Beginner: Dagger Caption

We recently came into possession of a Dagger Caption. It is currently outfitted solo.

We typically kayak class I-II rivers (Illinois River in OK - Buffalo River in AR).

Our interest is not in WW - meaning to stay in waters I-II and no higher. We would ideally like to use it tandem for overnight trips (gear, our pup, etc).

As we have came into possession of the boat for $100 - we would like to outfit it to our needs. Advice regarding outfitting, or if it is possible to outfit it to fit our needs would be appreciated. If this is unrealistic, please say so!

Additional info: I have been researching this model, as well as outfitting for WW boats. We are not keen on kneeling, so advice on outfitting for bench seats? Ex. Bench seat with knee pads for as needed. Air bags needed if not used WW? Flatwater handling?

Person 1: 6ft - 190lbs
Person 2: 5’7" - 195lbs

Have you had it out on the water?

I’m thinking that this may not be the canoe for your expressed needs. My memory of the Caption was that it was a hot WW tandem (or solo for a big person) in its day. Designed to be responsive to weight shifts in white water. Paddling flat water you may get an education on encouraging a “turney” boat to go straight (ish).

The Caption is very highly rockered and maneuverable and was considered to be among the four or five best Royalex whitewater tandem open boats ever made. It could certainly handle the weight of your tandem team and a healthy load.

Air bags are like spare tires. You can absolutely do without them until you need them. On rivers, I will usually have at least small end bags in my boat. Fully swamped boats without any supplemental flotation can be quite difficult to rescue from current. If you are absolutely certain that you will never capsize in current, you don’t need them. Large air bags do not need to be fully inflated if you are carrying gear. leave them secured to the stems (where you don’t want the weight of gear anyway) and inflate them enough until your gear contains them.

Sure you can rip out the existing outfitting and install wood frame seats suspended from the gunwales on hangers. If you do this and want to keep the option to kneel, they will have to be suspended high enough off the hull floor to provide plenty of clearance for your feet and foot gear. You don’t want your feet hanging up beneath the seat if you capsize and need to make a quick exit.

Is this the best boat for your needs? Probably not. Will it work? Yes. But if this boat is in decent condition you might be able to sell it for considerably more than you paid for it and buy something potentially better suited rather than reoutfit it. For overnight trips on Class I-II water you might be better suited to a boat that is a little longer and tracks somewhat more eagerly.

If you do decide to reoutfit it, I or others can offer advice on sources for wood frame seats, hardware, seat positioning, and additional outfitting such as kneeling pads. If so, posting pictures of the boat with its existing outfitting would be helpful.

Clean it up, and flip it.
Use the money to buy a canoe more suitable for your skill level and proposed usage.
Caption is not an ideal flatwater canoe; will just cause your unnecessary grief on class 1 and 2 rivers.

BOB