Ignore the number. I built it. It's my baby. Would you rate your baby anything other than 10 out of 10?
I just thought I'd add my thoughts for anyone considering building this boat, who might have doubts about their ability to do so. I'm the guy who got a D in middle school shop, never had the patience or fine motor skills for model building. But this seemed like a nice middle-age challenge. Still, I feared this boat would sit partially completed in my garage for years before I gave up on it. Well it didn't. I built it in about three months, probably putting about 120 hours into it, and loving every minute of the build. I made mistakes, but none that couldn't be corrected. The builders on kayakforum.co were always ready to give me advice and guidance every step of the way, God bless 'em. People who see it on my car are stunned by its beauty, and assume I'm a master woodworker, which amuses me to no end. It has many small imperfections, and as the builder I'm aware fo them all, but they are beautiful imperfections that make the boat my own. I have to say I've never felt so attached to a material possession before in my life.
Now for how it paddles. First, I'm not a master paddler. I've been paddling rec kayaks for about seven or eight years, mostly on lakes and slow rivers, and once a year I spend a few weeks at the ocean, paddling in calm conditions.
I'm 6 feet tall, about 195 pounds, with size 11-12 feet. Lots of room in this boat for someone my size. In fact I need to fit it out to make it fit me more securely.
It tracks like its on rails and I can't imagine ever needing a rudder. I've paddled it in stiff winds with no weathercocking, in chop and confused seas at the mouths of tidal rivers, and it handles beautifully. The hard chines allow me to lean hard and hold it on edge with no little threat of capsizing.
Other things I like about it: it is incredibly light 41 or 42 pounds. Extremely easy to cartop and to carry to the water. It is also incredibly sturdy. I feared a plywood and glass boat would be like a delicate piece of fine furniture that I was always worried about. No worries, this can handle a fair amount of abuse. Sure, like all boats, it will collect scratches on the hull over time, but it's still as beautiful as ever. And after a few years, a sanding and a new coat of varnish, it will look like a new boat again.
If you are thinking about building a Tern, don't hesitate. Do it. Building this boat and paddling this boat will be two of the most rewarding things you ever do.