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Reviews for Atlantis Kayak by Dagger


Rated: 8.86/10 Based On: 14 Reviews

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12-01-2014
Submitted by: jeffSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Recently picked up a used one for 300. was a steal. As some this is my 5th kayak and I do mostly large flat water and easy rivers. I'm 5'11" 240lbs. think short and fat. I'm used to larger kayaks with no rudder. I found the turning to be quite good for a 17 foot kayak. Push hard on the rudder and use a turn stroke and it is very quick. Now that's relative. I'll relate to my normal family trip kayak, Pungo 140. I turn in 1/3rd the radius of that kayak and feels like a racecar in comparison. Uber stable and even my short fat self can get in and out ok. Rolls onto edge and stays there easily. Confidence inspiring. Plenty of room for bigger guys, but its roomy for traditional kayak seating, not the crazy romper room rec kayak feel. My I did have to replace the rudder locking mechanism. it's... fragile. but the actual rudder itself seems good.

I think if you are looking for a good all day kayak you can't go wrong. Only downside is that it is heavy. I can move it by myself, but I don't like to....

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06-10-2014
Submitted by: AcewraySend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I always called this boat my 'pig'.

The Good:
Heavy and long, so tracks through anything - wind, waves, surf.
LOTS of storage space.
Serious stability.
When completely ocean swamped can easily get back in, hold course, and paddle in without floundering.
Great storage for multi night camping. The thick poly means it will resist oil canning and last forever.

The Bad:
Hard to load/unload on car for most.
Integral rudder was always getting bashed on something.
Doesn't like to turn via hip or rudder - think school bus, not sports car.

The Other:
Out of production for many years now it would be a good used beginner lake/ocean kayak.

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08-31-2011
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     My Dagger Atlantis is my main boat. I also use a Dagger Charlstone 15 for the river and to train friends in sea kayaking. The Atlantis was bought new about 9 years ago. It is everything I could ask for in a kayak. The only negative is the weight, which all my paddle friends complain about when we have to carry the kayaks at a portage. This boat has taken me from a novice level to advanced. It has safely taken me through a force 9 and 18 foot swell in the Atlantic on a trip to circum navigate The Bishop Rock lighthouse and back. We did not make The Bishop (by about only 2 miles) but did get me back to calmer waters and eventualy St Marys (Scilly Isles). The following year we did complete The Bishop trip. It has taken me safely round most of the south and west coast of Wales, along with the West Highland coast of Scotland. Almost all the south coast of England and dozens of rivers en route. Many trips across to the Isle of Wight and several partial circum navigations. The coast of East Anglia, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and some of Northumberland. Inland numerous rivers, The Lake District, Scottish Lochs and the coast to coast trip in Scotland via the Caledonian canal and Great Glen. It is capacious on camping trips, comfortable and gives me great confidence when in sea white water and 'rock hopping'. I have just replaced the original hatch covers with the newer type fitted to the Charleston range. Also just fitted new deck lines. My opinion is that this kayak was designed for the expedition paddler. I am around 6 foot and 13.5 stone (188 pounds). More importantly in a little over a year will be 70 years young. I've just returned from leading 13 much younger paddlers along the south Devon and Cornwall coasts on a trip in excess of 200 miles in 9 days. The boat is as good now as the day I bought it, a few scrapes and bumps but still watertight and stable. Next w/e I'm leading a group on a canoe camping w/e across to the Isle of Wight where the Atlantis will once again play an important role as a carrier of all my kit for the w/e. The Atlantis has never tipped me out, nor let me down. A rudder cable did come adrift due to a rust failed clamp where it fits onto the foot peg. Both sides were 'declamped' and replaced with stainless 'U' bolts for pennies. I did have to turn the footrest sliders upside down to compensate for wear so in some years time they will of course have to be replaced having worn away the other sides. A much recommended boat if you see one for sale.
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12-27-2002
Submitted by: DJSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I purchased my Atlantis new in the summer of 2002. It was a leftover boat from last year. I test-paddled it first of course. It's interesting to read others' reviews, because it seems that boats perform differently for different people.

I should add that I am a T7/8 paraplegic, completely paralyzed from the base of my sternum downward. As such, I have no trunk stability of my own -- if I lean in any direction, I will tip over. So, I retrofit all my kayaks with my own very high, very rigid backrest, usually bracing it against the inside rim of the coaming. The backrest reaches up into my functional musculature, which allows me to brace off the backrest. Since all my stability ultimately comes from the boat, the boat must have significant resistance to tipping. In testing numerous boats, the Atlantis (the Dagger Halifax is the same hull, but with conventional rudder) offered the best resistance to tipping in the 24-inch class. Did I mention that I'm also extremely top-heavy in my body? Any boats that I tested under 23 inches wide offered little to no resistance to tipping.

