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29-08-2020, 18:50   #1
mactheknife19
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Stupid Kayak Question

Sorry it’s prob a stupid question. My wife bought me a Kayak. It’s a Dagger 8.1. Between the legs there is something of a foam insert on the inside of the hull. I assumed it was maybe there for just transport. I see from the front top of the shell there are 2 screws that’s go into the shell and then into the foam. Do I remove these and the foam and screw back in. There are pointed so that would scrape into my leg I guess. Or is this foam supposed to be there.
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30-08-2020, 19:22   #2
tphase
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it's meant to be there for bouyancy
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05-09-2020, 09:21   #3
WildWater
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A Dagger 8.1 is a river runner / white water boat. The foam serves multiple purposes. A tphase has pointed out it is there for buoyancy. In other words when you fall out and the boat fill with water the foam provides buoyancy. 1) by its own buoyancy properties and 2) buy allowing less water into the boat.

Most kayakers will fill any cavity in the front or back of the boat (that they don’t need for gear) with either more form or air bags. If you fall out a lot then you will be very thankful that you have filled the boat with foam and air bags.

The foam also has a structural function in that it provides increased rigidity to the boat. High volume fast flowing rivers are a powerful force of nature. Get caught in the wrong spot and your boat could be crushed around you. The foam helps to prevent this from happening.

In sort, do not remove the foam.

As I said at the start, the boat you have is a river runner and river running is incredibly dangerous even when people know what they are doing. If that is what you want to do then you need to join a club and go paddling with people who are experienced. Whitewater is a great trill but you need to build up to it and always go with a group who have leaders who know what they are doing.

You can mess about with in on flat water, improve your balance and your strokes etc. Initially you may find it difficult to paddle in a straight line. The reason of the is the boat is designed for quick turning on a fast river not for going in straight lines. You will be able to master going straight but it make take you a couple of goes to get it. Once you can paddle straight you can do a bit of distance but padding a boat like yours over say 1km is going to be a real dog. That’s touring boat territory.

You have the boat. My advice is by a good buoyancy aid and helmet and join a club. Finally, do not use a spray deck until someone has done a capsize drill with you. Good luck.
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07-09-2020, 10:26   #4
mactheknife19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildWater View Post
A Dagger 8.1 is a river runner / white water boat. The foam serves multiple purposes. A tphase has pointed out it is there for buoyancy. In other words when you fall out and the boat fill with water the foam provides buoyancy. 1) by its own buoyancy properties and 2) buy allowing less water into the boat.

Most kayakers will fill any cavity in the front or back of the boat (that they don’t need for gear) with either more form or air bags. If you fall out a lot then you will be very thankful that you have filled the boat with foam and air bags.

The foam also has a structural function in that it provides increased rigidity to the boat. High volume fast flowing rivers are a powerful force of nature. Get caught in the wrong spot and your boat could be crushed around you. The foam helps to prevent this from happening.

In sort, do not remove the foam.

As I said at the start, the boat you have is a river runner and river running is incredibly dangerous even when people know what they are doing. If that is what you want to do then you need to join a club and go paddling with people who are experienced. Whitewater is a great trill but you need to build up to it and always go with a group who have leaders who know what they are doing.

You can mess about with in on flat water, improve your balance and your strokes etc. Initially you may find it difficult to paddle in a straight line. The reason of the is the boat is designed for quick turning on a fast river not for going in straight lines. You will be able to master going straight but it make take you a couple of goes to get it. Once you can paddle straight you can do a bit of distance but padding a boat like yours over say 1km is going to be a real dog. That’s touring boat territory.

You have the boat. My advice is by a good buoyancy aid and helmet and join a club. Finally, do not use a spray deck until someone has done a capsize drill with you. Good luck.

Thanks for the info WW. To be honest I think the wife maybe bought more then she should, as all I'll really be doing is a bit of paddling around Malahide estuary in calm conditions. I took it out once so far and although didn't capsize I was surprised that it was somewhat unsteady and as you say a little difficult to keep straight. I'm sure alot of that was to do with my stroke so I do plan some lessons shortly, and wouldn't fell comfortable with the spray deck until them. But is there anything else I can do to in the interim. Can a fin be attached and would that help the steady and straight issue, and can you advise on any.
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08-09-2020, 22:07   #5
WildWater
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Hi Mac,
No you can’t attach a fin. Keep at it and you’ll get it to go straight. It’s a bit like riding a bike, it’s a feel thing - both stability and direction. The key to it is to try to keep your paddling even on both sides.

Without getting too detailed, if you insert and draw the paddle down along the boat (the other blade about 11 o clock above your head for a right hand pull - 1 o’clock for a left) you will have more forward and less turning motion. Conversely, if keep the paddle quite flat and paddle in a wider surface arc you get a lot more turning motion. Most novice paddlers tend to keep the paddle very flat and hence turn a lot (obviously this will be worse in a boat, like yours, that is designed to turn).

Tip 1: Try to keep the upper blade of the paddle high and pull alongside the boat.
Tip 2: Try to keep your strokes even on each side
Tip 3: If the boat is turning, use a wider surface stroke (flatter paddle) to correct the turn.

One you manage to get it to go straight without constant effort at keeping it straight you will be able to paddle a bit of distance and knock a bit of value out of it. Plenty of paddling strokes that you can practice with that boat. Longer term you need to think about what kind of paddling you would like to do. River running, then you need to join a club and start building up experience - it’s quite the trill. However, if you are close to Malahide then you have wonderful touring/sea kayaking territory on your door step.

If you want to get into touring/sea kayaking then you will need to get a tourer/sea kayak and find others to go with. Again a club is best but there are lots of casual groups that meet up and paddle. (Unfortunately, I can’t meet up With you as I am on the west coast.) Tourer/Sea Kayaks are basically, long boats that are designed to go straight. For example, your boat is probably about 8ft, tourers would be 13 - 18ft. A beginner - intermediate tourer/sea kayak would be in the 13-15ft range and a little stout for stability. Advanced boats would be 16-18ft and quite narrow and hence less stable. The longer and narrower the boat the easier it will glide trough the water.

My advice is that if you decide that touring is for you and river running isn’t then sell the Dagger and buy a touring boat. Your dagger should be in perfect condition and yes you’ll take a bit of a hit but you will get most of your money back.

Kayaking is great keep it up just make sure to paddle safely.
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