Submitted: 11-09-2011 by slowtwitch
This is my third build. The Night Heron is an awesome boat. I have paddled it for a full season now. Of the three boats I currently have it seems to be my go to boat. At 6' and 195 lbs. I may be a pretty good weight for the boat. Initially I was a little disappointed with its tendency to drift. I quickly fixed that by adding a 7" by 1-1/4" fixed skeg 18" from the stern. I also moved my seat about 4" forward of the rear combing. This made the boat a lot easier for me to roll and also dropped the bow for a little better tracking, not that it mattered with the fixed skeg.
If I put it on edge it turns beautifully. I found that it handles beautifully in 2' waves and confused water. However, I don't like to get out in anything rougher then that. On rolling waves its easy to get on top and ride them. I enjoy the Night Heron's handling as much as my Tahe Greenland T.
I paddle with a friend who has a Tide Race Extreme. I think we both feel the NH handles the rough water a little better and surfs a bit better, and turns on edge a bit nicer. However the Tide Race with its deployable skeg tracks better then my NH in really rough water - more then 2' waves.
The NH rolls fairly easy, but I have to do it right, unlike my Tahe in comparison which rolls even when I really screw up the roll.
In my opinion if you are 165 lbs or more the NH is a super boat even if you are a new paddler.