I find the Atlantis to be a little twitchy on initial stability, but surprisingly strong on secondary. To ratchet the stability up another notch, I carry a 20-pound leaden bar velcroed in the forward section of the rear hatch. This bar really lowers my center of gravity.

I see that some say the Atlantis is maneuverable. For me, that depends. If you keep the integral rudder, which turns at the rear end of the keel as if it were an airplane tail flap, locked in the straight position; then it takes an Act of Congress to turn the boat. I can not edge the boat of course, since that requires hip control. I'm sure it would turn better with edging. I mounted a Cascade Designs trim tab on my Atlantis, which gives me hand control of the rudder, and when I use the rudder to make a turn, the boat is very maneuverable indeed.

I find the Atlantis to be a hard tracker, and for me, it almost ignores wind. Perhaps the lead bar has something to do with it.

I wanted a plastic boat because I get in on high, solid, wheelchair ground, and then ski-pole myself in my boat down to and back up from the water. I fear that I would break a glass boat, and it just doesn't seem right to abuse Kevlar the way I buff my plastic. My second choice in a long, reasonably efficient touring boat is a Storm by Current Designs, but the cockpit is smaller and I couldn't fit my size 13 feet in it very well.

For a safety net in my Atlantis in rough water, I mount inflatable sponsons far enough rearward that they don't interfere with my paddling, and also high enough that they clear the water by an inch or two. Then, if I lean the boat over, the sponspons catch and provide ludicrous secondary stability without any drag during normal paddling. It's an idea that seems to work great in practice. I paddle Lake Superior a lot, though I haven't ventured into more than two-footers yet with the Atlantis. It is superb in two-footers, and seems to be totally unfazed even when waves come from the beam, thanks to the shallow-arch hull. The twitchy intitial stability is a plus in waves.

I did move my seat rearward about two inches in the cockpit, which makes for an easy butt-first entry. This probably also makes for better wind balance to reduce weathercocking.

Personally, I really like the integral rudder over the conventional. It doesn't catch wind, but fulfills its function nicely. This may be a little weird, but when we installed my trim tab, the rudder cables weren't tight, and I test paddled the boat with slack cables. This allows the rudder to fly freely for 10 to 15 degrees in either direction. I found that I actually prefer this. With tight cables, the boat tracks too hard for my taste. Even a minor course change required major paddle effort. Now, I can make minor course corrections with an easy paddle input, so I don't have to keep reaching for my trim tab or try to horse the boat over with the paddle.

The only reason I don't give this boat a ten is that it weighs practically 70 pounds. I don't take it on solo paddles, because it's a bear to load by myself. I have different boats for different purposes, and I use a Yukon Expedition by Prijon for solo paddling outings. It's much slower than the Atlantis, but lighter and more stable, and extremely maneuverable on land due to the pronounced rocker, but I digress.

In short, if you want an excellent plastic big guy boat, with really strong secondary stability, and a high volume deck in front of the cockpit for big feet, plus excellent rough water handling characteristics, you can't go wrong with the Atlantis or Halifax.

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03-25-2002
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I'm new to kayaking, so my experience is limited. I got a terrific deal on this red, plastic version. It was just what I was looking for. I'm 5'4" and 192 lbs and had tried out a number of kayaks and for the Narpa and the Atlantis fit me best.

I have mostly had it out on rivers and creeks and have found it very stable, easy to paddle boat. The rudder takes a little getting used to. Unlike a regular rudder, it takes a stroke or two for this one to react, so you need to be patient enough to not over correct. It is effective in compensating for any weathercocking.

The last two weekends I've had it in salt water. I cruised the islands off Cedar Key on a calm day with no problems at all. I flipped it to practice my wet entry and the boat wa very stable with a paddle float. I made it back in on my first try. This weekend I did Salt Run, through St. Augustine, then to Oyster Creek. I was able to handle 20 mph headwinds on my return trip. Again I was very stable in the 2' chop. I like the boat very much and am really happy with it's performance.

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08-04-2001
Submitted by: DRCSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Have had my Atlantis for 3 years and love it. It turns and track quite well. A rudder is a nice feature but I really don't like traditional rudders - they seem to serve as a sail on top of your boat. No problems with the integral rudder. I take the boat on LI Sound and out into the ocean, short paddles and long ones. It is very comfortable. The only complaint is that a bit of water gets into one of the hatches (not the other), a few drops, but enough to make you use dry bags all the time. I'd get this boat again.
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04-10-2001
Submitted by: TB
Rating: 8 of 10

