Osprey Standard Kit

15' 8"
Width (in)
Weight (lb)

Osprey Standard Kit Description

The Osprey-Standard has enjoyed a cult-like following ever since her introduction at the Northwest Sea Kayak Symposium in 1996. Paddlers who enjoy strong tracking paired with a high hull speed and low wetted surface love her. Despite her relatively short length, her plumb stern and steep bow rake give her the same waterline length and hull speed as the much longer Arctic Tern 17. Her rounded hull gives her low wetted surface and low frictional drag. Her 15’8” length overall and 24” beam allows for plenty of carrying capacity for kayak touring.

Design Features: Tremendous positive feedback to the cambered deck of the Osprey Double encouraged John to create the Osprey-Standard. The deck's "beveled" panel takes 1 and 3/16" off the side of the kayak at the sheer seam (where the deck meets the hull). It looks great, but even better, it gets the deck away from your elbows and knuckles. Bring your paddle in closer to the kayak on your high angle power stroke. Keep your hands lower and more relaxed on your cruising stroke.

Great for Touring: Whether you intend to day paddle or tour for 2 weeks, the Osprey-Standard easily does the job. At 38 pounds, she will outstrip most other kayaks on day paddles. We hope you don't mind waiting for your friends in their heavier plastic and fiberglass boats. You will experience a similar advantage on longer tours. Saving 25-30% on boat weight makes a difference when carrying 100 pounds of gear, plus yourself. Our stitch and glue construction method using okoume panels, epoxy laminated between layers of 6 oz. fiberglass cloth, makes the Osprey as strong and rugged as fiberglass boats. Her beauty is incomparable. Enjoy her for a lifetime of adventures.

Choosing an Osprey: The Osprey-Standard is a 24" beam, medium-volume kayak, and fits average size adults. She provides comfortable foot room for a person with up to a men's size 12 shoe. Beginners and intermediate paddlers alike, choose her for her performance and graceful lines. She is one of our strongest tracking boats with medium stability. Use her on open saltwater coastline, bays, lakes, and meandering rivers. People find her stable and easy to paddle without having to raise their shoulders. Her lightweight makes her easy to cartop. If you like the idea of tracking combined with a good amount of carrying capacity but would prefer a narrower beam, see the Murrelet 4PD, version 1. If stability appeals to you, then be sure check out the Pinguino series.

Osprey Standard Kit Specs and Features

  • Structure: Rigid / Hard Shell
  • Cockpit Type: Sit Inside
  • Seating Configuration: Solo
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Average Adult, Larger Adult
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
  • Ideal Paddler Size: Average Adult, Larger Adult
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Pygmy Boats
Osprey Standard Kit Reviews

Read reviews for the Osprey Standard Kit by Pygmy Boats as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!

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I'm offering a review of the…

Submitted by: ThePaddler on 6/17/2019

I'm offering a review of the Osprey Standard by Pygmy Boats. It's from a stitch and glue plywood kit. I don't know the individual who built mine as I got mine off a guy in Charleston, SC, thru eBay and he had had it lying in his porch for 5-6 yrs after buying it off another fellow. I don't think it was ever used because the surface was nearly flawless. It's not quite 16' long and < 50 lbs. It's fairly easy to lift on and off my RAV-4 where I keep it. I haul it upside-down on Malone Seawings so I don't need a cockpit cover. Afterall if it's not on the car it's not going to be used. I use mine about 5 days a week for 3-6 miles a paddle. I paddle deep rivers and lakes so I'm not interested in whitewater or ocean surfing. I'm what Brian Shulz of Cape Falcon boats (see his LPB video) almost disparagingly calls a "fitness paddler". Yes, I put my feet to the foot braces, raise the knees and crank out 5+ mph. Performance-wise this boat tracks and tracks and tracks. And without a rudder or keg. And it's pretty fast, too. And it's very stable. My local river carries coal and oil barges and fast ski boats which at times stir up almost ocean type waves and the Osprey has no difficulty staying afloat- it just comfortably bobs in the water with the barge wake. I can get in and out easily from a beach by stepping over and into it or at dockside by simply stepping down into it. Since it tracks so well it doesn't make sharp turns. Less sharp turns are accomplished fairly easily by leaning. But I prefer tracking over turning so it suits my style.


