Got the itch

To buy another boat. This is my first year and I’ve been using a Dagger Blackwater 10.5 and it does well for the conditions I use it in. I’ve done some flatwater(does great). I’ve done some coastal water (does fine staying close to shore). But my passion is river running where I’ve done class I & II with it. It does pretty good I think, but I have nothing to compare it against. If I had taken up this sport twenty years ago I know I would have had a passion for class III+ whitewater. But I’m a 42 year old mom of 5, so I don’t think I’ll be progressing much beyond class II in the thrill factor at this point. I’m not interested in touring or overnight trips.

So anyhow, I’ve been renting gear to take one of my sons with me each time I want to go out, but I think its time to invest in a second boat. What I haven’t decided, is if I just want to pick up a cheap Dicks boat for the kids to use, and keep using my Blackwater. Or if I want to hand down my Blackwater to the kids and buy me a new one. I feel like I’m ready for something a little more tipsy with more secondary stability (the Blackwater is totally flat on the botton and gets stuck on every rock passing when the water is low). But I’m not sure I want anything longer (maybe up to 12 feet?) for the type of water I’m running. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Also, I know everybody suggests try before you buy, but I haven’t had any luck finding a place to try various models. I’m in Central Virginia if anyone has any suggestions on where to go. Thanks!

If you’ve got the money
Buy up. Your kids should be fine in the Blackwater. In fact, those Dick’s boats are so wide, they may be frustrated learning to paddle them because they aren’t tall enough/don’t have long enough arms to paddle without banging the sides.

I’m up in Ohio, but know several people who purchased boats in Virginia at some place called the Appomattox River company, or something like that? I think it is a huge dealer, where you could see lots of different boats.

But I guess what I really need to know, is what would a “buy-up” be for what I’m using it for? Do I want something narrower? Something longer? Is more secondary stability what I really want on simple class I & II water with stretches of flat water?

Well, there’s so many choices
But it doesn’t appear you are looking for a whitewater boat. In that case, I’d look for a plastic boat with a 24 inch beam. That is generally the narrow end of recreation boats. You can develop a more efficient paddle stroke with a boat that width, but it won’t be so tippy that you don’t feel comfortable in it after a very short time on the water. My favorite non-whitewater shallow river boat is my Walden Vista: 12.5 feet long, and 24 inch beam.

Try the Tsunami 120 or 125
It’s a little tipsy and has a snug cockpit.

I was going to say that if I had a spouse and 5 kids I might try class VI but that would depend on the spouse and the kids.

I wouldn’t waste money on a cheapie because you already have 1 quality kayak and you want another one. The kids will adapt quicky to anything you put them in and could care less as long as it floats. After 5 kids you deserve the upgrade so get yourself a new one.

Let us know when you get the new addition.

Happy hunting


Necky Manitou
An excellent all-around boat – fast, comfortable, maneuverable, a good transition boat from a Blackwater 10.5. With a skirt and perhaps a flotation bag for the bow, should be able to handle some low-level whitewater, Class II easily. Plus it won’t break the bank. They’re fairly reasonable, a lot of boat for the money.

Liquid Logic Pisgah?

Why not try a crossover boat
such as the pyranha master tg?

For class II

– Last Updated: Aug-20-07 8:08 AM EST –

I am going to disagree with many of the above, agree with wetzool. Get a WW boat, perhaps a creeker if you want something protective, or at the least a boat like the Dagger Approach that is designed to handle low level WW as well as be a small lakes boat.

Even in class II the water can get quite pushy, and while the longer boats can be made to work in the right hands they are simply not nearly as effective or in the end as much fun. It'll be a bear to practice making eddies in those boats, while a boat intended to handle that situation will make it much more easy and fun.

Also capsizes even in class II can bash up body parts if you come out of the boat. My husband and I have both foiund that one this season.

for all the suggestions. After reading all of the descriptions and reveiws for each of the models listed, I think the Dagger Approach may just be what I’m looking for.