The 10 Most Popular Boat Kits of 2015

With the new year quickly approaching we find ourselves reflecting on the past year. It’s been a good one with lots of new boats being built and many wonderful memories made in old ones. Each year we look back on the year’s most popular boat kits. So once again here is a glance back at which kits have reigned popular for the past 12 months.

Most Popular Kayak Kit

1. Pinguino 145: For the 5th year in a row the Pinguino 145 has come in well ahead of all the others. With efficient cruising speed, an extra large cockpit option and plenty of stability this kayak is versatile and popular for kayak fishing, photography, light touring and day paddling. At only 36 lbs, she’s easy to cartop. Read More

Stable Wooden kayak kit

2. Pinguino 145-4PD: Last year the Pinguino 145-4PD jumped two positions from the previous year to our second most popular kit all around. This year it holds that same position. With an identical hull design as the Pinguino 145, the difference lies in the deck. The 4PD has a smaller, arched cockpit design for a closer paddle stroke and to help facilitate lay-back rolls. She’s a popular option for smaller paddlers who desire stability and for folks who want to take the Pinguino into the surf zone. Read More

Greenland style touring wooden sea kayak

3. Murrelet: Two years ago the Murrelet became the first touring kayak to come in on top of the Coho in over 10 years. The Murrelet is a Greenland-inspired touring kayak that rolls beautifully. The most popular model in this series is the Murrelet 4PD, due to its extra storage capacity. This  review touches on the reasons for its popularity: “The Murrelet is a great kayak for Greenland-style rolling, and yet has some stowage advantages for long trips. I loved the light weight for car-topping and enjoyed paddling and showing off this wooden beauty. It’s stable enough for athletic beginners, and a playful, rough-water rolling machine for the experts.” Read More

Pinguino Sport Lightweight kayak Kit

4. Pinguino Sport: This year the Pinguino Sport jumped two positions from last year. Lightweight, playful and compact this boat is popular for folks with space restrictions (i.e. aboard a sailboat) or who want the most stability with the least amount of weight but don’t mind sacrificing storage space and a little speed.  Review: “There are a lot of things to like: light-weight, lively feel, good manners in a blow. It also adapts well to lazing about on a calm day and tending to camera or fishing pole.” Read More

Best Wooden Kayak

5. Coho – Voted Best Wooden Kayak by Sea Kayaker Magazine’s Reader’s Choice Awards, the Coho continues to have a devoted following. John created the 17’6″ Coho with plenty of volume for the gear needed on big trips. Her 23″ beam provides good stability when loaded for a long paddle. Excellent buoyancy in bow and stern make her seaworthy for open ocean swell and surf, as well as quiet water. Only performance could keep the Coho as popular as she has been for the last 15+ years. The Coho has been extensively tested by many a long distance trips including in the award-winning documentary Paddle to Seattle, where two friends paddle together for 97 days through the wilderness on a journey from Alaska to Seattle. Read More

Arctic Tern 14 Wooden Kayak Kit

6. Arctic Tern 14: The initial inspiration for her was to create a small play boat. The end result was a boat that not only performed well in the surf, but also works well for teens and smaller adults. At only 32 lbs she’s easy to cartop and her lower wetted surface makes keeping pace with larger boats a pleasure. While she has never been our number one best-seller, the Arctic Tern 14 is always in the top running. Review: “The Tern 14 is a godsend for smaller boaters. Its shallow cockpit design, nimble handling and light weight are coupled with straight tracking and good speed…Every time I hefted it, I was thrilled by how easy it was to shoulder carry.”  Read More

Row Boat Kit

7. Wineglass Wherry: With its classic lines and wineglass transom the Wineglass Wherry has held steady in popularity ever since her introduction. Designer John Lockwood drew inspiration from the “beach skiffs” that were common along the New England coast during the late 1800’s.Used in the commercial fishery, folks launched through the surf and rowed out to the fishing grounds. Their narrow flat bottoms enabled them to be parked upright on the beach. Their “planked skegs” allowed them to be more easily built and avoided the added weight of heavy keels. Developed before the advent of power, they were superb pulling boats used year-round in coastal waters. Our Wineglass Wherry is a synthesis of two such boats–the Penobscott Bay Salmon Wherry and the Sea Bright Skiff. At only 90 lbs it’s easy to see why this 14 foot rowing skiff is so popular. Read More

kayak kit for petite paddlers

8. Selkie: Made with the petite paddler in mind, the Selkie’s sweeping lines quickly gained popularity after her introduction a little over a year ago. A fusion of two of our most popular boats (the Arctic Tern 14 and the Murrelet) she is an elegant, light weight kayak (only 29 lbs!). Like the original Greenlandic sealskin kayaks the Selkie is hard-chined.  While she was designed for petite paddlers she has also been popular as a low volume kayak for playing in the surf. Her popularity lead to the release of one of our newest designs, the Ronan, which is a slightly larger version of the Selkie. Read More

Coho Hi Kayak Kit

9. Coho Hi: We designed the higher deck version of the popular Coho for taller paddlers with a larger shoe size (larger than men’s 12) for improved comfort. This boat has identical handling characteristics to the Coho, sharing all the same dimensions plus an added 1.5″ of height inside the hull.  This extra foot room and leg room has proven quite popular this year for those paddlers over 6′ tall with large feet. Read More

wooden tandem kayak

10. Osprey Double:  Weighing only 60 pounds, the Osprey Double is as light as some solo kayaks on the market. Test paddlers comment on how readily the Osprey Double comes up to speed relative to the fiberglass and folding doubles they’ve paddled. The Osprey Double is stable, elegant and eminently seaworthy, inspiring confidence in even first time paddlers. Even in heavy seas, her 30″ beam holds you steady. Read More



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