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Reviews for Castine Kayak by Old Town Canoe


Rated: 8.72/10 Based On: 32 Reviews

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07-30-2013
Submitted by: AEBSend Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     I have owned an Old Town Castine made of Prolink 3 for about ten years. It handles pretty well, kind of light on initial stability but not bad, tracks well, fairly fast for it's length and all around a pretty good kayak.

I rated it a 7 because it's not quite the right kayak for me at 6' and 250 but it's the prefect Kayak for my wife who is 5'7" and 140. She would probably give it a 10 but I'm the one reviewing it.

I am very impressed with how durable the prolink 3 material has been. It has been dropped off cars, drug over rocks, rammed over beaver dams and even got hung up on a submerged piece of re-bar that left a nasty scratch but nothing more!

Overall I'm happy with the Castine but my wife loves it.

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02-24-2012
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I've owned my beauty for 8 years and she's still my favorite river boat. I've even had her out on Lake Michigan and she rides the waves very nicely. I also owned a 38#, fiberglass, Castine, which was truly my favorite. Now that was one sweet, sweet boat but I sold it as I tend to beat my boats on the rocks.
If you get the chance to buy one, do so.

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06-06-2011
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I bought this kayak from a neighbor 2 yrs. ago (my first one). Came with lots of accessories so it was hard to pass up. Fast to me, lots of dry storage, handles head-on waves well. A might heavy to portage. Well worth the money IMHO. A little customizing and perfect for my needs.
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07-06-2007
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     This was my first kayak, purchased 5 years ago.
What I loved about it at first -- rock solid stability, abundant bone dry storage -- recently just didn't make up for its drawbacks -- it's heavy and slow and just doesn't edge.

It's rated at 50 lbs., it's actually 64 lbs. (I weighed it). It also leaves a wake when I'm pushing it as fast as I can (never a good sign).
Nevertheless, it's a superb boat for beginners, so I'm keeping up at my Adirondack cabin for guests.
Bottom line, this yak is like a great beginner ski, but when you're ready for a racing ski, it just doesn't cut it.

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09-19-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     This is a well balanced kayak with great stability, tracking and speed. This boat cuts through wind and chop like a destroyer! When I bought the boat new the first thing I did was to add silicone the bulkheads on the inside of the cockpit after reading all the reviews. Thank you! The result has been bone dry bulkheads front and back.

In summary I would definitely recommend this boat. Its width of only 26.5" making it faster than most boats under 13'. It's stable, has beautiful lines, great for overnights and long trips, and fun to paddle. You also stay dry without a spray skirt. This is not a good choice for fishing. For the money this is a really cool boat.

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06-27-2005
Submitted by: Mike ParksSend Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     Have had my Castine for 2 years now, and continue to be pleased with it. What you should know is that for a 13-footer, it is an extremely happy compromise between initial stability, secondary stability, maneuverability, and forward speed. This is a hard balance to achieve, and OT has done it. Leaned turns are very effective (I put a rudder on mine and took it off after 1/2 a season; superfluous and gadgety). I have had it on long (5 mile) Chesapeake Bay crossings in 20-KT winds, nasty chop, and I was properly nervous but in the end, gratified by the boat's intrinsic seaworthiness (it got me there safely). It lies nicely to the seas when you stop paddling, doesn't weathercock excessively when properly trimmed, and is generally well-behaved. The aft bulkhead leaks after much fussing and lots of silicone, and my guess is it always will, because of paddler weight flexing the structure at that point. C'est la vie, and as Feathercraft says..."hello, it's a water sport..." Forward bulkhead, made the same way, is bone dry.

Cowboy and paddle float re-entry work fine even at my arthritic, 59-year-old 199lbs. HOWEVER, and please note for safety: The high, rigid factory seat back make both rolling and re-entry techniques extremely difficult. Even though the thing folds forward, imagine climbing back in and maneuvering around the thing to quickly get your center of gravity low...bearing in mind the conditions under which you would have wet-exited in the first place. I took mine out and installed a backband, augmented by a portable camp seat for long trips. Thus, the 8 vs 10 rating.

