Newbie looking for a pair of yaks

The wife and I are looking for a pair of kayaks to celebrate our 25th Anniversary.

I have found a place that has two Perception Sundance 12’s and another place with Dagger Blackwater 12’s

Both places are listing them for $400 each.

We place on doing lakes and slow rivers in and around SE michigan.

She’s 5’ 8" 135lbs I’m 6’ 210.

The price is right for what we want to do.

I’m looking for suggestions, opinions or other ideas.


Good luck

– Last Updated: Mar-09-11 6:52 PM EST –

I can't speak to those models but a quick web search seems like a great price.

It's a great hobby to do together, you'll love it. My wife and I started last year and are totally hooked. We go tandem because she has some back issues so I do most of the work. We can't wait for spring !!

makes a good boat. The Blackwater sounds like it would fit what you want to do nicely.

I have a Dagger Axis which is what Dagger replaced the Blackwater with and I love it. I do the same type of paddling as you are talking about. $400 is a good price.

first boat
My first boats for my wife and I were sundance 10’s. Good move to start with the 12’s. The 10 foot length is great for the river but not the lake. I still put a skirt on it from time to time and take mine down the local river when it rains a lot. Might have to go tommorrow. I’ll be in Michigan the first of June to fish and paddle maybe it won’t snow this year. You both will love either of those boats and probably want something faster soon. Good luck.

Ryan L.

Both would most likely work for you. what you need to consider is do you want stable,tracks well and roomy(sundance)but still turns decent. the blackwater is faster , turns great with or wthout the dropskeg. great secondary stabilatystabilaty and decent primary stabilaty .nice cockpit space but not as good as sundance) . with the drop skeg up the blackwater turns great maybe to well depending on the paddler. skeg down tracks like a dream. and when you get used to it its not to hard to get good tracking with the skeg up. if you try the sundance first the blackwater will feel tipy. but may be easer for a smaller woman to get going than the sundance. plus i think most came with rear bulkheads. which is a nice thing for flotation in the event of a swim. i had the first gen blackwater and it had no drain plug up front.(a must if you have rear bulkhead)so you may need to install one.

sounds good
You’ll be at the upper end of its weight range. You may want to add a grey thing for safety if it doesn’t come with floatation at both ends.

Would work - float bags
Whatever you get, make sure the boats have, or add as needed flotation, front and back. That can be bulkheaded compartments or float bag(s) you put in. You can usually find a way to anchor them to foot pegs if there is no better way up front.

If you are paddling together, you have the advantage on one being able to rescue the other as long as the boat cooperates by sitting flat in the water upside down. Without flotation front and back that is not assured.

Practicing capsize and rescue is a nice way to cool off on a hot day too.

tight fit
Well we were at Dicks Sporting goods just to try some different boats on.

The Trophey 125 (10’) fit my wife, but I could not curl my toes enough to fit. Granter i had shoes on, but still couldnt come close to having my feet straight up and down. I think a 12 foot is going to be a must for me.

I’m curious as to smaller slow moving rivers and how well a 12 foot boat will turn?

I have a friend that, while much smaller than you, brings a metric ton of camera gear when he paddles his Blackwater. The river he usually paddles is rocky requiring tight turning to maneuver trough the rapids. He likes his. the 120 looks like a serviceable boat. A I have seen a number of them. One concern is that if you get a 12 footer and she gets a 10, it may be hard for her to keep up on flat water.

12 footer will be fine
I think you’ll be fine in tight spaces with 12 footer. We get into all sort of tight spaces and shallow waters with our tandem which is longer.