Blackhawk? Attn: theBob

It was sold to me as a Blackhawk; I just thought it was a beautiful canoe. Everybody says ask you, so I finally got around to taking pictures of it. What is it? If I was going to put a correct decal/logo on it, what would it look like/where would it go? Pictures are here.

My opinion…

– Last Updated: Oct-11-14 11:52 AM EST –

I do have quite a few Blackhawks, but I do not call myself a Blackhawk expert. Other people started that; not me. That said, I certainly do enjoy seeing other people's Blackhawks that I've never seen before.
Yours is a nice one.

Sometimes the same models have just a little bit of difference in construction. One of my Blackhawks was previously owned by a Blackhawk employee. He told me that Phil Sigglekow (Blackhawk owner) could come up with ideas he wanted to try "in a heartbeat". Before the employees could implement one idea; he'd have come up with another one. He also stated that sometimes the wood on hand was what was used for the thwarts, gunwales, handholds. So, some of the same models do NOT look like carbon copies. And some boats were special orders, and all that goes with that.

Here is what I can say about your boat with some certainty.
It is a Blackhawk, and it was made in 1987; last 2 numbers of serial number.
It appears to be in excellent condition, and I would say it has not been much used.
I believe it is a Blackhawk Shadow 11 foot 7 inch model; the shortest of the 4 different Shadow models.
The color of your boat is the most common color I've seen. Both of mine are the same color.
I believe the darker wood in the wood trim on your boat may be mahogany.

I have sent you my email address via pnet.
Contact me & I can send you a few photos of my 2 little Shadows, and the photos will show you some of the original labels & their correct placement on the canoe.


P.S. If you are over 200 pounds; the little Shadow will feel quite unstable, and it will probably take some time to adjust too. In my opinion, it would be a fun boat for someone UNDER 150 lbs, who has some paddling experience.

It is so light; you can pick it up, put it on one shoulder & walk away.

Nighthawk II

– Last Updated: Oct-11-14 12:17 PM EST –

I have one of Blackhawk's 1988 info sheets before me and it lists the Nighthawk II as 12'2"; bow height as 14.5"; depth at center 10.5"; stern height as 14";waterline width as 22"; rail width as 23.5"; and the widest hull width as 24". Looks a lot like the pics, no? Might want to compare some of the other measurements above and see if they conform to your boat. It came in two lay-ups which were 25 and 29 lbs. The paddler weight range was 75-150 lbs with an optimum listed as 135 lbs. Max. 200 lbs. They also had one called the "Kittyhawk" which was short, and deckless, though I don't have the specs on that one.

It is not an "Adventure" series canoe like the two I have and like very much. (Lack of deck plates makes that a dead giveaway.) It looks to me like one of their "Conventional Classic" series which were reworks of Bob Brown designs, according to my info sheet.

It is also not a Proem or a Covenant, both of which were Pat Moore designs and had a good deal more flair to the bow. It is also not of the "combi" group which had cup holders (Well, it sold cars, why not canoes?) built into the floatation chambers.

I think all the Blackhawks of that date carried the "curled canoe bow" logo on the front. The hawk logo came later.

Ah Yes…

– Last Updated: Oct-11-14 12:46 PM EST –

That is another option to consider.
I have a photo of my Nighthawk(with permanently mounted saddle) that I'll send him, if he sends his email address.

I read somewhere? that the Fishhawk was just a version of the Nighthawk, with a wood/cane seat.

Also, I have seen some "different" stats (Paddler and Canoe & Kayak magazines Buyer's Guides) for the small Shadow, the Nighhawk & the Fishhawk. Don't know the reasoning behind the different stats, but the length was one stat that often varied.

My 2 small Shadows have flotation chambers; my Nighthawk does not.

Defining difference between Nighthawk I & Nighthawk II? God may know; I don't.

One thing we can say with total assurance is that the original poster has a "little" Blackhawk canoe, and they are getting more difficult to find.

Or are they? I am still searching for a possible stash of what has been described as 6 or 7 primo, indoor storage kept Blackhawks in the Midwest.


P.S As stated previously, "I ain't no expert, and not a role model either"!

