Read reviews for the Coho Kit by Pygmy Boats as submitted by your fellow paddlers.
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Built one about 10 years...
Built one about 10 years ago when a novice kayaker. Excellent assembly instructions and help available by phone. Takes time but well worth it when you end up with the equivalent of a $4000 plus kayak. Only "problem" is answering all the "did you build that, is that wood?" questions when trying to get on or off the water.
I completed my Pygmy Coho...
I completed my Pygmy Coho in April 2013 so have a year of paddling it under my belt. As my first sea kayak I think it was a great choice. It is light, stiff and beautiful. My first tour was the Deer group on the west coast of British Columbia. The boat performed great loaded. I had no problem keeping up with my friends in glass boats and was able to fit all my gear into the Coho.
The boat suffered many scratches in its first year of use. The nice thing is (2) new coats of varnish in the winter and she looks brand new again. For me I like the straight tracking yet she turns and maneuvers acceptably when leaned.
The only criticism I have is she does weathercock a little with a following sea. All in all a real headturner. I get lots of "NICE KAYAK" compliments. Test paddled the Murrelet but didn't like the way it waggles when paddled. I feel that is inefficient for touring.
My wife and I built...
My wife and I built Pygmy's last spring (Coho & Murrelet 4pd), for a trip to Bowron Lakes. It was actually fun to build boats, side by side, and the boats came out great. We had numerous questions during the process, and the Pygmy staff was very helpful. My wife rolled hers on the maiden voyage at Tahoe (too cold for me!). The boats packed well and paddled better on the Bowron trip. I was concerned when the loaded boat fell off the cart on one of the portages, but a few minor scratches was all that resulted.
We often paddle with a friend with a light fiberglass/kevlar boat and I don't see any difference in weight or speed. So, in all, we're very satisfied with our boats and our new sport!
I've had the chance to...
I've had the chance to paddle my friend's Coho several times. The quality is first rate, but -as a couple others have mentioned- the Coho is far from ideal for small to average size paddlers.
The Coho is an absolutely beautiful boat; materials and design are first rate. I absolutely love the aesthetics of wood; there's just something so thoroughly organic about it. For it's size, the Coho is light, yet seems highly durable.
I'm 5'9", 160 lbs, so keep this in mind when considering my review. While I'm sure the Coho is one of the absolute best yaks on the planet for paddler 6'+, it's less than ideal for us average/small-ish paddlers. As another review noted, the length (17'6") and tracking characteristics makes it somewhat difficult for me to turn this boat in anything other than calm conditions. It's exceedingly difficult for me to turn this boat in any kind of wind or current.
The 'spaceous' cockpit is also too big for those of us shorter than about 6'. I would never consider trying to roll the Coho, and even larger paddlers would do well to install thigh-braces (available from Pygmy) for a more secure fit.
I want to make it clear that this is an exceptional touring kayak for larger paddlers, but it's characteristics make it somewhat limited for just about anyone else. While I'd guess larger paddlers could use it for day trips, it's less than ideal even for them.
The Coho might be the best available option for larger paddlers seeking a first-rate expedition boat. But average-size paddlers seeking a versatile boat should consider other options.
I built 2 Cohos 12 years...
I built 2 Cohos 12 years ago as a summer project with my 14 year old son and his best friend. Proof that these can be simple to build if one reads directions well and thinks the project through. Comments below indicate that first time boats tend to be heavier which we found to be the case- unless you've worked with fiberglass much before you tend to use too much resin and add unnecessary weight to the hull.
Although I've never built any competitors, of all the brands I've looked at, the Pygmy boats are definitely the simplest builds and in all the years of paddling, they have more than stood up to anything we'd dish out for them. The composite construction of thin plywood (beautiful by the way) and fiberglass makes for an incredibly, light, stiff boat that paddles extremely well.
