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Submitted: 08-27-2009 by Sonoma

I bought my Castaway last Friday. Took it out Saturday. It is nice. Would think that it would float a little higher being rated for 350 lbs and stay dryer in the butt area.
    Things I like:
  1. The color
  2. The price (and you get what you pay for)
  3. Sports Authority no longer gives out the cheap paddle but they let me take an $80 Carlisle instead)
  4. Seat is ok. My friends OC seat fits right over the permanently mounted seat. I will be getting one soon.(more on this in dislikes)
  5. Plenty of storage area(although hard to reach)
  6. 3 rod holders
  7. Moves fine even against the wind
    Dislikes:
  1. Not that heavy for me to lift but I think if it weighs 60lbs and is 11'6" it should hold more weight/ride higher/take on less water.
  2. Was not sure what people complained about tracking but I know now. It is fine, don't like it, but it will get me there.
  3. Why does the front rod holder have to be so far up. I am 5'10" and feel really short in this.:)
  4. Was worried about the front hatch leaking so I tried tighten the front straps. One of the clips broke. I doubt I will take it on a class 2 river this weekend until fixed.
  5. Does Pelican support exist? I emailed them about #4 and no reply. I called them about it and no reply. I was number 1 caller with an average 1 minute wait. Waited about 5 minutes then was prompted with the "High volume of callers..." to leave a message. I did but do not think I will get a call. Oh well, I can easily fix it on my dime ($2.99). But wonder what good is a 2 year warranty on a product that I get a voice mail on.
  6. Seat is ok for awhile but after a while the bottom of the seat will start hurting your back some right around your L3-L5. The gap the seat connects to is about 3" wide. It will feel like two rods poking you.
    Solutions to my problems:
  1. Scupper holes - Scupper plugs (Well 4 walmart bouncy balls from the party section.
  2. Leaky hatch which did not really leak but may on a river - New hatch clip using one from a camping/kayak store used for storage. Plus a auto trunk gasket seal to increase the lid tightness.
  3. Rod holder too far away - Install a new rod holder mount closer to me and use the other for the fish finder.
  4. Lower back being stabbed - The Ocean Kayak seat does fit fine and does help.
I have only had it on a lake with very little wind. I am kind of scared going on a class #2 river just yet(front hatch thing). What is everyone elses experience.

Final note. I have read both good and bad reviews on this kayak. It works for what it cost, I believe you get what you pay for and with a few enhancements and practical thinking this will get you to where you need to go.

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