Well Bob,

– Last Updated: Oct-11-14 1:00 PM EST –

The Nighthawk I is 13'1" and the Nighthawk II is 12'2". You'll just have to take my word for it because after diligently hardening the tablets on which I received this information in a burning bush, I set then aside to cool and forgot where I put them.

There's pic of the old Blackhawk logo on a Youtube video from long ago headed "Blackhawk Kevlar canoe for sale" of something like that.

PS: I think I know where a Kittihawk could be found, but its expensive and its small - a ladies' canoe, really. Don't know anything about the Fishawk

OK Pat…

You are the new “guru” for all things Blackhawk.

Don’t get conned like I did.

Somebody told me if you got labeled a guru, you qualified for a harem of vestal virgins.

I started trying to find some.

It was a chore…

After 5 years, I had found a total of 4; seems they are few & far between in Missouri.

I tried to bring mine home.

JoAnne said, “I don’t care how vestal they are; you can tell them to hit the road, and I mean right now”!

I knew then my days as a guru were numbered.

Being a guru ain’t that much fun.

I gotta ditch that title!

You aren’t married; you live in the wilds of Wisconsin. Maybe you’ll have better luck than I did rounding up a harem?

You didn’t ask for it?

You don’t have the option of asking for it, or refusing!

Somebody calls you guru & you are…

I just called you guru; now you are.


That 145 doesnt count
Waterline length counts… measure its bottom or have a vestal virgin do the exploring.

My money is on the Guru Emeritus. Though the recently anointed Guru is fine.

I take it there will be a crowning ceremony.

Wow, lots of info!
Thanks, y’all! I can’t wait to see the photos. Sounds like either a Shadow, a Nighthawk, or one-of-a-kind. It is pretty twitchy for me at 155 lbs. When I got it, the seat was set up for kneeling with the back about 1.5" below the rail and the front maybe an inch lower. Sitting (or kneeling) that high, it was really too unstable, and I still felt like I might not be able to get my feet out from under the seat if I did go over, so I gave up the idea of kneeling in this boat, lowered the seat and just sat with my feet out front. I have been thinking lately about maybe removing the seat altogether and trying out kneeling with no seat. Our paddling club, Bayou Haystackers, is having our annual Paddlefest next weekend, so I might try that idea out then.

You have …

– Last Updated: Oct-11-14 6:34 PM EST –

You have a unique photo opportunity!
Take your boat to that gathering, and get as many paddlers as possible to "give it a go"!
Volunteers will become few & far between after the first 2 or 3 "give it a go".

The problem is not the paddler weight factor in my opinion; nor is it the length of the canoe.
The problem is depth of canoe vs height of paddler.
Most adult paddlers will have the majority of their body weight even with, or "above" the gunwales. A lot of weight "above" the gunwales in that canoe is NOT a good thing; as you found out. It is tender, and the heavier the paddler, the more tenderness there is

I'm 225 pounds; it makes me suck air on a regular basis, everytime I take one out. Haven't flipped it yet, but more usage creates more likelihood of doing an unscheduled "fish count". Makes some whitewater canoes seem as stable as barges. Being 6'4" tall does not help either,

Photos have been sent to you...........


Guru indeed…
If nominated I will not run. If elected I will not serve.

As for a crowning ceremony, well, I just crowned myself yesterday… see, before I’d consumed a sufficiency of coffee, I was down in a basement cutting this pipe over my head. Had to be done. It was just a little too long. It really went quite well. Quicker than I anticipated, actually. Woke me right up. Just over my left eye. You get the picture.

See you soon at Pulltite. JoAnne knows the way.

My mistake
I was reading your guru post, Bob, but could make no sense of it. Then I re-read it and saw you were talking about vestal virgins and not vestigial virgins - whatever the hell they are.

See you in Pulltite


– Last Updated: Oct-13-14 8:35 AM EST –

There were three series of BlackHawk solo canoes.

