Submitted: 07-22-2005 by billrammel
After spending many months researching and paddling many kayaks from several shops, I had narrowed my choices to a Dagger Catalyst & Blackwater. I stumbled upon a Dick's ad in the Sunday paper, advertising a Perception Montour 12.0 for $599 with a free "paddlers kit" (bilge pump/drybags/whistle/etc). I emailed Watermark/Perception to receive some technical information on the boat. They advised the Montour was made specifically for Dick's, and is not "advertised" in their catalogs or website. I compared the specs., and it is nearly identical to the Dagger Blackwater series, only in different lengths.
Since I was favoring a responsive boat, I decided to buy the Montour 12.0 from Dick's, and give it a try on a pond (they advised their return policy was liberal, so I could "try" it and return it if it didn't fit my needs. Red/Orange/Yellow fade is the only color available for the 12.0.
I have been very satisfied with my purchase. In my opinion, this boat is an improved version of the Dagger Blackwater. The nose of the Montour is turned up slightly more, which reduces the "submarining" effect I noticed on the Blackwaters. Other than this, the Montour dimensions, features, and handling are nearly identical to the Blackwater.
I've enjoyed the maneuverability on my local river, and the slight rocker allows me to hop over the occasional log. The skeg helps moderately for the straight flatwater stretches, but I seem to forget about it most of the time.
I would suggest taking a look at this kayak, if you're considering anything similar to a Blackwater. As I indicated, you will have a hard time finding information on it, since it is made exclusively for Dick's Sporting Goods. The price & features fit my needs well.