Submitted: 05-15-2006 by Bowcatz
Just bought the Castaway a month ago and have used it several times. The front scupper holes were kind of scary at first. My Old Town Otter didn't have those, so seeing the kayak slowly fill with water when I first sat in it too far forward had me wondering if I was about to go swimming. ; ) When I sat fully back into the seat, the scupper holes emptied just as fast and I calmed down a bit and paddled out to learn the feel of this particular kayak. We became good friends quickly.
The Castaway does track slow and mine pulls to the right when I used the narrow, heavier kayak paddle supplied with the kayak, but I switched to my old wider (8"), sturdier paddle and that stopped that.
The front rod holder is way too far forward for me and I'm a 5'6" tall woman with long arms. Scupper holes fill up quick as I have to scoot forward some to position the rod. This meant wet pants legs before I could set back in the seat. Okay in warm weather. Bad in cold weather. I plan to make an adapter and have the front rod holder extended about two feet closer, so I won't have to lean so far forward. Kinda scary seeing the kayak fill up with water like that and so fast.
I like the Castaway though. I paddle slow waters most of the time and fish out it, so I'm not expecting it to be stressed too bad unless a storm blows up and I have to paddle like all get out to get back to the boat landing.
It handles a lightweight anchor (less than 8 pounds) well. Nice to tie off to the side of the kayak instead of the rear like I had to do with the Otter. I wouldn't go much heavier than 8 pounds though if you fish where a rogue wave might suddenly cause you to rise. When I fish in the submerged willows, I have a home-made limb hook made from the wire handle of a five-gallon bucket. You just basically bend the wire handle into and around again to make a loop on one end and make the bail ends overlap each other. The bent ends of the wire overlap a tree limb, but will pull free if a strong wave pushed the kayak to one side. I don't tie mine off too tightly incase a wave does this. Have had this big wave action below the spillway happen a few times. I guess it is caused by the opening of the races too fast.
For $384, it's not a bad purchase for weekenders like me. I built a tiny, sturdy kayak hauler and can store it behind me bungee-corded down tightly. I do recommend you carry no more weight than necessary. Had about a gallon of water in the rear section when I sat fully back. The anchor and extra gear added about fifteen pounds to the overall weight. Scupper hole in the rear filled up quick. I am considering plugging it, but would need to write Pelican first to ask if this is safe.