Black Pearl

If you own or have built a Black Pearl kayak designed by Bjorn Thomasson I would be interested in hearing from you. mlp

The BP: a REAL beauty
I haven’t built the BP yet, but plan to once I complete my Redfish King. There is a professional builder in NH who is currently building the BP for a customer (a paddling buddy of mine…who I suspect will be chiming in soon). There are very few BP builders in the states thus far. You might also want to post this question on: (the builder above will likely respond)


The builder’s site:


I admit it…
…its me that is having the Black Pearl built - as my ineptness with any kind of tools other than a computer is almost legendary.

Bob has already pointed out the blog in the message above that is a tracking of my boat’s build by Dan Cauouette in New Hampshire, so forgive me if I don’t have anything to contribute regarding the performance or feel of this boat. I recently tried out a friend’s rolling SNG at a pool session just to see if I will be totally out of my league with the BP and its apparent lack of primary stability. My friend’s boat shared many of the same hull and dimension characteristics as the BP but has more pinched ends that lead to even less stability. I ended up feeling quite comfortable in this boat, so feel confident that the BP will be, if anything, slightly more stable.

Funny how we all start with 25" wide boats (though my first was a Nordkapp) and then gradually reduce the volume to the point just below where we should have! This one should be my limit though and am fully looking forward to not only expanding my rolling, bracing, recovery repetoire, but also turning it into my daycruiser. (too bad for my new Greenlander OC)

There is actually already another paddler out of VA that may be lining up right behind me to get another BP from Dan, as from his blog postings and knowledge make me feel comfortable that he is doing a first-rate, professional job of it!

Viva la Black Pearl!

Scott in CT

Me too!
Hi All, After 2 years of obsessing about a SOF or a Yost folder, I lined up for the next BP after Dan finishes Scott’s. Rather than bright painted, am planning on an ebonized (dyed black) to allow a bit of the grain to show through. Dan has been terrific–next step is to coordinate with Bjorn regarding the plans. As I understand it, he’s shipped 8 sets of plans in the last 8 months or so. We’ll be seeing more and more of his designs on this side of the pond is my guess. John (from NC)

re: Bjorn Thomasson
To add to Scott & John’s comments, I purchased the BP plans and they are ‘in waiting’ until I finish my next stripper. Just wanted you to know that Bjorn is wonderful to deal with via email. He provides lengthy ‘how to’ responses to builder’s questions. In addition to the BP, I would recommend taking a look all of the kayaks on his site, (which is available English).


Black Pearl
Thank you for your responses. I am intrigued by this boat and have had a bit of angst about building something I have not actually paddled or rolled. Your comments about how a boat with similar dimensions handled were interesting. I have been thinking about having the boat made with a slightly broader beam (instead of 18.5 inches, maybe 20.5 inches). My thought being maybe it would add a fraction of primary stability without compromising the rolling machine. For me the boat will be for rolling play, and also a day paddler. I paddle an Impex now which is 22 in. I live in Washington State and hope to locate someone in WA or Oregon who could take on the building project which is out of my league.

Black Pearl
Mine will be black. I hadn’t thought of letting some of the grain show through and like that idea alot. mlp

Bjorn Thomasson Designs

– Last Updated: Dec-15-06 10:03 PM EST –

I just ordered a set of "Hunter" plans from Bjorn, and have to say that I'm pleased with the responses I've received to emails I sent to him with questions. See the link...

Now I need to make a greenland paddle!!


** BP Update **
I just got an email from my builder who stated that the finished boat will be finishing at about 29lbs…not bad (thanks Dan) as my truck with roof rack is about 7 feet high!!! Easy lift!!!

I am expecting to take possession of my finished boat 2 weeks early (mid Jan) – so John…you boat will start earlier and Dan may have found a few ways to speed it up a bit more with lessons-learned on mine!

To see my Black Pearl blog, go here:



Hey jsmarch
I sure would like to try your black pearl when you get it. I know my buddy, Ken the carpenter, would like to try it as well. Don’t move away.

Black Pearl
Scott’s BP is really beautiful. Dan and I are going to start talking about the final design options after the first of the year. Not sure about the move, but expect that I’ll be at the NIMH before my BP is finished. Anyone want to buy an Outer Island, Pintail or Mark Rogers Artic Hawk? Best, John


Those are all really nice boats so maybe just sell one, right? You don’t want to lose all your fleet!

I was thinking of selling my brand new black over yellow hull Greenlander OC (customized too) but the wife actually asked me to hold onto it so she could paddle it. (probably 1-2 times/year) The Greenlander is such a fine boat, but will look like such a barge next to the BP…maybe i will use it for a rough water boat not that I get out in conditions much. Besides, its the most striking FG boat I have ever had, and I have had quite a few!

For you, I could see selling the OI as the BP will fulfill a day/rolling boat duty for you. The AH could be your high volume expedition/camping boat and your Pintail remain a play boat. Nice fleet.


What to sell
I’ve a P&H Quest for camping–very nice for that purpose–not a day boat. I like the AH, but it is too high volume for what I’d do with it. I love the Pintail, mostly for surfing and teaching. The OI will duplicate the BP, so am leaning to selling the AH and the OI. Could just add the BP, but I’ve got six boats, and want to simplify.

Easy fix…
…send any spare boats to me! I had a WS AH but found the hatches leaked too much though I liked the boat. Am sure the Superior AH is much better in that respect though - did you get the “almost Ocean Cockpit” on it?


An Old Song
Does anyone else have an old song run through their head when they see this thread?

black pearl

precious little girl

you’ve been in the background much too long

I THINK that was a lyric.

John, I sure would like to paddle a pintail sometime. I’ll buy you a nice lunch in return. Maybe Recluse, you, and I could paddle at Jordan again?


Hi Rex, Be great to get out. Ankle is progressing well post-arthroscopy, so how about after the first of the year? Be glad to bring the Pintail–it is a fun boat, but you can’t really appreciate it virtues on flat water. Best, John

Glad You’re Healing
Maybe we could get a really windy Saturday or Sunday and get some nice chop on Jordan.

Just let me know when you’re ready.