Most boat builders talk about product refinement a lot, and every once in a while one of them really delivers. Blackwood Boats has created a very interesting and refined 27-footer with sleek styling and a luxury finish like what you might expect in an automobile. I couldn't help but make the connection between the Blackwood and an upscale SUV, as the boat is trimmed nicely, especially around the console, with gloss-finish wood panels, a sporty steering wheel and ultra-padded cushions.
The 27 Offshore rides on a performance based, modified-V running surface designed for high speed and has ride characteristics meant to deal with the slop of nearshore waters. This is not a big offshore center console; it's a boat with three livewells and two macerated fish boxes that will handle big bay, inshore and close offshore duty. She has lower freeboard than the deepwater offshore boats but is designed to fish and run to the grounds quickly and comfortably.
The 27 has plenty of features for many fishing situations, as well as general cruising and family trips. A molded anchor locker is forward, set just behind a flush-mounted pop-up cleat. The standard stainless plow anchor is mounted through a stainless receiver in the bow and can be retrieved by an optional windlass. There's plenty of room for chain and rode, and the access hatch is big and easy to work out of. The 27 also has a recessed handrail that runs the length of the interior cockpit and offers a sure handhold when running or fishing.
The forward, U-shaped seating provides storage below and offers several neat options, including removable backrests on both aft ends, and/or a center filler piece to make a solid casting platform or a cushion-filled area for fun trips. A pedestal and table come as options for the forward area. Blackwood offers a lot of versatility with this boat in terms of how you can configure the forward area. There is in-deck storage in front of the console.
The console has a molded, insulated drink box beneath the forward seat, as well as enough room to accommodate a fully finished interior complete with a head and a countertop with a sink. The boat has great access to the backside of the electronics panel from inside the console. The impressive helm dash comes trimmed with faux wood panels, as does the electronics dash, while the surrounding trim and aft bulkhead of the console are gelcoated black. The helm sets to port, with the binnacle just right of that, while a dash panel forward of the helm and beneath the electronics dash can handle two large screens for multifunction units. A rocker switch panel sits under the helm and binnacle on the aft face, and, under the panel, two drawers and two molded footrests provide additional storage.
The stylish molded fiberglass hardtop comes with four rod holders mounted across the back, a molded-in radio box, and molded bosses for lights and stereo speakers. The upscale leaning post contains bolster-style seats with drop-downs, as well as a large circular livewell accessed from the cockpit. There is storage in either side of the leaning post, which has four rod holders across its back.
Two insulated fish boxes in-deck alongside the leaning post and console hold the day's catch, and there's an additional center-mounted livewell and fold-down aft seat on the transom, with two more livewells on either side of the transom. The boat I tested was rigged with twin 200 hp Mercury Verado four-stroke engines. Fold-up swim ladders sit on either side of the boat, outboard of the engines, and the boat has molded-trim pockets and can be set up with Lenco twin trolling-motor tabs.
When I ran the boat in Stuart, Florida, we had 45 gallons of fuel, and there were two of us aboard. The 27 runs well, jumping on plane quickly and reacting favorably to trim tabs both laterally and longitudinally. We ran out of the St. Lucie inlet and put the boat through its paces, finding no funny quirks or unexpected characteristics. It drifts straight, trolls clean and slips through the chop with no banging or slamming. It is fast, quiet and handles great with its per-formance hull and solid construction.
The boat gets its solid feel from what Blackwood calls its high-pressure injection, or HPI, system of construction. Using a blend of known products, employees hand-lay each hull, including a skin of Kevlar on the hull bottom, a fully molded stringer system and a complete, matching full-length inner hull. The process is finished by injecting a closed-cell, waterproof flotation foam under high pressure between the two hulls. The deck is then chemically bonded to the double hull, creating a strong one-piece boat.
The Blackwood 27 Offshore is a niche boat with nice fit and finish and strong fishing features. It can be powered by either single or twin outboards and is a highly styled and sleek-looking boat that can get you to the grounds quickly.
Blackwood 27 Offshore
Blackwood Boats / 352-429-8899 / www.blackwoodboats.com