The Arctic Tern 14 Kayak Kit: Customer Feedback

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Annie takes the Arctic Tern 14 for a paddle in Port Townsend, WA. She said she was convinced the boat was made for her.

“The Arctic 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” (KC, Sea Kayaker Magazine Review).  The Arctic Tern 14 continues to be one of our most popular kits, especially for teens and smaller adults who love that there is a touring boat just their size, and at only 32 lbs, she’s easy to cartop. 

I put my Arctic Tern in the water for the first time at Grand Marais in Lake Superior. The feeling of satisfaction was something very special. Then, the unexpected took place. As I returned to shore and proceeded to sit on the sand and enjoy my accomplishment, one by one, people came by and asked me if I built the kayak and told me how great it looked. My feeling of satisfaction was soaring. Their standard questions were how long did it take and did I have any woodworking experience? I would explain that I was a weekend builder with a little time during the week. I have never been known for my patience, so I figure if I could do it, so could they… Thanks for your help and support in the building process.
– Gordy Cantwell, Michigan

Hi guys,
I just wanted to say a big thank you for such a great product! My son Cooper (age 13) and I finished building his Arctic Tern 14, and my Coho, side by side, back in December and have been paddling a great deal since then. Our maiden voyage was 8 days up through the Abel Tasman National park here in New Zealand and it was simply a classic trip!  The boats performed beautifully in all conditions and was just a pleasure to paddle, on so many levels.
– Jim Davis
Christchurch, New Zealand

Cooper and his Dad put together this fun video of the building of his Arctic Tern 14:

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Mary Gibson in her Arctic Tern 14 on Sparks Lake near Bend, OR. She said she was “reflecting on her wise decision to finally have a boat that was super lightweight and perfect for her 5 ft body frame!”

Dear Pygmy Boats,
This project was initiated by my 10 year old daughter who talked both her father and uncle into each purchasing a Pygmy kayak kit.  We started construction on our 2 boats on July 4 as a week long family project.   It was a good bonding experience but at the end of the week my two brothers and families left… It has taken us the remainder of the summer to complete the boats and we had our launching party on September 3rd in  Green lake in Seattle.   They were named “Kestrel” (Osprey 13) and “Peregrine” (Arctic Tern) and christened with a bottle of Gatorade by my daughter.  They look great and paddle great.  We are looking forward to exploring lakes, bays and the sound yet this year.  Please send us a few more catalogs.  Everyone who sees them asks if we have a spare.

Tim Bates


  • Emily toured around Alaska for a summer out of her Arctic Tern 14 and snapped some incredible photos along the way. Emily toured around Alaska for a summer out of her Arctic Tern 14 and snapped some incredible photos along the way.
  • Phil Allin in his Arctic Tern 14. Phil Allin in his Arctic Tern 14.



“I wanted to send you this photo of my Arctic Tern 14 that I built back in 2007. You can see she is still going strong and enjoying some of the rough stuff, and I think she looks even more beautiful now than when I made her. She paddles brilliantly, and enjoys challenging conditions, but also still looks good enough to get comments everywhere we go. One of the most fun boats I’ve ever owned!” -Chris


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