Blackhawk Ariel in MI?

I am looking to get something that responds a bit better than my Sojourn. Does anybody in the SE Michigan area have an Ariel that they would be willing to let me test paddle. I have tried my friends Zephyr a few times, but at 200lbs its kinda small on me. I think the Ariel might be a better fit.

BTW - I am also looking for an Zephyr or Shadow 13 for my wife elect.

solo canoe
Can’t help you out on the Ariel, but there are plenty of great solo canoes out there that I’m sure you’d be happy with. The Blackhawk may be a tough find, so I wouldn’t limit myself to just that boat. Get to some good paddling shops, ask ?'s, & test paddle as many boats as you can. The Bell Magic, Swift Shearwater & Wenonah Prism, are a few that come to mind. Good luck in your search.


– Last Updated: Jul-28-05 12:17 PM EST –

Unfortunately there aren't any good paddle shops in the area. Canoesport in Ann Arbor used to be a great paddle shop. It was on the river so you could demo and had great staff who knew what they were talking about. But they got bought by a Ski and Swim shop. Now they only carry Wenonah canoes, and try to get you to buy a cheap kayak. ah.....

Anyway, I am also considering at the Hemlock SRT, Swift Osprey, and Bell Wildfire. As I remember the Magic tracks a bit too hard for me, or I might be thinking of the Merlin.

Blackhawks, when they do come on the market, are usually in the $500 range, which is way less than any of the other boats I'm looking at. Every Blackhawk I have paddled I enjoyed. I have found an Ariel for sale, but its a 15 hour drive. So I am looking for one closer to test paddle.

solo canoe
Those are good choices also. I live about an hour from the Hemlock canoe shop, so I stop in there from time to time & check out his boats. Dave Curtis builds really sweet boats, so it’s just a matter of finding the right one for your needs. He’s a great guy to talk to, & I’m sure he’d steer you in the right direction. The SRT is a nice boat, also his Peregrine model is sweet. It all depends on what type of paddling you’re looking to do. The Magic is a hard tracking boat, & since I paddle small lakes, it suits me well. (like the Shearwater) Where are you looking to do most of your paddling? That would help narrow your choices. We don’t see many Blackhawks in this area. The only 2 I saw we’re at Curtis’ shop a couple years ago, but I wasn’t interested. Don’t think they lasted very long though.

We had got a Zephyr from Dave Curtis (Hemlock) a few years ago for my son. Have since passed it on, but every once in a while they come around. $500 seems cheap though, unless it has had a hard life. I’d surely buy another for $500.

I also have an SRT and my wife paddles a Kestrel. Great boats! In years past I have used my SRT for quite a few river miles, but have now logged it’s first lake tripping miles with a week in the BWCA. This is a very versatile boat, it was very well behaved, even on the one larger wind blown lake crossing. I have always been impressed with it’s river tripping capabilities, but am now also impressed with it’s wilderness tripping capabilities. Don’t get me wrong, the Peregrine would excel on lakes if that’s all you paddle.


I have a Blackhawk in Northeast PA
it’s a Nighthawk, red fiberglass, sliding seat, gold decals, cream color inside. $500 sounds about right. It’s a shallow arch hull with minimal rocker and sharp sterns. Fast and graceful, classic wood gunwales and thwarts