I had narrowed my search down to a QCC 600 or 700 when I dropped by a kayak store while in Norfolk (2 hrs away). They had a Nighthawk on sale for about $2000 that caught my eye and seemed to fit real well on the show room floor.
Does anyone have any experience with this boat. At 5’8" and 175 lbs. am I too big for this boat (mostly day trips with one or two weekend trips a year)?
I think it would be an efficient/fast enough rough water boat with your weight. I’m guessing not as fast as the QCC600 but would pound a less in rough water and slide sideways less in high winds.
I demoed the Nighthawk 16’
a few weeks ago. If you’ll accept the impressions of a novice based solely on a demo, here are my reactions:
Construction- It is a beautiful boat; well-made and solid
Speed- Average- I was surprised that my my shorter poly Calabria seemed much faster (but I don’t have a GPS)
Edging and turning- it is very easy to edge this boat into a turn but turns slowly only using a paddle
Depth- I am somewhat close to your size at 5’9" and 150 lbs. I am longer in the torso than in the legs and it felt like I needed more than the 12.5" depth
Stability- OK intial and good secondary
I paddled it in very calm water but I feel it would do fairly well as a sea yak in rougher water
Hope that helps a little and good luck with your choice.
I have this boat in Carbonlite
I have this boat in Carbonlite and am 5’ 6" and 165 lbs. This boat would be a fine size for you, and has the capacity for weekend trips that you mentioned. I’ve had mine fully loaded for a 5-day trip and it handles wonderfully in rough water. I actually prefer water with “texture” when I paddle. I can’t compare to a lot of other boats because this is only my second boat and I don’t paddle others - but I can tell you all about my own experience with it. Email me privately if you want and I’d be happy to answer any questions. I have some pictures of my cockpit modifications at http://www.thistleback.net/kayaking.html if you care to take a look. I added agressive thigh hooks and some hip pads.
Some years ago I was forced to paddle one for about a month on and off. I was very pleased with the kayak’s performance. From playing in Peril Straits at max ebb, to rough water, high wind paddling, etc., I found the boat behaved very well. I would highly recommend this kayak as an all round excellent performer. I can think of no “bad” characteristics at all. Ultimately it comes down to how well you fit, which can be easily modified, and how you feel about it when paddling.
I like mine
This is the end of my 1st season with it and I Like it a lot.
AT first I used to feel a bit tippy in it esp in flat water, but now I’ve grown accustomed to it and relax a bit more. Kind of a case of whether you can have your coffee if you are hanging out,or taking a break.
It seems to like the ‘textured water’ as one person has mentioned.
It feels nice & soild on the rougher stuff, and I like the fact that the more I push my abilities,the more I appreciate what you can do with it.
It’s a nice agile boat so you can push it to the max if one were so inclined.
Sounds like a good deal
I’ve had mine for a few years now, and I’m very happy with it. I think that I paid around 2100 after tax for the carbonlite (i.e. cheaper) version.
I’m 5’6" and 158, but I think I would still fit if I were a bit heavier.
I agree with all that was mentioned so far. It would be perfect if it had a day hatch and adjustable braces, but that would probably make it heavier. I also couldn’t fit the cart that I wanted to buy in the hatches. If you use a cart, you may want to check this out.
Although it comes with a skeg, I rarely use it. I’ve heard some say that it weathercocks when it’s windy, and I noticed this when my skills were a bit weaker, but not anymore. Of course, I’ve never paddled it in very rough conditions, as that’s beyond my limits.
but take one out for a test ride to be sure.
Sounds like a good price
for a good boat. My husband and I each have one and we use them for trips from a couple of days to 1+ weeks.
I really like the way they handle in “textured” water even when fully loaded.
Speed is deceptive
I too once thought the NightHawk was slow when I first started paddling mine. However, it moves along so easily it just seems slow. It is not race fast and does not glide all that much, but you can easily cruise 4.5Kts or so without much effort and that makes you think you are not going all that fast.
I am 5’ 10" and 185#. It fits me well.
I agree it is a well mannered boat when conditions kick up. Compared to Brit boats it does look different, etc. and it may not knife through waves, but it takes care of you as other have said.
I’ve had my Nighthawk…
for about four years now, and I agree with the general assessment - it’s a great all-round boat.
I’m 4’11", so the Nighthawk is a little too big for me, but it hasn’t seemed to have made any difference in the boat’s performance. I’ve used it on Lake Superior for three symposiums and it’s been a real trooper. Whenever I’m not sure of the weather or conditions, I take the Nighthawk.
You won’t be disappointed…
The NH16 is one of my favorite boats if not my favorite hands down. At your height and weight you will definitely not be too big. I am 5’10" and 175lbs and I love the fit. Good and snug for solid bracing and control but not confining or tight. The length and overall boat design make it well suited to a variety of environments. I’ve had a great time in this boat on open water tours (great lakes in varied conditions) and flat water pleasure paddles (lakes and rivers). At less than fifty pounds for a sixteen foot boat it’s a cinch to cartop singlehanded. At that price give it a test run and I suspect you’ll end up owning and loving an Eddyline…
Has anyone who has paddled the Nighthawk also paddled a Currituck? How do they compare?
I went ahead and got the boat.
I’ve had it out twice now. First time was in windy gusty conditions in Shallowbag Bay. I found just a hint of skeg in quartering head winds and full skeg in a 20 knot tail wind were helpful. It handled the fitful water well, the more relaxed I got, the better the boat seemed to handle the waves.
Today in lighter winds on the Pamlico Sound the boat tracked well skeg up. It handled powerboat wakes well, though my wife’s Gulfstream seems to ride over the waves better. Paddles easier at a touring pace than my plastic Shadow. And it seems to fit me well. With 5 hours paddling time, so far I’m happy with the boat.
I’d like to thank everyone who replied to my enquiry.
I have both
a Currituck and a 16’ Nighthawk. I haven’t had a chance to paddle the NH extensively, but it seems a quick, fun if somewhat tippy craft. The Currituck is by far the best boat I’ve had - agile, well-mannered, able to handle rough water, and surfs boat wakes like no other boat. I used to have a plastic Shadow, also - you’ll definitely feel the upgrade from the Shadow to the Nighthawk the more you paddle.
Congratulations on your new boat! You mentioned your wife’s boat seems to take waves a little better than your NH16. I have found that rather than slicing through the waves, it tends to ride over them, then slap a little coming back down. Sometimes it helps to have a little weight in the bow - check your trim and see if maybe a gallon of water secured in the back of the front hatch, or between the footpegs and the front bulkhead makes a difference.