Night Heron re-do

Submitted byhoward onSat, 06/29/2019 - 16:49

I recently completed an extensive refurbishment of my Night Heron strip-built created back in 2012...which was looking quite beat up.

This Night Heron has served me well and paddles beautifully...especially for distance work.   The hull is the original design per Nick's drawings.  And the deck is custom to take some queues from the Petrel....and to fit me and my paddling style which needs a bit of knee bend.

As I mentioned in the title, the boat was pretty beat up and the glass had been repaired multiple times and was really not salvageable any longer.....I was a bit short of confidence and time on the effort, so as part of this project, we commissioned Joey Schott of Turning Point Boatworks to pull all the old e-glass glass off, re-stain it with a new redder color (Behlens Blood Red) and  re-skin it with 4 oz s-glass.   From there I took over with five coats of varnish and brand new rigging.   

Other features of this boat include a skeg kit from superior kayaks and soft-loop rigging.   The colored bungee is 'neon green' and provides a nice 'snap' against the dark red.   In this version of the boat, I also went with a wet varnish finish.   The original was done with polished varnish, and while an amazing look when it was initially applied, was very difficult to touch up for the routine scratches and stuff that happens on a boat that is used a lot.

Anyway, with a bit of love, amazing how these boats can keep on going.


Night Heron side view


Night Heron rear quarter

It looks beautiful, Howard. What are you doing to get it so beat up that you were doubtful it could be salvaged? The green deck lines work, I was doubtful about that part until I saw the images. Nicely redone.

when i said  'not salvageable' i was only referring to the outer skin/glass.  i had used the boat extensively for seven years....each end-of-season taking care of scratches and if anything big happened (which it did) taking care of that at the time.   so the boat from the cedar core on in was always in good shape....just wasn't looking great as the problems with the glass accumulated.

the other issue that was occurring with the glass was that the weave was starting to develop a white the glass was becoming less and less transparent.   in discussions with Joey,  this is apparently a challenge in bright finished boats that are colored dark....because they are dark, they can get quite hot and when the boat expands/contracts  the different coefficient of expansions of the core, the glass and the epoxy creates these little gaps that are the white fleck.   so joey also has some ideas about different resins and glass combinations that he thought would perform better given what was going on and what i wanted to do.    anyway, at the end, i wanted to restore it to its original or better look....and decided that taking the old exterior glass of and re-skinning it was the way to go (similar to Nick's petrel video...where he shows himself doing a similar refurbishment).

so, at that point, i knew what i wanted to do and as i thought through all the steps, i just decided that the steps of glass removal and re-skinning 'brought me no joy'.....which is where joey schott and his company turning point boatworks came in.  he is a fantastic builder who is now a professional....and i had a lot of confidence in him and that he could handle it to my standards and we were able to work something out that worked for him and worked for me.

so he did his part great, i did my part....and happy that i was able to bring my night heron back to better than her original self:)


It is indeed a lot of work to clean up old glass and redo everything...tiring just to think of. This is why I use a routine to create a kind of Zen environment when I gotta do sick work. I burn incense, then on the radio to good music, keep a tumbler of chartreuse going, and free my mind of troublesome issues...then I can do what must be done which I may not be so into doing. I just finished a canoe restoration, four paddle restorations, and got three more kayak restorations to complete, then get started on building a canoe/sailboat creation.