Submitted: 05-12-2006 by grayhawk
Maybe time to chime in here. I am 5'11" and 180 lbs. and have had eight kayaks.
The Arctic Tern like most Pygmy boats is a larger volume EXPEDITION boat. It is designed to paddle with 250 to 350 lbs. of paddler and gear and at this it excels. With weight it will set down in the water but still leave enough freeboard to keep you dry.
This is an active paddler boat as are most hardchine boats, meaning it is very easy to turn if you lean it to the point where the chines take effect. It is very neutral and does not need a rudder or a skeg if loaded properly.
As a day boat it is OK to pretty good especially if you are a medium to large paddler but MUST be outfitted. The cockpit is very large and comfortable but you must be in contact to take full advantage of its design. I replaced the blow up seat with a carved Minicel, added a white water back band and thigh braces. When you are in contact it is a completely different boat.
I have had better day boats and if you are small or do only day paddling a smaller volume boat may better suit you. It does take some attention empty in a following sea. If I could have only one boat for day paddling and camping this would be the one.
I love this boat and give it a 10++ for what it was designed to do.