BWCA SR Blackwater owners review updates Boundary Waters Gear Forum
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distinguished member (381)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/24/2018 04:08PM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
It seems I'm always late to the party. I just read the old post about the Blackwater and wonder if any owners have updates in how they handle wind and waves. I just placed an order for a Smart Track rudder system to install on 1 of my Voyagers. Hopefully that will let me paddle the direction I want to go without burning myself out. But then on the other hand a new lighter weight. lower profile Blackwater........ How does it perform? Geez they aren't giving them away! The boss would be up in arms though ,I'd have to sell some of our fleet. I think there's 12 in the garage and 1 hanging under the front porch. The garage is at full capacity, and she won't let me hang a canoe from the living room ceiling.(I asked)
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Grandma L
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01/25/2018 11:32AM  
Really Russ, in the living room? You seem to be figuring out the best, lightest, fastest boat? for a special trip? I hope we will be on the same "project" this fall! We need you to set an age record for completing the Kruger/Voyageur Challenge event! Show the "kids" how it is done!
distinguished member (381)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/25/2018 03:50PM  
Oh yea! Unfortunately it's more about the paddler than the canoe, but I need all the help I can get. Marcie doesn't want to be co-pilot this year. I think the brutal pace we'd need for 260 miles scared her off. She says she'd be glad to help you out and share the expense of a room if you'd like. I paddled today for 2 hours and have #45 in the pack to get in shape. My new wet suit came today. I couldn't seem to get the zipper past my midriff on my old 30 yr. old one for some reason.
01/25/2018 04:18PM  
Those old wet suits have been known to mysteriously shrink.
Grandma L
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01/25/2018 04:46PM  
I was really hoping Marcie would do the Challenge - we need a woman to finish and set a record! "Marcie, first woman to complete the Challenge!" Just do Crane to Grand Portage. You two are a good team - don't let her off too easy. I could always meet you and pick her up or put her in at Gunflint Lake or Trail's End-Sag if she wanted to do a half again. Heck, she is just a kid - she can do it! Or, she could hang with me if that options is more appealing. I am just not as much fun as you guys.
01/26/2018 02:34AM  
The only way my wife would allow me to hang a canoe in the living room is if my ashes were in it...But here's a suggestion every few days slide the couch out from the wall a few inches, you haven't actually bought the canoe as yet, right? By the time Canoecopia gets here you could have the guys bring the canoe to the show [saving several hunderd dollars in shipping] the couch would be far enough from the wall to slip the canoe in behind it. Possibly make a stand for the canoe and use it as a foot stool in front of the couch, they are really attractive and a great conversation piece. FRED
distinguished member (381)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/26/2018 07:35AM  
Estimated delivery time on a SR Blackwater if I ordered today is mid to late April. Before I pull the trigger on one I must know how it handles in beam wind and waves. Most any boat is great on calm water, but I sure get sick of fighting weather cocking for any length of time. Unfortunately I'll be in Tx. during Copia.
01/26/2018 08:20AM  
2 suggestions for you-

Sell 3 or 4 of your boats and just buy one of those Savage River beauties. If it doesn't fit your needs for the Challenge, you still have a mighty nice canoe and more storage space in the garage. There's really only one good way to know, and that means getting into one and spending time in varying conditions. Biggest problem is choosing the layup- they have so many options. Like you, I was looking at this boat last year, but couldn't find one around my parts to try.


Buy their Falcon decked canoe. Then there is no questions to be answered. It will handle conditions no open canoe could. Laugh at the wind and the waves. Of course, this adds about 10 more pounds of weight. They tell me that the Falcon is the Blackwater hull with a deck added. A guy by the name of John Diller has been trying to get me to use one in the upcoming Everglades Challenge. It is half the weight of my Sea Wind and he says faster, but I won't trust my life to a boat I'm not familiar with. I may still try it out before the race.

