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The stitch-and-glue Petrel is a Greenland-style sea kayak with speed and refined handling that excels in surfing conditions. Nick Schade's line of strip-planked Greenland-style sea kayaks are renowned for sophisticated performance on the water, beautiful lines and sculptural hull details, but strip-planked boatbuilding is not for everyone. The new stitch-and-glue version of the cedar-strip Petrel eliminates the fussy strip-planking procedure. Like the original strip-planked version, the stitch-and-glue Petrel has a transitioning chine; a soft multi-chine bow and a hard-chine stern. It can be built with all the features paddlers expect from a modern sea kayak; features not found in any other kayak kit. The stitch-and-glue Petrel is a sophisticated design that is not the easiest to build but the complexity pays off in the paddling.
Schade also created a shorter, wider version of the Petrel: the 14-foot Petrel Play will suit a beginner for exploring lakes, or an expert surfing big waves. 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. The Notso's come in three lengths, and, compared to our Simple series, they are 'not so' easy to build (get it?). Mike Allen, a Kayak Instructor, recently had a chance to try out the Notso 16, even though he is a little big (260 lbs, Size 13 shoes) for this particular boat. All plywood parts are precision cut on the latest, state-of-the-art CNC Laser Cutting Center. The stitch-and-glue Night Heron is a thoroughly modern plywood sea kayak that will appeal to athletic paddlers.
This stitch-and-glue version of the Night Heron tends to track a little more stiffly than the original, due to a slightly sharper v-shape at the stem and stern. The chine on the foredeck provides clearance to keep your paddle stroke entry close to the boat while paddling with a high or low paddle angle.

The stitch-and-glue Night Heron has proven extremely popular with builders, thanks to the high performance, aggressive styling and great looks. You can read about the build process in a stitch-and-glue Night Heron build log (with photos) on our forum. There is also a Hybrid Night Heron, which combines the plywood hull of the stitch-and-glue Night Heron with the cedar-strip deck of the original. Please note that when building from plans you will need to use traditional scarf joints to join the panels instead of the puzzle joints that are used in the kit. For many people, the hours involved in building a strip boat just don't fit into their lives. Computer-cut plywood panels for the hull and deck are stitched together with wire, then reinforced with epoxy and fibreglass. This allows for responsive control surfing, with less tendency for the bow to lock in and softer landings going up through waves.
It has super-waterproof rubber hatches, including a day hatch behind the cockpit, giving it a rugged, business-like look. The boat works well as a long distance touring kayak for smaller paddlers or as a day or overnight boat for larger paddlers.
This is the comprehensive manual that accompanies the kit; reading it will help you decide whether or not you can build the boat. The photo shows the prototype Notso 16 out for a very pleasant summer paddle on a pond in Breslau, Ontario, only a few yards away from where it was built! This is due to the additional Sheer Panel, which not only gives the boat a sleeker, more appealing shape, but also provides more side clearance for easy paddling. To eliminate the need for making scarf joints on the long panels, these kits feature 'puzzle-piece' joints which fit so well that they will all but disappear. It is based on the original cedar-strip Night Heron but uses stitch-and-glue construction with distinctive puzzle-joints that fit together easily.
Due to the plywood construction this version has a more defined hard chine than the strip version.

Many builders adopt Nick's multi-colour staining approach, with each of the jigsaw-puzzled parts a different hue. This option is for those wanting to obtain the other materials needed to build the boat from other sources. The simplified plywood hull has its own sculptural qualities and gives up none of the performance and handling of the original.
These hatches are recessed to minimise spray and ease rescue techniques and the cockpit is also recessed to make rolling easier. It describes all of the techniques that will be used during the build and also a step by step guide to construction.
Designed by John Winters, these kayaks are more responsive and faster, and are intended for the more experienced paddler. All the stitch holes have been drilled and all parts are numbered for easy reference, and a very comfortable contoured closed-cell foam seat and knee braces are also included. Puzzle joints, one of Schade's signature design motifs, give the stitch and glue Petrel great artistic flair.
It also has an efficient retractable skeg, which is easy to adjust and is offset from the centre line to virtually eliminate jamming. The stitch-and-glue Petrel is not very easy to build from plans unless you have plenty of experience. Their shapes are derived from Inuit Southwest Greenland style kayaks modified to suit Stitch and Glue construction. Otherwise, the performance of the different kayaks in designer Nick Schade's Night Heron range are all quite similar.

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