BTW, those who think that kayaks under 18 feet are toys should have a look at Tappan Adney's The Bark And Skin Boats of North America. In it they will find Inuit kayaks in the 13-14-foot range. The Greenland tradition wasn't the only one...

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05-12-2004
Submitted by: mangymuttSend Email
Rating: 6 of 10

     I've owned the Castine for 3 years now... I use it quite often as I live on a lake. It did come with it's share of problems however: The bulkheads both leaked, the sealant used around the foam bulkhead walls was missing in many places. A call in to O.T. and they sent a type of silicone out, but it was the wrong stuff. A year later I called to complain it hadn't worked and they sent the right stuff out - which meant I first had to remove the old stuff, not an easy job and then replace it with the new stuff. Now why should I have to fix a boat that was wrong in the first place? The foam bulkheads are flimsy, the rubber hatches are a pain to use - the hatch cover (an added option) isn't waterproof, which defeats it's purpose - all of these make this boat a dissapointment to say the least. On a brighter note I also purchased the running light with mount which I really like esp since I paddle a lot at night and need to be seen by powerboats - So my overall take on this boat is it's a good boat to paddle, but the details that make it up are dismal. I guess for the money it's not too bad - but I'll update at some point and it won't be another Old Town brand.
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09-29-2003
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     I bought 2 OT Loons for my grandaughters...Grandpa tried one & to make a long story short, I bought a Castine & loved it. Great beginner boat. My daughter tried my boat & , you guessed it, She now owns a Castine.. Great boat for the money...If I were to update, I wouldn't know which way to go... So I guess the Castine is around for quite some time, right ???
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07-02-2003
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 7 of 10

     Great handling on the water. My complaints this time (see Otter review) are with Old Town and the construction. The shipping took about 2 months instead of 5 weeks with no explanation. The reason I bought this boat was because of the comfort of the seat to me in the retail store and the dry storage compartments (did I say dry???) They leak horribly. Yeah sure I can run to home Depot and buy some sealant and try to patch them, but why should I have to? The kayak was also damaged a little (dented) in shipment. I called Cabella's and they said to return it. I said you have to be kidding, so they had Old Town send a repair kit and paint. I think they should consider better packaging and maybe another shipper. Yellow freight is brutal. However, it is a comfortable boat for me at 5'10" and handles great in the water.
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04-14-2003
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     This is a great boat. I recently sold my Old Town Heron, because I've started doing more overnight'rs on rivers with up to class 3 rapids and felt I needed a boat that's a little shorter. While I could force the 16'Heron down the river, it wasen't a lot of fun, which brings me to the Castine. This boat is great. Much better quality than my Heron. Maybe not quite as fast as the Heron, but fast non the less.

I looked hard at the Dagger Crossover, but all things considered, who really camps on class 4-5 anyway. I'll use my RPM for the day trips, and my castine for when I'll see you next week. This is a great crossover boat, check it out.

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10-09-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     I've been paddling for 2 years now but have only owned my Castine for about a month. I've paddled numerous boats from Wilderness Systems and really like the Cape Lookout but I got my boat used at an excellent price. The boat handles really well in both flat water and smaller rapids. Great tracking, stability, and speed. Really didn't think I'd ever own any boat under 15 feet but this one won me over. This boat is a dream to paddle for the beginner, but well suited for the intermediate as well. Holds plenty of gear for shorter outings and I know mine has been on 3-5 4 days outings with no problems. Good tracking in wind and mild chop. Can't give an honest opinion about larger waves cause I haven't been in them yet. Construction is excellent and I haven't had any problems with leaking hatches as I have read that others had. Anyway, I use drybags and keep a shammy in the cockpit with me so this should never be any problem unless I get swamped. Will report later when I've played at the beach more, but so far this is a great boat. Be safe on the water and HAVE FUNNN!!!!
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08-26-2002
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have had my Castine for a little over one week and have been on two river runs in central FL. I have not been paddleing for very long. I have only been on four trips and used three different kayak. I ordered my Castine from my milepoint shopper ( frequent flyer mile points). It took three weeks to receive. I am very pleased with the quality of my boat. As the previous person wrote the bulkheads are made of foam and not very substantial, but I can remedy that. I also will have to add a little sealant to the black strip around the cockpit, which will take all of two minutes.