I do like your plan to add a rudder to one of your Voyagers. That will give you great control in any wind and not get stuck fighting it. Plus you have a boat that is realistically as fast as the Blackwater and one you're familiar with. Heavier, though. for the portages.
distinguished member(4980)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
01/26/2018 08:44AM  
you might ask Dan Cooke old link in case you missed it
distinguished member (381)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/26/2018 02:30PM  
Yes BeaV I intend to whittle the fleet down closer to Spring. I'm also working on putting 2 old violins and a guitar on consignment to replenish the bank account after buying 1. I've studied the layup and think I want the checkerboard carbon with an extra layer of kevlar under the core. I don't think a decked canoe would be too handy getting in and out on the portages. Paddled the Voyager on the river today near L. Mich. Windy!! Blew me all over the place. A struggle to get it back on the car in 1 piece. The rudder works came today. Some head scratching but I think it'll work. I estimate it'll add #5 to the boat.
distinguished member (381)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/26/2018 02:43PM  
Thanks yellow canoe. Yes I've seen that thread. That's what got me dreaming in the first place. I like BeaVs idea, the only way you'll know is to buy one. I tried a voyager before I bought one ( in calm conditions and loved it). The second 1 a friend sold me after only 5 days of paddling it for what amounted to about $600.00 ( after I subtract the value of all the stuff that came with it, a carbon 1 at that)
01/27/2018 09:14AM  
I suggest going for a lightweight lay-up. I own a skin coat Advantage I bought in 86. Probably has more Quetico miles than any solo boat in existence. The extra resin and fabric is really overkill for everything short of whitewater (when I spoke to Savage River about the purchase of a Blackwater he felt that the beefier lay ups were only necessary if the boat was to be used for running rocky rivers). Skin coat boats re remarkably resilient, resin and cloth hulls are simple to fix; skin coat boats easier to repair than gel coated boats.

At the same time I was looking over a Savage River Blackwater I was also considering a Voyageur. I asked Wenonah if it was possible to lay up a Voyageur with reduced freeboard (the same freeboard as the Advantage) and was told (via Piragis) that it could be done. Personally I don't see any advantage to the extra hull depth. Just a wind catcher. Perhaps I travel with less of a load but I find it takes extreme conditions (conditions I shouldn't be paddling in) to ship water in a center seated solo. Before Wenonah introduced the Prism and the Encounter the C1W was a an oft used solo in the Ely area. I had two friends that cut down the freeboard on their boats to make them more manageable in the wind.
distinguished member (381)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/27/2018 11:04AM  
Thanks Banksiana. My Voyagers are 14 yrs. old this yr. I've put 2 holes in 1 of them. Oddly enough both on dry land bushwhacking. The only rocky river in the foreseeable future might be from S. Fowl lake to Ft. Charlotte in Sept. If the flow rate is down I may take the Voyager. Heck I might not make it that far. I've got to convince the boss to transfer 2 grand for a down payment. I'd better keep the total price a secret till we pick it up. You are right though they repair easy enough, even for a klutz like me. Maybe I'll have to answer my own question about there performance in wind and waves if I run 1 in the "challenge" in Sept. I know you've contemplated a Blackwater for awhile are you still considering 1?
01/27/2018 08:08PM  
Yes. I still hunger for the Blackwater.

Maybe if I offload the motorcycle..........
distinguished member (381)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/29/2018 09:59AM  
I just got off the phone with John at Savage River. Ordered the 23# Textreme model. Nothing like buy before you try. I'll post my opinions of the boat after Sept., after I've done a couple of BWCA trips with it. Not sure at this point which boat I'll run in the Challenge this or the Voyager with rudder. There would be a 15# weight difference. I know which 1 I'd rather carry for the 9 miler.
01/29/2018 06:20PM  
Well if you don't like it- feel free to drop me a line.....
member (36)member
01/29/2018 08:13PM  
You should go pick up the boat. I know it's a long trip, but they're good folk, worth meeting, and western Maryland is some pretty country. Don't expect cell service.
distinguished member (381)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
01/29/2018 09:10PM  
That's my game plan. It's a little over 800 miles one way.
01/29/2018 09:33PM  

You're going to go right by where I live (literally about 3 miles from my house) about an hour before you get to Oakland. You'll be coming down I-79S and getting on I-68E right at Morgantown. If you're going to stop for food, let me know when and maybe I can get away.
08/28/2023 07:41AM  
I'm waiting to pick up my Blackwater next week, can't wait! I have the same concerns you did, how did you find it performs in wind/waves? Running the 90-miler in a few weeks and thinking about doing it in my new Blackwater, but won't have much time to try it out and get to know its quirks beforehand.
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