help building an arsenal


Family of 5 (kids 11,13,14)

not much WW experience at all

typical water: pool and drop

goals: up to class 3 and we do a lot of overnights

current boats: (2) 17’ OT trippers, (1) hemlock SRT, (1) MR Outrage just purchased but haven’t pick up yet.

There are 5 additional boats near me for sale. (2) Dagger Caption, (1) Dagger Impulse, (1) MR Howler, and (1) MR Fantasy II

Would it add flexibility to own any of the above 5 as well? The Trippers are a lot of boat for a pair of kids to handle. Would a Dagger Caption be a better fit? Maybe buy both of them and with the Outrage fit all five of us? Any comments on the characteristics of the above boats would be appreciated as well as advise on whether any of the boats would be of benefit with what we now own.

Thanks, ed

an aresenal is a collection of weapons and army equipment…

I think you may mean fleet…

I am not familiar with WW boats carry on.

right on!
A collection of weapons. I meant what I said, different guns for different quarry.

MR Boats
I used to paddle ww in a Fantasy. It was a very wet ride–you need to learn to block waves in that boat. The Outrage was the boat that replaced the Fantasy in the MR line, but I never paddled one. It seems like you would be taking a step back to go from the Outrage to the Fantasy.

Other than that, I have no experience with the boats you mention.


I’m suing for copyright infringement
I’m already known as Mr. Fantasy.

family boats
From our experience (3 boys). Yes, smaller boats for smaller paddlers. The Caption is a popular small ww tandem. The Impulse could be paddled tandem I think by teams up to 250 but I havent tried it. With 5 paddlers you will likely want 5 paddling stations. In our case the solo paddler was the oldest child. Unless that paddler is man-size, a fairly small solo like the Fantasy might be best because it is narrowest. At one time it had the reputation of being a small paddlers boat. That is, too tippy for full size taller paddlers.

Good luck and be careful with your family if you take them to the rocks. Pool-drop is a lot of fun I never took my family beyond that.

Lots of old school choices there
I think everyone would agree the Caption is a great WW tandem and well worth having. It’s even a good big boy solo boat. You’d have no trouble selling it if you decided you didn’t agree. The Impulse is generally considered to be stable, dry, slow and DULL and in my limited experience that’s all true. However, there’s something to be said for all those characteristics, especially with regard to budding WW OC1ers. It’s also a good solo WW tripper. As long as you didn’t pay too much for it I don’t think you’d regret the purchase. Never paddled a Howler but my guess is it would be a fun but wet boat. Probably not as stable or dry as the Outrage (but I repeat, I’ve never paddled a Howler). Can’t help you at all on the Fantasy.

I think if I were in your wet shoes I’d grab a Caption and the Impulse. In fairness let it be said I like big boats.

agree with most of what’s been said

– Last Updated: Jan-21-16 3:50 PM EST –

I own an Outrage and a Caption. I have owned an Impulse (which was my wife's whitewater boat). I have paddled a Fantasy and a Howler.

MR Fantasy: fun but wet. Some smaller paddlers really liked it. Forget about paddling it tandem.

MR Outrage: one of the best traditional Royalex soft-chined solo whitewater playboats. Narrower than many which makes it fast, relatively speaking. I have heard about light tandem teams in an Outrage X but never an Outrage.

Dagger Impulse: stable and user-friendly solo whitewater river runner. Slower than the Outrage and not as nimble. Hard to roll. Agree that is makes a pretty nifty solo whitewater tripping boat. Have not seen it used tandem. Conceivably might work for a very light team (like two kids) but the paddling positions would be very close together. The boat is only 12' 8" long and 2' apart is about as close as you can place paddling stations.

Dagger Caption: one of the best Royalex tandem whitewater boats in many people's opinion. Quite nimble. Will handle two good sized adults but won't leave much room for gear if tripping is a consideration. Being a whitewater river runner/play boat it is not what most would consider fast.

MR Howler: This boat is a hoot for skilled and not too large tandem teams. It has also been used as a solo whitewater river runner/playboat by larger paddlers. Less dry and user-friendly than the Caption, but faster. Radically asymmetrical rocker (with more rocker aft) makes it trim sensitive and takes some getting used to.

