Name: gnomon

Most Recent Reviews

Wonderful Tandem Canoe! Went to a demo day this spring and tried some boats out but this one had it all: about 10 yards into the test paddle my wife turned to me with a big smile on her face and said "this is really, really nice!" 30 minutes later we left with a BlackGold (carbon fiber/kevlar) boat with wood trim: Beautiful, efficient and maneuverable. Low initial stability quickly yielded to high confidence, especially in chop or weird currents, the boat has a soft feel, it seems to float over/through waves and disturbances. Easy to control from either end. Mine did not come with a Kneeling Thwart, but I installed one (from Bell, $32)myself. Paddles easily with one person (190 lbs.)a little load enhances tracking a bit though. Had it out today with my wife, daughter and a picnic (495 lbs. total) and the Northstar still was fast and stable. If I had to buy again, I'd buy another NorthStar in a wink. Superb Versatile Canoe.

I picked up a '97 model BlackGold Wildfire last february that was barely used, and when I finally got it wet I was amazed. I think it took about 5 or 6 paddle strokes and I was "home". Quick for a 14' boat, easy to turn, precictable stability and resonable tracking make this a package that is hard to resist. Did I forget to say beautiful? In my opinion, it's a bold move to clearcoat a canoe, not a chance of hiding anything under an opaque gelcoat and really highlighting the care that went into the construction process. That's reflected again in the furniture-grade ash and walnut woodwork- simply beautiful.

Bell Canoes have this wonderful "soft" feel, they just seem to slice effortlessly through the water, even in adverse conditions. I had mine on the Connecticut River in flood (44kcfs) with 25 mph south winds trying to blow me up the river and kicking up some nasty rollers- the boat was effortless. On flatwater, you can push the boat with pretty good success with a bentshaft, or do some freestyle, it's that versatile. Probably my last solo canoe.

I was so impressed with this boat that I just bought a BlackGold NorthStar for my wife and I to paddle.