Submitted: 01-06-2003 by somalley
The Castaway is a nice boat for lakes and slow moving rivers. It tracks well enough to hold its line on still water after you stop paddling, but it still responds nicely to sweep strokes. The foot pegs are solidly constructed and easy to adjust from within the boat. I’ll agree with the other reviewers here that the boat’s plastic is nearly indestructible and does not deform or oil can at all. My Castaway has been dragged over and bounced off of countless rocks with only cosmetic scratches to show for it.
If you paddle the kind of water this boat was designed for, you really don’t need a skirt; however, the boat’s cockpit is similar in size to many touring and whitewater boats. This lets you use an “off the shelf” spray skirt, if you want protection from rain or want to try leaning the boat far enough over to submerge the cockpit edge. If you get a skirt, I’d recommend either all-nylon or neoprene with a nylon or GoreTex adjustable tunnel. The boat’s high seatback would interfere with the tight tunnel of an all-neoprene skirt.
I’m selling my Castaway to buy an “old school” whitewater boat, since my interests have shifted in that direction. Still, for a flatwater day tripper, the Castaway is a good deal. It handles well for a rec boat, is decently fast, and has plenty of space behind the seat and between your legs for drybags or gear. Too bad Old Town doesn't offer thigh braces for this boat--those would greatly extend its capabilities.