The Top 10 Boat Kits of 2019

1. Pinguino 150 Pro: Our Best Selling Kayak Kit  For the 2nd year in a row the Pinguino 150 Pro has outsold every other kit. Its patented paddle cutouts reduce the sheer line width of the kayak by three inches allowing for a much closer, more efficient paddle stroke without the knuckle banging. 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 a nice balance of top end speed and hull efficiency. Paddlers clearly love it’s versatility, paddle ergonomics and light weight (only 35 lb). Read More

2. Pinguino 145: Since it was ousted from it’s #1 position last year (after an 8 year long run) the Pinguino 145 hasn’t gone far. 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. 

3. Wineglass Wherry: With its classic lines and wineglass transom the Wineglass Wherry has maintained 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. 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

4. Ronan 155 Pro: From the #8 spot last year (the year it was released) to the #4 position this year, the Ronan 155 Pro hasn’t wasted any time gaining a following. Like the popular Ronan kayak kit, this new kayak design features a hard-chined hull. The major differences between the Pro and the original Ronan are the length, the rear deck height, and the application of Pygmy’s popular new 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

5. 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 inspired many new kayaks: the Selkie, the Ronan and the Ronan 155 Pro (see above).  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. Borealis: Review: The Borealis Xl “is really the big guy’s dream: a quality kit touring kayak that combines a grand size with great looks and good handling.”  We have been approached by many a big guy thanking us for having a kayak kit that was made for them. At 17′, with a 25.5″ beam, 13″ deck height, and extra large 19″ x 36″ cockpit the Borealis provides the volume, stability, and ease of entry that bigger paddlers need. Despite being the most stable kayak in our fleet, its sophisticated multi-chine hull design has only 2.8% more wetted surface than our highly rated, award winning Arctic Tern 17′ design.  This means you get the benefits of a dramatic increase in initial stability, more space for gear, and a roomier, more comfortable cockpit without sacrificing paddling efficiency and performance. Read More


8. Selkie: Made with the petite paddler in mind, the Selkie takes two of our popular designs (The Arctic Tern 14 and the Murrelet) and marries them into one elegant, light weight kayak (only 29 lbs!). Like the original Greenlandic sealskin kayaks the Selkie is a hard-chined, 14′ x 22.5″ boat designed for petite paddlers or for those who want a low volume kayak to play in the surf. Read More

Greenland style touring wooden sea kayak

9. Murrelet: For the last six 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

10. Taiga Canoe Kit: The Taiga follows lines of tradition. 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. She 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

2 responses to “The Top 10 Boat Kits of 2019”

  1. Chris Knapp says:

    What is your lightest kayak?

  2. pygmyweb says:

    Our lightest kayak is the Osprey 13 at 26 lb, but it is really best suited for a petite paddler/child. It is followed by the Selkie & Freya (28-29lb, also best suited for smaller paddlers) and then the Arctic Tern 14 (32 lb). The lightest kayak that will accomodate a larger paddler is the Pinguino Sport (33 lb). Hopefully this helps! Please feel free to call as sometimes it is helpful to chat with someone regarding what is the lightest and most appropriate kayak for your personal paddling needs. Our number is: 360-385-6143