In the later years, my daughters each built Cohos and the process went much faster and the boats are significantly lighter and more beautiful. They mastered the art of squeegeeing excess resin while glassing. Finally I built one for myself and did some fun customization and built an Arctic Tern 14 for my wife. I'm 6'4", 195# so the Coho is great for me. My wife is 5'4" so the Tern 14 is a perfect size for her. I would think that any smaller paddlers would be happier in one vs. a Coho. Pygmy claims that the Tern 14 is actually faster than the Coho at cruising speed but it's hard to tell with paddlers of different strengths in each boat. Another advantage for her Tern 14 is that the boat weighs about 25#, so easier for her to pick up alone and carry across the rocks or whatever. That said, I think hull weight is somewhat overrated. If you carry much gear (and these boats can hold a ton) your suddenly lightweight boat can get quite heavy. So it's all relative. I think one of the bigger advantages of the hull design is the sharp entry and exit edges at the bow and stern. There really does not seem to be any drag with these boats at all. A couple of strokes and the boat is flying. Stop paddling and they glide very well and far.
We paddle primarily on the coast of Maine - island hopping on seas that can range from bathtub flat to 6' waves. Winds can be just as variable. Our experience is that the boats perform extremely well in any conditions. None of our boats have rudders and have never seemed to need them. Are they tougher to turn on a narrow river? Absolutely. But that is not what they were designed for. These are touring SEA kayaks, not river boats. If I paddle a river, it will be in a canoe, not a sea kayak. If you paddle mainly large open water, a Coho is a perfect choice.
And last, they are beautiful. As others state, the boats continually draw comments and admiration. The building experience is a great fun and easier than most would expect. And when done, you have a work of art, a boat that turns heads, paddles beautifully and will last a lifetime. All for about a $1000. Seems like a bargain to me.
In one word: amazing! As...
In one word: amazing! As close to kayak perfection as you can get. The fastest kayak I have paddled. My only problem is big feet (size 13) and it is a little cramped in there. I want to get the Coho Hi (high volume) to solve that problem.
I finished building my...
I finished building my Coho last spring. Have paddled local lakes and rivers, and done a fair amount of fishing. This boat is a dream to paddle compared to plastic boats. About the only thing I have had trouble doing is turning back upstream on a river with a fairly swift current. A 17' 6" touring kayak just isn't meant to turn on a dime in fast current.
Cohos still turn heads wherever you take them, and it is very satisfying to build one. Like many first time builders, mine was heavier than the 40lbs advertised. (Beginner builders use too much epoxy.)
Build one. You'll be glad you did.
I have had this boat for a...
I have had this boat for a dozen years, more or less. I did not build it, but bought it used.
Despite what some other reviewers say, this boat works well for a smaller person - 5'6" woman. One reason: it is very lightweight for the size. Our favorite kayaking activity is intermediate expedition paddling for about 8-10 day trips.
This boat tracks exceptionally well, executes lean turns well for a 17'6" boat and performs beautifully in all the conditions I've put it in. Trips to the Broughton Archipelago, Johnstone Straits, Nootka Sound, the Broken Group, Tofino to Hot Springs Cove are typical trips.
It holds gear and water for longer trips, yet is lightweight enough for one strong or two older women to lift up rocky beaches and onto vehicles. I've done a fair amount of fishing out of it and it's quite stable. It's not a play boat that encourages nimble little turns and rolls, but is an all-around dependable boat when you are out there. If you don't want to build one, buy one used.
I have just finished...
I have just finished building a Pygmy Coho. After having spent a bit of time in plastic boats(rental), my wife and I "discovered" that we enjoyed kayaking more than canoeing, so the only questions were "When" and "How much". Since woodwork is one of my minor hobbies and since we are both approaching retirement it was a no-brainer to go with a self-build.
The initial one or two steps of the assembly of the boat led to some serious concern: relative humidity where we live is quite different (lower) than that on the West Coast and so the wood panels had developed quite a twist to them. Some careful stitching (and restitching) pretty much cured all of that however: the design and cutting of the panel blanks is such that if they are assembled accurately they will form the desired shape.
I also found that the finished boat was quite a bit heavier than that advertised: I attribute this to some minor goofs during fiberglassing and to the addition of the hatch/bulkhead kit. I don't believe that the 39 lb "advertised" weight is with hatches and bulkheads, deck rigging, etc.
I've had the boat out twice since finishing it two weeks ago: the first test showed me that the supplied seat wasn't going to be adequate for my needs. I immediately ordered, received, and installed a rough-formed Redfish seat blank and used the extra foam for hip pads and kneed pads. The second test was remarkable: the boat is now extremely comfortable, responds to the slightest edging and is a rocket on the water.
