Some people put cars up on jack stands in the back yard. Paddlers put boats up on lawn chairs. This is my Dagger Passage project boat. I’ll be documenting my restoration of it in a future newsletter article, but I thought I’d share a few “before” pictures here.
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The main concern is to get this gouge in the hull filled where the skid plate has worn through. I’m a purist and would like to find a small piece of kevlar felt, but I might have to settle for a big ball of epoxy instead. Then I need to put spar varnish on all the wood parts, install a sliding bow seat, and buff the finish down to the original blue, plus paint over some places where the finish has worn through and is showing the green ABS plastic.
Here’s some interesting history of the Passage: I found the Mad River Reflection 17 on the Mad River website. They bought all the old Dagger canoe molds and are bringing back selected models because they were such great designs. The Reflection looks exactly like my Passage, so I called up Mad River, and they said they weren’t absolutely certain the old Dagger Reflection was an update of the Passage, but the drawings showed only minor tweaks in the seat specs between the two boats, plus the Passage was built 1994-1998, while the Reflection started production in 1999. Mad River guy pronounced them basically the same boat.
Specs for the Passage as given to me by the Mad River folks:
Weight: 64 pounds with aluminum gunwales (not bad for a 17-1/2 foot Royalex canoe)
I paddled this boat tandem on the fourth Au Sable trip and it’s a sweet hull design. As Mad River says, “Hull tracks well but doesn’t feel like it’s on rails, there’s surprising agility for a longer canoe, making the Reflection 17 at home on lakes or rivers.” Indeed.
I’ll post an update when I finish the job.