help ID this Blackhawk

-- Last Updated: Jul-01-15 11:43 AM EST --

I'm planning on replacing gunwales on a number of my canoes and put out an inquiry to my circle of friends on FaceBook to see if anybody else was interested in going in on the wood/labor. One guy has two that need work - one is a Blackhawk but I'm not sure the model. I went to look it up and see they don't have a web page - are they not in business? Anyhow, I'm curious about this boat :

[link should be fixed now]

It's the one in the back - I can take a better picture. Is that a Zephyr? I'm looking forward to getting it paddleworthy.

It's going to need more than just gunwales, it's got at least two holes and another crack...

bad link
"Sorry, that page was not found."

Also, if one needs to be a member of picasaweb to view it, you might ask other picasaweb users, or make the image publicly viewable.

Blackhawk has been out of business for quite a few years. I believe the guy who ran the company and designed the boats went on to found QCC.

Our two resident Blackhawk experts are and PJC. The boats of the Starship/Zephyr/Aerial series can be identified by the shape of the deck plates alone.

When posting a link to pictures, don’t use the link that shows up when you yourself are signed in to your own account there. Figure out how an outsider would see the pic, and post that link. It might be enough to remove the “s” from “https:”, but the public link might also be entirely different.

Phil Siggelow of Blackhawk
died in 2008. But the business expired in 2005.

better link
Sorry, my bad, I should know better :expressionless:

now we just need the experts!
As GBG mentioned there are two paddlers here who, if anyone can identify it, they can.

Not an expert…

– Last Updated: Jul-01-15 1:14 PM EST –

I am not an Blackhawk expert; although I do own quite a few different Blackhawks.

One model I own is a Zephyr; the canoe you have pictured is NOT a Zephyr.
The Zephyr, Starship, and Ariel models have a rather unique stern deck treatment. I also own an Ariel, and have owned a Starship. In my opinion, it is neither of those models either.

A better/closer photo of the canoe you have, and a good measurement of length would assist in model identification.

Really nice examples of Blackhawks are getting difficult to find; especially the Covenant, Ariel, Zephyr, Starship, and Proem models. The Blackhawk SS Special(15'8") is very hard to find. The only one I've ever seen is hanging in my garage.

I have several photos of Zephyrs I'd be happy to share with you, if you contact me via pnet email.



– Last Updated: Jul-01-15 3:12 PM EST –

Looks like a Zephyr to me - that's from judging by the rear deck plate. I can't really make out the front deck plate in the photo - or even if it might be missing or some sort of home made replacement. Its definitely of the "adventure" series which are much lower in the stern than the bow, as the boat in the photo is - stem and stern lines on the later "adventure series" boats form a sort of parallelogram when seen on the water. (I'm not particularly seeing that in your photo, which makes me think this might be an earlier production year of the boat.) The serial number should give the year. (The ones I have are 94 and 95 models.) The marked differance in bow and stern heights is not nearly as obvious in Blackhawk's "combi" and "hawk" series boats or in the Moore designed Proem and Covenent.

In the "adventure" series, the inside lines of the deck plates of the Starship are straight, forming an angle. The Zephyr's are round. Ariel forms an arch and (mine at least) lacks a rear deck plate all together and instead has a more complex molded rear floatation tank. I'm not sure if earlier Ariels had rear deck plates or not.

The Starship is the longest, the Zephyr is shortest and the Ariel was intermediate. There was also a longer tandem, the Phantom, in the series. (It had "stepped" deck plates.)

I'm not really an "expert" on them either, but I own a couple and have been through their production facility. If you contact Carl of Carl's Paddlin' in Lone Rock Wisconsin you might get more definitive info - he's friends with a fellow who worked at Blackhawk's production facility for many years and would certainly have a more informed opinion than mine. Its possible he might also have some original Blackhawk gunwales - I've heard rumors of a semi trailer full of them somewhere down in the Janesville area. Could be just Scotch Mist though... not everything we hear is true.

PS: Carl has a very nice Zephyr sitting in his shop right now that could be used for reference if you wanted to look at it for thwart widths, placements, materials, etc.

more pix
Here are some more pictures - you should be able to start there and navigate through 5 new ones:

Let me know of you want a particular angle.

