Can't decide, arctic hawk or night heron?

A breif background.....kayaker for about 10 years now, started with a Pygmy Arctic Tern (too wide and too much freeboard for me) and the most recent the CLC Sheawater 17 (2 seasons now).  I should say that the Shearwater has really been a very good all purpose kayak, but......I'm feeling the need for another build!

Looking for comments, the good and the bad, between the Hawk and the Heron.  Will be used for days trips and once a year I take a 1-2 week kayaking camping trip.


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RE: Can't decide, arctic hawk or night heron?

Hi, I don't have any insight between those two boats, but I was actually wondering if you had any wisdom to share. You seem to be the only person I can find who has had the Arctic tern 17 and the Shearwater 17. I'm about to buy and build one of those kits, but can't decide... I'm a relatively new sea kayaker and my only frame of reference is recently owning a used plastic Perception Shadow and a Necky Chatham 17.  Is the AT too big and slow? Is the Shearwater/Merganser really tippy and does not having a skeg really cause either one to weathercock badly? Sorry to highjack your thread and thanks in advance.

RE: Can't decide, arctic hawk or night heron?

My experience with the Shearwater 17 is that it tracks very well, carves turns easily, and show only a slight tendency to weathercock in certain seas, which I find desirable. It feels tippy at first, but has strong secondary stability. -Wes

RE: Can't decide, arctic hawk or night heron?

the shearwater is an easy bulid, i find that it tracks well , respondes to edging, is very fast and moves along with very little efort. its quite stable and has lots of room in the cockpit, i installed a skeg wich hasent been needed yet but i still recomend one  and a creature comfort seat which i also recomend i cant say enough about this boat !   im starting to get the itch to build another boat but i think im going to build that northeastern dory rather than another kayak

RE: Can't decide, arctic hawk or night heron?

I built the NH and own the Wilderness Systems Arctic Hawk. AH is classic Greenland boat and feel, but big for me. NH has more initial stability and responds to edging sooner, (less edging required) but slides around if unloaded. Am considering a skeg for it, because even though it's quite neutral in wind, quartering seas get the best of any boat without a skeg. AC has finer ends and grips the water better, but is symetrical rather than swede form so has more of a weathercocking tendency. Both boats are fast, really fast, but the AH has a narrower waterline beam and is probably more efficient. They both respond well, but differently.

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