Dagger Cortez/Halifax


Anyone have a opinion on which hull design would be prefered for more open water ? Both boats seem to be about the same size (5" difference in length, 1" in width), but according to Dagger the halifax (22" wide, 15’7" in length) seems to be more stable than the cortez (23" wide 15’2" long). Lastly the local shop also has a perception eclipse 14.5 in stock…How would these three compare ?

I know that I should be test paddling these, etc; but the local shop does not allow. All three boats have the same listed MSRP; but the Halifax would have to be ordered, so less leverage when haggling (just something to keep in mind…)

Thanks in advance,

Steve H

wont let you try the boats?
would you buy a car without a test drive? the shops i visit allow trials. what kind of service can you expect from someone who wont even let you try the boats? are they being offered at a discount?

I see your point…However, I suppose that being the only dealer in a large area allows them to operate how they see fit…

I have a Dagger Cortez and really enjoy it, but I haven’t paddle the others you mentioned, so I can’t compare them. I do agree with Danny that you should test them out, and if the dealer won’t let you, consider finding a dealer who will.


Thanks. I really do see the point and common sense in testing items out; its just a shame that I cannot do that locally.


can you pressure the dealer
if you feel confident that you are going to buy the best choice among the boats he has to offer, show him this thread on his computer and help him be aware that most dealers allow trials before purchase. i would not buy from a dealer that did not provide this basic service unless i knew exactly what i wanted from a previous trial

Not a bad idea, its worth a try…



Dagger Cortez Review
Two Caveats: I’m not an expert paddler and I don’t like boats where you have to use a rudder. I paddled a Cortez for about 2 hours and its the only boat I have ever had any problem making go straight. Maybe it was the boat, maybe it was me . It worked OK with the rudder but I felt like I was using the rudder a lot to keep it tracking. This is probably the least favorite boat I have tried out. I would not want to be out in big following seas in this boat.

Thanks for the review; 95% of everything I’ve read/heard thus far has agreed with your review. It seems as if the Halifax still may be the best bet for me.

Thanks again,


You could
contact Dagger and tell them you want to do a test paddle and tell them your story. I have a Cortez 16.5, check my reviews. It would be great if you could choose from some other companies. Current Designs and Necky make some excellent boats.

I just did that…
I just contacted dagger and this was their reply:

“…The Eclipse 14.5 will be an Intermediate to advance style kayak, while the Halifax 15.5 will be Beginner to advance.

The Halifax will be more stable, and a little faster. The Eclipse will turn faster, and overall more maneuverable.

Both are great boats, but it will up to the use as to which type of paddling they what to do…”

I have tested out a current designs squamish, and to me I didn’t think that the construction seemed as solid as the Dagger. Ditto for the Sirocco - which for the price, you’d think you’d get a better seat. I suppose for me it seemed as if they type of plastic they used felt thin.

Thanks again,


And another…
This one is from Dagger Tech:

“Honestly, at your size you’d probably feel more comfortable in the Eclipse. The Halifax 15.5 is actually designed as a full-on expedition boat for smaller paddlers, where the Eclipse 14.5 is designed as a shorter and more maneuverable touring boat for medium to large paddlers. So it’s sort of an apples-to-oranges comparison. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the Halifax 15.5 is more like the Shadow 16.5 than the Eclipse 14.5. Make sense?”

Does Dagger
really believe that they can predict how someone is going to react to one of their boats? As long as they’ve been in the business and they don’t know the value of demo, demo, demo? By the way, try the Current Designs models in the water, preferably rough water, which is where they and Necky’s shine. Construction is important, but for me, how it handles takes a higher priority. Good construction does not necessarily equate to a boat that you would feel comfortable in on the water.

Dagger Cortez 15’
This was my most recent purchase after checking out a lot of kayaks. Initial stability is not that great but, that does not bother me. So far, it has tracked well and performed nicely in small to medium waves on Lake Michigan. I don’t believe in using the rudder but that is a personal choice. If you have a good forward stroke going I do not imagine you will have any problems. Keep in mind though, each boat regardless of brand is individual. Two Cortez’s may not handle the same. So, I bought my demo when I found a kayak that was comfortable for me.

Take a trip or
make a weekend of going to a place that allows you to test paddle. I live in a large city and to try what I wanted to buy I drove for 2 1/2 hours to a dealer that had test paddles all day (some only have certain nights of the week). I went with the idea of purchasing one of two models (Carolina or Whistler) and came home with a Necky Looksha Sport! It is a great boat for me at this time. So follow the advice often mentioned here and test paddle. Make a day of it - I had alot of fun trying out the different models.