Re: Arctic Hawk v.Shearwa

Posted by CLC on May 15, 2007

>>>>>>>>>>1) Can anyone relate some objective or subjective experiences with the Arctic Hawk? (In the shop...and on the water.) 2) How about some good comparisons between the Shearwater and the Arctic Hawk? >>>>>>>>>>

I find the boats noticeably different, each with their own peculiarities.

The Shearwater is a foot shorter than the Hawk and that's the biggest difference. The extra foot of length means the Hawk is a little faster in a sprint and has a good bit more gear capacity.

Of the two, the Arctic Hawk is the more pious representation of a West Greenland skin boat---straight out of Adney & Chappelle. It has a very low aft deck, for those who want to practice rolling, and not much rocker. If lightly loaded it probably sits higher in the water so although it has less rocker than the Shearwater you'll notice the wind more. I find the Arctic Hawk easier to pivot and correct. I don't think it's any better or worse at weather cocking than any of the famous West Greenland-style boats (Anas Acuta, etc.), all of which sprout retractable skegs at some point.

Read Sea Kayaker Magazine's review of the Arctic Hawk for a sophisticated and neutral analysis.

The Shearwater 17 simply has a deeper stern than most West Greenland boats, functioning as a skeg. Point the boat down a wave and paddle hard; the bow stays in front and the stern in back. The bow and stern are very fine compared to the Arctic Hawk, but the middle has more volume. See Sea Kayaker's review of the Shearwater 17 for what the pros have to say.

Tough call. The Shearwater is a little roomier, the Arctic Hawk gives better feedback. The Shearwater feels like an Audi---everything sorted out perfectly, but no races to be won today. The Arctic Hawk feels like a BMW---masterfully tuned and intensely responsive, see you at the Mulsanne corner.

In Response to: Arctic Hawk v.Shearwater by mctech on May 14, 2007


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