Dagger Blackwater 11.5 or 12.0

Hello all,

I’ve finally decided to move up a bit from the recreational toys I’m used to. I’m very interested in purchasing a Dagger Blackwater.

Any of you have experience with the 11.5 or the 12.0? I found a good price on last year’s 11.5, but the flatter bottom worries me.

Any comments or suggestions are appreciated.


Mine was SLOOOW
I had a blackwater 12. It pushes a big bow wave and was the slowest 12 foot boat I ever owned. It was fun in waves and rivers where turning fast and handling mattered more than hull speed. I finally sold it because it was sloer than I could solo paddle a tandem canoe.

yeah i’ve heard mixed reviews about the hull speed. i’m also looking at a manitou 13, though it’s considerable more expensive.

When it comes to fishing…
I love the Blackwaters. It’s still a recreational, though a bit more aggressive than other recreationals.

My paddling frequently involves going downriver where relative speed of one hull over another is not very important. However, I found the Blackwaters easy enough to attain for a second chance at a drift when I wanted to.

  • Big D

I agree
It would make a good down river drift boat for trout and small mouth water where an occasional rapid must be run.

For those Waters I just prefer a canoe.

It was also a decent boat in the surf.

Blackwater series
I think the Blackwaters are decent boats if you plan on doing more moving water that flat. I have an old, original version Blackwater 10.5; it’s bow is even less fine than the newer ones. It’s fun for poking around coves and such, but any attempts to eke out a fast pace will see a bow wave washing over the deck like an attack sub at speed. However, on moving water with the skeg up and a spray skirt, it’s a reasonably competent boat for a rec. design. I had a blast ramming mine through 2.5 - 3 foot wave trains last summer.


Are you still looking for a Dagger? My friend has one near Buffalo, NY that he may want to sell.