The first were the Pat Moore designed Proem and Covenant. They were fish form hulls with stepped flare and longitudinally adjustable pedestals/

When Pat struck out on his own to do the Reveries, Phil commissioned Bob Brown of Minneapolis, OT and Bell CJ solo, MRC Slipper, to do a series of solos. The NightHawk was 13'+ with a bread loaf shaped pedestal, the 12' KittyHawk was a smaller version with the same pedestal and may existed as NightHawk II. Both were later offered with cane seats hung from the rails, the Night Hawk w/ cane seat was named FishHawk. Phil claimed the FishHawk was a different hull from the NightHawk, but the law of the adjacent possible suggests otherwise. As per Brown's tendency, they were straight sided, without or with minimal tumblehome and neither had rocker. Rails were often two tone, mixed wood; there were no decks and with minimally sized float tanks as contrasted to the later Shadows. I don't remember either in any color but BlackHawk beige, but custom colors must have existed. The OP's boat is one of these; employment of a tape measure will suggest which.

Phil then started designing his own boats, starting with Zephyr and StarShip, etc, etc.

Blackhawk Zephyr; attn: theBob
Shortly after I returned to Alaska this summer I found - and bought - a “nearly new” Blackhawk Zephyr, with the canted cane seat and very dry wooden gunwales. I plan to refinish the gunwales and drop the seat 4", and bring it with me to next spring’s Ozark Rendezvous. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Those Patrick Moore hulls…
…were only “fishform” well above the waterline: at the waterline, every single one of them was Swedeform.

That’s information c/o Patrick (a few years ago) and confirmed last summer (at least for the Reverie) with a bit of laborious tape measure work.

Need to check with MO how his measurements suggested otherwise!

Just seeing the Zephyr you found, and your restoration work on it will be an added incentive to “be there” at the Spring 2015 Rendezvous. Sure hope you are able to put in an appearance and bring the boat too.

My Zephyr is cream colored. I have always believed the Zephyr to be one of the prettiest hulls Blackhawk ever made.

Congratulations! Really nice ones are getting hard to find.


P.S. I am going to email you via Pnet. Sure hope you will be able to send me some photos of your find in the near future. Would love to add them to my “rogue’s gallery” of Blackhawk photos from all over the U.S.

Based on careful reading of the above
I am going to assume I have a Fishhawk. Thanks again for all the interest, everybody.

Can anyone furnish a clear, fairly high-resolution picture of the logo (either from printed material or a close-up photo) with the curl at the forward end that I might, somehow, be able to use to create decals I could put on my boat? I guess some information as far as the dimensions of the logo would also help.

I think…

– Last Updated: Oct-14-14 2:09 PM EST –

I think I can get you a fairly high quality photo, and some measurements, but it will probably he a week.

Am supposed to be packing for a trip, and am spending too much time online to get packing done.

Call your boat a Fishhawk, no matter whether it is one or not,
The name will amaze, confuse, and amuse anyone who ask what it is. A what? A Fishhawk? Probably 85% of all paddlers have no idea what a Blackhawk is, much less a Fishhawk I, Fishhawk II, Proem, Shadow, or Nighthawk.
Difference between a Fishhawk I & a Fishhawk II?
Probably 99.5% of all paddlers have no clue.
I'm a little confused myself.........
I hope some day to see a Nighhawk,a Fishhawk I, a Shadow 11'7", and a Fishhawk II; all sitting on the ground in front of me.

You got a boat, I got a boat; let's go paddling!


P.S If someone offers you a Blackhawk at what seems to be an exorbitant price, and when you question the price; they tell you it's because it's "collectible". One thing you can be pretty sure of......that's some bogus BS!

I think the Blackhawk for sale locally
is a Fishhawk II with cane seat.

Its got a tag of a grand on it but as this will be its second winter outside at a dealer probably $500 would snag it.

I think they have had enough of it not moving.

Wonder why it hasn’t sold?

A thousand bucks!!!

Somebody is wishful thinking…



its a dealer nm

– Last Updated: Oct-14-14 5:09 PM EST –

Edit.. message

The dealer is Lincoln Canoe and Kayak in Freeport ME

They are moving to Mass next month. I bet they dont want to move the boat. If I werent way too big and needed it, I wouldn't hesitate to go buy it for $350