Dagger Catalyst 12.8 or Necky Manitou ?

-- Last Updated: Apr-13-06 9:50 AM EST --

I know you guys get tired of listening to newbies, but here goes:

I've been researching kayaks for about three months. I live about 2 minutes from the Chattahoochee river Natl recreation area in Atlanta, GA. Its a slow moving and wide river at the point where I am paddling, and will be my primary paddling spot. I recently went to the REI demo days, and paddled a bunch of boats. I have no interest in WW... other than the mild class I/II that one might encounter. I might paddle in the lake, and maybe even in an easy ocean environment (not often... once per year!). I probably WILL take it on an overnighter or weekend in some place like the Okeefenokee (sorry for the spelling).

I have narrowed my choices down to these two boats: the Dagger catalyst 12.8 or the Necky Manitou. I've paddled the Necky, but no one around here has a Catalyst. The Catalyst would be internet, and I have no opportunity to paddle it first. Of course, reviews on paddling.net are useless because they are always glowing.

While the catalyst is normally a much more expensive boat, it would actually be cheaper for me. It would not come with rudder. The dual bulkheads appeal to me, as does the optional rudder.

REI is local, so the Necky Manitou would be too. Its a fine boat.

I believe these are comparable boats and am looking for folks who have paddled them both to give me an honest opinion. Thanks

p.s. Have to make a decision by Apr 16. Thanks.


I only have experience w/ the Necky
Manitou, which I liked very much. you shouldn’t purchase a kayak unless you can try it first. You might get lucky, but if the fit is not right you will be disappointed. Go with what feels good and have fun. you can always sell it and upgrade later

my two cents
I have paddled both, and both are nice boats. If having two hatches is important to you, get the Catalyst. The Catalyst has a larger cockpit than the Manitou, and that could be good or bad depending on your preference. Personally, I like the smaller cockpit of the Manitou. But those are the only things to me that are significantly different about the boats.

Neither of them would be a mistake.


Now that I re-read your post

– Last Updated: Apr-15-06 2:21 AM EST –

it seems like the two hatches (Catalyst) would be a big plus for you.

I know I'll catch hell for this, but "try before you buy" is overrated. Yes, it's good advice, but tomorrow I'm selling a boat I bought new and have only paddled three times, and I HATE it. And I DID try it first. Problem was, I tried it on completely flat water... not even a breeze. When I got the boat in the conditions in which I normally paddle, it behaved quite differently and I never would have bought it if I'd known.

On the other hand, I have bought a few boats without trying them, just doing some research first, and picked things that seemed good on paper. Some turned out well and some did not, but the ratio of satisfactory to unsatisfactory doesn't seem to be connected to having test paddled them first.

That's just my experience, and I do still think test paddling is a good idea and certainly can't hurt anything. But the Catalyst is a very nice rec/day touring boat; I think you'd like it. (This advice may be worth what you paid for it.)

Maybe look at Manitou 14?
Two hatches / bulkheads, skeg, same cockpit and comfy seat, very stable. Nice little boat.

Liquidlogic Pisgah 14
is another good choice in this category.

Went with the manitou
I went with the Necky Manitou. 13’ was the true maximum length I could go to… no room to store a 14’ boat (even 13’ is a stretch). Anyway, thanks for the advice. I let you know how it goes.

Congrats on the new boat
I think you will like it.

congradulations !!!
cool !! congrats on the manitou ! nice boat !!