I am 6'4", 215 and have a long inseam: the 33" cockpit length was something I absolutely needed: I can just barely "skin" my legs into the boat while sitting down on the seat (and I installed the backband and seat 1" more rearwards than the design calls for). I also installed the footbraces about 2.5" further forwards than "design"...but as it turns out did not need quite this much additional extra. I'll probably put the footbraces in only about 1" beyond the plans next time. I knew this (leg length) would be a problem from my rental experience and the cockpit size is one of the purchasing "deciders". The Keepers footbraces have quite a considerable adjustment length and unless you are extremely short or long-legged you might as well just stick with the design.
My second run was in 25 kph winds and I found that the boat tracked dead straight whether upwind, downwind, on the beam or any point in between with minimal edging to hold it "on point". The better fitting cockpit is undoubtedly one of the important reasons for this.
Would I build another? You bet! In fact I have to because my wife wants one now. The second one will include the lessons I learned from the first and there will be some more customization (decoration) and I'll go with the Silvertip epoxy for better (and thinner..hence lighter) wetting out, but it will be a Coho. I had originally considered the Coho HV but I am thinking now that unless you have really big feet or are +250#, the Coho is more than adequate and has the advantage that it is (or would be) less sensitive to wind than the HV mode.
Talk about old Reliable.
I bought my Coho from the original builder VERY…
Talk about old Reliable.
I bought my Coho from the original builder VERY lightly used. He did an amazing job with some customizing. Almost everyone who sees the boat comments on it. Since I purchased it 3 years ago, I have had it out in Puget Sound at least a hundred times and it never disappoints. It accelerates smoothly and tracks well. Being a larger paddler (6'-2" 195 lbs) helps with maneuvering it and I have come to prefer not having a rudder/skeg. I am definitely a much better paddler because of it. At the moment, it is in desperate need of some fresh varnish, but has handled rocky/oyster beach landings with surprising durability. A real workhorse. Gonna have this one for ever.
I built my Coho over six...
I built my Coho over six years ago. I was not yet 50. I figured to get into a kayak it was the best quality I could afford, and the experience of building it an added benefit. I have never been sorry. I haven't paddled many other boats and I am curious, but my boat has afforded me hundreds of hours on the water that has transformed my life. Building it was a long process, at around a 100 hours but it was meditative and satisfying. I will never sell her.
The boat is strong tracking, stable, and is easy to turn when needed. This is a high volume boat so those looking for a surf play boat may want something more agile. It can be a chore to track in following seas or a quartering wind because it sits high out of the water when empty. If you can travel to Port Townsend and try out Pygmy's boats, it is worth it! Swap out the seat with a Redfish seat and you are on your way to a great relationship on the water. Pick up several copies of Pygmy's catalog to give out to interested onlookers, you'll have plenty. Heads up.
The Pygmy Coho is a large...
The Pygmy Coho is a large volume touring boat. This is not a good boat for a smaller paddler but a large paddler (I am 6’2” and 225) can load up this yak and have plenty of supplies for at least a week. Much longer if you pack like a backpacker. The boat tends to ride high in the water when not loaded but still handles well. Initial and secondary stability are excellent. The boat responds well to leaned turns for a soft chined boat. This boat seemed comfortable from the first time I paddled it. Many others who paddle it feel the same. For me the boat has a well balanced compromise between tracking and maneuverability. A rudder is unnecessary in my opinion. The boat is fast even with its 23 inch beam. I have a custom Redfish Kayak seat in mine and this goes a long way to improve comfort and fit. The standard thermorest seat pad and back band leave quite a bit to be desired. They are comfortable enough but do not offer a good fit for good control of the boat. I prefer paddling this boat over my Pygmy Arctic Tern boat which is also a very nice boat. This boat has great lines and is a looker if built properly. In summary, this is a very good boat for the medium to large paddler.
First the good news. The...
First the good news. The boat was easy to build, though it took over 100 hours. It is beautiful. Everyone you pass on river or lake will tell you so. It is stiff and light weight. I find the initial stability to be very high. I never feel insecure or unstable in it. It tracks very strongly. The hatches work perfectly. I've had it high water on modest rapids and it can actually surf a wave train and catch an eddy (a big eddy!)
