it. Get it and paddle it for a while, as you learn and figure out what a better boat would be. Most people start (and prefer) larger boats and then get lower volume/tighter fitting boats as their skills improve. Few find the exact perfect boat on their first try, so buying and selling boats is the norm.


If you take a spare paddle and other safety gear and a day pack with extra clothes and sunscreen and lots of extra water and some food and whatever else you might enjoy while paddling you should be able to add at least 10 kg pretty easily. Sometimes canoe people bring water containers that they can fill at the launch site (and empty when they are done) if they want to add some weight to a boat that’s on the large side for solo use.

Sweet, Cheers Peter.

He’s got 1000AUD on it at the moment, and he quotes the RRP is or was 2,500 but I can’t see them sold anywhere, though it does sound about right considering what other Sea Daggers are going for new.
I was thinking to offer 900

It’s only been used half a dozen times as bike riding is winning his time. Looks to be in pretty good condition, just a few scratches.

Might grab it, play in it, camp with it until I know what to look for next.

Thanks Rex,

Yeah it probably isn’t perfect for me. I might give it a go for while as a stepping stone to something else. I would really like to do some trips with any boat I would get though, so maybe a low volume boat isn’t suitable for that? I estimate about 50% of the time I’ll use it for day paddling and the rest potentially some trips up to 1 week.

Nice. Thanks Andy,

Yeah it’s probably not suited to me.
From what I am seeing, most sea kayaks sold second hand are the same width and size though.

I do plan to do some trips with it, overnighters to week long trips aswell (mostly with a couple resupply points along the way)

I’m near Sale, Gippsland, it would be a dream to paddle out of the rivers here to Lakes Entrance and along the coast to Mallacoota one day.

I’ll have a look into the Vic Sea kayak club, thanks for the tip.

Would something a little shorter like 14feet and the same width be better or do I just need to look for a thinner boat?

Thanks pblanc,
Finding a kayak to fit sounds harder than the exercise itself. I do plan to sit in it. A test run isn’t possible for this one due to where it is sold is under curfew and distance from home restrictions.

On price, I don’t know that specific model boat nor what it would go for. Add to this I would need to translate from Aussie dollars to US dollars to make sure I understand actual price…

In general, used boats go for between 1/3rd and 2/3rd of new. Age and condition would set where within this range the boat should fall.

It looks to be a plastic kayak. New plastic sea kayaks in this length range with rudders generally sell for about US$1500. Might be higher in Oz with importing issues. 10+ years ago, they were probably closer to $1000 as new boats.

Do you have a feel for how old this particular boat is? The guy you might buy from used it a half dozen times - is he the first owner?

DaggerHalifaxProfilePhoto I’m paddling a Dagger Halifax 17 here. 6’ 0", probably around 180 lbs here. I paddled it a lot at 170 lbs when I first got it. It was roomy but it rolled easily for me without any extra padding. The back deck isn’t low, but there was a good amount of room between the seated position and the rear coaming, so it was easy to lay on the back deck. It’s a very maneuverable sea kayak on edge with really strong secondary stability. A lot of fun to maneuver. It’s a fairly heavy layup - 68 lbs? It paddles fine unloaded. You wouldn’t have any particular trouble with that. It has some tendency to weathercock, so extra weight in the stern first works best. It’s not a speedster for a 17’ kayak, but it handles waves pretty well. A smaller volume kayak would probably be more ideal, but this would get you on the water with a lot of packing room, and you can learn most all things sea kayaking in it. In the US Dagger made it for a few years around 15 years ago.

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Nice one, thanks Peter

Glad to hear it’s not the end of the world to paddle a larger boat. Perhaps some water and camping gear and it may work a little better for me.

Good info.

Some of these Dagger kayaks seemed to be made in Australia, perhaps it’s just the newer current ones, not sure.

Not sure when the actual boat was made, but a comment below says 15 years ago in the US.

He bought it new 6 years ago and it’s been stored under cover that whole time.

Amazing, thanks CapeFear

Glad to hear it serves you well considering we have a similar build. Looks like lots of fun there

Appreciate the counter weather cocking tip.
I’m leaning towards going for it now.

Is it your only boat?

Sounds like a go, thanks Tom

I would love to do some overnighters and longer trips with it.

If it’s not perfect use it for while and then find another boat and a HV girlfriend.


I know CapeFear, and he has a sizable fleet. Puts my 6 kayaks, to shame. He is a phenomenal paddler, and a fine instructor. Happy to paddle with him, from time to time.

That’s a lot of boats