Perception Carolina or Dagger Charleston

-- Last Updated: May-12-06 7:19 AM EST --


I am looking to buy a day touring kayak at a strict budget and have reduced the choices down to two kayaks that fit my budget and that are available to me. These are the Perception Carolina 2006 14.5 and the Dagger Charleston 15.

Upgrading from a Pelican Eclipse 100, an extremely limited kayak as far as speed, tracking and storage goes, I fancy something a bit sleeker and with better tracking.

To me, the Carolina looks sleeker than the Charleston which seems to have a bit of a blunt nose, but i realise appearances aren't everything. From a couple of reports on this site, I have read that people have compared the two and found that the Charleston seems to move through the water better and is more manouverable, contrary to my impressions of the two. From looking at a couple of my friend's kayaks (the Perception Acadia and Dagger 10.5 Blackwater) it is my impression that the Perceptions seem to be made out of a better quality, tougher plastic than the Daggers and I have heard that the Daggers are succeptable to 'oil canning'

Has anyone owned or tested these two Kayaks that could perhaps give me opinions and a comparison as to their various advantages and disadvantages.

Thanks in advance



Can’t help on the specifics boats, but
Dagger and Perception are divisions of the same company, Confluence Watersports. They are made at the same plant in SC and I would doubt very much that different plastic is used.


I had a Charleston
it was a decent boat, needed the skeg down to track very well, but I am a beginner so maybe it was just me. Boat did oil can when it was on my stacker laying on its side on the roof rack. I think you would have the same problem with a Carolina though, since the material is identical. Fit me well and fairly comfortable.

test paddle both

– Last Updated: May-15-06 9:03 PM EST –

If possible you should test paddle both to see for yourself which one you prefer. I have only been paddlng a year so I still consider myself a newbie but I have paddled both. The dagger I feel is not as initially stable as a carolina. But the dagger is a bit faster. I feel these are very similar kayaks and the differnces are pretty small. But the best thing you can do is test paddle them to see for yourself.

Oil canning
We have both a Perception Carolina 13.5 and a Dagger Cypress. We’ve had no trouble with oil canning with either of them on our stackers. The plastic used is not the old rotomolded poly; I believe Perception calls the new stuff Exolar, can’t remember what Dagger called it. I do can believe oil canning could very well happen with the old polyethylene, though.

Thanks for your replies, I guess i’ll have to try them both out.

If anyone else has any more opinions, I’d really appreciate it if you’d add to this thread as I be coming back to check it.

The Charleston I had
was a 2004 model made of the Exolar (last year Dagger made the Charleston). I bought it new in early 2005 as a left-over. Boat still oil-canned on the stacker. Not very impressed with the Exolar quality. Also had a Blackwater 12.5 before, same opinion of it’s plastic durability. Take it with a grain of salt, everyone has a different experience with their boats.

there are tons of other boat choices
in the same length and price range. If I were you, I’d expand my horizons.

I’m curious,
Benny, where did you encounter the oil canning - on the bottom where the boat contacted the stacker or on the sides where it rested on the rails? If the bow and stern are tied down too tightly, expecially in hot weather, I can see this happening - it’s one thing manufacturers warn against. We’ve been carrying our boats on the stacker for several years and have never had a problem. The longest trip we take with them is about 5 hours in mid-August, and we unload the boats immediately upon arrival.

Was my first boat…Yes, it was not expensive and I

bought it used…Got the basic Idea of kayaking

down with it, quickly realized the limitations.

With the flat bottom it did not feel safe to me

in rought water…On creeks, lakes, it was fine and

a nice stable platform to just relax in…well, not

to tippy…It was a good boat, no problems…