Pygmy Opsrey HP and Coho

I’m located in the Tampa Bay area, built the Pygmy Artic Tern 14 a few years ago and am looking to build either the Osprey HP or Coho next. Does anyone in the area own one of these models that I can look at and/or try?

anyone have a review?
If I build, this is my first choice.

I’ve heard…
that the Osprey is about Pygmy’s best boat. This from a friend who has built both the Osprey and Coho.

I have no personal first-hand knowledge of their boats.

Check th “product reviews” on this site. The kayak builder’s forum is also a great place to get information on kit boats.

I demoed a Coho several years ago and liked it, but it’s a big boat. The Pygmy designer enjoys long paddling trips, and most of his boats reflect that.

I have built
the Coho and an Osprey double. I am happy with the speed and handling of the Coho. Yes, there may be some commercial boats out there a little less beamy. QCC is one. John Lockwood does design his boats for tripping so they are a little wider but I have never found that to be a deterrent when I am out with other paddlers. I can cruise between 3 1/2 to 4 mph depending upon the conditions. She will go faster if I have the strength to maintain the effort. If you look at the Models page on the Pygmy website you will see the difference between the Coho and the HP. One inch less beam will make the HP a little faster. I also believe, but do not know for sure, that the waterline length is a little longer because they don’t post that information for the Coho. If that is true that is another plus in the speed department. You might call and talk to them. Just exactly what that will mean to you in a trip is unknown.

As far as building either kit I don’t think one would be any easier/better than the other. And either one is going to get you a lot of comments from paddlers and the general public.

You didn’t mention what you were looking for in a boat. Are you planning to race, day trip, or expeditions?

I have seen pictures of Pygmy’s on in FL but I don’t know in what part of the state. Greyak and some others may know.

Kayak Forum
Post this on the kayak building forum at:

You should get a lot of input on these boats and my hook up with local owners.

the OspreyHp is definately a ruddered design, essentially a longer/skinner GoldenEye. The Coho is more of a stable touring boat with less response to a lean than the Terns. A rudder isn’t a necessity for the Coho and although it responds to a lean it’s a big boat that a rudder would be worthwhile for loaded straightline paddling.

This fall I spent
6 days in Voyageurs National Park in a Coho. Up to that time I had never needed a rudder even though I knew it lee cocked in following sea/winds. There was a reason why I had never needed the rudder before. I had not been in water that “interesting” before for that long a time and never loaded. 3 of the 6 days we had gale force breezes and 2 of those days they were following breezes. I was partnered with a fellow in a QCC700 and I spent a lot of time making corrective strokes. Within 1 month of my return there was a Seal Line rudder installed.

If Lee says that the Osprey is a ruddered design I would listen to him. I have read enough of his posts to know that he is very knowledgable. If I were to recommend anything it would be the type of rudder you use. Go with the seal line that operates with your toes and not the type that work by sliding the pegs. I have that in my Osprey Double and I don’t like that setup because I can’t really push with my legs as hard as I like. In my normal style I really work the legs up and down and push against the pegs to generate good upper body rotation.


same here
I had built the Coho for a friend and had a chance to use it a lot for a couple years. Then I took it on a trip up in Maine for a week,fully loaded and unruddered. I was able to make it work in high winds but it’s evident that the hull was designed for efficiency/stability/speed. It took me a day to get in the groove with it but it’s really not that practical to lean a fully loaded and relatively beamy kayak for a long distance to compensate for weathercocking or working stern waves,especially when tired or lazy. Hopefully someday those guys at Pygmy will make a a skinny eightpaneled hull thats more like the Chatham 17/Explorer hull shape.

That would be a dream
come true if they would come up with, say a 19’ by 21" craft in a S&G. I might haave to forgo the honey do list to build another boat. (And sell off some of the fleet) Until then I am looking and dreaming of the Shearwater Boats Baidarka by Eric Schade.


Coho vs. Osprey HP
I’ve paddled both very briefly in different locations, and not in any kind of conditions. Keep in mind that both boats were ‘tweaked’ by their builders slightly to accomodate their fit needs, etc., so everything must be taken with a shaker full of salt:

Coho: handled nicely, big, beamy, adequate speed

Osprey HP: As LeeG said, feels rudder dependent, quite a hard tracker, faster than the Coho

What about a Shearwater Bluefin? Beautiful boat. As soon as I finish major home remodel and free up a garage, I plan to build as well. Would love a Night Heron or strip built Outer Island, but may tackle a S&G first. The Bluefin looks like a worthy candidate.

osprey hp vs. bluefin
hmmm, am also considering the bluefin, but finding a hard time contacting anyone who has that boat. is there anyone out there who has paddled the bluefin and can offer thoughts? how’s its tracking?