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Evaluations : Dave Conrad
Last Updated: Aug 6, 2010 - 1:11:39 PM
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Field Evaluation - BowTech 2009 Captain
By Dave Conrad - Senior Field Evaluator
Jan 5, 2009 - 6:23:49 AM

Good looks, good feel and good to carry when you go after game.

The 2009 Captain from BowTech incorporates new Center Pivot and Center Tract technology which launches arrows toward the target with silence as well as deadly accuracy.  From my very first time drawing the bow I was totally blown away upon release as the bow responds with great balance, speed and virtually no hand shock.  To date this bow is the best all around hunting rig that I have ever laid my hands on.  The Captain consistently responds shot after shot instilling confidence that comes only from pin point accuracy.  

Center Pivot Technology is a new design incorporated in three new models from BowTech for 2009.  The Admiral and Sentinel are comrades of the Captain with different length axle to axle specifications but utilizing many of the new design concepts.  The Captain is a fine balance of all the Center Pivot Technologies combined into one impressive bow.  Below I will take you through each essential part of the Captain and do the best of my ability to try to explain through an unbiased eye.

A good base of any bow design begins with a solid foundation.  BowTech begins each Captain as a forged piece of 60-61 T6 Alloy Aluminum.  The riser is then fully machined to bring out its revealing beauty.  The eye catching good looks of the riser begins with symmetrical cutouts which enlarge as they make there way out to the meet the limbs at the limb pocket and center pivot positions.  Because of the center pivot the Captain has the qualities of a deflexed design.  A deflexed design translates into accuracy which is consistent shot after shot.  

Vertical Force Technology from the riser/limb design means a parallel limb angle which equally distribute energy in opposite directions upon an arrow's release.   This parallel design and energy distribution is a basis of physics and thereby minimizes vibration to the point of non-existence.

The Captain utilizes a machined cable roller which is a feature found on many BowTech bows for 2009.  Any time you can replace friction with a nice ball bearing design is a real plus.

BowTech's riser design is balanced and is appealing in most areas.  One area I do find my eye drawn to is the top of the sight window.  The wide stance at this area is a bit overbearing and takes a little away from the balance.  Other than this area the bow has very good transition trends throughout.

The wide shelf with a flanged outer edge is exceptional for any of today's modern rests, especially drop away style.  I fitted the Captain with a QAD Pro Series HD drop away rest.  I have had great success with this rest and it fits perfectly within the wide machined shelf.  Under the shelf once again BowTech has designed a narrow throat, very comfortable grip area trimmed out with a two piece laminate handle piece.

A new carbon string stop accentuates the high tech look of the Captain.  The rubber tip quickly quells string oscillation cutting down on unwarranted noise.  The name Captain is proudly displayed in capital letters on both sides of the carbon rod string stop.

On front of the riser directly in front of the string stop is the location of an AMO stabilizer mount.    I completed the evaluation without the use of a stabilizer in order to get true feedback from the bow.  In my opinion a stabilizer is truly an optional accessory for the Captain.  Located to the left side of the riser from the mount is an attractive nameplate displaying the BowTech name.  

BowTech has done an exceptional job of basically eliminating any jump or vibration in the new Captain.  The Center Pivot Technology riser design ensures VFT limb travel in the design of this bow.  Upon release the bow sits in your hand with very minimal and almost unnoticeable vibration.  My testing was completed entirely with no stabilizer or any other added vibration eliminating equipments in order to get the best feel from this BowTech design.  You will not be disappointed in the performance.  

The CenterTrac Binary Cam System enables the cam to be perfectly balanced as the sting runs perfectly down the center of the cam.  The power cables are split onto both sides of the cam equally.  This eliminates cam lean allowing the bow to be more efficient and thereby easier to tune.  More efficient because more power is concentrated within and centered on the cam and not robbed while being pulled to the side.  Binary cams specifically mean the cams movements are tied or enslaved to one another rather than the opposite limbs thus eliminating timing issues.

The cams are built with a new single rotating mod which allows a full seven inches of adjustments in half-inch increments.  No more individual modules to order or exchange for an exact draw length.  For fine tuning an adjustable draw stop allow you to customize that valley/back wall feel to your specifications.  The adjustable let-off of 65-85 percent further compliments the versatility of the new cam system.

