Blackhawk Ariel question

Can anyone tell me anything more about this Blackhawk Ariel for sale on eBay? Anyone own one? This one is located close to me, and a friend was interested in it. I told him I would ask about it here.

Thank you for any help.

Ariel memories
It’s the larger version of the Zephyr, or the smaller version of the Starship, if that tells you anything.

I tried to buy one around 1994, but Blackhawk delivered a boat that was ten pounds heavier than spec, and they tried to tell me it was “expedition layup” and therefore a bargain. I turned them down. Not a happy moment for me or the company or the dealer. (The only good thing about it was that I bought a Blackhawk Shadow 13 as a consolation boat, and it was a wonderfully frisky little canoe.) Not sure why I’m telling you all this :slight_smile: Oh, it’s because I saw the 42 pound weight assertion. Mine was 46 pounds, so 42 is plausible. The assertion looks like it was copied from the company specs, so I’d be a little skeptical.

It was a reputable boat at the time. I enjoyed my test paddle. If the price and the condition were right, I’d buy it.

I weighed probably 190 pounds at the time, 6’0". If you’re smaller, you’d probably prefer a Zephyr (not that it would be easy to find one).

It has that very cool forward-raked stern. I can’t tell from the pictures whether this one has the adjustable seat (two or three heights, maybe a foot and a half of fore-and-aft slide).

Worth pursuing, in my opinion.

– Mark

Blackhawk Ariel
The Ariel is a medium volume solo canoe. It is capable of carry a paddler weighing 200 lbs (I do), and all the gear a sane paddler needs to carry. It is quite nimble; it is easy to get up to speed, and it is quite easy to maintain a decent speed with little effort. Has decent glide, and is generally a pleasure to paddle. At some point, if you try to “whip it” to a faster speed, you will hit a wall & be wasting your effort.

I have owned two of them; still have one of them.

Stylish looking boat. PJC from Wisconsin has the prettiest/blue Ariel I have “ever” seen, and it was a pleasure for me to own it for a while. If I hadn’t already restored my green Ariel, I would have kept the one I sold him.

He should be giving thanks & bowing towards my home everytime he uses it…If he hadn’t been such a good friend; it would probably still be in my garage.

I knew he could & would appreciate it.

You will not be bidding against me; the Ariel that I still own is also a beauty, and I don’t need two of them. Even so, if it weren’t so far from me; I might bid.

BUT, I would bet money that the one on ebay will go for more than it’s current price. A little difficult to discern any structural issues, based on the photos available. Generally looks like cosmetic type damage? I’d say it will probably go for “close” to double what it is now. If it goes for 5 hundred, or less, the buyer should be very happy. I believe it has a fixed seat, as opposed to having the ICS (Integrated component system) seating system that some Blackhawk had.


BH Ariel

– Last Updated: Jul-08-08 11:28 PM EST –

Kind of a neat boat. Fishform, so slow, and a little low in the stern, supposedly to reduce windage, but a pretty nice tripping/touring boat. As Mark mentioned, quality was highly variable, Kev boats often turned out to be all glass; heavier and more frabile than anticipated or paid for. The inner gel coat hid all.

My records show 15'1" oal, 26 at the rails, 28.5 max bean and 25 wl width. Shear is 18" at bow, 14 amidships ans 14 stern, with 1/2 in rocker both ends.

Blackhawk had lots of neat tooling features: finished, glued in tanks, decks, etc. and that two height slider seat with side pods was very cool, if pricey and heavy.

The maple rails didn't seem to weather well. When BlackHawk closed in the mid 90s, a group from St Charles Mo bought the molds. They never started production, so those molds may still be in a St Chas warehouse.

“Slow” needs to be interpreted in …
…accordance with the bias of the speaker. Blackhawk boats would never be called “slow” by we ordinary paddlers. I’ve paddled three different models of this series now (Starship, Ariel, and Zephyr), and they are noticebly faster than the popular general-purpose solos from the major builders, though probably not faster than the ones built for speed. In deferrence to Charlie’s broad knowlege base, I CAN believe that they are less “forgiving” when “approaching the wall” than boats that are designed primarily for speed, but in the normal realm of paddling, they are quite responsive and move with very little effort at everyday cruising speeds.

As to the comment about maple rails, all but one of the blackhawks I’ve seen had two types of wood in the gunwales, and in those cases I believe the light-colored wood could be oak or ash, and the dark-colored wood was either mahogony or black walnut. It sounds like it might be worth finding out what the rails on the boat in question are made from, but if they ARE maple, replacing them with the same material in the future would be very easy.

As stated previously…
I thought the Ariel would go for more than the starting bid of $300.00.

It rose from $300.00 to $377.00 on 7/9.

Today it rose from $377.00 to $427.00.

With 7 minutes left in the auction it rose to the winning bid of $471.60.

There was a total of 10 bids & 4 different bidders.

I think the buyer purchased a decent(old school)canoe for a decent price; especially if it has only the cosmetic damage I was able to discern in the photos. I’ve seen buyers pay a lot more for lesser canoes.


I’m surprised it sold that low.
I paid more than that for my Zephyr last year and thought I got a good deal. I guess I’m a sucker.