Pygmy for big guy, Coho or Arctic Tern?

A friend at work paddles, and is tired of borrowing his brother-in-laws Inukshuk. He’s a big dude, about 225lb and strong. He wants to build and likes the Coho, but at 17’6" and 23"w, I think it’s a bit of a barge. The Arctic Tern 17 is 17’ even and 22"w, so I’m thinking it would be much sportier but still fairly stable.

Has anyone paddled the Coho?

The Tern is also 23"

– Last Updated: Dec-03-06 10:05 PM EST –

The CLC Shearwater is a little narrower.

I paddle a Tern. (6'0, 195 lbs.) It is roomy. But I'm progressing down from wide rec boats, so the Tern is the narrowest-beamed boat I've paddled. It's pretty stable.

He could also check out the Osprey HP, which has a 22 inch beam.

I have a Tern…
and have paddled the Coho. I wouldn’t call either a barge (I call mine the Buick) as they can be built very light. The Coho is a little quicker but often benefits from a rudder where as on the Tern the chines do the work. Either one makes a great camping boat.

greyhawks right
on the size.

If this guy has large feet the artic tern HI would be the way to go.

If he does build he should ask pygmy (or wayne reinhert thru paymy) about reducing the cockpit length a bit…save a ton on custom made spray skirts.

I’m about this guys size and can tell ya he will definitely have to put in hip brace padding. The cockpit is large enough for one of the Klump family.

greyhawk may differ on this but I found the tern rode a bit high in the water and as such was susceptable to quartering winds…but that may just be me.

not a barge
the wetted area feels low, it’s an efficient hull shape. He’s perfect for it. For unruddered day paddling the Tern is more fun but for efficiency/speed the Coho is better with a rudder for high winds. Both have roomy cockpits. Make sure and add thigh braces.

If you go to reviews you’ll notice one person complaining about tippiness, it’s not but the bottom isn’t flat or barge like.

Using one liner dimension like beam to define a hull shape is misleading.

isn’t that a 19’x 20" wide boat,oh hell compared to that the Coho is a barge. The Coho is a good big sea kindly fast efficient touring kayak. If he wants something a bit more intimate than the roomy Coho then a Shearwater 18 would be a good choice.

The Coho is great!

– Last Updated: Dec-04-06 12:15 PM EST –

I have a Coho and absolutely love it – I weigh about the same as the fellow who wants to build the Coho and the boat fits very well with a bit of padding out. Although it will stow a whole lot of gear, I certainly wouldn’t call it a “barge”. The boat is quite fast and it’s a pleasure to paddle.

I also don’t agree with the mcyaks’ comment about having to get a custom spray deck – I picked mine off the shelf – a Brooks full neoprene skirt that fits the Coho perfectly.


nice boats
I have both and say that the coho is a little bit more stable in ruff conditions but it definitely is alot more fun on tours with the rudder. I have size 12 feet and so I have to turn my heels in toward the center but it is a nice fast boat that handles big water very nicely. The tern is the easier of the two boats to build though.

I think the Inukshuk that Magoo is referring to is the Boreal Design Inukshuk. A poly boat 17 long and 24" wide.

Am I correct there Magoo?

Cheers…Joe O’

got it,not the Inuk by Kirton
yeah,the coho would be perfect

Check out: S&G Cirrus at:

Vaclav is a big guy and seems to build his prototypes for his size frame, and then offers smaller versions as well. This is a great boat. For reviews, ask you friend to ask about the SnG Cirrus at:


see c2g’s Cirrus review on