The Irenabyss Gallery - Equipment - Matt Brain

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The Dagger Trinidad Double Sea Kayak

City skyline from Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne.image
City skyline from Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne. Evelyn & David with me, paddling in front of the city.

Our New Family Sea Kayaks

We are currently living in Victoria temporarily (we will return to our beloved Tasmania in 2012) and have been doing lots of camping trips and generally exploring. With less options for family friendly bushwalks that don't require long (by Tasmanian standards) and traffic filled driving and a house that is 300m from the shoreline we decided to get the whole family into sea kayaks. After some searching we found some second hand plastic boats at East Coast Kayaking and soon met up with Rohan who sorted us out.

Paddling in Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne.image
Kathryn paddling in Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne Kathryn in the back (Isaac is manning the camera)

The boats we chose were second hand from his hire fleet. This means everything is pre-scratched and worn so the boys can give them a good hammering without us worrying about the finish. A big determinant was that the centre hatch be big enough for Evelyn to sit in and advise us on life while we paddle, fortunately it is for the moment.

Paddling in Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne.image
Paddling in Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne Evelyn in her little seat.

I am no expert on sea-kayak design or construction, but plastic boats seem like a good choice for knock around units. So far we have found them very stable craft and have done several trips on Port Philip Bay and kayaked up the Lower Tarwin River from Inverloch. We also built a serious rack to move both boats on our Tarago which you can see here

The loaded car.image
The loaded car The Tarago's first expedition to Cape Paterson (Taken at Sandringham)

Of course we can't wait to paddle them in Tasmania when we are down over the summer. In the meantime I just have to make do with the excellent and inspiring trip reports and photos on the kayaking sites of Jeff Jennings and Laurie Ford.

There was't a large amount of information online about the Dagger Trinidad Doubles so here is what I have managed to glean along with several photos of our boats. Feel free to ask any questions:

  • Material: High Grade Polyethylene
  • Length: 5650mm including folded up rudder
  • Width: 740mm
  • Weight: 38kg
  • Bulkheads: ~50mm Minicell foam
  • Hatch Openings (inner measurement of opening):
    • Front Hatch: 155mm Diameter
    • Centre Hatch: 405mm W x 290mm L
    • Rear Hatch: 240mm Diameter
  • Cockpits:
    • Inner Measurement: 840mm L x 440mm W
    • Outer Measurement: 878mm L x 480mm W

Ours came with neoprene hatch seals, plastic hatch covers, foot braces, deck lines (not circumferential around whole boat however) and shock cord gear loops. The seat is quite comfortable but the back rest does tend to catch when you get in. I have had to make one repair by replacing the bracket that secured the rudder for transport. One of the boats also shows some other wear in the rudder foot braces.

Paddling in Port Phillip Bay, Melbourneimage
Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne Rafted together for morning tea.

Paddling in Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne.image
Paddling in Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne Heading home from near Kerford Pier. Port Melbourne.

Dagger Double Sea Kayak.image
Dagger Double Sea Kayak Near Princess Pier, Port Melbourne

All up we are pretty happy with them. They may not be fast or pretty but they are very stable and feel good to move 5 people around in safely.

Matt Brain, October 2011

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