I have looked through many posts and without the opportunity to sit in a few and test them out I'll ask here.
I'm a strong paddler, 5'11'' , 165#, size 10 feet.
Well, I think I'm a strong paddler and have spent lots of hours in singles and tandoms.
I have the winter to build a boat as I travel lots and will be along the great lakes (hopefully with my boat) come march. I plan to put the time in and not to rush things.
I'm a better than average craftsman, lots of know-how with tools but can be a perfectionist at times as well.
I would like a boat i could do multi-day trips but the primary use will be day or one night.
the Chesapeakes seem great but I feel like the capacity exceeds the weight i normally carry. So I'm thinking something more mid-road rather than a freighter. I am a fast paddler also. But stability makes me happy.
The three I'm thinking of, other than the Chesapeake 17LT, are the arctic hawk, shearwater 17 (or pos 16), and the night heron.
I have no experience guiding a stitch and glue through the water. I'm use to poly or glass boats with a rudder. I've spent lots of time in the Pacific NW but will be around the great lakes primarily.
I'm thinking the Arctic Hawk isn't right for me from other posts--maybe too advanced? input would be great. for a long time this was the boat I was thinking of.
The night heron is a good looking boat. Looks fantastic and i think the colored puzzle look is as nice as they come. Build seems a bit more challenging but not too much that I worry (or should I?). Seems to handle well in the 100% S&G model. Is that too advanced as an intro to building and paddling a S&G boats? I respect water and choose to remain above it knowing well, that won't always be the case...
The shearwater 17 looks good also. seems to be rated an easier build and fits my needs similar to the night heron. I have read more negatives on its characteristics in the water though. Mostly outside of CLC forums but some here as well.
So I'm thinking, unless I get strangely opposing remarks, that I’m down to the shearwater or the night heron S&G.
Lastly, I'm in MN for the winter. The build will be in a heatable (with Kerosene) garage. My first winter here and I'm told it gets cold here...well, it is cold here!
It might be possible to bring it into the basement for the epoxy once it's whole. Or at least to do some of the work.
enough for now, thanks for everyone’s help!