Down side of modifying a Pygmy

or CLC like the Artic Tern or CLC 17? By modify, opening up the cockpit like a rec boat so my legs have room to move.

I have asked both companies the question and both say not to do it, but I suspect that is more a legal response than a practical one.

If a more open cockpit had a good coaming on it, It seems like the boat could be used in most conditions short of open ocean /surfing , certainly anywhere a rec boat could be used. And I have no desire to roll it.

I would think
that the structural integrity would be less, unless you beefed up the coaming. But if you’re pretty much doing flat water (or slow moving water) the coaming is probably over designed anyway.

upside, downside
first off kit companies are there to make and sell kits as well as help folks through the construction process. Helping you redesign their kits is not what brings in income no matter how much you think it meets your needs.

Basically if you know what you want then you wouldn’t be looking to turn a long,skinny, rollable sea kayak into a rec. kayak.

But let’s say a particular model and your size make for an objectively acceptable large cockpit kayak without thigh bracing and the existing coaming height to not cause a problem. You can do ANYTHING you want,although the purchase agreement probably says you cannot modify the kit.

What exactly do you want? function? cost?

Something more efficient than a MillCreek 13? It’s a nice design as it is. The Pygmy coaming is very large and for someone under 5’6" is almost as good as a rec kayak.

Structurally there’s no problem doing anything.

Check out you might find some old photos of a Chesapeake 18 turned into a no cockpit kayak.

The goal is a fast, comfortable for me
kayak mostly for use on flatwater to include coastal areas.Like everyone it seems, I want a hybrid.

should be okay
It should be fine. I know it’s been done a couple of times before, and the folks seemed to be satisfied with the results. All you are really talking about is something similar to a decked canoe, and they work just fine.

I haven’t been over on the Guillemot board ( yet tonight - did you post the question there? If not, I would recommend doing so, as that’s where I’ve seen photos of similar projects. I’m pretty sure that at least one of the guys who did a kayak with a large open cockpit still posts there on a regular basis.

the standard Osprey is a pretty deep kayak, a shallow kayak could get wetter when leaned so I think you could pull it off. You’ll need to make your own coaming. Rumor has it that Pygmy was going to make a rec. kayak,I guess they haven’t got around to it.

Down side of modifying a Pygmy
Pygmies while rather small are very fast and scrappy. They tend to travel in groups and have and use poison darts. A concern for your personal safety might be a issue…


never mind…

Yeah I bet you would have more luck modifying an Amazon as you would have more material to work with… of course She might kick your BUMM if you tried…


– Last Updated: Jul-12-05 7:57 AM EST –

I know comfort is a very subjective measurement, but the Arctic Tern is as roomy as they come, especially if you make the HD model. I don't know your dimensions, but I can bring my knees up quite easily while sitting in the cockpit of my Tern. Most people have to put in thigh bracing just to shrink the ample space inside so as not to fall out. Make the cockpit too much longer and you nearly have a canoe. Why not just make the Pygmy canoe?

I would make a decked canoe if
there was one available. JEM is working on a design.

Modifying S&G
Since the modification you are considering involves the deck, it should not have a major effect on handling and safety. Just make sure you have enough side deck to shed water and that you can get a skirt that fits the bigger cockpit properly. My second VOLKSKAYAK has a HUGE cockpit, thanks to some mods involving flattening the hull’s bottom, increasing the beam, and lowering the decks - all approved by the designer, BTW.

Isn’t a decked canoe a kayak?

It is unless your Name is Kruger

No. Hull design on canoes is not
the same as kayaks , decked or not.For instance, there are no chines on the 3 canoes I have.

Modifying an existing design…
I am contemplating doing exactly that with my next project (maybe this fall, winter). I believe Jonathan sent you an email about what I discussed with him last night.

Check this link:

The kayak is a stripper designed by Nick Schade, the same gentleman that designed the Night Heron I’m presently building. It appears very similar to a QCC 500, except that its 24 inches wide instead of the 500’s 23 inches.

I am contemplating building the hull according to the plans and then change the deck layout to meet my requirements which are:

  1. An open cockpit (similar to a rec kayak)
  2. The seat bottom higher than in a regular decked kayak, preferably above the waterline. This may not be feasible, but the only way to find out is to build the hull, temporarily reinforce the gunnels, and paddle it while varying the seat height to check the stability. I’m hoping that the additional inch of width will help somewhat with stability.
  3. Enclosed storage in the front and rear.

    If I can get the seat high enough above the waterline without completely loosing stability, I could close the cockpit completely and make it a true SOT. I doubt this will be possible but I’m sure going to try. My other concern with an open cockpit kayak is that I’m used to putting the kayak up on edge to turn and I’d have to be careful with an open cockpit boat.

    I’ve got lots of ideas I want to try, and if none work, then I’ll have an open cockpit sea kayak that will be a great flat water cruiser, especially for paddling the Edisto, the swamp, and short trips on Jocassee. The Newfound Boat Works website (I don’t have the link handy) has some pictures taken at some of their annual get togethers where open cockpit sea kayaks are shown.

    Maybe we could build yours first??

another thought
Have you taken a look at the Waters Dancing tandem? It can be built with a large open cockpit, and can be set up to be paddled solo.

Check out this link…
I did a search on the kayak building forum at Guillemot kayaks and found these pictures.

Check this out…

Is this what you’re thinking about string?


– Last Updated: Jul-13-05 7:10 AM EST –

I'm actually referring to the boat on the far left of the photo, not the open kayak that you are pointing out to string. The one on the far left looks like it has an enlarged cockpit and a Wenonah sliding seat. I guess you never know what can be done until you try.

In looking through the photos, I noticed a few other boats that have been modified to have a large, open cockpit. Interesting.

Check out the seat height of the kayak you pointed out.

It looks like the bottom of the seat is level with the deck, or close to it and how the cockpit is completely closed in on the inside. The previous picture to the link I posted shows it better.

Since I’ve started building my NH, I’ve been amazed at what other more knowledgable folks have built in order to meet certain wants/needs in their paddling.

strip or s&g?