My first post ever… In reading about the Guillemot Night Heron, various reviewers note that it exihibits “Loose Tracking” and some “Side Slipping” but it is not prone to “Weathercocking”. I can see how a boat could side slip without turning toward (or away from) the wind. Does “Loose Tracking” describe that behavior, or is it something else?
Factors involved with tracking
Somebody who is too light for a kayak will experience “looser” tracking than someone who is in the designed weight range. This is because a lighter person will put less boat in the water.
A boat wih more rocker will be more maneuverable, but also have “looser” tracking. This is one of the major compromise decisions a designer must make.
A rudder or skeg will significantly increase a boats tracking. However the same blade could also affect the kayaks tendencies to weather or leecock.
Even the best tracking boats are easily thrown off course in waves. A looser boat will be put back on course by the paddler much easier. This is why rough water boats including surfskis are highly maneuverable. Guillamette sea kayaks are known to be great rough water boats.
I understand loose tracking to mean a stern that moves easily. How how it slips through the water sideways is another thing but related.
In the river canoe world, loose tracking
means not only a reasonable willingness to turn in an arc without trying to skid, but also a willingness to side slip.
tracking to me…
Is the ability to hold a heading. Depending how much the bow is wondering do to paddle strokes or conditions it could be called some degree of loose.
I’ve heard of several Night Herons adding a skeg strip to tighten them up, even seen some with a rudder.
It all depends on the paddler but the NH is notorious for being very loose, it all depends on what you want.
It is one of the most beautiful kayaks… IMHO