Seat position from bow and center of gravity question?

I finished my Night Heron last September, and I have been busy paddling it on Lake Erie since June!

While I have enjoyed paddling my Night Heron tremendously, I have found that it is a little tricky to control with wind and waves 45 degrees to my beam. It seems to want to go into the wind and waves. Sometimes that is not a problem if that is my direction of travel, but if I wish to travel at 45 degrees into the wind, that's when I find things difficult.

Recently on a twelve mile trip around Kelleys Island in Lake Erie I was fighting this weather cocking, and my kayaking buddies wanted me to call it quits just 3 miles into the trip. I was determined to continue into calmer waters, and once I past the area of head wind, things became easier, and I finished the 12 mile trip in 4 hours and 15 minutes.

After the trip a fellow CLC Night Heron owner asked if I ever had trouble with weather cocking, and I responded with a resounding "yes." He told me that he corrected the problem by moving his seat a few inches toward the bow, and this got me to thinking about my seat placement and the center of gravity relative to the boat.

I do not remember the exact placement of my seat relative to the center of gravity of my Night Heron, but the center of gravity whenever I carry it on my shoulder would put it at my thighs about 4 inches from my knees.

I have tightened my back band, moved my foot pedals forward, and have therefore moved my center of gravity toward the bow. This seems to have helped put the bow a bit more toward the water, and I seem to have a little more control over my tendency to weave when I paddle.

I have been told that my Night Heron "is too much boat for me", but I don't think that's the problem! 

I know I could put weight in the forward compartment, but I want to better understand corrective measures available to me that will make my paddling more efficient and enjoyable!

My question is the following: Whenever I sit in my Night Heron, where should the center of gravity (forward or aft) be relative to my seated position? 

Help would be greatly appreciated,

Chris F

2 replies:

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RE: Seat position from bow and center of gravity question?


I am having the exact same problem on my wife's Ches16.

See the "weathercocking" thread.




RE: Seat position from bow and center of gravity question?

In that wind situation you want to balance the boat for neutral stability - center of gravity at the center of effort.

Remember, paddler weight is part of the center of gravity, so it'll move from the carry position when you get in.




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