The Night Heron line is an evolutionary branch of the Guillemots, but I took a look back at Greenland Inuit boats for some of my hull shaping inspiration. This boat has been widely admired for its beauty, with an example accepted in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art, but that does not detract from its on the water performance where it is fast and efficient and surfs very easily.
For those wanting a super low-decked rolling machine suitable for all the lay-back style rolls I have drawn up a "Greenland Styled Deck" for the Night Heron.
These kayak building pages (see links at right) describe subjects and unique approaches not often addressed elsewhere. Having built both Okoume plywood and cedar strip kayaks I discovered that the cedar boats are not as tough if the same glass schedule is used on both. Most everyone who lives in Puget Sound has experienced in some way its natural shoreline beauty.
A sit-on-top kayak with style – traditional sea kayaks are elegant and sleek but their cockpits exclude a lot of people who paddle where it's hot and almost anybody who has stiff knees or who doesn't want to be confined in an enclosed cockpit. This wooden sit-on-top kayak performs well and is relatively easy to build using the stitch-and-glue construction method. The open cockpit is easy to get into and for fishermen stability is sufficient to drop the paddle and reel in. The Sea Island Sport includes puzzle joints for rapid assembly of the computer-cut hull panels and computer-drilled holes for most of the copper stitches used in assembly.
Large hatches for bow and stern are included in the kit and will carry fishing gear and lunch for a day's outing, or camping gear for a week. Thanks to the sponson keel, tracking is very strong and many paddlers will use the Sea Island Sport in the surf.
Build this boat if you would like the convenience and comfort of a sit-on-top kayak but with better-than-usual speed and handling or if you often paddle in warm water and waves.


These plans and manual contain sufficient information on the cutting of the panels to make it possible to build the boat from scratch rather than a kit. If, later, you decide to purchase the kit the cost of this will be deducted from the kit price. The manual does not contain the cutting instructions so it is not possible to build the boat from scratch using only this.
After credit card authorisation the plans will be sent to the email address put on the order form.
When you have studied the plans, your next step might be to order the printed instruction manual, which will walk you through the project step-by-step. This option contains the solid wood and plywood components pre-cut to the correct size with pre-cut joints, plus the construction manual. Chesapeake Light Craft hired Nick to design this kayak to add a sit-on-top to their line of wooden kayak kits. This boat brings the volume of the hull out towards the ends more for a higher prismatic coefficient. These full size plans include patterns for all the forms needed to build a strip-built sea kayak. The area has everything from industrial waterfronts to remote and rugged shores within a day's drive. It has sponsons above the waterline which provide a lot of stability while still allowing an efficient shape. Sharp-eyed observers will notice the similarity to the popular Shearwater kayak line, designed by Nick Schade's brother Eric, which have a similar cambered Sapele deck and tumblehome sides.
Parts are located in the hull with pre-drilled holes, so in theory you could build the entire boat without picking up a tape measure.


Adjustable footbraces are standard, as is a comfortable seat and a fully adjustable back band for high lumbar support.
The stability and self-draining cockpit makes beach launches and landings safer and easier than in a traditional kayak.
This is the comprehensive manual that accompanies the kit; reading it will help you decide whether or not you can build the boat. It does not contain the plans (these are not required because the wood is pre-cut), any of the epoxy to glue and coat the boat, the fabric or tape nor any of the hardware. The cockpit is completely self-draining so any water that does find its way in will drain directly out.
This is a straight tracking boat: if you stop paddling it will keep going in the same direction. It describes all of the techniques that will be used during the build and also a step by step guide to construction. These two subjects led to further explorations and finally to controlled tests of wood and glass laminates used to build wood kayaks. The low back deck permits the paddler to easily lean back so their head touches the back deck. The foredeck is high enough that most paddlers will be able to get there legs in and out whiled sitting down.
The trick becomes one of building for the amount of abuse expected from shore landings and car transport.



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