     Rudder Replacement Kit: After attending the canoe and kayak show in Madison WI I discovered Dagger had a new mechanism for the rudder for the Atlantis. I contacted Dagger, great response got a new kit, no charge, in about two weeks. The new design is a huge improvement but some adjustments may have to be made. The base plate is supposed to sit flat, but I encountered a problem with the rivets that held the bungee cord for the cover.The base plate wouldnt sit flat and rode on the rivets. My solution was to take a dremel tool and round out the corners of the base plate so it would sit flat. Also measure carefully when you install the new cable. You are required to attach the eyelet to the cable end after you thread it through the tube in the boat. When I crimped the eyelet down it slipped, locking it too far on the end of the cable. My solution was to reposition the rudder release handle, by moving the bracket forward.
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01-22-2001
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     The specs for this boat specify it is made for medium to larger paddlers, and indeed most of the reviews are from folks 6’ and over. As a short female (5’3” and 150 lbs.) I can attest to Atlantis’ stability and maneuverability. I love this boat. Weathercocking can be a problem, especially for someone lighter but good tracking and secondary stability really cover for this weakness. The rudder is interesting and does require careful attention. I must be extra careful when loading and unloading off of my pick-up’s camper top so as not to bump the rudder. And I too have had problems with parts “popping” out. A few adjustments with a screwdriver and the problem was corrected. As a result I always carry a few tools around, even thought (because of excellent maneuverability) I hardy ever use the rudder.
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11-30-2000
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     The Atlantis is my second Dagger boat, the first being the Magellan which I paddled for three seasons. In general, handling of the Atlantis is good in all the sea conditions I've experienced, there is ample storage room, and the boat responds fairly well to leans. I agree with previous reviews on weathercocking in beamwinds. Last trip out I almost resorted to using the rudder, but the crossing was only a short one. A word of caution: the rubber hatch covers on the rear hatch (used throughout the Dagger line as well as on other makers' boats) can easily be blown in during a self rescue situation. In several pool sessions while practicing rescue techniques, I and others, have pushed in the covers. This would be disastrous in a sea rescue situation. The first year the Magellan came out, Dagger used neoprene hatch covers with rigid poly covers over them. These were a little more inconvenient to latch and cover, but way more secure when in a rescue situation. If you're in a heavy sea and water temperatures are in the 50s you don't want to have to worry about your hatch covers in a rescue situation.
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08-07-2000
Submitted by: John LSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     One word: Awesome! I recently upgraded from a Perception (see that review too). I call it an upgrade, because I feel the Captiva sits on the line between recreational kayak and true touring machine. The Atlantis is absolutely a true touring machine. It is simply a fantastic boat. At 17’2" long and 23.5" wide, the boat is fast, efficient, tracks well and is surprisingly stable. I went from the back of the pack to the very front – and with very little effort. The smooth, shallow arch hull feels a little "tippy" initially, but that sensation goes away after only a few minutes. It responds very well to edging, which is a move sometimes required to keep the boat on coarse, as it is fairly susceptible to weathercocking. This surprised me, due to the very flat, clean, unobstructed aft deck. The integral rudder is a slick design, but requires some practice to use it effectively. At first, you tend to over-compensate due to the rudder's "lag" time – it seems to take a few moments after a pedal adjustment for the rudder's effect to "kick in." However, after a little practice, it becomes very predictable and works well. The Atlantis isn’t marketed as an extremely high volume boat, but without the included thigh braces installed, 6’, 240lbs fit very comfortably. How comfortable is it? My Atlantis’s maiden voyage was a 20-mile roundtrip excursion on Long Lake in New York’s Adirondack Mountains. I spent 8 hours in this boat with about a 30-minute lunch break at our destination (the North end of the lake) and a brief pit stop to and from. Dagger includes a seat pad and back pad that provides just enough comfort and support. I found there’s enough room to move around your legs, as I am highly susceptible to lower leg numbness in the paddling position – when my feet are braced up against the rudder pedals. Oh yeah, before we turned back, we explored the Raquette river at Long Lake's North end. Down stream and back upstream, against the wind and current, this boat handled like a dream. When we got back on the lake for the trip home, the weather had turned on us and we were faced with some confused 1-foot waves and swells as well as plenty of annoying powerboat wakes. The bow sliced through the waves and the boat handled beautifully through whatever conditions the lake could throw at us. Material: I really wanted a 'glass boat, but the cost was easily a grand above the $1349 list of the Atlantis. After padding this boat, I have a new respect for what can be done with plastic. Besides, the bright Lime Green color was the most visible site on the lake, even under a dark-overcast sky. And plastic is way more durable than fiberglass - just watch the sun (keep it coated with 303 to protect against UV). A word on Dagger Support: After I brought my boat home, I prepared to apply a coat of 303. As I was cleaning the hull and removing numerous stickers, I noticed some small "pores/pits" in a small section on the hull. This concerned me, so I contacted dagger through their Web site. No exaggeration, these guys responded within 10 minutes! As it turns out, the condition is to be expected in their plastic boats and is a result of the molding process. No problem. Unbelievable support!
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05-30-2000
Submitted by: David TaylorSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have owned my Atlantis for 2 years now and enjoy it very much. I'm 6'0" and 165 lbs and paddle almost exclusively on Lake Superior. Good initial stability and good secondary stability. I feel much more comfortable with the Atlantis on edge than I do when I have paddled my friends' Magellan, Squall, and Shadow. I enjoy the integral rudder. The boat has a tendency to weathercock which is easily corrected with edging or the rudder or both. I have had technical difficulties with the rudder's lockout mechanism. It has a lock-out part which is press-fit to a spring loaded plate. This press-fit piece has come out three times on me, finally requiring welding. It is heavy, if portaging is a concern. In the water it is fast-feeling though I think it only has average speed and turns very quickly for its length. Overall, a very enjoyable paddle. I have a good friend who paddled his Atlantis around Lake Superior and had no trouble with it except one time in fairly heavy seas his front hatch popped open. Other than that served him very well in a variety of sea conditions.
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04-12-2000
Submitted by: SeaFliteSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     This years starts my second season with the Atlantis. My experience with other sea kayaks is limited due to my height. At 6'6", I cant fit into a lot of boats. I have found the Atlantis to be very stabe and confidence inspiring. The rudder can be a bit slow to respond, but it works well for minor course adjustments so you dont have to interupt the paddling rhythm. The seat is comfortable, but I think there is room for inprovement. Overall I love this boat, and my frends say it looks great moving through the water.
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03-20-2000
Submitted by: TBSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I bought my Dagger Atlantis last year. My first boat I was satisfied with the test paddle. I liked the rudder system although Dagger has a replacement kit as there have been some problems, which I found out on a recent paddle. The boat handles well although its weight (almost 70lbs) may be a consideration for portages and loading. On long trips I have found that the leg room leaves something to be desired if your long legged. After 2hrs of paddling my hips hurt from the position of my feet. Basically its a good boat but for me personally Im seriously considering a trade to a lighter boat with more leg room.
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04-12-1999
Submitted by: SWJSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     The Atlantis is Dagger's largest plastic touring kayak, and is roughly based on the the composite Sitka. I paddled the Atlantis at a recent demo day for several hours, and my experience was limited to a lake with light wind (10-15 MPH), a little chop and some small (under 18") boat wakes. The Atlantis is VERY comfortable. Much more so than Perception's Eclipse (which is Perception's flagship plastic boat, which I'll be using to compare the Atlantis to for reference). I'm 5'8" and about 195 lbs with thick, short legs, and pretty narrow hips. The plastic seat is covered by a nylon cushion like in all of Dagger's plastic touring kayaks. The Atlantis also has comfortable thigh padding. I was able to get locked in pretty tight. It rolled pretty easily unloaded.