Now the "bad" news. The boat is advertised as being "quick turning and responsive." I would disagree rather strongly. I am only 5'9" and 160 pounds so my size may have something to do with this but I find the boat very difficult to turn under any conditions, making anything other than straight cruising in flat conditions very strenuous. It's a lot of work to correct course when pushed around by following seas and it's no fun to maneuver in even a moderately flowing river. The vertical stern and relatively sharp keel on the boat make it track like a train. Turning the boat requires leaning the boat to the limit and making repeated sweep strokes. It takes a lot of work to get the boat up on edge and when you do, I find the secondary stability to be a little tender.
I found the boat to weathercock substantially in 15 mph winds. With a light paddler and no equipment on board it presents a lot of surface area to the wind. This may be different when loaded or with a larger paddler.
As for speed--it's hard to say. On a long day paddle in moderate winds and 1 to 2 foot waves I found myself working very hard to keep up with other paddlers. On flat water it might be different. The effort involved in changing or correcting course was real drain and the delicacy of trying to edge the boat in waves made it something I just didn't want to do, particularly in cold water.
This is a big boat. The 23" beam, long waterline and high volume are a little overwhelming for a smaller paddler. The cockpit is very large and requires substantial padding to get a good fit.
I substituted a better seat and back band than the one included in the kit as it seemed inadequate.
I would say that this is a fine boat if you know what you're buying. I think it is a good choice either for someone wanting a very stable cruising boat or for a larger paddler who wants to carry a lot of gear. A maneuverable day tripper it's not and I can't imagine trying to maneuver it in surf or on a faster river unless you just want to go in a straight line.
I bought my Coho when they...
I bought my Coho when they first introduced it. It is listed as a large volume expedition worthy boat. I found the initial stability somewhat light and secondary not rock solid either. The boat doesn't seem to hit a high point on edge at the peak of secondary handling, although I have no trouble immersing the side of the cockpit coaming. I don't think the Coho suits larger paddlers (over 200 lbs./over 6') especially when loaded with a week's worth of gear. There is good news though; this is my hands down favorite boat for large rivers and day paddling. The boat is a rocket- quick to accelerate, nimble, responsive, everything you would want a boat to do. I would have given it a 10 but I feel that I am beyond size paddler it would be best suited to. One other thing, when I take a friend paddling, people walk right past my $3000 kevlar boat and compliment the beauty of the Coho.
I have hundreds of hours...
I have hundreds of hours in my coho and have throughly enjoyed it. Thigh braces added alot of controll to the boat as down hip padding. I find that it does weather cok some in heavy winds but that may be from the location of my rescue/survial bag. I put a kevalar srip along the keel and coated the bottom with graphite/expoxy coating and this makes it possible to slide across rocks whem entering the water with no damage. Don't build one if you don't like to talk to people because you'll get lots of questions. I find that the initial stability to be tremendous as I load in off of docks and can swing both legs over one side and exit on to a sand bar or beach. The wooden hull makes for a very stiff hull especially compared to any of the other composite's that I have loaded. A rudder would be nice about 5% of the time when you have high quatering winds and the waves start getting over 3 foot. I find thet boat to be very predicatable and fun to go out and play in in rough seas. The large cockpit makes for quick and easy wet exit reentrys and the recessed cockpit makes it easy to eskimo roll.
I noticed that it's been...
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.
I test drove the Coho in a...
I test drove the Coho in a canal next to Pygmy Boats in Port Townsend, Washington. Not to sound like an episode of Saturday Night Live, but it paddled "like butta." Very, very smooth, almost frictionless glide across the water. I told them if they made an HI version, it would be a no brainer. As it was, I am 6'2" and like my room, so I am building the Osprey HI.
This is a follow-up to the...
