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Using the book Kayaks You Can Build by Ted Moores and Greg Rossel, I built my first Coho, a stitch-and-glue plywood sea kayak. I considered kits from Redfish, Chesapeake Light Craft, Waters Dancing, and One Ocean, but I settled on Pygmy because other builders touted how accurate their CNC
router-cut parts are. Plus I had seen a lot of Cohos out there over the years, which seemed to imply the design would be pretty well nailed down and refined by now. I was right.

The eight panels in the hull of the Coho make it a multi-chine boat, sort of halfway between a strip construction and a four-panel hull. I really like the way the deck fits elegantly onto the hull — no screws or nails through the deck. I also like the more modern vertical stern and the classic Greenland bow shape. The hull is not too wide, but very stable, and the deck’s extra two panels create a shape that reduces the knocking of your knuckles when paddling.

The staff at Pygmy are very friendly and helpful, and the kit comes with a manual and all materials, including epoxy, fiberglass, and tape. I took a leisurely approach and spent 300 hours building it.

The Coho’s response and performance are impeccable. The only problem is that six people a day will stop and ask you questions about it. It can actually delay your leaving the beach!

Reprinted from Cool Tools, kk.org/cooltools


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