Pygmy boats

I’m looking at the Arctic Tern HV or the Goldeneye HI. I’m on the large side 6’1" @ 235 with a size 13 shoe. Does anyone have any thoughts on the different designs, hard chine versus multi-chine hulls. I’m a beginner but would like a boat to grow into and learn some more advanced skills. Does one boat roll easier than the other? Any input would be appreciated.

Don’t know about rolling, but
I sat in my arctic tern for the first time yesterday in my pool. I haven’t even got the seat installed yet but I can tell you that this is one very stable kayak. I am used to the rounded chines of a QCC700 so reaching the tip point happens suddenly. I like the feel and I suspect it will do very well in rough water with not nearly as much effort as it takes to keep the QCC topside up.

If you are making the boat yourself, and are not a wood worker or used to epoxy, be prepared to spend a lot more time than Pygmy advertises. They say 70 hours but I think it is more like 100 plus hours. Very satisfying and well worth it though.

Here is my Tern last evening just before I climbed in.

like yours and mine add difficulty to selecting a model of kayak. I am also size 13 and paddle the Coho. I can only wear water shoes, no sandals and not even thick sole water shoes. My toes are on the underside of the deck with a slightly pointed position. This is not uncomfortable for me at all but I mention it so that you can go to the Pygmy site and compare the dimensions of your selections against that of the Coho. I assume that you have already run this by the Pygmy staff. Aren’t both of these boats Greenland style? That might make a little difference in the height of the deck where your feet will be as compared to the Coho multi-chine configuration.

I second the comment about the build time. I have built two Pygmy’s and it takes me a lot longer.

Jim3727, that is a nice looking job you have there.


The Osprey Std. is a Golden Eye with the updated four panel deck. It is an early design and very hard to turn without a rudder. The Tern is one of the latest designs. It has hard chines, turns very nicely and is well balanced. The Tern’s hull shape will give you less foot room thus the Tern Hi.

Talk to Pygmy…

IMHO… The Tern Hi…

yr not that big
talk to David Grimmer at Pygmy.

I paddled with a fellow along the coast, he was in a Standard Golden Eye,5/11" 225lbs with lots of reserve buoyancy,it’s a very efficient design that can be easily paddled at a brisk pace,but if you want to learn bracing/turning the regular Tern should be good. IMHO most beginners get too big of boats.

If you ask, Pygmy will send you a list of owners/builders in your area. Most builders I’ve talked to have been happy to show off their boats.

Sheerwater offers plans for a footbrace
that eliminate the jammed feet problem entirely.

Best $5. I ever spent.

all these years
I’ve been using regular footbraces and just this year I moved a bulkhead and put some whole foot braces in,what a difference. There must be a reason surf-skis have a whole foot placement, sure takes some tension out of the legs.