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