There’ one that lives in my garage. It hasn’t been out much lately though.

My thoughts/experience. As a solo, its big, heavy and fairly stable although you do need to watch the edge. You also need to remember when making eddy turns that the hull usually doesn’t cross the eddy line until its about 1/2 way form the bow to you.Tandem, you need to watch the load. I think the around 350 lbs is good. 400 lbs and over, those hard chines can get really grabby. That can be good when you drop it tot he rail coming hard into an eddy but not so good when you catch the wrong edge surfing or on a ferry.

A 17’ Tripper is a big boat
I’d definitely look for smaller tandems for the wife and kids, but I don’t know about a Caption. That’s a nice WW boat, but they might have a hard time with it on the flats. It would also depend how it is outfitted. I assume that most of your family overnights will be on flatwater/quickwater, so I go for something in the 15-16 foot range like a Reflection. There are a ton of other options for tripping boats.

If you are interested in WW then you will need a separate set of WW boats (you said that wanted a fleet). The Caption in a good tandem, and the Impluse is an easy (but big) solo. Hate to say it, but your kids might prefer to be in kayaks – like 90% of the WW paddlers out there. I’d sign up for a WW class this spring with rented boats so they can try it out before you buy.

Not good for me
to be snowed in. I think I bought 4 of the 5. Will know for certain if I can ever make it to civilization again to pay the man. Didn’t buy the Howler, although if I had more cash…

Thanks to all who described your experience with the boats in question. Should be better set up for a variety of waters now. Come on Spring!

I like your style!

You have the WW boats covered
There is still time to get the Howler. :wink:

Boats, yes.
Skill to paddle them like you, NO! By the way I pulled the Dad Trump Card and told the kids I wanted them to learn to canoe BEFORE moving to kayaks. So far they have played along.

Get ready to be proud,
discouraged and scared at the same time. The kids will be paddling better than you before you know it :wink:

Here are some videos
to get you thinking about paddling those solo boats.

A couple of Kent Ford videos

Solo Playboating!

(He definitely spends some time paddling a Fantasy in this one. I’m pretty sure there is a Howler as well)

Drill Time - Solo Playboating

(This one is a little more up-to-date, but still old-school boats)

And one from Tom Foster

Solo Open Whitewater Canoeing

(My favorite - the book that goes along with it is good as well, even if it includes chapters on kayaking. He paddles a composite Outrage)

Ozark Rendezvous
Why don’t you bring a couple three of those boats over to the Ozark Spring Rendezvous at the end of April and beginning of May, Ed?

Sounds like it is going to be on the Buffalo National River in the Arkansas Ozarks this year (water permitting), which is a wonderful overnight canoe-camping river. Most people will probably base camp at Ozark campground but a few might be interested in an overnight or multi-day downriver trip.

What canoes did you end up buying Ed?


New Old Boats
2 Dagger Captions outfitted with triple saddles, thigh straps, knee pads, and bags.

1 Dagger Impulse outfitted with solo saddle, thigh straps, knee pads, and bags.

1 MR Fantasy outfitted with solo saddle, knee pads, and bags.

1 MR Outrage outfitted with solo saddle, thigh straps, knee and ankle pads, and bags.

Told the seller I wouldn’t haggle over the $500 each asking price if he would hold the boats until I could pick them up sometime next week weather permitting. He’s suspposed to throw in some goodies- throw ropes, cheap paddles, etc. ( two different sellers, one for the Outrage, another for the other 4 boats). From the pics, all look to be in good condition but the outrage is going to need skid plates soon.

With the Trippers and SRT, we should be set for a variety of water types or non boat owning friends. I think the Captions will be very versatile with the triple saddles and allow us all to solo if desired. I’m excited!

Thanks Pete. Saw the post on the other forum and we’ve got the dates. School will still be in session then so it depends on the testing schedule as to whether all of us can go. My wife is an OT with the district so she will be affected by the testing schedule as well as the kids. I finished school tests long ago so unless my work gets in the way, I would like to drive over and meet you guys but I hope the family unit can be there.