Kayaking Technique Forum

Find advice on all aspects of kayaking and using small boats on big water

Is the Dagger Atlantis a good sea-kayak? *Pic*

Hi everyone! I love this forum! I'm about ready to purchase my first sea-kayak. Love those tax returns! YAAAAA! Anyway, I have a question for some of you more experienced yakkers. I'm fairly new to the sport and I've been doin' a lot of research on buying a new plastic expedition sea-kayak. My search has pretty much been narrowed down to the following sea-kayaks:

1. Necky Narpa
2. Necky Looksha IV
3. Dagger Atlantis
4. Perception Eclipse
5. Wilderness Systems Cape Horn 17
6. Old Town Millenium 174
7. Current Designs Solstice

I know there are many other great kayaks out there, and if I'm blantanly excluding some that you are familiar with, please let me know! Here's my deal... I work at REI so I can pro-deal the brands we carry. The best price I can get on any of them so far is the Dagger Atlantis, which I can pro-deal for $588. That's tough to pass up. The Perception Eclipse pro-deals for the high $700 range. I'm leanin' towards the Dagger Atlantis because of the great pricing. I want the plastic boats for the hardcore stuff I plan on doin'. Perhaps I'll get a nice composite boat later, but for now I've decided on plastic. I posted a general question on suggestions a few months ago and got some great responses, which I really appreciated. This place is really great! Anyone ever have any personal experience with the Dagger Atlantis? I could be talked out of it if you don't think it's a good kayak. I've never even seen one yet, much less paddled one. Any thoughts on color selection? Should I go with a bright color like yellow? Will red look like blood to sharks? Should I go with neutral colors to blend in with the environment? I have no personal preference, so any thoughts on why you chose the color you did would also be helpful! And one last question... anybody ever have close encounters with sharks? Do they pose much of a serious hazard? I tell ya, other than an introduction to expedition sea-kayaking course at UC Davis Outdoor Adventures, I'm new to all this! Thanks, and happy paddling! - Buck

P.S. I live in the Sacramento area, and my primary purpose of my kayak is for extended trips along the Pacific Coast, as well as some of the larger wilderness lakes in the Sierras. And of course, I dream of major month+ expeditions along Alaska and Canada. Ahhhh... I think I'm gonna like this new adventurous hobby! New worlds await!