This is an excellent…

Submitted by: paddler235776 on 8/8/2016

This is an excellent general-purpose touring kayak for average size paddlers. In terms of size and paddling characteristic it hits the sweet spot. It has enough cargo space for at least week long trips, but it's also a manageable size for day paddles.

I'm 5'10", 160 pounds, and the Osprey Std suits my needs perfectly. I generally do day trips, weekend camping trips, and an occasional week-long outing. It's paddling characteristics are about ideal. It tracks very well, weathercocking is minimal, and maintains efficient cruising speed with only minimal effort. Both primary and secondary stability are very good, while still maintaining efficiency. Since it's a multi-chine kayak intended for efficiency and tracking, it doesn't turn as crisply as many others, but that's usually not a problem if open water touring is your primary intention. It handles rough water well. It's not a surf or whitewater kayak, but probably capable of just about anything else.

The only minor issues that prevents me from giving it a '10' is the included seat, which seems like the most common complaint about Pygmy kayaks. It's OK, but gets a little uncomfortable on longer trips. I replaced it with a custom made (by someone else) foam seat which is blissfully comfy.

The Osprey is a great all around kayak that is suitable for a wide variety uses. It's a jack-of-most-trades kayak that does many different things very well.


Got my '08 Pygmy Standard…

Submitted by: Oregonpaddler on 6/14/2016
Got my '08 Pygmy Standard (measures 16 foot) in 2016 used at a great price. For an honest review, I can only compare it to similar kayaks I own. I use my Old Town Cayuga 146 and Wilderness Systems Zephyr 16 as comparisons. The wood Pygmy, right off, is of course more beautiful and about 12 pounds lighter, so there. The seat is a simple back band with a Thermarest butt seat and is much, much more comfortable than the Cayuga seat and as good as the aftermarket back band seat in the Zephyr 16. The Osprey is just a bit faster than the Cayuga 146, meaning it moves faster in relation to the effort put into the paddle strokes. The Zephyr 16 is just as "fast", if not faster. The two plastic boats turn easier (less effort) than the Osprey. A stop and turn with the Osprey simply takes more effort than with the other two. The hull shape on the Pygmy Standard is a straight line design with chines, meaning it's great for long days of touring with minimum effort, but the lines on the Cayuga 146 and Zephyr 16 are quite streamlined as well. I'll put the Zephyr 16 on par with the Osprey for "speed" and the Cayuga 146 as close to both. The hatches on the Osprey are not as convenient as the hatches on the plastic boats due to the kit construction, but nevertheless work well. None of the hatches on the three boats are 100% waterproof, no matter what the makers claim, but that's what dry bags are for, so no big deal. I did not put the Pygmy kit together, so have no comments on assembly. It was built by an owner who did it right, and it's gorgeous, but I cringe whenever I scrape a rock. With the plastic boats it's just another bit of plastic curly-cue stuck on a rock. All in all, I will admit to being a proud owner of a beautiful wooden kayak that draws compliments from most folks who see it. The Osprey Standard 16 foot performs very well in most respects except low speed turning and again, that's only compared to the two boats I have for comparison. Every kayak has compromises. If you have the time and talent and garage space to build a Pygmy kit boat, you'll be happy with the end result. I've never seen a bad review on any of their models. I gave it a 9 instead of a 10 because of the slow speed turning effort and that's subjective anyway, so you may as well ignore it. Go out and paddle something. Anything.

I have paddled my Osprey…

Submitted by: paddler236569 on 10/15/2015
I have paddled my Osprey Standard for the past ten years on the BC coast, and cannot speak more highly of this amazing craft. From its handling capability, to its light weight, to its durability when coming into contact with rocks or debris, to maintaining its stunning good looks, it has been a winner in every respect. It is responsive to the paddle, and I often have to wait for my fellow paddlers in their heavy boats to catch up! It holds sufficient supplies for up to ten day trips and is a pleasure to paddle. My next Pygmy is the Arctic Tern, and I look forward to its stellar performance.

I'm no wood worker let alone…

Submitted by: demmerich on 7/30/2013
I'm no wood worker let alone a boat builder, but I constructed a beautiful boat that paddles straight, turns on a dime, and carries enough gear for two comfortable well fed weeks. The boat was so successful that my wife asked me to build her one and now I have two Osprey STDs.

