Blackwater vs. Kestrel

I am getting ready to buy my first Kayak. I have done a lot of research that has led me to two boats (definitely will to hear additional suggestions if you all have any). I am looking for a boat to simply have some light kayaking overnight trips with some small rapids. So, this has led me to the Dagger Blackwater 11.5 or the Current Designs Kestrel. Any recommendations on these boats (or others that I should look into)? Thanks!

there are lots of kestrel models

camping in blackwater 11.5
I have camped out of my Dagger Blackwater 11.5 for several years now. I’ve carried all I need for a two night trip in my boat and it was still easy to control the boat (I weigh 150 and probably had 75 lbs of gear)

I would recommend getting flotation bags for paddling when you aren’t carrying camping gear. Before I got my air bags I flipped it in a shallow rapid. When it was full of water it was tough to drag it to the river bank. That was with a rear bulkhead. . . if you didn’t have the bulkhead it would really be bad.

My husband paddles a Current Designs Breeze. Between the two of us we can easily carry enough for a week on the river.

Both out boats handle easy whitewater (both have done up to Class II runs. The Blackwater is not a fast boat but it turns very easily. The cockpit is small enough I can brace with my knees to lean the boat. I can’t roll it but a friend who is great in serious whitewater can roll it easily.

Kestrel Camping
I’ve camped a couple of times with my Kestrel. Even loaded for a couple of nights, with stuff lashed on the deck, the boat tracked fine and handled wind and waves without problems. Ditto the comments on additional flotation - my Kestrel was really hard to drag onto shore the only time I was swamped. It works just fine for short camping trips, and I’m looking forward to more this summer!

I almost chose the Kestral…But went with The CD Breeze for a foot longer What a great Boat…

I am sure the Kestral could get into Tighter spaces because of it’s Size I have a 10 ft. Rec. Kayak which is quite Versatile…Just depends on what you want to do …I like Both of my Kayaks for Different reasons…In Fact I’m off in 30 min. for a Paddle at sunrize…Enjoy…


what model kestrel ???

– Last Updated: Mar-30-06 5:40 PM EST –

120 TCS, 120 roto , 140, 140 sot, or 140 roto ???