I purchased my Arctic Tern 17 kit roughly 20 years ago while living in Florida and spent many hours in it paddling the Intracoastal Waterway. I have taken in on an 8 day/150 mile float down the Upper Missouri River in Montana and found it to be the perfect match for me, carrying all supplies and even 10 gallons of water with no upset to the handling or stability. Hatches and bulkheads really enhance the design and make for a very functional boat design. I have two other kayaks, but this is the one I will take on my next extended float trip.
The hard chines make it a quick turning boat, even though tracks very well and paddles easily when not leaned into a turn. The boat is perfectly stiff and durable, probably much stronger than fiberglass alone, due to sandwiching of the plywood between fiberglass and epoxy. Clear varnish adds the perfect finish and is easily renewed. I have dragged the hull over gravel with only surface scratches. Any deeper gouges can easily be repaired with a smear of epoxy and a coat of varnish. Building requires no experience, just patience and care. The hull pulled together perfectly straight due to the precisely cut pieces. I love this boat and have often thought of building another model, since the process of building was so satisfying.