This is a follow-up to the review of 5/02. I took the Coho on a week long trip in Maine last fall as I wanted a boat with better glide for long distance paddling than the Express I took the year before. The subjective nature of evaluating a kayak was really brought home on the second day as the first day of managing in winds was making the aspect of weathercocking a possible chore compared to my Express. Mysteriously the 'problem' disappeared over the following days, even as winds pumped up to 20mph with 2' waves. The transition from 14hrs car time to kayak time requires a little adjustment. Carrying 5 1/2 gallons of water plus a full load of gear made for a heavy boat but the flip side of it is feeling like being in a sports car while day paddling unloaded,,,and having a boat that responded well while unloaded. As much as everyone want's a skinny "fast" boat I've got to admit there's something to be said for having a kayak with enough beam that bringing ones legs out and dangling them over either side for a break/stretch/nap isn't a bad thing. Buddhas observations are valid if the boat in question wasn't outfitted for him, the nature of home built boats is that the seat/hip/thigh outfitting can be good or awful according to the builder/user. Given the overall handling envelope that the design is working towards, speed, efficiency at crusing speeds, maneuverabilty,load carrying, stability I find the nature of wave handling from the stern and weathercocking acceptable (these two areas seem to be where designs can show their limitations). Until other designs show up in mult panel s&g this is the best all around kayak kit available in the med/large displacement category.
Note, I did not give this...
Note, I did not give this kayak a 10. However, I'm very happy with it. I have noted that weather cocking is only slight in winds over 15kts. Best of all its an eye catcher! easy to build
I feel that this boat is...
I feel that this boat is lacking in initial stability. It seems tippier than a LookshaIV. I was in Lake Michigan in windy conditions (10 to 30 knots) and started in waves of 1-2 feet. We did 6 miles and ended the trip in an approaching storm with waves/swells to 6 feet. Surfing with the waves was a blast but needed real effort to turn into or away from the wind. Knee bracing is poor at best and secondary stability seemed a little weak requiring a lot of bracing. I suppose if I spent the time to build one of these boats I might give it a better/more biased review.
This is the 5th boat I've...
This is the 5th boat I've built or helped build. I have been paddling it for 4 years and it is a dream. I came in second in my first race this past weekend. It was a 20 miler in moderate ocean chop. 3 hours, 39 minutes - and I was mostly messing around with guys I met and passed along the way. It is a dream to build. My first try took about 60 hours, but my last was about 20. You learn the efficiencies of the stitch and glue process. Very easy to handle and no rudder needed unless you feel strongly for one. Not much wind-cocking unless it is blowing over 15 knots. Looks great. I used 3 ounce kevlar cloth on the inside and it is light and very very strong.
I built a Coho three yrs...
I built a Coho three yrs ago for a friend and am continually pleased with the design as a big touring sea kayak. Unfortunately he's not a high volume person so the boat is more than needed for a 150lb person day paddling. I weigh 190 at 5'9" and think it's too big for my day paddling needs. The cockpit opening is quite large where a keyhole cockpit would have thigh braces so make sure and install thigh braces. With good outfitting and thigh braces the boat can be tossed around easily. Had the chance to enjoy the boat with a few others last fall in waves at Assateague and was quite pleased with it's performance, yes it's a long boat that will broach into side surfing but the transitions are all smooth and controllable. For a 23" wide boat it's quite efficient and more than "fast" enough. As much as I like my Express better in that stuff I could get up and move the Coho faster out of it. This is one of those boats that can go with or without a rudder according to the paddlers' preferences.
The Coho kayak was the...
The Coho kayak was the kayak I chose to build for a first time builder. While it took me close to 100 hours and required several trips to the manual to check the steps each time, the instructions were always there and the first time I had to call for help was to find out which side of the seat cushion was supposed to be on top. I was looking for a kayak that was good looking, would track well and was stable. I have been using it for the past two seasons and have been amazed by its performance. I had a great deal of fun constructing it and talking with all the admirers who have seen it. I have had a few scratches in the varnish from rocky beachings but these have not been substantial and I would rate the kayak as a "must construct" and put it on my list of life's finest achievements.
I finished my Coho in the...
I finished my Coho in the spring of 2000. It is my 5th boat and my best!It is easy to build, my first wood boat. It is good looking, FAST, and handles rough water with ease. I have paddled in snow, heavy fog, and cross winds that caused lots of chop and waves. She is sweet! Just to give you some inside information, this is my 7th year of paddeling and most of the time I am alone. My date of birth 10/04/40. In the Coho I have NO trouble keeping up with paddlers in their 20es. The next boat I build will be the Osprey Standard.
As an avid woodworker...
As an avid woodworker since 1985 I can honestly say this boat was a dream to build. I feel that even a novice could easily build her with the instructions provided. As a novice paddler I can honestly say that she is pretty stable and easily performs and handles well without a rudder. All in all, I recommend her to anyone wanting a beautiful seaworthy craft.
