Re: north bay

Posted by Leeg on Feb 24, 2008

You will find a few opinions on about the Northbay as a few club members have built them.

The NBs handling characteristics can be predicted if you've owned and paddled one. It has relatively low rocker and very fine ends with low volume in the ends.

It broaches quickly and hard with waves from the stern as the stern is lifted and the fine low volume bow is stuck. It has moderate weathercocking that cannot be corrected with a lean beyond a moderate breeze. A skeg will address weathercocking but have no bearing on broaching/wave handling as the size of the skeg is insignificant compared to the size and shape of the hull which is what determines handling in waves.

The "unpredictable handling" might be the shift in stability as a low rocker hull tries to follow waves or the pivot point shifts forward as the bow is submerged and the stern lifted on a small wave. I had a Necky Chatham18 that was great in many respects but it is low rocker and twitchier than other more rockered hulls in waves. If you're going to have a low rocker s&g kayak made out of four panels then it needs lots of flare in the side panels like the A.Hawk. If there isn't much flare to the side panels then it needs rocker like the Night Heron or Caribou. The Merganser/Shearwaters have a bit of both.

There are a few other designs worth considering like Nick Schades s&g Night Heron if you want a fast good handling kayak. If you want a fast and stiff handling kayak Eric Schades 18'x21" Merganser 18 is also worth checking out.

Basically if you have a low rocker hull with flat panels things can get twitchy in waves. The Pax20 has a lot of lateral area in a low volume bow and longer hull that will accentuate the wave handling problems mentioned for the NB.

The A.Hawk, Merganser/Shearwaters, s&g Night Herons all have some element of rocker or reserve bouyancy above the waterline that the Pax20/NB don't have that contribute to predictable handling in waves.

In Response to: north bay by steve on Feb 24, 2008