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Submitted: 09-22-2005 by RP
The kit instructions and materials are top notch. The boat panels fit together with flawless seems. Not having built anything like this before I was surprised to learn how forgiving the construction process is. There is a lot of sanding involved and I would recommend a random orbit sander for the job.
I was a little disappointed when I ran out of wire for tying the panels together, fabric for the hatch kit, and epoxy to finish off the boat. The wire I bought more of for $0.75, Pygmy sent more of the fabric out, the epoxy Pygmy blamed on the rollers I used for the epoxy and made me pay for. Over all I was still happy with my decision to use Pygmy boats. I considered other brands, CLC but I am glad I went with Pygmy. The boat is rock solid with the bulkhead pieces in it and the multi piece deck is a whole lot nicer to look at than the curved plywood decks of other boats.
The boat is great to paddle empty or loaded down. Any kit building process is a fair amount of hours to complete. This is not something that you can complete in a week or two; there are many nights of letting epoxy dry.
I am a male 5’ 9”, 165 lbs, and size ten shoes and fit well in my Osprey Standard. The cockpit sides are cut nice and low and make you feel close to the water, I have never hit my fingers on the deck while paddling. Even with the cockpit like this it still rides well over waves and doesn’t let water in. The secondary stability allows me to comfortably lean over and let water in the cockpit and bring the boat back to center. Primary stability feels a little unstable to a novice person with an unloaded boat. Most of my paddling is mostly on Minnesota lakes and rivers. I would love to see how it would do amongst a group of loaded down paddlers on some big water.
The boat definitely turns heads around fellow paddlers and earns lots of complements and questions. The boat easily holds gear for a weeklong trip. With just me in the boat 5 mph is maintainable by my GPS, loaded down with gear there is definitely more drag. On flat water the boats tracks very well. In 30 mph winds with waves breaking over the bow the boat is the most fun to paddle. Neither tracking nor weather cocking is a problem in the wind. A rudder on this boat would be more trouble than it is worth. I like to find the windiest days to take the boat out for a paddle. The finished boat with hatch covers and all rigging and varnished weighs about 42 lbs. Looking back there are places that I over applied epoxy and could have cut a pound or two.
While on a weekend river trip with friends who were in canoes I was surprised to learn how maneuverable the Osprey is in moving water. On flat water it is more difficult to turn than my 17-foot tripping canoe. While in the river I was able to lean the boat to keep on track with where I wanted.