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Submitted: 10-07-2002 by mkcfool
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First off: I am not a boat snob. I do not look down my nose at the “lower” categories of kayaks. I have paddled many types of water in all kinds of boats. I believe every boat has a purpose and place to use it. You wouldn’t take a Ferrari on a mud track, and you shouldn’t take a touring kayak down a trout stream.

What are the features of the Castaway?
Castaway is considered somewhere between a rec and a light touring boat. Old Town stripped down a Castine and called it the Castaway. They removed the bulk heads and storage compartments to lighten it and make it cheaper. Don’t plan on any overnighters with this boat. Switch over to the Castine, or Nantucket if that is what you are doing. This kayak does feature rear deck rigging, carrying handles, an Old Town standard seat, and adjustable foot pegs. The length is 12 feet 9 inches, and the width 26 inches. A happy compromise between “long and fast”, and “short stubby and slow”. Cockpit is well sized at 34 inches long, no claustrophobia here.

Where would I paddle the Castaway?
Simply put: this kayak is for lakes and rivers. I would not recommend any real big water, (ocean, great lakes) for several reasons. No bulk heads. Yes you can put floatation bags in place, but that doesn’t negate the extra width this boat has, which is a detriment on big roll-y water, a blessing on flat water. It’s width to length keeps the water line lower on the hull, which is very important on low water rivers. In short, It’s not long and skinny, and it’s not short and fat,but somewhere in between. It keeps more of the boat out of the water, and is much less likely to drag on the river bottom. The boat tracks OK, but does not come with a rudder. Again, Castine does as an option, but on low water rivers, you can’t use it anyway. Where the Castaway loses on tracking, it makes up for in maneuverability. Very forgiving when you make a last minute re-routes around logs and branches in the water.

Hey youse guys at Old Town did this right:
Poly link 3 is the material Old Town uses to make it’s plastic kayaks. THIS STUFF IS AWESOME! It’s indestructible (virtually) and holds it’s shape beautifully (no oil-canning). Far and away, the seat is the best on the market. It doesn’t feel cheap, the plastic is heavy, and the molding fits the body just right. (folks at Perception: take notice, you seats need improvement). The foot pegs are first rate. This kayak, and all made at Old Town for that matter, really show they cared about how their less expensive kayaks looked and felt. In short: it doesn’t feel like an over-grown milk jug-style rotation molded plastic boat.

Hey youse guys at Old Town, consider this:
The rear deck cords would better on the front. Can’t use the rear one. This boat is meant for short trips, you need the deck cords in front for your water bottle and stuff. And another thing, the deck area right above your legs is a little low. I am 5’ 9”, 165 lbs, and the deck is so low, when my feet are on the foot pegs I have to angle slightly to fit. I wouldn’t recommend this kayak for anyone taller or heavier than me. If you are taller, the foot pegs can adjust farther toward the bow, but I hope you don’t have feet, because they won’t fit! And another other thing, Old Town please put in a drain plug! I wash my boat out, and I can never get all the water out.

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