Older Dagger "Crossover" Info Please

I am a beginner kayaker I am about 50 years old and 220lbs. Living in Central PA there is water all around I live near the Juniata and the Susquehanna Rivers, and the Yellow Breeches and Shermans Creek there are also some lakes near by. I would like to find a good used kayak to start with this spring. I plan to run some easy day trips on the local rivers and creeks - probably class 2 and below and due a little on the small lake near my house for fitness and to get practice in paddling. I want something that will track nice and keep up with a group of kayakers on the rivers and creeks.

I found a couple of boats but not sure that they are right for me.

Does anyone know anything about a Dagger “Crossover” apparently they were made in the early 2000s. This one is in very good shape - not used much and then stored for years inside. A neighbor down the road has it. It has a skeg that you can put down - from shore not from the boat - like on the newer boats. It is either up or down. I cannot find out much about this kayak - does anyone one have any information on it? Where they good what are the strengths and weaknesses? Are they a good beginner/intermediate level boat?

I also looked at couple of used Kestrels 12’ and a 14’ with an open cockpit.

Tracking and moving water…
even class 2, these are not thoughts that operate well together. A boat in moving water is best if it is quite maneuverable, in part to keep the paddler out of trouble and in control. Quite maneuverable and tracking well on flat water don’t go together, especially in wind.

You should get a boat and have some fun. You should not expect the same boat to be equally apt in both moving water and on flat water though.

I paddled the ol’ Crossover for years…
put several hundred river miles on it. Good boat for someone your size.

The little skeg is useful albeit fiddly. You can have another paddler raft up to your kayak in calm water and fix it in place. Practice this ahead of time.

You’ll want to have that skeg out in any shallow water, water with common surface obstacles or in truly active water.

The skeg is small enough that it won’t completely negate maneuverability but it does help tracking a bit especially in breezy conditions.

Developing a good forward stroke will be of greater value for your tracking efficacy and this will come with time in the cockpit and studying some videos on the topic. As your skill increases you’ll find yourself using the skeg only occasionally, probably to negate the wind on longer calm water stretches.

Get yourself a pair of split bow floatation bags to install up front. Clip ‘em together at the bow so the pillar keeps them in place. This will keep your boat from doing the infamous Cleopatra’s Needle in the event of a capsize.

Put some weight in the rear hatch to load the stern as this will also help tracking. Experiment in calm practice waters to see what works best for you.

Class II waters are no trouble for the Dagger Crossover, C-III would want a skilled paddler and they would choose a different boat anyway. I view C-II as fun active waters and C-III as the entry to real whitewater where skills and equipment need a higher degree of refinement. The Crossover can run easy C-III but you don’t want to play in it.

The Crossover is rather heavy but its a sturdy boat. The backband Dagger used was a source of common complaint - you may end up changing it. I also changed out my foot braces for a set of Yakimas which are very durable.

Bulkheads and hatches on these kinds of boats aren’t known for their complete water tight characteristics, use good dry bags.

The Crossover is a pretty cool ol’ Jack of All Trades but easy moving water is its most comfortable environment. I did a lot of photography out of mine and played in the local whitewater park. The latter was not always successful :slight_smile: Did numerous 50 mile day trips with the Crossover on the North Platte river.

The Crossover prefers a medium/large paddler given its volume. Your weight will work nicely in this boat. I’m 45# lighter and added weight to mitigate the wind.

That’s about all I can think of or remember. I liked the Crossover, its a good adventurer’s boat. You should, of course, try to arrange a test paddle of some duration before you buy.

Good luck and pleasant waters to ya.

Still own Dagger Crossover

– Last Updated: Mar-25-13 12:04 PM EST –

Keep in mind it's called Crossover for a reason
-- it's a hybrid kayak.

Too long to be considered a white water playboat
and too short to be considered a sea kayak.
I've always kept up comfortably with other paddlers
in group situations of mixed boats (canoes/kayaks)

Catching an "eddy" requires some planning and the
maneuverability involves swinging a good amount of
kayak in front and to the rear of you.
Current acting on all that hull can be tricky at times.

I swapped out the backband for a better Bomber Gear
ratcheting style band to give better support.
The plastic foot pegs were swapped out for metal

The large vertical closed cell foam piece in the nose
of the hull adds a lot of rigidity to the front end.
Split flotation bags are used by me as it has no front bulkhead
You can't click your heels together, limited foot positions.

It had a neat option of interchangeable thigh braces
via a horseshoe shaped "insert" on the front combing.
I eventually stuck with the aggressive style one
enabling my knees/thighs to lock in when needed.

I've paddled it on the big Detroit River during nice weather
and had some dicey moments in windy weather as the
back end got lifted by waves and the nose began to pearl.
Pitchpoling isn't fun and I muscled the boat a lot to keep from going in

Paddled it long distances on day trips numerous times
putting 20 - 40 miles on it within 12 hours.

Rear hatch has nice 2 piece system of a rubber piece
protected by a hard plastic cap.
I put rear float bags in the hatch to keep stuff
from sliding around and as a extra safety margin.

Thumbscrew style skeg became bothersome as it can't be removed
in the middle of a paddle before landing.
Eventually as I learned to paddle, it got thrown away.

nice review!
when I was lookin’for a “do it all” boat I searched for a crossover thinking I could find one cheap. I was looking for a used boat and instead ended up with a used xp10 because that’s what I crossed paths with. If you are truly looking for versatility I think you’ve found it. Many will say it does nothing well but the fact that does a lot of situations ok works well for me. I’m absolutely sure there are better flatwater boats and better moving water/whitewater boats but for someone looking do both with one boat on the cheap I think you’ll do well. If you end up hating it I’ll buy it off of ya.

Dagger had an excellent design team
when the Crossover was designed, and it was done well for its intended purposes.

Length is only one factor related to speed, tracking, and maneuverability. My slalom c-1 is just as long, much more maneuverable, but slower in cruising speed. Hull design is the key. The Crossover has a hull design more suited to cruising the flats or powering straight through rapids. And, only as an example, the LL XP10 is designed to have better maneuverability, with a minor sacrifice in cruising speed.

As Holmes said, as technique develops, a skeg becomes less and less useful. With good technique, the skeg in the Crossover won’t be needed or wanted often.

lots of reviews

they all suggest replacing the backband