I may have the opportunity to look at a Perception Avatar 16 and a Dagger Magellan over the weekend. Both are roughly the same price (around $500 - fair?).
The listings for the two kayaks:
From what I can tell from the reviews:
The avatar will have the lower volume of the two and more agile (with the proper technique), while the Magellan can offers a less splashy ride and is more efficient at cruising? The avatar is more about the ride and the magellan is more of a cruiser?
The avatar will be roughly 5+ years younger than the magellan? - guessing by when they were last produced(Magellan 2002, Avatar 2007). I hear that Perception's quality was going downhill before then, would the Magellan have a better overall workmanship/quality over the Avatar? Anything I should be looking or asking in particular? I read somewhere that the Avatar's skeg bungee wears fairly quickly - is it easy to change? While the rudder on the Magellan oxidizes easily and gets sticky?
Any information, pointers, opinions would be greatly appreciated.
About me: 5'6", 150-170lbs, male, size 8 shoe. pretty much all of my kayaking are day trips in saltwater canals, creeks, occasional intercostal (South Florida) - eventually I would like to take more classes and move up to longer trips in more open water - currently using an older perception/aquaterra Acadia 12.5
pricing and boat choice
The price on the Magellan seems fair – I just sold my much older one without a paddle for $450. It’s a good all around boat though it is a little bargelike for somebody our size (you are about the same height and weight as me). I kept it for years as a loaner for friends but did use it occasionally myself. You are correct, it’s a great cruiser but handles surprisingly well for such a large boat. The biggest drawback is weight – at 62 lbs I was just tired of wrestling the thing.
The Avatar is lighter and lower volume and would be my preference if I was buying over the Magellan. However, you can’t guarantee what price you will get it for once bidding commences on it. You should be prepared as to what your maximum bid will be. Considering a similar brand new boat with paddle and PFD would run you around $1200 and up, you need to balance that against what you are willing to invest.