boatbuilding, i'm going with a...

-- Last Updated: Apr-29-06 5:43 PM EST --

pygmy arctic tern 14.

this time.**

i think...

unless you all reason me out of it.

here's why, feel free to comment (or correct anything i seem to misunderstand)...

1. i originally wanted a multi-chine for open water but then i read in the pygmy catalog that hard chines are more responsive to leaning turns, etc. i want to learn how to do that. plus, once i'm comfortable leaning the boat, i'll be less likely to get nervous/lose control when a multi rolls with the waves.

2. i saw someone's profile pic that reminded me of paddling through the mangroves at st. lucie inlet sp...which reminded me of other "muckabout" spaces i've been in, and that my 14 foot boat was about the longest thing i would want to take into that kind of space. this matters because muckabout spaces are my favourite.

3. i have serious workshop and storage space issues. fourteen foot is just more realistic right now. plus, it won't look so funny if both boats on top of my car are the same length. (especially given that my car is only 14.5 feet.)

4. i'm going with the arctic tern over some other 14-footer because everyone speaks highly of pygmy boats in general, and it has a larger-than-average cockpit, which i need.

**i still want a 16 foot multichine, but that will be a strip deck hybrid...(and i swore, SWORE, mind you, i was not going to built two boats and end up owning three!)

Oh my…
you are in trouble now!

Paddling a boat that you have created with your own hands yields a high beyond description.

I cannot imagine ever buying a manufactured kayak again. Or canoe for that matter!

I completed a cedar strip Night Heron several months ago and the next winter will see a two boat build; a cedar strip solo canoe for myself and an S&G kayak for a friend.

And, just to make sure I don’t lose track of my tools before then, I’m going to try my hand this summer at one of Tom Yost’s SOF designs as I’d like a folder to take to Alaska next year.

You see what you’ve got yourself into?!

Best of luck and pleasant waters to you.


I paddled a 17’ tern and really liked it
They are very popular in San Diego. The builders I have talked to rave about them

oh geez, please…

– Last Updated: Apr-29-06 2:06 AM EST –

tell me there is some kind of...shot...or antidote...antivenom...'antiboatum'?

there *must* be. my ability to act in moderation and not accumulate boat after boat after boat depends on it!

You’re going to have so much fun!
I’m in the middle of my first build–Arctic Tern 17–and loving every minute of it. Check out’s photo journal of the Arctic Tern 14 build if you haven’t already.

The Arctic Tern 14…

A great choice for your first build. I’ve built two of them and the only problem with them is that they will spoil you. I think it is the best all around handling boat available, it has a very high cruising speed and rated as one of the most efficient boats at normal cruising speed. It was my first sit-in kayak, I still keep one around and it gets more use than any of the others. I’m 5’11” 180lbs. and the boat does just fine, and dynamite for a smaller person. I love that it weighs 34lbs. It does lack the top speed of some of the long boats but unless you are out with the very hard core you will easily keep up on a day trip.

I sold my Caribou a few days ago and the demo was in 15 to 20kt. winds, perfect conditions to test the Caribou. Anyway I took my AT14 and we had a ball, I love that boat…

Good luck… HAVE FUN! GH

This is the Sea I. There’s a segment about a woman out on the west coast who built her own 14’ Arctic Tern and was doing some wild stuff in the surf.

Also a buddy of mine built one and loves it. Not a lot of volume for multi-day trips, but still fun!


i wonder how that will compare with my 14’ pungo. (the only volume reference i have.)

i don’t forsee anything longer than a single or double overnight at this point. and even that is only a remote possibility as i’m not exactly a primitive camping kind of gal, lol.

plus any overnighting would be in the company of at least one other person so we’d have the benefit of two boats between which to stow the “overnight” gear.

Your going to love it
The Artic Tern is a blast to paddle in rough conditions. It will spoil you. You won’t find a kayak that tracks as well with such good manuverability. Construction is top notch and solid. I’m 6’ 170 lbs. and It’s my top choice for rough conditions and surfing.

It will be fine for weekend camping. Enjoy.

weekend camping is perfect! is yours
the 14’, or a longer one?

Mine was a 14
I sold it to a friend so I could build my next kayak. I seem to compare other kayaks to the many great characteristics of the Tern 14. The only thing the Tern 14 was lacking was speed.