The Cams are mounted on stainless steel axles utilizing ball bearings for smooth transition of power.  The cable rollers, new this year on many BowTech models also use ball bearings to ensure minimal friction on the cables.

To me the adjustable length cams means no more modules to fool with at the pro-shop or while setting up the Captain.  Once the draw is correctly set the draw stop can further be adjusted to put that custom feel to your individual valley and wall settings.  I like the way that BowTech is making strides by utilizing new technologies, enabling the archer to experiment with the fine tuning aspects of the bow.


Center Pivot:
BowTech is labeling the limb system as the second generation of the Center Pivot Technology.  The Center Pivot Technology is best described as a support from the riser that intersects the split limbs at mid-length.  The limb is not restrained but as the bow is drawn the intersection acts as a center pivot point and better distributes energy across the limb.  The Center Pivot consists of two main components.  A saddle bearing that clamps directly onto the riser.  The proprietary saddle bearing material is then overlaid by a polypropylene pivot which directly supports the limb.  

Limb Pocket:
The end of the each limb is attached to the riser with a threaded 3.8" steel bolt through an axle tie.  This steel bolt is what enables all Center Pivot Technology bows to be taken down without utilizing a press.  The axle tie uses threaded inserts on both sides to attach the limbs. Each limb tip is reinforced with a 60-6 T6 aluminum alloy cap.  Screws are threaded through each limb cap onto the axle tie in order to insure balance and restrain them laterally onto the axle tie.

Limb Material:
Limbs are GC67 glass composite with a proprietary coating to reinforce the limbs. Once set, each limb tip end is reinforced with a 60-61 T6 aluminum alloy cap.

The limb area and eccentrics are key components in transferring power smoothly from the bow to the arrow.  In the last few years Bowtech has made substantial and innovating steps in these areas of technology and design.  

Color and InVelvet Finish:
InVelvet Camouflage Finish from BowTech is a standard on all of its camouflage bows for 2009.  The unique finish is applied at BowTech's Waterdog facility and adds a protective finish featuring insulating and noise dampening characteristics.  BowTech offers nine different camouflage finishes including Optifade, Gore Tex's new digital concealment pattern.

The real proof is in the shooting.

For testing on the new Captain I decided to visit a local archery shop and authorized BowTech dealer, Mike Deck, of Terminal Velocity Archery in Chillicothe, Ohio.  Mike is an engineer by trade but has opened a shop to pursue his archery passion.  After going over the bow and explaining to Mike my preferences he had the Captain setup and shooting bullet holes in minutes.  

We decided to see what the chrono would average as the 29" draw released 350 grain arrow from the 70 lb. limbs.  A respectable 324 to 325 was the average always reported from an arrow released by this finely tuned machine.  This was within the range of the BowTech specs but for a 30 inch draw, not 29.  Mike reassured the chrono was correct.
Switching to my hunting setup of a 410 grain arrow still showed a very respectable 302 fps, plenty fast for a tight pin gap out to 40 yards!!


Design 9.5 of 10:  BowTech has been busy and 2009 show with the incorporation of technology into the Captain.  Center Pivot Technology, CenterTrac Binary Cam, Carbon Rod String Stop and Roller Cable Guard are just a few of the new features introduced on this bow.  The weight of 4.5 is a little on the high side but is the only blemish I can find.

Feel 9.5 of 10:  The Vertical Force Technology is a key component of the great overall feel of the Captain.  The bow efficiently transfers energy to the arrow and dissipates vibration to a minimum.  The balance of the bow sits in your hand upon release shot after shot making this a true shooting machine.

The results of this evaluation show that for 2009 the BowTech Captain is a great all around hunting bow.  The 34 inch axle to axle makes it very maneuverable for my treestand hunting preference.  The Center Pivot Technology adds a sleek design and an overall weight of 4.5 pounds.  The Captain comes in three peak draw weights of 50 60 & 70 pounds.  For more information visit an authorized BowTech pro shop or visit : BowTech


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