The Top 10 Boat Kits of 2017


Most Popular Kayak Kit

1. Pinguino 145: For the 7th year in a row the Pinguino 145 reigns #1. 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. Just because she’s the most popular, it doesn’t necessarily mean she’s right for you and the new Pinguino 150 Pro that was just introduced this fall is quickly gaining momentum (see below).  Read More about the Pinguino 145. 

Greenland style touring wooden sea kayak2. Murrelet: Four years ago the Murrelet became the first touring kayak to outsell the Coho in over 10 years. Since then she has quickly climbed her way to her current position, however this marks the first year she has been our 2nd best selling kit. Not bad considering by most accounts kayak touring is a stagnant sector of the industry. 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

3. Pinguino 145-4PD: For the first time in 3 years the Pinguino 145-4PD has been ousted from it’s #2 position. With an identical hull design to 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.   Read More

4. NEW! Pinguino 150 Pro: Despite its recent release the new Pinguino 150 Pro has quickly climbed to the number four position. For the last five years our Pinguino recreational kayaks have been our best-selling kits. Paddlers have loved the stability, maneuverability and hull efficiency of the Pinguino 145 and the  Pinguino 145-4PD. They are shorter, lighter and faster (at cruising speeds) than longer touring kayaks. Now, with the new Pinguino 150 Pro, Pygmy founder, John Lockwood has made a recreational kayak that is easier to paddle. Its new patented paddle cutouts have reduced the sheer line width of the kayak by three inches! This allows a recreational kayaker to take a much closer, more efficient paddle stroke without banging their knuckles on the edge of the deck. You get the same initial stability of a 24″ kayak with the paddle stroke of a 22″ wide kayak. At 15′, its length is a crossover between a recreational and a touring kayak, giving it the perfect balance of top end speed, hull efficiency and paddle ergonomics. Read More

5. Pygmy 11′ All-Rounder Stand Up Paddle Board:  Since its introduction at the beginning of this year, the new 11′ SUP has quickly risen up the ranks to our 5th most popular kit of the year. Stability and versatility make this board the perfect one-board choice for the whole family.  With its flat deck, this user-friendly board provides a wide platform for a comfortable stance. We’ve taken it crabbing, on board a sailboat for some side adventures, paddled it on glassy days, in choppy swell and had a local yogini contort on deck. At its debut at the Port Townsend Woodenboat Festival the Pygmy 11’ SUP was the most stable kit board. It’s an ideal family board for beginner paddlers up to 250lb and advanced paddlers up to 300lb. Read More

6. Pinguino Sport: Lightweight, playful and compact (only 13′) the Sport 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



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 continues to be so popular. Read More


Arctic Tern 14 Wooden Kayak Kit

8. Arctic Tern 14:  Seventeen years ago the Arctic Tern 14 was designed for Tsunami Ranger Michael Powers as a small play boat.  Michael wanted a smaller, more maneuverable kayak that he could take into the rock gardens and sea caves along the coast of Oregon. The end result was a kayak 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. In recent years her popular hull design has lead to two new kayaks: the Selkie and the Ronan (see below).  Read More


9. Coho – Voted Best Wooden Kayak by Sea Kayaker Magazine’s Reader’s Choice Awards, we have sold more Cohos in the total history of Pygmy Boats than any other design. 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 17+ years. The Coho has been extensively tested by many a long distance trip including in the award-winning documentary Paddle to Seattlewhere two friends paddle together for 97 days through the wilderness on a journey from Alaska to Seattle. Read More


kayak kit for petite paddlers

10. Ronan:   A new design, the Ronan hasn’t wasted any time finding it’s place in the top ten. The Ronan is a more spacious version of the Selkie, which is a lightweight, hard-chined marriage of two of our most popular boats (the Arctic Tern 14 and the Murrelet). While 3” longer than the Arctic Tern 14, the underwater hull is identical, giving it the same efficiency in cruising due to low wetted surface area. Like the Selkie, the Ronan features a low sheer line with cutaway side deck panels that allow more body rotation and a more efficient use of a Greenland paddle. The major difference between it and the Selkie is its higher hull sheer height and larger cockpit, which allow larger paddlers the space needed for ease of entry and exit.  Read More

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