20" wide, 18+' long - it goes easily and fast. Rolls easily. Initial stability is not relaxing, but secondary is very good. It does weathercock some, but leaning is very effective at counteracting that. Yes, it does want to broach while surfing some waves - a skeg might help, maybe a lot.
Limited storage, as designed, behind the cockpit. Decent storage up front, but not for long expeditions.
I'm 5'9", 150lbs, size 9 feet. Cockpit fits me just great, and the back deck is just exactly the perfect height for me to relax against, when necessary. Looks darn good, too! I really love mine.
The boat has been discontinued by CLC, but I built it from plans in Chris Kulczyki's book "Stitch-and-Glue Boatbuilding." You can too!I built this boat to be fast while still a beginner paddler. I advanced quickly through the learning curve thanks to the North Bay. This boat weathercocks with out the skeg kit, but once installed it tracks where you point it. Initial stability seems low at first, but that is only due to the v-hull design. It wants to sit still on one side or the other. Once used to that, your stability problems are over. The North Bay is a hand full in the surf, but you gain experience fast. Even though it is not easy to handle in surf, it can still be real fun!
I learned to roll in the North Bay, and after trying many designs I find it one of the easier to roll using a sweep/layback works for me. With 2 hatches this boat holds a ton of stuff and has more initial stability loaded. It travels fast and looks great. I found it straight forward to build and light weight.The northbay is a very attractive s&g kayak. 20"x18'3"(3" if you don't soften the pencil tip ends).
It has a similar keel line as the Chesapeake series, very slightly rockered centersection with a very slight raise in the ends where the bottom panels narrow significantly. The coaming can be short or long but in the short version the deck beam will sit right at ones kneecap requireing adequate minicell protection. For this 5'9" person with size 11 feet the footroom is inadequate. The displacement is not small so a small person who feels comfortable in the cockpit will be small for the kayak and a normal sized adult who can sink it in the water will be cramped.
Performance wise it has a constant weathercocking that the lack of rocker, slab sides and tight bow prevent paddler skill to compensate for. On small waves from the stern the sharp entry will stick allowing the bow to dig and bring the kayak into a broach easily.
The slab sides and lack of rocker remove any predictable secondary one might desire for control in waves (especially noticable for waves off the stern) or to provide a responsive hull for lean/sweeps. It is a fast hull.
The aft deck structure using underdeck carlins adds unnecessary weight and intrudes on storage space.
One could rate it anywhere from 1-10 depending on what one expects from a kayak.