The Arctic Tern lies firmly in the ancient Arctic kayak tradition--no tracking aids required. Slightly more symmetrical and narrower than Pygmy’s other hard-chine line—the Queen Charlottes--the Arctic Tern has a lower wetted surface area. Good initial stability and excellent secondary stability make her stable enough for beginners and exciting enough to entice highly skilled paddlers. Her ability to perform crisp, tight chine turns, coupled with high volume bow and stern, make her a good choice for those who like to paddle in rough water or surf zones.
Read and submit reviews for the Arctic Tern Hi Kit.
I have owned this Hull for over 10 years, For me it is the perfect boat for crossing the exposed backwater bays near me on the Gulf Coast of Florida. However if your regularly going out in rough chop or like to surf, this boat would not be the first choice. There are better designs that fit those needs. I have just sanded her down for the second time in my ownership (I bought it used) and am ready to re-varnish and re-outfit. Making ready for another decade.
However, the thing you can't see is how wonderful the Artic Tern paddles. When I first paddled L. Superior on a windy following sea day I thought I'd like to have that rudder I'm used to. After a couple of hours I realized no rudder is needed. I love paddling this boat and to do it right you must get on the chines and heel the boat and make it carve. I've had great fun surfing with it on the UP of Michigan.
I decided I wanted the high volume because of my size 12 foot. When I ordered the boat the Pygmy folks didn't really think it necessary for that reason. I didn't want to take any chances and ordered the HV. I'm gald I did. A 2 week solo trip to Isle Royale in September showed me I had lots of room for my gear and I had room to spare.
I'm 200# and 6'tall. The higher deck was no problem paddling. I use a 92 inch Inuit paddle that I made, but,I have a breakdown paddle that works fine too. This boat rolls very nicely, either front deck or back deck. I'm sure the recessed rear deck helps with the rear deck roll. A shorter person might have trouble there.
The flater hard chine bottom feels alittle tippy initially, remined me of any flater bottom boat. The secondary stability is fantastic, whether surfing or boating rough seas or just seeing how far you can lean it before having to brace or capsize.
I love the Artic Tern-H. It looks great and I believe the multi-chine deck really sets it off from other boats of its kind.