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Guillemot Night Heron

I wanted to share with you a couple photographs of my Night Heron kayak (LOA 18′, beam of 20″), designed by Nick Shade of Guillemot Kayaks . The boat took nearly two years of weekends and evenings to complete, with work proceeding at a glacial pace during some periods. The boat was first launched on a cold, windy day in February, 2012 on Jordan Lake, located in central NC. It performed wonderfully despite the weather conditions and my kayaking skills being a bit rusty.

For those of you not familiar with Nick’s designs, it is constructed with thin strips of wood which are then encapsulated in fiberglass and epoxy. For this build I used what was generically referred to as “spruce” from a locally-owned builders’ supply (Fitch Lumber) in Carrboro, NC. All other building supplies came from Chesapeake Light Craft. I decided to paint the hull and cockpit coaming white and leave the hull bright. Final weight of the kayak is in the neighborhood of 43lbs.

LOA (feet):
Beam (feet):
Double paddle
Home Port:
Chapel Hill, NC
Designer Name:
Nick Shade
Builder Name:
Stirling Cummings
Launching Date:
February 12, 2012


Submitted by Mr. Zenith on

Excellent work! The combination of the white hull and bright deck is particularly attractive. I built a version of Nick Schade's Guillemot back in 1999. She's a lumberyard special like yours, with a douglas fir bottom and a white pine deck. It's finished bright, but I may just go back and copy your finish scheme.

This is my first visit to the online "Launchings" page, and it was a pleasant surprise to see one so close to where I live. Fitch Lumber is right across the street from Elmo's Diner where my wife and I go to breakfast nearly every Saturday morning. I think I'll pay 'em a visit soon...

Congratulations on a fine build!