Submitted: 04-17-2002 by pknoerr
The Zephyr is a neat alternative to the Bell Wildfire at 14'2". It was made as the smallest member of a family which also includes the Ariel (15'1") and the Starship (15'11" I believe). The boats were originally constructed as touring or light tripping canoes. But the Zephyr found a home among many folks interested in Freestyle.
Blackhawks were built until about 1994 by Phil Sigglekow in Janesville, WI. The Zephyr is one of the most interesting (and beautiful) hull shapes any canoe has been constructed in. It's radically asymmetrical above the waterline and slightly fishform at the water. The stern is low and recurved to gain the maximum waterline length with the least windage.
The Zephyr is a wonderfully responsive canoe for an experienced paddler that loves to be heeled over to the rail. It makes a fun boat to play with freestyle during the evenings after a day traveling.
Blackhawks are available in fiberglass (Silver layup) and kevlar/fiberglass (Gold layups) with mahogany and ash trim. A nifty option is the SST adjustable cane seat that both slides and allows height adjustments.
Hunt for a used one at your local canoe shop.... It's worth the paddle.