I had decided to upgrade my…

Submitted by: gmorgus on 7/30/2013
I had decided to upgrade my flat water touring kayak. I own a solo canoe and a 14 foot touring kayak. The empty canoe was a sail in any kind of wind, and the 14 footer just didn't carry enough speed to suit me while touring with my friends. While in Port Townsend I paddled the Osprey and I liked it quite a bit. The idea of building my own boat was appealing also. So I got a kit and took it home to build.

The manual that comes with the kit is excellent, there are a lot of online videos and Pygmy support is just top notch. It took me about 2 months to finish my kayak, it was about 80 hours of build time, but you have to wait for "the epoxy to cure".

The finished product is light in weight, sturdy of build, and pleasing to the eye. It paddles easily and is fast, it tracks true (guess I did something right), and it doesn't leak. It allows my size 12+ feet. The kit was complete and there was enough epoxy and glass - but not too much. You want to understand what you are doing when you do a step and I used small batches of epoxy even on the larger steps. Working with epoxy is not hard, but you need to pay attention.

The kayak is a solid performer on the water. I never have to be the first boat in the line, but it is great to paddle along and not have any trouble staying with any paddler in the group. The waterline on my Osprey is the equal to most kayaks in the 17 ft range, yet it rests neatly on my boat wall at under 16 ft. Pygmy makes a lot of models that will suit most needs. If you want a strong tracking flat water kayak, check out the Osprey Std.


The Osprey Standard is light,…

Submitted by: spingali on 7/25/2013
The Osprey Standard is light, fast, and tracks like a dream. Her lines may be a little boring, but I'd stack her up against nearly any production plastic boat. I don't know why more people don't own one of Pygmy's boats.

This boat has been a real…

Submitted by: clansweeney on 8/27/2012
This boat has been a real 'game changer' in my kayaking experience. On just about every measurable criteria, this is the most pleasurable, best performing boat I have ever owned or paddled. It is:
a) lighter than my smaller thermo-formed boat
b) arguably faster than the 17' greenland boat I sold after acquiring the Osprey
c) more stable (primary) than boats inches wider and
d) the first boat I've paddled that truly did not require a skeg or rudder in quartering tailwinds. It not only cartops easily (and I'm smaller paddler), but makes kayak carts irrelevant - just toss it on your shoulder and go.

I was not the builder - I bought it essentially new from a someone who did a great job assembling and finishing it, but apparently was not in love with time on the water. I consider the buy to have been a remarkable piece of good fortune. It is truly "a thing of beauty and a joy forever".


The Pygmy Osprey is a…

Submitted by: paddler231865 on 10/27/2006
The Pygmy Osprey is a beautiful boat, both in looks and handling. Finished with bulkheads and hatches, deck straps and lifeline she still only weighs in at 40lbs. It doesn't matter what direction the wind is blowing from, she goes where you point her, and no matter how pointy or sloping the water surface is, she feels as steady as a rock. Maybe not the boat for a tight, windy little channel though, with tracking that's rock solid, and makes leaned turns of more than academic interest soon after first launch. An almost faultless boat otherwise, and a gorgeous finish on the glowing mahogany veneer.

The kit instructions and…

Submitted by: paddler231326 on 9/22/2005
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.


This is the second kayak I’ve…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 8/3/2004
This is the second kayak I’ve built (first was skin on frame from 1962 Mechanics Illustrated plans) and the fifth one I’ve had. In use, the thing I like about it most is that it goes where it’s pointed. I had really grown weary of trying to keep my Sonoma 13.5 in a straight line in wind and chop. The Osprey is about as easy to track under these conditions as my Dagger Baja with rudder, and weighs 20+ pounds less, for ease of transport. Yes, my Osprey came in light at 34 pounds. That’s with seat, foot braces and deck rigging, but without any hatches, bulkheads or floatation bags. I really tried not to over-apply the epoxy, but wonder if I was too stingy. GPS shows the Osprey to paddle about 25% faster than the Sonoma. As just an average paddler, I find the Osprey cruises easily at 5 mph or so.

As other owners of wooden kayaks have attested, this boat really draws attention. Just driving though town, I get a constant flow of double-takes and people pointing at it. Waterfront comments and conversations abound.

Family events extended my build to almost a year. I’ve forgotten some of the things I had, during the build, intended to put into a review. I really admire the design and the build technique. I highly recommend study of Wayne Reinert’s web journal (http://home.rochester.rr.com/wreinert/osprey.htm) to gain a more complete understanding of the project, and to clarify some parts of the generally OK instructions. I called Pygmy several times, and they were always helpful. I even had them send me 2 replacement panels after I had become unsatisfied with the butt joint between them.

