Night Heron vs. HD Night Heron


 I'm looking at building either the night heron or the high-deck night heron and was looking for some advice on the fit.  I'm 5'11" and 210lbs, size 12 shoe(but paddle shoeless), if you fall in this range and have sat in either, could you provide some advice as to which to build?  I was at clc today and sat in the high deck, but i regretfully did not try the regular night heron.  While i'm sure the high-deck may be more comfortable, i do like the look of the lower, less rounded night-heron.


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RE: Night Heron vs. HD Night Heron

Did you get a chance to paddle the NH? I am also considering it, like you I have size 12 shoe. I now paddle a SW17 and by the site the NH is not as stable, have you tried both boats? I would love to try out a NH, any out their in Northern NY?


RE: Night Heron vs. HD Night Heron

I had more of less the same question so sent John Harris an email. Here is his response as well as Nick Schade, who was also kind enough to reply.

On Aug 3, 2010, at 9:31 PM, John C. Harris wrote:

>> Message: I built the Shearwater 17 SG about a year and a half ago. I

>> plan to order the night heron hybird probably in September or

>> October. My question is should I go with the high deck. I am 6' 185

>> lbs and fit in my Shearwater but it is close. Looking at the fit

>> charts on the boats it looks like the standard NH would be a little

>> too tight of a fit for me. I wanted to check with you though because

>> you may have heard from people my size who fit just fine in the

>> standard deck. Just wanted to get your thoughts. T


> Hi, good to hear from you.


> The Night Heron, two inches narrower than the Shearwater, is SUPPOSED

> to be a bit of a tight fit. (Like deep bucket seats in a sports car.)

> 6' and 185 is fine in that boat "by the numbers," but a lot depends on

> your shoe size and whether you have long (and/or stiff) legs.


> We have two of the high-deck Night Herons at the shop and it's

> striking how much bigger the cockpits are compared to the standard

> version, in ways it's hard to put into text.


> I've copied Nick Schade on this and I hope he chimes in with his thoughts.

Response from Nick Schade:

For reference I am 6' 1" and 190 lbs with 34" legs (inseam). I feel the standard deck Night Heron is the right for me.

Kayak fit is definitely a personal preference thing. I like a snug fit, but don't find that I am in any way pinched or feeling "stuff into" the standard Night Heron.


Hope this helps, Mark

RE: Night Heron vs. HD Night Heron


I did not get to test them out in the water.  I did however sit in the SW14, same cockpit as the 17, and found both the SW and the night heron HD to be almost identical in fit around the waist/torso.  However, i do remember the SW having slightly more width for your knees to spread out.  The whole visit was a bit of a blur as i was so enamored with all the beautiful boats and the giddy child feeling of getting a new toy.  So far I think choosing a boat is even harder than actually building one, haha.


Thanks for passing that along.  I was planning on asking nick for his thoughts as well.  I think i'm going to go ahead with the standard night heron hybrid and hope for the best.  Worst case scenario, my fiance gets a pretty new kayak and i get the fun of building a second for myself.  Sounds like a win/win.  I'll keep an eye out for your posts as it looks like we'll be building around the same timeframe.

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