Submitted: 05-26-2004 by Puppe
If you're looking for a light, inexpensive, handy, relatively versatile "play boat" for short jaunts on calm waters - you probably can't do much better than this. It's way better than some of the "punt-like" plastic bathtubs other manufacturers are selling in this category. But it's not a Sea/Touring kayak either.
I bought this boat for my wife ( 5'3", 110 lbs.)when I bought myself a Carolina . They were on sale, and cheap ! I 'd been waiting for years to snag a good deal on "real" kayaks, but it never turned up. We weren't getting out much in the 1970's era, kit-built Folbot double ( AKA Pig Skow )that I built with my dad as a youngster. Finally I said - "Rec boats are good enough, I can always build some Pygmy kits later if I need better boats."
I live about a mile from the Patuxent River. I'm getting these boats out almost every weekend. When I go myself I take the Blackwater. At c. 40 lbs. it's an easy lift off the truck and into the drink. Try that alone with 16' and 63 lbs. (+) of Carolina in a 20 mile-an-hour wind - Not fun! It's not fast on the water - but we're looking for some exercise, eh ? It'll weathercock badly in a light breeze, so don't plan on going too far. The proud bow with it's wide sweep won't keep spray out of your face heading into a stiff breeze either. The skeg is necessary for directional stability in open water, but once retracted it allows sharp turns in meandering tidal creeks. It can be leaned a bit for turns, but it ain't like there's hard chines down there. It's generally comfy overall ( dig that inflatable lumbar support ) but does have a high cockpit coaming ( no trouble for me at 6', but the wife struggles a wee bit at times ).
Overall, if you can scoop one for a discount and you plan to use it for it's INTENDED PURPOSES ( skip any manufacturers highly optimistic descriptions of their boats )- I recommend it heartily.