Submitted: 11-08-2006 by fzburk
I got a used Coaster a few weeks ago. I've heard a lot about them, their handling in waves, surfing ability, and how well they track in wind. It's true, it's true . . .
Great sea kayak at 13'5". Took it in 5 knot current, open water, and boat wakes /wind waves in excess of 6 feet. Never felt unstable or out of control. Caught a few smaller 'rip' waves and was pleased.
A few days later took it out to a point break. Caught some smaller waves (2 - 3 feet) and stayed on the wave for 100 yards or so. Seems to stay balanced regardless of the conditions. In a 5 mile paddle in strong current, I stayed ahead of the group. Everyone else was in 16 - 17 foot sea kayaks. They had trouble keeping straight, being tossed around by the wind/waves, and were constantly having to balance.
I had to retrofit the seat. The one that came with it was too tight. I'm 6'2 and 240. Found another seat that fit the boat and me better. Now it is wonderful. No bulkheads so I have two LARGE float bags. Rescues are fairly easy. The small stern tends to submerge a bit during a paddle float. The smaller cockpit (31 x 15) makes it a squeeze to get past the coaming. Once I'm in, the fit is great.
Mariner stopped making these a couple of years ago. If you can find one, they are worth the price if you want to get into rock gardens, surf ocean swell, and play in tide rips.