Dagger Magellan: Reclusive kayak?

Hey all, I’ve got the chance to pick up a Dagger Magellan at a pretty decent price. Looks like a nice design, svelt, good length, good outfitting, decent reviews…truth be told, I’m a bit excited, but I’ve got this nagging in the back of my mind. Why don’t I see any out on the water? Why doesn’t anybody here talk about theirs? If it was a manufacturer based in Australia, I could understand…but it’s not. It’s been out of production for two years now, but I would hope that they aren’t all toast already. Any closet Magellan owners out there? If there’s a serious flaw, I’d like to know now before it’s too late. Thanks.


Check the reviews…
…right here on p.net:


Lots of folks seem to have an opinion bout the Magellan!


Decent reviews, but only two in the last year. I did an archive search and, other than this one, there’s only two threads that mention it total. Where’d they all go?

if you like the boat…
…and the price is right, why pass it up just because everybody doesn’t have one? That might make sense when buying a car, though. Growing up, I could never stay away from the rare makes/models. They weren’t reliable. But what’s to break down on a kayak?

I have had the magellan for 3 years now, several camping trips and lots of days on the water. It is a pretty good all-around kayak, good but not great tracking, very manuverable if you lean it a bit, handles rough water well. I often paddle from the narrows on Lake George back to Bolton in the afternoon, when the waves tend to be 3 foot and coming from all directions due to the boats. Lots of fun.

The reason you don’t see this boat on the site is that Dagger dropped it 2 years ago, along with 2/3 of their touring boats. This was after they were bought out by the owners of perception and they decided to make Dagger a whitewater and extreme company with some rec boats too. A sad day for those of us who appreciated the quality we had seen with Dagger boats, much better than that of Perception. Hopefully Perception has stepped up at their end.

Anyway, I don’t think you would be unhappy with this boat, but as always, if you can paddle it before you buy, that is the best way to find out.

it’s a decent kayak
Dagger,Perception,Wilderness Systems, Necky all whip out new boats every year for market reasons.

So the reason the Magellan isn’t around has more to do with marketing than any deficit in the design. My experience with the Dagger boats is that the rigging will break so you can get ahead of that by replacing the lines/bungie with heavier stuff. The rudder deployment anchor hardware near the cockpit can break if the kayak is rolled hard too many times on a hard surface because it’s mounted right on the outside edge. I think it’s a very good all around medium priced big boat. It’s maneuverability/lean-to-turn charachteristics are good,weathercocks noticable but that’s what the rudder is for and the maneuverability is just right for that weatherocking. The plastic can get wobbley on the bottom but that’s in the nature of that and other designs of the period. The bulkheads should hold up but be prepared to reglue them in a couple years of use,or heavy use. I wouldn’t see anything wrong with making another set of minicell bulkheads to back up the plastic ones when they fail.

If it really is a good deal,near new condition and 2/3 new price,it’s worth getting if you want to get on the water in a “do all” sea kayak.

Thanks for the input all.
As said, I suspect that the rarity is due in part to being out of production for two years and Watermark cutting the Dagger touring fleet. I just wanted to make sure it wasn’t some catostophic defect like poor UV resistance in the plastic or the likes. LeeG, when you said “weathercock”, I trust you meant that it turns into the wind? Some people use it as a general term meaning to turn because of wind. I definately don’t want a boat that leecocks.

It does turn into the wind unless it’s loaded. Being a fair volume boat, it needs 20 or 30 punds in each end to lower it in the water. Otherwise, use the rudder to hold it straight.

I haven’t had any trouble with oil canning, mine is a newer one (one of the last made). The older ones were softer plastic.

Weathercocking, as in “into”, the wind slightly is what I’d prefer. This one’s a '98 by the HIN, so I’ll keep the plastic in mind. BTW, good points about a boat’s personality empty vs. loaded to its intended capacity and reinforcing the bulkheads with minicel. Thanks again.

I liked it for instruction
unlike the stiff tracking boats a person could actually see some turning movement for their effort and a distinct change in turning with leaning. This may seem minor but it’s fundamental to have a student be able to see the connection between knee/hang and sweep. It’s less clear on some boats. And yes it’s too big for a 150lb person,ideal for 200lb. If the design was cleaned up with a skeg and stiffer plastic was used it could have been kind of a big Capella or precursor to the Tempest,golly guess it was in a sense. Just another marketing experiment during the growing pains of conglomeration.

Heck buy it
and if ya don’t like it I will take it off your hands!

H2Outfitters used them for classes
at the ECCKF, I thought they handled pretty well, and were comfortable.

and actually weighed less
than some other plastic boats,not much lighter but some were noticably heavier,the Atlantis maybe,possibly the Eclipse, they shoulda made the Avatar in thermoplastic and a skegged Magellan.

Thanks again one and all.
Well, I picked it up this weekend, and what a beauty. I’d call the hull near pristine condition. After six years of use and two previous owners, it’s in better shape than my Pungo140 was new with only one trip under its belt (rocky river). It’s been well pampered, no signs of deformations, etc. I do have a couple outfitting issues to address before its maiden voyage (with me at least) though. LeeG, I see what you mean about the rudder hardware; I’ll be dealing with that on dry land, thank you very much. Also, I will be adding thigh braces as the original owner removed them. Found a set ready to install for $55. It did not come with huricane hatch covers installed either, but I think I’ll test the rubber in rolling practice enough before I decide if it really needs them or not.

Thanks guys. You all can be a well-spring of knowledge, the voice of reason, and a great reference tool for the future. Brent, I love this site!