July 23, 2018
Our team first met this boat at the 2017 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show and I for one, was immediately impressed with the quality of the finish work, styling, and use of space above deck. These factors presented a large luxury sportfish model which offered lots of creature comforts in a full-sized package that also came in the form of a serious fishing platform. Seeing her in the water and testing the boat offshore did not fade my opinion of her even slightly. Once in the water, everyone's first impression of the Blackwater 39 is how imposing she looks. This 39-footer casts a huge shadow over most boats in her size class due to the elevated Sheer line of her bow which brings the forward rub rail roughly six feet above the water. What might seem like a liability while trying to gaff a fish over, quickly became an asset while running over 60-MPH in a sloppy 4-foot sea. The Blackwater simply disregarded the sea state and each passing wave was knocked harmlessly aside while we all hung on to our hats.
Apart from a ride that would leave even the fussiest critics satisfied, the Blackwater was immensely fishable. The deck plan offered a roomy workspace forward and aft with plenty of room to work around the large center console/cabin for a full crew, without ever feeling crowded. The forward deck was clean and included a 640-quart insulated fish hold below a center hatch which doubles as a massive storage compartment. A large side by side Console Sun Lounge featured a center divider with stainless cup holders. The cockpit aft was also clean as a whistle, offering an open deck with matching 280-quart insulated fish holds under deck to port and starboard. A giant 90-gallon live well is located at the center deck along with twin 70-gallon wells on the transom corners. All three of these wells are fed through a Sea Chest containing six 3500 GPH Rule pumps, one for each tank with a spare for each to avoid down time in the event of a pump failure. The entire gunnel of this platform was framed with rod holders, 51 in total and four power plugs for deep drop or kite reels are pre-installed two forward, two aft.
The fish worthiness of the Blackwater was in no way compromised for comfort but we still found plenty of comfort in the helm and interior layout to like. Within the large side entry console is a cabin with enough vertical clearance for me to fully extend my arms overhead and touch the headliner. A forward berth sized to match the exterior Sun Lounge offered sleeping room for two in air conditioned comfort offshore without the need for a generator. Utilizing an Inverter to operate for eight hours without running your engines. Cold air was also provided to the helm above through two vent ports facing both driver and passengers. Seating for three at the helm along with a convertible stow-away bench seat at the transom are all very comfortable. The model we tested sported 4-350 HP Mercury power and pushed us into the 70-MPH range with relative ease offering just over 1-MPG at a mid-forties cruising speed.
The impression I took away from a meeting with Eugene Uriarte, the designer and builder of these boats was in his engineering/problem solving ability throughout the process of creating this line. Where he saw a need for better tooling or mechanical hardware on his boats rather than going to outside sources for a solution, he designs and manufactures a part in house. This kind of critical analysis demonstrates a knowledge of all working systems on the boat and there is evidence to support this fact all over the Blackwater 39.
Blackwater 39 Sportfish specifications:
Length: 39 feet 11 inches
Beam: 11 feet 11 inches
Fuel: 500-600 gallons
Fresh Water: 90 gallons
Dry Weight: 17,000 pounds w/Quad power
A bird’s eye view of the Blackwater 39 Sportfish offers a look at just how immensely fishable this deck plan is.
The imposing sheer line on this machine is a force to be reckoned with when the ocean gets moody.
The extra finish details and creature comforts included throughout offer style without impeding fishing performance.
A considerable 640-quart insulated compartment forward offers lots of storage options as well as a giant fish hold.
Hidden beneath the console is a deceptively large head/cabin with NBA class headroom, air conditioning, and a berth to sleep two adults.
Smart layout and design features include using space below the Sun Lounge topside for a large private berth under AC.
A glance above deck over the cabin berth reveals a comfortable contoured Sun Lounge.
This cockpit rigging station features a performance cooler/seat on a slide track for watching a bait spread.
A set of 3 3500 GPH bait pumps (one for each well) might seem like enough but the Blackwater offers each well its own spare pump to avoid downtime if one fails.
Helm at center position and a heads up display orientation for your instruments comes in handy while strolling along at 70-MPH.
Three independent captain chairs across can be adjusted for serious business “racing ready” position or laid back relaxed mode.
A pair of 70-gallon live wells flank this “in house” designed and fabricated pocket bench seat at the transom.