End of deck to end of deck, I get 14’ 5"

Any dimensions or specs? I need to make thwarts and seat. I realize the damage I see is not all the way through the hull, just the outer layer split and separated. I think it must have taken at least one hard hit and a bounce, or perhaps crushed? it sat in contact with the ground for some time - the gunwales rotted completely away and there isa water line on the inside… it looks like it could be a really sweet boat after some time in rehab :slight_smile:

started to come back?
There is a FaceBook page that includes an announcement of new boats in 2014 - but not much after -

I would have guessed the Zephyr
but it and the Shadow are the only Blackhawks I have ever seen in less faded memory. So makes me inqualified to comment.

I paddled a Zephyr last month. But it has a home with someone else. Sweeeeet boat.

Look at the deck treatment on the stern of the Ariel that I sold you.

That treatement(I call it a deck stacked on top of a deck), is the same treatment my Zephyr, and my Ariel have.

Boat in photo is not set up like that???

My Zephyr also has wooden hand holds; boat in photo does not???

Boat in photo has decking that drops off into the boat’s bilge at a 90 degree angle???

I’m confused…it’s like we’re calling 2 different model setups a Zephyr???


P.S. Photos I have much better illustrate what I’m obviously failing to adequately describe.

Shadow 14.5
There was a 14 1/2 foot Shadow. Without a hot link I’m not gonna write the address down type it in and look, but how hard can this be? It’s 14.5, there was a 14.4, probably end of story.

Side note: Easy links

– Last Updated: Jul-01-15 11:24 PM EST –

There's no need to write anything down on paper anymore, or even type what already will show up on the screen in some way. You can highlight the link with your mouse, then type "Control+C" to copy. Then put your cursor in your address bar and type "Control+V" to make it appear. Presto. Instant copy and paste. Makes life easy.

hot links…

– Last Updated: Jul-02-15 8:07 AM EST –

Is there a way to put hot links in a post here? The forum seems a little basic...

I found a picture of a Shadow and and it does look right - another "not-hot-link" ...



– Last Updated: Jul-02-15 11:34 AM EST –

There was a crew of guys intent on kickstarting BlackHawk on facebook in '13, wonder how they're doing and if they might have thwart locations and dimensions. On the other hand, nothing new on that site for 18 mos, so maybe they've moved on.

Nice image of a shadow too. Phils trim designs and tooling were impeccable.

In the grand scheme of things…
In the grand scheme of things, it matters little if the boat is a Zephyr, except to someone who has a Blackhawk they need to identify, so they can get the proper measurements for restoration purposes.

I looked at all the Blackhawk photos posted. I am inclined to believe that the blue colored Blackhawk, sitting on the lake shore is the boat that the OP has.

And I believe that boat IS a Shadow; not a Zephyr.

Just my opinion; not worth the time it took to write it.

If OP needs them; I’m sure I can run down the specs on the (14.5’/14.4’/whatever) Shadow & the Zephyr.

Whatever it is; good luck bringing it back to life.


The rear deck on that Ariel is unlike any other adventure series Blackhawk I’ve seen. Its part of the floatation chamber and there isn’t any thinner deck over it as there is in the front or as there is on both ends of the Starship. The Zephyr at Carl’s and the one Rena and my friend Lisa have both have the deck-over-floatation-tank as my Starship has. Only they’re round on the rear, as the rear deck in the OP’s photo appears to me. But perhaps I’m just not seeing it well.

The front deck/floatation tank looks very unZephyrlike, as I said before. Perhaps it might be a Shadow. None of mine have a vertical back to the floatation tank and I don’t recall seeing that on any Blackhawk, but I’ve not spent time with a Shadow… don’t know anyone who paddles one and never test paddled one when the shop was in Janesville.

Its been a long day at work… 11 1/2 hours… must sleep now.

PS: Last week I scored a royalite NovaCraft Prospecter in near perfect condition. Would have preferred the old Royalex, but what the heck. I doubt I’ll ever see another used and in this nice condition for sale.

That’s not a Zephyr
A friend of mine has one and I have a Starship. I’m pretty sure it is not a Zephyr for the reasons stated above by others. The rear deck on those boats is unique. As to what it IS, I can’t help you.