Submitted: 01-12-2004 by BrianPage52
I noticed that it's been almost a year since anyone has submitted a review of this boat and felt compelled to provide my two-cents worth. I received my Coho kit from Pygmy Boats on October 26, 2003 and found the mahogany plywood parts and panels of the boat to be cut with such high precision that it was an absolute joy to assemble. Although it took me more than the projected 60-70 hours to complete, many of the reasons for this relate to the fact that I took extra care and precautions to be sure that I was putting it together correctly. This additional care paid off. The boat turned out to be extremely well constructed and the design is very pleasing to the eye.
I finished the boat to the point of making it seaworthy Christmas Eve day, 2003, almost two months to the day and about 110 hours later. I put it in the water for the first time the afternoon of Christmas day and found the boat to be everything I had hoped. It is extremely fast and light. By my estimation, I have been able to reach a speed of around 10 knots going all out, and am able to sustain a cruising speed of about 4-5 knots with no problem. Moreover, the glide on this boat is impressive.
Because my first kayak was a 12.5 foot plastic sit-on-top, the Coho took some getting used to. I immediately noticed that it lacked the initial stability that I had been used to in my previous kayak, but that is to be expected from a higher performance boat. I found the secondary stability to be more than adequate to avoid an accidental roll. I've taken it out in various water and weather condition and am becoming more comfortable with the feel and responsiveness of the boat. For a kayak that has a moderate rocker to the hull, it tracks very well without a rudder. Because it is relatively light, I've noticed that it is more susceptible to being affected by the wind. However, this is only a problem when you stop paddling.
The only downside that I would comment on is the "tippiness" (low initial stability) of the boat, particularly when trying to enter and exit the cockpit. The only other thing worth mentioning is the seating. Although the padded plastic backband and the inflatable Therm-a-rest cushion that come with the kit makes a seat that is comfortable enough, it does not provide the paddler with that "locked-in" feel that they are an integral part of the boat. I intend to make and install a custom fiberglass seat to resolve that problem.
All in all, this is a sweet boat with some very high performance characteristics. Building this boat ranks up there as one of my proud life achievements, and because it is highly customizable, it will appeal to the paddler who enjoys, and is capable of making their own modifications, to improve such things as cockpit creature comforts. I would highly recommend this kayak to the intermediate and/or advanced paddler.