I love the way the Castine tracks and glides throught the water. The rivers I have been on have had a lot of fallen trees and tight corners to negotiate and the Castine was a breeze to turn through these obstacles. I have had many compliments on the maneuverability and the over all looks of my Castine. I commend Old Town on the clean lines and performance of the Castine kayak and would highly recommend this model to anyone.

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08-05-2002
Submitted by: HawkeyePierceSend Email
Rating: 3 of 10

     Had to wait 2 months to receive my Castine. Wouldn't have been a problem if dealer and OT would have been more accurate about the time: "4, maybe 5 weeks guaranteed". Yeah right! Got kayak home and did thorough inspection in garage: nylon strap to adjust seat back had been cut through approx. 95% of its width, foam bulkheads were a joke: 1.5" gaps in certain areas and clear sealant used to seal them was absent in some areas, cockpit edge that is covered by the little black strip wasn't even glued in several spots and edge was all ragged. Informed dealer who said to bring it back and possibley send back to OT, but didn't want to wait another 2 months so just settled for it. Last time I even think about buying an OT and will try to pursuade other buyers. Old Town and the persons who built this boad should be ashamed!
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07-19-2002
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     This little boat is FANTASTIC! I love the comfort, agility, speed, and ease of tracking. The hull design, there layers, insulated, I can't say enough good about this boat! A true gem! I have owned it just 6 days and have been in the water with it almost more than not. This is my second kayak, replacing a Perception Acadia bought last year. The Castine is a far superior outfit! My wife bought a Loon 111 for herself and is equally impressed with Old Town products!
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06-11-2002
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I've had my Castine about 6 weeks now. After paddling a Discovery 174, the Castine is a dream. It handles well, is very stable, and gives me more opportunity (excuses) to go paddling. I'm now in the market for another or the Adventure XL to be able to take along a guest. In my opinion, the Castine is a little easier to handle than the Adventure XL, but I like the slghtly larger cockpit opening of the Adventure. The red with black is beautiful. I get comments from boaters about how nice the Castine looks as it gracefully cuts through the water. The previous comments about handling well in swells and boat wakes goes ditto.
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05-20-2002
Submitted by: DENNISSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Helluva little boat. My wife and I bought 2 of these gems and then just looked at them for 6 weeks when the weather turned to crap. Yesterday we said tohell with it and tossed them into L.I. Sound. Explored and had a great time. Great boats for beginners. Our only other experience has been in an old town twin otter, which is a fun boat, but the castine is a gem!
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04-10-2002
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     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.

