The Top 10 Boat Kits of 2018

  1. NEW! Pinguino 150 Pro: Our Best Selling Kayak Kit This is the first kayak in 8 years to outsell the Pinguino 145. 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

2. Pinguino 145: For the first time in 8 years the Pinguino 145 has been bumped from it’s number one position by the Pinguino 150 Pro (see above). 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 about the Pinguino 145 and why she’s been one of our most popular kits for so long. 

Greenland style touring wooden sea kayak

3. Murrelet: For the last five years the Murrelet has been our top selling touring kayak (before that it was the Coho). 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

4. 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

5. Pinguino 145-4PD: 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 lots of stability.  

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6. Arctic Tern 14:  Eighteen 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 and continues to be in our top 10 list year after year. 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, the Ronan and the Ronan 155 Pro (see below).  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

8. NEW! Ronan 155 Pro:   As a new design, the Ronan 155 Pro hasn’t wasted any time finding it’s place in the top ten. Like the popular Ronan kayak kit, this new kayak design features a hard-chined hull. The major difference between the Pro and the original Ronan lies in the length and the application of Pygmy’s patented paddle cutouts. These side paddle cutaways were first introduced with the Pinguino 150 Pro (see above). They cutaway the sheer line to allow the paddler a much closer, more efficient paddle stroke without any knuckle banging. The cutaways give the new Ronan 155 Pro the stability of a 23” beam, but it paddles like a 21” svelte kayak. And at only 34 lb, it is one of the lightest 15’6″ kayaks around. Read More

most popular wooden boat kits lined up: including kayak kits, canoe kit and wineglass wherry boat kit

9. 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

10. Taiga Canoe Kit:  The Taiga follows lines of tradition. Designer John Lockwood studied countless traditional canoes during the development stages. With few exceptions, original tripper canoes had symmetrical re-curved ends and tumble home sides. The Taiga is the first stitch and glue canoe kit that incorporates traditional tripper canoe design. The Taiga tracks nicely and displays good manners in a wide variety of conditions. Although designed with extended wilderness paddlers in mind, her easy handling, good stability and low weight make her an excellent choice for weekend and day excursions as well.  Read More



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