SnG Night Heron

If anyone has paddled the SnG Night Heron could you tell me if its like trying to balance on a knife edge. I’m about ready to order a boat kit and I was wondering if I should get the Night Heron or the Shearwater 17 from CLC. I was told the Night Heron requires lots of expert braces to keep upright in rough water. The Shearwater being more forgiving.

It makes sense but just wanted to check. I’m an intermediate paddler looking to up the ante a little.



The Night Heron S&G
appealed to me, too. I was prmarily interested in adding a more or less dedicated rolling boat to my meager collection. A Greenland version of the kit was not available, and there were no finished Night Herons available to try in my area. I have several reasons for not choosing to build a skin boat. I decided to buy a used Impex Outer Island, and I have been very happy with my decision. In addition to being an excellant ‘roller’, it has turned out to be a rather useful and pleasant boat to own, all for about the same cost as building one. I would probably not want it as my only kayak, but it sure makes a great second, third, or in my case, fourth! Are you considering having the 'Heron as your only kayak?

Light touring and fun
I have a Perception Carolina 14 that I use for river touring. I wanted a boat to have fun with in great lakes and rough water.

I found it to be surprisingly stable…
…for a narrow boat. Nick’s boats generally have very good manners, so if the design appeals to you, go for it. As with any new boat, there will be an adaptation period while your body learns the feel of the new boat, but that’s normal.

Its a sweet looking boat.
Oh yea I think the Night Heron is just the sexiest boat out there. I was just a little afraid of its narrowness. But I am hearing more and more that it is pretty stable for that kind of boat.

Ok I think my mind is set on the Night Heron.



Try to try one
If you register here and ask nicely you will probably be able to find someone near you that has built one and is willing to let you try it.

I built & paddle a cedar strip
Night Heron and its really quite stable and predictable. My build is what used to be called the low deck version which I believe is now the standard version.

I’ve not paddled a S 'n G version but I’m told they track a little stronger than the cedar strip builds.

The Night Heron is a very neat boat that looks great and performs the same.

Very Stable
I have a cedar strip Greenland Night Heron, lower deck and ocean cockpit. It is amazingly stable. Because of the ocean cockpit, I have to sit on the back deck to get in. I use my GP as an out rigger. I can and do get out of the boat and sit on the back deck in the middle of lakes to stretch my legs. I have gotten so used to it that I hardly have to use the paddle. In fact some times, in calm water I will sit on the back deck and paddle.

Learn to roll, then you won’t be so concerned about stability.

I can roll now but its not 2nd nature yet. Got to practice much more.

I think what you’ll find is that the NH is similarly if not MORE stable initially than your Carolina. It may have somewhat lower secondary, e.g. how much can you tilt it sideways before requiring a brace.

I paddled the HV version of it briefly in some waves and wind and it felt of medium stability compared to most 21-22" well behaved sea kayaks - neither tippier not more stable by a considerable margin.

As others said - has rather lose ends and especially bow, which makes it maneuverable for its length.

The HV (strip) was HUGE in the cockpit area for me (mostly unnecessarily high). The S&G I hear, being a little edgier, may track a notch stronger but have not had a chance to paddle that.

Very nice boat the strip-built version. Only thing I did not like was that due to the somewhat flat bottom (which gives it good stability and easy turning) I thought it slapped when paddled against small period wind chop (1+ foot, so you could not just slice through it) more than some other designs that have rounder or stronger V-shaped bottoms forward of the cockpit.

I paddled one for a couple years
and sold it. The kayak has very good primary stability for being 20" wide but the secondary stability is very poor. It needs a good brace when put on edge. The kayak is very fast and maneuverable.