Agree with most everyone else ... the boat is an excellent turner and tracker, but has noticeable limits on absolute top speed. It will maintain average cruise speeds just fine though, and is correct configuration for surf zones (quick). For most weekend warriors itís a better overall choice than the 17 (lighter, turns better, transport advantages. One possible issue is foot room. Maybe I put it together wrong, but my size 10's are a tight fit with shoes on. Still, I got a weeks worth of camp gear, including a rifle and a cot, in the little 14 for a rare "expedition" on Great Slave Lake. Get a boat that suits what you will do MOSTLY. Admit it. Mostly you will day trip. I also had a leaky hatch and believe this minor fault lies in the factory design, not the (flawless godlike) workmanship. If I were to build it again, I would NOT do hatches, but would buy a cockpit sock.
It was an easy & satisfying build, except for the endless sanding. Spent as much time on sanding/varnishing as I spent putting the entire kayak together. But it is a beautiful and functional object. Have had it for three years and it's my all time favorite possession. We have rocky shores here, and the hull has proven very durable. Maintenance is no big thing. Get one of these AT14's. Don't put in hatches. Make sure your feet fit. You will be happy.I built my Tern 14 two and a half years ago. This was my first real kayak and I compared every other kayak I paddled against it. Now after owning several other boats the Tern 14 is still my gold standard for all around handling. There is something to be said about the simplicity (no rudder or skeg) of a well-designed hard chine boat. It tracks, turns and balances almost automatically after a few paddles and at 33lbs. A joy to handle.
It has a faster cruising speed than most of the Pygmys and rated as one of the most efficient kayaks period at normal cruising speeds. It is much faster than my long boats in very shallow water and I use it almost daily in and around the mangroves. It was designed by request of the Tsunami Rangers so there is very little that this boat canít handle. Although limited on top speed this is a great day tripper or club boat. I am 5Ē11 and 170lbs. and I confer this is near the top range, although it is rated near 300lbs. I have now added a Tern 17 for my multi-day trips.