My limited experience
Posted by: pblanc on Apr-16-12 7:00 AM (EST)
I have built 2 wooden kayaks from kits, both stitch and glue. For the record, I am about your same weight and shoe size, although a couple of inches taller.
One happened to be a Pygmy Osprey Standard. The other was a Chesapeake Light Craft Patuxent 17.5, a model no longer offered, which had a sharp chined hull.
Yes, wooden kit-built boats can provide performance every bit as good as a composite boat, and superior to plastic, since wood and fiberglass can be built into finer shapes and sharper angles than polyethylene can be rotomolded to.
The Osprey Standard is a hard tracker, although it can be turned with a committed off-side heel. If I were to build another Pygmy solo kayak it would be an Arctic Tern, however. The Arctic Tern was not offered when I built the standard. Either of the boats I built had more than enough foot room.
Both kits were well made and thought out. I made a number of calls to both CLC and Pygmy when questions arose while I was building the kits and the folks were helpful. CLC is in different hands since I built my Pax however.
I really like the look of CLCs Arctic Hawk kit.
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