Submitted: 04-10-2002 by pikabike
The Castine was my first kayak, and it has accomplished its mission nicely: gotten me hooked on kayaking. While the boat is simply too wide for me (at 5'2" and 115 lbs) to have practiced moves that require edging the boat, it worked well as a stable platform for developing a smooth, strong forward stroke. That stroke, I found out recently, carried over beautifully when testing some boats with 22" beams.
I never capsized in this boat (except when practicing wet exits), and its stability and good tracking allowed me to simply enjoy the sights as I paddled. It was also easy to maneuver around obstacles. The surprising thing was how much fun it was to play in the motorboat wakes!
Another unexpected nicety is how well-insulated the hull is. Spring through late fall, I never got cold legs even when paddling with only a Farmer Jane shorty on. I started hankering for more speed and better fit for my build, so I'm selling my Castine. But I'll always have fond memories of my earliest kayaking jaunts, and this is the boat that sold me on kayaking.