Dagger Callisto or ???

Unable to find information on a Dagger Callisto that I saw for sale for $500. From the photo it looks to be in very good condition and has a rudder.

I had been considering an Alchemy 14s demo for $650 because I’m very small, but read a review stating that it was relatively slow for its size.

Another kayak that was recommended for small paddlers was the Tsunami 135, but I’ve yet to see a used one.

I live a couple blocks from Lake Michigan, so want something that can handle rough water if necessary, and I love playing in waves, but prefer something that is maneuverable enough for small rivers as well.

I have a Tsunami SP, which is a great little boat, and outfitted similar to a sea kayak, but is a little too small for me.

When I called Confluence for recommendations, I was told to look at a Katana 9.7, which seems to be an entirely different type of boat?

I would appreciate any advice or suggestions from those who may be more experienced, or who have experience with any of these kayaks.

Old obsolete model
When I was first looking into getting a kayak, REI had one Callisto around. If my memory is correct, it had a beam of 24 or 25", a very rounded hull profile, and was shorter than a sea kayak but longer than a rec kayak. I don’t know anything more about it except that that was pretty much the last I heard of that model. Date was in late 2000, so it is likely a very old kayak.

Don’t get too caught up with speed.
I try not to get too caught up in the “this kayak is slower than that kayak” argument.

If the Alchemy is slow or not only matters if you have the ability and power to actually push it to its maximum speed. Sure, a narrow 18ft kayak would be fast, but how many of us are really paddling at such a high pace all the time?

If you have been using a Tsunami SP, you’re probably not doing long distance expeditions or races, so I would worry too much about speed. I think the Alchemy would be adequate for most day trips and playing around. I demoed one a while back and thoroughly enjoyed it.

l remember the Callisto

– Last Updated: Jul-17-15 7:54 AM EST –

It was a hot new model when we got our first transition boats. A woman in our free basics class that came with the purchase had one.

I have since paddled the Alchemy. Full disclosure, if l was to add boats to my fleet at this point in time one of them would be on the list.

My recall of the Callisto is that it was not as fully rigged out with the basics for big water, that includes the great lakes, as an Alchemy. Definitely do not remember perimeter lines and l am not sure there were two bulkheads.

I would advise to at least check the features carefully. I also question whether the Calistoga would be as good at handling the waves you mention - it was a transition boat. Not the little version of a full out sea kayak like the alchemy. I also am not sure it would be any faster.

And if you want to mess around in waves,now fast do you need to go in a straight line? We have people in alchemy in the evening paddle group at hime. They all seem to keep up with the moderate pace group just fine

Also, you will likely never deploy a rudder to really play in waves once you get the hang of them, for a bunch of very practical reasons you l'll find out about. You may find use for a skeg.

Good memory!
You are right in your recollections. The Callisto that is for sale is 13’8" x 24", has a rear hatch and bungies, but no deck lines.

Thank you! You are correct, have mainly played, but when the reviewer seemed to reject (Woman on Water) the Alchemy based on it being slow, I thought that was something I should consider while shopping.

Thank you!
You are absolutely correct in your recollection of the Callisto. In looking at photos of the Callisto and Alchemy online, they look so much alike that I wondered if perhaps the only difference was the addition of bulkheads and perimeter lines on the Alchemy?


– Last Updated: Jul-17-15 11:26 AM EST –

I demoed the Callisto in 2000. It's funny, but the main thing I remember about that boat was how low the bow profile was. It just seemed very odd. I did not buy it because I figured if my husband ever wanted to paddle it, there was no way his size 11's would fit.

That Alchemy sounds like just the ticket for you.

night and day
I have had occasion to speak with the guy who designed the alchemy. There is no relationship between tbe alchemy znd yhe callisto. The alchemy is a true performance hull dedigned pretty much on its own that, for once, the corporate folks did not get their hands in. The Calisto was just an early attempt to tweak a transition hull, probably is most related to the old Cypress also no longer around, for a smaller paddler.

I am guessing that you are someone who has mot proceded to getting a roll, because wet work is where you really see the alchemy shine. I suggest you start on that soon if you want to mess around in waves on the great lakes.

No rolling, bu lots of
Capsizing :slight_smile: Thank you for the clarification on the relationship between the Callisto and Alchemy.

I was able to go look at the Callisto yesterday, and it is in very good condition, but did look aged. The seller is an advanced paddler who purchased it for his wife so she could go out on the big lake with him, but apparently she didn’t use it much. He told me some exciting paddling stories from his past, so the hour drive was well worth it!

Thank you, that seems
to be the consensus! :slight_smile: