exceeding the recommended paddlers weight??

After several days of research, I have decided that I want to build the Hybrid Night Heron-High Deck.  My only concern is that I am 6'00" 230lbs which is over the recommended limit of 220lbs.  Do you think the kayak will handle my weight without affecting the performance, or would you recommend I chose a different kayak to build?

This will be my first attempt at building a kayak, so I'm trying to limit the amount of disappointment:)

6 replies:

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RE: exceeding the recommended paddlers weight??

Max payload is 300 pounds for that boat. Figure your 230 plus 10-20 pounds of gear, give or take, still close to 20% under max.

RE: exceeding the recommended paddlers weight??

let me throw in a word of caution here.  Those recommended weight ranges, while only being guidelines, are given for a reason.  My choice, as a professional Naval Architect, would always be to stay comfortably within the given range.  The vertical center of gravity of the paddler is higher than that of stowed gear.  So, when you start borrowing weight allowance from gear and applying it to the paddler you raise the center of gravity and reduce the stability of the boat.  This may become a very bothersom issue, depending on your level of experience ande skill in kayaking.  Building one of these boats is a lot of work and involves are fair amount of money.  Be sure that the boat you select will work for you before you make that investment.  It takes the smae amount of time and money to build the wrong boat as it does the right one.  Try to arrange for a demo run before you commit.  If the boat feels good and you can handle it OK, then go for it.  Otherwise, I recommend you look long and hard at some options that fit you better.

Paul G

RE: exceeding the recommended paddlers weight??

It mostly depends on your skill.  You are about 20 pounds lighter than I, and I sit to high, and it is a little to tight for my comfort.  I do how ever love the Guillemot L which does EVERYTHING I ask of it and is easy to roll when I want to cool off.

I agree with Paul G, you need to try one before you commit


RE: exceeding the recommended paddlers weight??

I don't think your weight will be a problem.  I'm 6' 185 lbs and there isn't a lot of room between my hips and the cheek plates. The boat is  only 20 inches wide and the cheek plates are almost an inch off the side of the boat.  That only gives about 18" to slide butt into kayak.  You should try to paddle one if you can.  I know CLC has a high deck night heron stripper that you probably could try, if you live close enough.  I've paddled the chesapeake 17 and that has a lot of room and is a nice kayak.  Also, the shearwater is a little bigger than the night heron and handles really well.  Best bet is to try the kayak and see what feels comfortable. 



RE: exceeding the recommended paddlers weight??

if you do build one leave the cheek braces out and just add closed cell foam as neccessary that'll give you more room but i do suggest trying the boat before hand especially if your not sure of the fit try asking on this forum if someone will let you take their's  for a test drive

RE: exceeding the recommended paddlers weight??

Another boat might be a better fit. This hybrid is suitable for paddlers up to 250# and believe all design weight limits should include gear worn.


I built the standard Cirrus this year and I'm at the max loading for the boat with gear it handles me fine. The rudder set up will add 10 lbs to the hull weight. One advantage with the Cirrus is you can make the coaming different sizes to fit you so your not limited to just the 3 templates on the drawing.

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