Submitted: 07-19-2005 by KLR
I'm just back in after a maiden voyage in my Blackwater 11.5, comparing it to my Pungo 120. Similar boats in layout and size, but very different handling characteristics. This is no surprise since the Blackwater has a rounded, flatter bottom, and the skeg was necessary for tracking in flatwater, though I could manage to keep her straight without it. With the skeg up, you can spin her on a dime, and you ain't going to do that in a Pungo. Ever.
The flatter hull shape would make the Blackwater a better choice for shallow rivers, especially if the bottom is rocky. The V-Bottom Pungo bottoms-out a lot and takes a beating on the rocks.
The Blackwater's seat isn't bad, but isn't the Pungo's Phase3 either, by a long shot.
I don't like the noise as she plows through the water, and the glide and speed of the Pungo isn't there, but it's still not bad. Losses here are a trade-off for the better shallow water characteristics and turning ability.
The bottom/hull seems a little thin too and the roof racks dent her up pretty good. It comes right out, but I don't care for that and would worry about it on a longer trip.
Storage area is dry, and I didn't detect any leaking. Enough room for all my overnight stuff, both in the bow with the foam out, and in the dry storage hatch.
Nice boat for the money, and does the job. Light years better than those all those darned recreational "toys", and a better investment.