Submitted: 02-13-2004 by DJ
I bought a Charleston 15 last summer. It's a sweet boat. It's a 24.75 inch-wide, swedeform hull that offers comfortably strong initial stability for top-heavy paddlers, and extremely firm secondary stability. I'm paralyzed from the base of my sternum downward, so I built a backrest extension to reach up into my functional musculature. Overall, this is an excellent light touring boat. Its speed can't match a full touring boat, of course, but it does move quite nicely, and you feel that you're getting somewhere. The boat has notably quick acceleration. I like to use it on Class I rivers. With the skeg retracted, the boat is reasonably nimble. With the skeg deployed, tracking is very good. The Charleston also handles wind and waves on Lake Superior very well.
The only negative I have is that with the skeg deployed, the boat wandered to the left. So, I put a small bend in the skeg blade, which made the tracking perfect. Also, the velcro strips that the factory put in the skeg slot came loose and then jammed the skeg, so I removed them. They're unnecessary.
I believe all larger people would enjoy the Charleston 15. I feel that it's too big for a smaller person though. The bottom line is that I really enjoy paddling this boat. It's a keeper.