Pygmy Coho or Osprey?

First post here. I’ve had time in kayaks but I would consider my self a beginner. I’m 6’1" 190lbs and interested in a boat that can handle a week long excursion should I choose to do so. I’m really attracted to the Pygmy Coho or the Osprey but could use some input on what might fit me best.

I’ve had experience with fiberglass projects and building wood projects, no concerns there.



– Last Updated: Feb-23-10 9:05 PM EST –

Both are big enough. The Osprey standard is beamier and more of a straight tracker. The Coho is more maneuverable. I'd be happier with the Coho or the Tern 17, but that's me.

If you contact Pygmy they'll give you the names of owners/builders in your area.

You also might want to ask on the building board if there's anyone in your area with one of these boats:

I have paddled one several
times.They track very well and seem to have alot of room in the hatches. However I do not have enough room for my feet. the deck is to low and I only have size 9 feet. I could not believe it. I had to paddle bare foot because there was not enough room to wear my water shoes.

Other than that it is a great boat.

Pygmy Boats
I have built several Pygmy boats including 2 Coho’s. I have not built an Osprey but have paddled it several times. I have a friend that uses the Osprey as his main boat. Either will work fine for someone your size. I am a little surprised by the comment about a size 9 not fitting. I am a size 10 1/2 and have no problems even with light water shoes. The biggest difference between the two boats is that the Osprey tracks much stronger then the Coho. Too strong for my personal tastes so I prefer the Coho. The Coho is also longer and a little more narrow then the Osprey. Both are large volume boats which is great for long expeditions but they will ride high in the water when lightly loaded. They still handle very well loaded or unloaded and have great primary stability. As someone suggested, give Pygmy a call and discuss the boats with them. They will give you good advice.

Good luck with your build.

Many thanks for the comments. I too am surprised to hear a problem with size 9 feet fitting. I’m a size 11.5 so it’s something I plan to ask Pygmy when I contact them.


Arctic Tern
That’s very strange about the lack of foot room. I’m paddling a Chatham 17, but about a week away from finishing my Arctic Tern 17 (much more luggage space). The Tern’s deck is about the same as those other pygmy boats and I’ve been sitting in it to adjust fittings. I have size 10.5 NRS water shoes and it’s roomy!

BTW - if you’re wondering how expedition worthy the pygmy coho is watch this:

Paddle to Seattle
Yeah, I bought that DVD and watched it a few days ago. Very fun to watch, the two guys are really funny. Part of the reason I started looking into S&G kayak kits was because of this film.

Size 12 here
And my feet fit under the deck of the Coho and Tern. Pygmy suggests if your feet are bigger than that, get one of their high volume models. The thing about all the Pygmy Boats is they are pretty roomy. I built a Tern as a relative beginner, and was worried it would be too narrow tippy and tight. It’s not by a long shot (I’m 6 foot, 200 lbs.) I think you would find the Tern and the Coho more responsive than the Osprey.

kit boat
go with the clc shearwater 17, its a great boat and a very easy build ,check out the reviews on the kits and i think you’ll find clc’s got a slightly better reputation

I agree that the Shearwater boats are nice boats; I am just finishing up a Shearwater 14. They are indeed nice boats and CLC is a good company with an excellent selection of boats.

I also agree that CLC has a good reputation but I don’t agree that it is any better then Pygmy Boats. I have built boats from both and have personally visited both shops and interacted with the people who own and work for both. I do not see any real differences in quality or customer service from either company. I would also include the Canadian company Waters Dancing in my list as a good company with the same quality and customer service. While there is bound to be competition and some will prefer one boat design over another, I don’t believe anyone will go wrong buying from any of these companies. Just my $.02 worth; your mileage and opinion may vary.

I’ve heard the opposite
When I was considering S&G construction, I heard the opposite - that Pygmy boats were better. This was partly due to the nature of the kits - the old CLC kits had you overlap the deck over the chines and trim it, so the shape was not fully determined by the computer-cut pieces. Current construction methods have solved this issue - I think the companies are both good, but I wound up building skin-on-frame to have a boat quicker, lighter and cheaper.