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Arctic Tern 14 Light Weight Touring Kayak Sea Kayaker Magazine's Reader's Choice Award for Best Kit Kayak

Arctic Tern 14


14' LENGTH | 23" BEAM | 11" DEPTH | 32 LBS.

The Arcti Tern 14 Kayak kit for smaller paddlers

Arctic Tern 14 Wooden Sea Kayak

Kit Price: $1049


Select Resin/Hardener:

Boat shown with optional bulkhead and hatch kit and deck rigging.

  • Description
  • Photos
  • Specs
  • Features
  • Inside Your Kit

Arctic Tern 14 Review, in Sea Kayaker Magazine Aug. 2002

"So light to lift. Every time I hefted it, I was thrilled by how easy it was to shoulder carry...This boat puts a solo carry within the ability of paddlers for whom it was previously not possible."(KC)


"The Tern 14 is a godsend for smaller boaters. Its shallow cockpit design, nimble handling and light weight are coupled with straight tracking and good speed." (KC)

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Arctic Tern 14:
Designer John Lockwood has done it again! In response to a growing number of folks who want versatility, he developed our Arctic Tern 14. The initial inspiration for her was to create a small play boat. The end result was much more. Her crisp hard chines make her very responsive to lean turns, an ideal characteristic for playing in the surf zone. Teens and smaller adults will relish in the fact that there is a touring boat just their size. A lower wetted surface makes keeping pace with larger boats a pleasure, not a chore. At thirty-two pounds and fourteen feet, she is extremely easy to car top.


Pygmy is leading the pack in innovation. A growing number of paddlers enjoy playing in rough seas. In response to a request from Michael Powers, Tsunami Ranger and kayaker extraordinaire, John designed the Arctic Tern 14. Michael wanted a smaller, more maneuverable kayak that he could take into the rock gardens and sea caves along the coast of Oregon. Soon after its release the Arctic Tern 14 became our second best selling sea kayak as it became a popular boat to take into the surf and rock gardens along the entire west coast. Her recessed cockpit makes executing rolls and braces in rough water easier.


Although the Arctic Tern 14 was designed with advanced paddlers in mind, the end result was much more. Teens and smaller adults will relish the fact that there is a touring boat just their size. Her lower wetted surface gives her a cruising speed advantage over longer boats and makes keeping pace with larger, stronger paddlers in longer boats a pleasure, not a chore.


In her sea trials, the Arctic Tern 14 performed wonderfully with a variety of conditions and paddlers. On a trip to Great Slave Lake, fourteen-year old Betsy, a family friend of John’s paddled the Arctic Tern 14. Along side, others paddled our Taiga canoe, a 17-foot Arctic Tern and an Osprey Double. Betsy had no trouble carrying her personal gear and keeping pace with the pod of Pygmies. The Arctic Tern 14 also received high marks from play boaters. On several outings, hotshot paddlers have raved about the crisp handling and responsiveness in challenging sea conditions. The Arctic Tern 14 is ideal for paddlers 4’10" up to 6’ with shoe size up to 11. Smaller paddlers should also be sure to check out the Selkie, which draws on the Arctic Tern 14's popular hull design.


Read what our customers have to say about the Arctic Tern 14: Customer Feedback.

To request a Pygmy catalog, click here.


Watch the Arctic Tern 14 in Motion in this "Commuting By Kayak" Video:






ospry double profile Osprey doulbe quartering on the water shot Osprey stern on the water shot




Arctic Tern 14 Specs:
Beam…… 23”
Weight….. 32lbs
Cockpit…. 15.5”x33”
*Initial stability……9.0"
Carrying capacity (……9.70
**Efficient Cruising Wetted Surface in sq. ft……17.00
Loaded waterline length……12.50'
***Top cruising speed……4.90 mph
Available as kit……yes
Available as plans……no

*The transverse Metacenter, in inches, is a measure of a kayak's initial stability. A higher number is more stable. All single kayaks computed with same weight person.
Kayak cruising speed is proportional to the boat's wetted surface, which is the area of frictional drag of the water on the hull, here expressed in sq. ft.
***90% of theoretical hull speed (THS) in mph. A boat's theoretical hull speed is a function of square root of its loaded waterline length (LWL). at approximately 80% to 90% of its hull speed a kayak will start to produce a bow wake longer than its LWL and the effort required to continue acceleration rapidly increases



Arctic Tern 14 Features:
Hull type…Hard-chine
Deck type…Pygmy multi-chine cut away deck with patented rear cockpit recess
Best used for… Surf kayaking, Day touring, Light touring, Pettite paddlers
Paddler experience level… Intermediate/Advanced
Shoe size….Up to men’s 10.5 (depending on shoe and personal comfort)
Cockpit size…15.5”x33"


Inside your Pygmy kit:

  • Precision pre-cut BS-1088 Okoume plywood panels (all 4mm)
  • Cockpit coamings
  • 2.25 Gallons epoxy
  • 36 feet 6 oz fiberglass cloth
  • Fiberglass tape
  • Wire
  • Squeegee
  • Dental syringes
  • Vinyl gloves
  • Wood flour
  • Calibrated Pumps
  • Stirring sticks
  • Steel push pins
  • Temporary frames
  • 2-part seat
  • Keeper's® footbraces
  • Illustrated construction manual



* We usually ship "Medium" hardener with our kits (good for temperatures ranging from 55-75 degrees Fahrenheit).  You may order "Slow" for hot climates (75-95 degrees Fahrenheit) or "Fast" for cold climates (35-55 degrees Fahrenheit) upon request. Read the System Three Epoxy Book to help select the appropriate epoxy and hardener for you. If you would like a copy of the Epoxy Book, click here to download. We also stock System Three’s Silver Tip Epoxy and offer this as an option in our boat kits for an additional charge.  For Silvertip epoxy the slow hardener is good for temperatures warmer than 65 and the fast is best for temperatures cooler than 65. Note: Silver Tip Resin can only ship via Ground Service and is not eligible for shipments to Alaska.



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