One of my calls to Pygmy had been about the warping I noted in the panels when I received them. (The warping was presumably due to humidity during shipping. Some Saran-wrap had been used around groups of panels to make them more rigid.) They reassured me that the panels would pull into shape during the build, and, I knew that this should be true. BUT, there were some wicked twists and contortions (particularly at panel ends) that none of us fully comprehended. When I removed all of the many weights from around the butt joint mentioned above, there was a very pronounced and stiff S-curve, when viewed edgewise. It was at this point that I realized I should have requested an exchange of the entire kit, before I started building. I figured it was too late, and requested replacement of only these most problematic pieces.

While I greatly enjoyed many phases of the construction, I did incur ongoing frustrations due to the other warped pieces. For example, I could see that warps at the upper edge of the hull were going to make attachment of the deck difficult. So, before I glassed the hull, I built some structures within the hull, based around the temporary frames and some hot-glued blocks, to push and pull where needed. Another major problem had been unusual warps at the ends of the stern panels, which made wiring of the stern very difficult. I removed and re-did those wires several times, and still had to do some funky filling and shaping later on.

The lesson, here, is to be very critical of any warpage in the panels, when they are first delivered. And, Pygmy would be well-advised to make greater packing efforts to prevent such warpage. With that caveat, I would highly recommend building a Pygmy boat. Oh, I guess for a first-timer, I’d recommend one of the hard-chined, 4-panel hulls, like the Arctic Tern, or Arctic Tern 14. This would reduce the assembly, and more importantly, would leave fewer edges around which you have to be so careful when cleaning up hardened epoxy runs, and when sanding.


A beautiful kayak. Pygmy boat…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 6/10/2003
A beautiful kayak. Pygmy boat kits have first class materials and the instructions are good. the staff is very supportive as questions come up during the building process. This boat is fairly short for a sea kayak. It tracks extremely well but must be heeled up to turn in a reasonable radius. I prefer a sharp chine hull to the multi-chine rounded hull of the Osprey. A sharp-chined "Greenland" style hull allows easier turning and "carved" turns with a little bit of edge control. This is a matter of personal preference, however. If you are thinking of building a kit boat and have the space, go for it. You don't need prior experience and will never regret it. You can't go wrong with a Pygmy kit.

Handles very well, tracks the…

Submitted by: guest-paddler on 9/20/2000
Handles very well, tracks the best of any I've tried. I plan to build another one. Turns "sedately" (read: only with effort).The wooden boat ALWAYS draws positive comments - to the chagrin of my buddies with glass, plastic, or aluminium boats. I wish I could say that there is plenty of room for camp gear, but I must be too comfort-bound. I always run out of room before I run out of gear. "Now, where is that micro wave oven?"

It is hard to describe how…

Submitted by: paddler228770 on 7/24/2000
It is hard to describe how wonderful it is to be paddling a glorious mahogany kayak that you built yourself. My kit finished out at 35 pounds which allows me to easily cartop it and it turns heads everywhere I go. It tracks very strong and is virtually unaffected by the wind. It handles better than any plastic boat I have ever tried. You can find my journal of the construction by visiting www.pygmyboats.com and checking out What’s New.

It's everything Pygmy…

Submitted by: paddler228565 on 4/25/2000
It's everything Pygmy claims-stable, tracks straight, strong, fairly easy to build, light, and beautiful. It turns heads more so than any boat I've paddled. A sheer delight as a project. Many people have tracked me down when transporting on the car, and am happy to steer them toward Pygmy. Pygmy was great help on the phone while building. Enjoyed it so much I built my wife an Arctic Tern.

This kayak is light weight…

Submitted by: paddler228451 on 2/13/2000
This kayak is light weight and easy handling under any conditions. It tracks well and turns nicely and is comfortably stable. It is a great boat compared to any I have paddled - not just a great kit boat. It is beautifully proportioned and pure pleasure on the water.

The Ospry STD comes with excellent instructions, quality materials and friendly support from the Pygmy staff.


Fun and fulling project…

Submitted by: paddler228226 on 8/9/1999
Fun and fulling project kayak. Good keel lines and excellent stability. Plenty of cargo space and directions for construction do not leave you hanging without a clue. Plenty of support available from Pygmy staffers when needed. This fiberglas/mahogony composite is a true beauty.
Osprey Standard Kit

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