Initial stability was quite good, and adequate even for beginners. Because of that, I thought the secondary stability would suffer, but not so. It was easy to get it up on edge (way up on edge) and keep it there, rock solid. The initial stability is stable enough that I would flyfish out of the Atlantis as I do out of my much more stable Edisto. By comparison, the Perception Eclipse has much lower initial stability and about the same secondary stability --- a net loss in my opinion.

The Atlantis responds well to leaned turns, actually turning faster and easier at times than my 14'6" Dagger Edisto (which is very flat-bottomed and doesn't lean turn worth squat). The Eclipse also responds well to leaned turns, as well as the Atlantis. The Atlantis seemed to weathercock some, but it was easy to trim that out with leans.

The Atlantis now has Dagger's integral rudder. I think the integral rudder is a great thing, and my next touring boat will probably be a Dagger because of it. It takes longer for this rudder to have an effect on your course, but once it kicks in, it works well. It's not as effective as a traditional over the top rudder for steering, but it's more useful for fighting the Atlantis' tendency to weathercock. My favorite thing about the rudder is that the pedals have a very short throw. Even with the rudder turned all the way to one side or the other, My leg on that side wasn't straightened all the way out (like with traditional rudders), which allowed me to still brace effectively with my feet and allowed me to transfer paddling energy to the boat effectively as well. When locked out, the pedals were very solid, almost feeling like they weren't rudder pedals at all (unlike a traditional rudder system, where the pedals often have a lot of slop in them with the rudder up).

Storage space seems adequate for long trips, and the boat probably tracks even better when loaded with gear. However, the boat handled well without a load, too, which is sometimes a problem for bigger boats.

Speed was adequate, though the Perception Eclipse, being a bit narrower, seemed quite a bit faster when I was paddling hard.

Overall, I think the Atlantis is a great plastic expedition-sized boat. I think it beats the Perception Eclipse by a hair, but your mileage may vary. If you need a big boat for long trips (or luxurious short trips!) and can't afford a composite boat (or want the abuse-ability of plastic), the Atlantis would be a great choice.

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