Dagger Alchemy

Hello to all,

does anyone have experience with the Dagger Alchemy 14.0?

I am looking for:

  • good, straight tracking
  • 12 hours / day touring and
  • good initial stability as I am taking pictures with my DSLR …

    Any comments are appreciated - thanks - Rudy

Demoed one briefly
I demoed the 14.0S last month. I liked it because it’s designed to be fairly manueverable. Tracking seemed fine with the skeg up, but if you want harder tracking you could drop the skeg. The Tsunami 140 might another option in that range.

is designed to be a playboat for rough water. Surf, rock gardens, class I & II whitewater, etc., is what it will excell at. It’s a crossover boat between light whitewater and sea kayaing that’ll cross over a lake as well. It’s highly rockered to aid in quick turns, but has a skeg to help tracking on flat water.

I was impressed with its maneuverability on a flat water test and bet it would be a blast in ocean surf and rock hopping. It great for rolls and balance braces. It comes with the standard, and very comfortable, Confluence adjustable seat, with a nice backband, rather than the restrictive high back seat. I paddled both the 140L and 140S versions and at 5’ 8" and 175lbs. fit nicely in the 140S.



Dagger Alchemy
I demo’d the 14L and Tsunami 140 & 145 on the same day. For reference I’m 6’2" 195. Overall I liked the Alchemy the best. It was very responsive, carved nice turns, but tracked well enough with the skeg up. Primary stability was OK but not like the Tsunami’s.

I liked the feel of the Alchemy better and it also seemed to paddle easier with better glide.

Demo was on a pond, flat conditions, not much breeze.

Dagger Alchemy
Thanks to your input so far!!!

Looks like that’s my choice!

More feedback is welcome …

Thanks again - Rudy

what they said…
great tracking w/skeg deployed…EZ turning with 'er up. good stability and easy to edge.

good luck


Man, did you hear what they said? This is NOT a straight tracking boat. That was the first thing on your list. Straight tracking is not was this boat was designed for. It only tracks with the skeg down, and that adds drag. A kayak with less rocker will track better with less drag than this boat. A little less drag is going to add up for you in a hurry on your 12 hour days. I’ve demoed it too. It’s a snug fit. What’s your size? You may want to give this more thought. Just trying to help.

Possibly still good match for him
You have a point about skegs providing some drag and there is wasted energy from correcting boat wanderings also.

However, since the length of this boat is not so long as to have allot of freeboard and thus less windage, and the speed of touring for him is likely to be less than 4 knots, it is possible that the boat will not have that much drag even with a skeg part way down and it may track well at these slower speeds too!

My GF has a 14 foot Mystic and she has zero problems with tracking and hardly ever uses the skeg. I tried the boat and is is likely a similar boat to this one in that is has quite a bit of rocker too.

So, yes, it maybe he would be better off in another boat, but since this one has so little wetted surface area when used at touring speeds it could be terrific.

Can not have everything
Thanks jesse59 and tideplay for your input and ALL the others

I am aware that the Dagger Alchmemy has not “perfect” tracking What boat would have better tracking (for the same amount of money) ?

As one of my resources is limited (money), I can not go much higher than the 1,295 Dollars for the Alchemy.

Anyway, every input is more than welcome!!!

Thanks again - Rudy

photog priorities
every avid photog I know who takes pix from the water (pro or amateur) favors a boat w. high initial stability and a fairly large cockpit to allow them

to easily stow and reach gear.

Of that group most prefer a ruddered boat bec. it allows them to steer in those final feet for a shot w. while getting their cameras ready. If they do wildlife pix a silent glide to position is very valuable so they look for a boat with a quiet bow.

Yes. This man makes sense. I’m thinking for you the Tsunami 140 with a rudder. Or if you want a sportier feel check out the Venture Easky 15 with a rudder. The Easky has lower initial stability but is way faster, with a cleaner entry at the bow and responds very well to edging. Drop the rudder, frame your subject, glide in, click. First Prize Winning Shot. Also the Perception Carolina 14 has a big cockpit and high initial stability, but lacks sex appeal and street cred. Like anybody cares.

spot on!
thanks jesse for the concurrence… only I am a woman who occasionally makes sense '-)


oh wow
That’s good input — Thank you

I will look into these Kayaks too

Rudy (5’9" and 180 lbs)

Alchemy 14
I own an alchemy 14L and I love it. It has fatastic stability and with the skeg down it tracks better than any other kayak i have ever paddled. That said, for me the one flaw it has is a low profile at the front bulk head. I have to be barefoot or wear my FiveFingers… no other shoes will fit. But i am 6’4" and a size 13 foot… so I am sure most people wont have a problem. It fits snug, which is why i bought it. It was between that and the Wilderness systems Tsunami. I like the Tsunami alot but it felt a bit too roomy for me. I feel like I am wearing the Alchemy rather than sitting in it. It becomes part of you and reacts to your every move. For my needs it is perfect.


– Last Updated: Apr-10-10 5:00 PM EST –

I have owned both the large and small versions, the large is more stable with a drier ride, the small is more fun but very cramped, i have just been using the small in some bouncy water and its perfect for my 75kg weight, both are quite agile, respond well to edging etc, i have no problem keeping mine straight without using the skeg, as someone else said its designed as a rockhopper/playboat rather than an all day cruiser,my only gripe is that the hatches aren't 100% watertight.
North shore have just announced the plastic version of the Atlantic, (not the rebranded Aquanaut)in the UK its coming out £100 cheaper than the Alchemy, its a 17ft stable regular sea kayak.

I have a Alchemy 14L and I like it very much. I ame 5’ 11" and 205lbs. I have little experience with kayaks but have paddled a tempest 170 and a manitou 13 for comparison. I find the achemy to be very responsive. My only gripe is without the skeg yo have to be on your game paddling or it wants to skid out. with the skeg down it tracks great. I think if I were more dedicated to flat water I would chose a better tracking boat. But if you want a do all this might be a good choice. I think I would go with the s model if I had to do it over though.


I am 6’4" with a size 14 foot. I drilled an extra set of holes for the footpeg rails and moved them forward so they are tight against the bulkhead. Now My 14’s fit fine while wearing NRS paddling shoes (which run a bit large and fit me in size 13) I plugged the old holes by putting a screw with a neoprene washer thru from the inside and just cutting the screw off flush to the outside of the hull. no leaks.

Love my new Alchemy

– Last Updated: Jul-20-12 9:34 PM EST –

Just bought the Alchemy 14s. I'm 6' and 190 lbs and it's a snug fit. That's that way I like it so I'm very happy. Pulled out the foot pegs and replaced with foam against the bulkhead. Very comfortable now. I've only had it on flat water so far but I love it. It's sporty and playful. Tracks fine without the skeg and is so easy to turn. Can't wait to get in some conditions. If you want a compact rotomolded kayak that has great performance, this is the one. It's definately not Grandpas' Old Town that's for sure. Rolls really easy too!