Dagger Meridian ?

At 6’ 220 lbs. how does the Dagger Meridian paddle (maneuverability, tracking, initial and secondary stability, speed etc.) compared to other shorter boats? Looking at a boat to be primarily used as a day use, play in the rocks a bit, play in the surf a bit without breaking the bank. How does it compare to the Romany HV as I paddled that a couple times? Avocet I am too big for and didn’t find the Romany HV even as maneuverable as a Cetus.

boats to try
Some boats to try:

SKUK (NDK) Romany or Romany HV

VCP Aquanaut (next size up from Avocet)

VCP Pintail

P&H Capella 167, possibly 163.

Not a big fan of Necky or Wilderness.

The Pintail is a great surf and rocks boat but a bit advanced.

I was told recently that the Meridian
is basically the same hull as a Zephyr. Or actually, since the Meridian predated it, the Zephyr has the same hull as the Meridian.

I looked closely at the Meridian the fellow had, and it sure looked like my Zephyr hull to me.

So if the Zephyr is like the Meridian, then I’d say it’s great for your identified use.

Dagger Meridian
The Zephyr is wider and has a huge cockpit compared to the Meridian and to me, felt significantly slower and less maneuverable too. The Meridian is no rocket on the water but feels a little quicker than either the Romany, Avocet or Pintail.

The Capella is about the same speed wise. In my view, and at my weight (190 lbs.), the Meridian (mine is the lower decked SKS) is more playful and more fun to paddle than any of the other 16’ X 22" options. It is very stable (almost too stable), super maneuverable, surfs great and has very balanced handling. The Romany is maybe a little more forgiving in very rough water and is better in following seas (and is a lot heavier). The Meridian can wander a bit in following seas due to its very flat bottom but is still better than the Avocet, Cappella or especially the Pintail. At your size and weight though, you might want to check out the Zephyrs if you don’t fit in the Meridian, they’re based on the same hull, but definitely feel different. They had an opportunity to make a really super boat when they set out to update the Meridian, but in my view, they messed it up for medium sized paddlers.

its gotta be more maneuverable
than the Romany Surf/HV which is not bad, but not nearly as good as the WS Zephyrs. the designer of the Zeph tells me it’s nearly the same boat as the Meridian and i’ve only paddled the Z’s. awesome kayaks. i’m selling my Romany S to be replaced with the Z16 in poly for reckless rock gardening in poppy seas.

does the designer
have any interaction with the builder of the composite Zephyr?

Hi, I’ve had 3 Meridians and think they are a lot of fun. Great handling stable and lighter than some. I carry similar weight and plan on keeping it around as a great play day boat. I have done a week in it but have a longer boat for tripping. Just a wee bit of skeg makes it a joy in following seas.