Highs: this boat is...
Highs: this boat is pretty, easy to build, seems fast, and handles pretty rough water well. The kit is a reasonable price. The plywood is cut very precisely and is easy to asemble. It's easy to repair and customize, since once it's built you'll know how to work with glass, epoxy, and plywood. Lows: I haven't got the seat completely comfortable yet, I'm still adding and removing foam padding. The boat needs to be edged a lot to turn. The straps which hold the hatches down work OK, but could be better. Conclusions: Nice boat, a few minor details could be improved. I'd definitely build it again. I haven't paddled/built enough boats to give anything a "10".
Wow, after reading all the...
Wow, after reading all the other reviews on this boat, makes me wonder. I've had mine for over a year now. Yes it is a well designed boat, and every where I go I get comments on it. I could not get mine in the weight range as specified in the plans, I built mine as light as I could and fully rigged with hatches and bulkheads it's over 45 pounds. I still need to creature fit the cockpit. The seat backing is cracking, and will need replacement soon. The hull is looking like its ready for another coat of varnish, but I kind of like that weathered look. I just wish some of those fishermen would quit thinking I'm just a bump on a log.
The Coho is my all time...
The Coho is my all time favorate. It was the second kayak I have built by PygmyBoats and like the first, it has been pure enjoyment - both building and paddling.
The Coho is manuverable, fast and yet tracks well. The effortless ease with which she moves through the water is superior to any fiberglass or plastic boat I have paddled. The boat is light and easy to cartop and launch most anywhere. She has proven comfortable and feels safe under any conditions I have taken her out in - calm water a rolling sea or a light chop. A rudder is not needed.
The Coho is a beauty to behold and almost always turns heads. I am totally satisfied.
I built my Coho last...
I built my Coho last summer and I don't believe it is possible for the time and money spent to get a better sea kayak. Wind has virtually no affect on it. I paddle without a rudder and have not felt a need for one under any circumstance. It is fast and still has a high degree of maneuverability. The cockpit is large and the seat, while it may not look it, is quite comfortable. Storage space is ample for almost any kind of trip. I bought a hatch kit when I ordered but have not installed them. I probably won't now since the boat looks so nice with just bungees on the deck and I most likely will just use it for day trips. As it is the moveable seat back makes loading for a day or even an overnight very easy.
I have had the Coho in 3 foot seas on Galveston Bay and felt very secure and comfortable. It is a delight to paddle it on still water with it's stability and glide. If I have any complaint it would be that maintenance may be higher than a glass boat. I pulled it ashore over gravel with little affect but scraped the bottom on oyster shell and had to repair some scratches. A little sanding and some spar varnish made it good as new.
In my opinion it is one of the prettiest boats on the water. I have recieved many compliments both on it's looks and handling. For what it's worth it looks as good on a rack as it does on the water. If you have a space and can spend about 80-100 hours working I don't see how you can do better than a Coho. The pygmy boat people were friendly and helpful any time I asked for help. The kit was well made and easier to assemble than you would think.
The Coho is fun to build...
The Coho is fun to build and even more enjoyable to paddle. With a beam of 23" and a depth of 12", the Coho easily accommodates larger paddlers ( 240 lbs, Old Fat Man in Kayak).
I built this boat for long distance touring and casual short trips. Being so light (40 lbs), it is a dream to car-top and solo carry to where ever you have to put in. The cockpit is large and easy to get in and out of. I found the seat that comes with the kit to be useless; a closed cell foam seat from either Seaward Kayaks or the 'creature comfort' by Nimbus are much better choices.
The boat has excellent stability throughout. The multichined hull allows easy leaned turns and is very quick to respond in rough conditions. Although I put a rudder on it, the boat tracks well enough that I rarely need it.
The capacity of the fore and aft compartments allows me to pack enough gear and food for 2-3 week trips. Even with a full load, the Coho handles well and is very fast.
I have owned glass boats from Necky and Seaward; the Coho outperforms them both. It is so light and easy to handle, the miles fly by with considerably less effort than the glass boats.
If you've got the space and time, this is a great kit that will provide you with an excellent all round boat that you can be proud of.