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01-02-2002
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I've had a Castine for about 3 months and I really have nothing but praise for it. This is my second kayak. The seat back is not padded but I have found it to be very comfortable. I'm very satisfied with its speed and stability. Fit and finish are excellent. I'm impressed with Polylink construction as it seems to be much more rigid than other poly boats I looked at. I looked at many boats and for its price range and size, I don't think that it can be beat. Note that I said that I have looked (not paddled) at many boats. I'm still fairly new to kayaking but this is my honest opinion of this boat.
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09-18-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     The OT Castine is a great little boat. It does everything I want it to do. It's fast enough, tracks well, and is stable. I paddle along the shore of Newport, RI, and in Narragansett Bay. Also, off the Maine coast. Dollar for dollar it's the best 12'-13'kayuk on the water. (I wish, however, Old Town offered repair putty in the same colors as their boats.)
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08-07-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     I love this boat! Tracks great, fast, and stable. For the price, it is the best light touring/recreational boat oon the market. I've used it many times on flat water and even a few times on class II rapids. I was impressed with how well a boat of this length handled the rapids. Would of given it a 10 but the bulkheads leak a tiny bit. Some silicon will surely fix that for good.
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07-24-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     Just bought my Castine today and got it home. In the pool we went. Hey,this kayak fits me like it was made just for me. I'm 6', 185 ibs. Plenty of room for me. Can even extend my legs all the way out and not hit the bulkhead.Was concerned about this. Had to try a wet exit. Got to know what to expect in case of a rollover, and it was about 95 here today. " Hey, keep Cool" Exit was OK and a little wet.Ha! I will use this yak on slow rivers,ponds and lakes in my area. And a little fishing. Had a leak in the rear " dry storage" area??? Hope I can fix this. Had some small kicks and scratches. I pointed this out to the dealer. Hey O.T., where is my paddle holder. Will have to contact them about this. I do believe this yak will make me a great partner. Can't wait to get out on the lake and test it's speed. I'm moving up from a Trinity Bay Mallard. but will keep it for family and friends. Will let you know more about this yak as soon as I get back from the lake.
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06-25-2001
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Just returned from my first trip in my new Castine ,a short run from Fishs Eddy to Hancock NY on the east branch of the Delaware river, what a great boat this going to be !The Castine tracked very well in slow moving water and in 1-1.5 rapids also very stable ,after a few minutes with it i felt very confident , foot pegs were good and pretty easy to adjust while under way .very easy to paddle and i didnt detect any bulkhead leaks so far . the only negative is the seat got to be uncomfortable on the lower back near the end of the trip but a pad will take care of that ,fit and finish was good , I am very happy with my purchase and i am sure i will have the castine for quite some time , I would highly recommend this boat to anyone take one for a paddle you will like it ......
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05-30-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     Just bought a Castine today, just came back from using it 30 min ago, LOVE IT! Tracks great, very stable, fast, solid build and design. A+++
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04-23-2001
Submitted by: Jim KleinSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I upgraded from an otter to a Castine. I also just got back from a Florida trip where I rented some large (16ft) Perception Sea Kayaks with rudders. It was funny how small my otter seemed, but the Castine held it's own. I raced my son in his otter & won hands down. There was a 18Mile wind also & it was amazing how the tracking was different between the 2 boats. Overall I really like the Castine esp. without the keelson bar. P.S. I also called OT & got my free paddleholder.
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02-12-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 9 of 10

     I'm new to kayaking and just bought my first kayak (Old Town Castine). What sold me on the Old Town was the ample storage and price. I just took it out on a local river that was at flood stage. I was worried about the boat's stability but had no problems. I was very impressed with the stability as well as how the boat tracks. I am 5'9", 150 and the boat is a good fit for me, but I can see where boaters 6' and up would have problems as well as boaters over 200 pds. This boat is a lot of fun. So fun in fact, that I'm planning on playing hooky from work after lunch and exploring the Okatoma. Playing hooky is sort of ironic, being I'm a truancy officer. (Just in case my boss is reading this) I've heard reports that local kids are skipping school and going to the river. :) Be careful about buying one of these, they are very addictive! I'm already trying to get my friends to buy kayaks where we can all go out together. Of course I'm recommending the Castine. My boat too was missing the advertised paddle holder. HAPPY PADDLING!!
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01-17-2001
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 8 of 10

     I really like my Castine! I didn't think that it was ever going to come in, but once I got my hands on it I learned that it was worth the wait. I have paddled several of the beautiful, clear rivers of southern Missouri since last summer and am very pleased with the boat. It has enough cargo space to go on an extended trip, but if lightly loaded handles well in a wide variety of water. I find it to be a good tracker and am able to steer with boat lean even though I did not get the optional rudder. I plan on removing the seat back and replacing it with a back band as I got pinned against a log in fast water last year because I couldn't lean back. (Beware River Runners) I also found that a Kilt Universal spray skirt will fit well over the factory seat back, too. It keeps out the water very well. I give the boat an 8 only because I was forced to move the foot braces forward two inches and the seat back two inches to be able to fit in the boat. Though I am 6'2" tall and 220#, I don't think that this should be necessary in a boat of over 12 feet in length.
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10-26-2000
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     My wife, 51, 5'-4", 115# is a first-time kayaker, and loves her Castine! She is not normally a water person (grew up in El Paso) and previous experiences in canoes didn't help - although we always survived without injuries....luckily. I tried out a kayak for the first time on a Tuesday and really enjoyed it, talked about it with my wife, tried to rent one with no luck, and that Saturday we purchased two. The first time in the water she just took off - so smooth and stable - and such a big smile! We live near a good size non-power boat lake that she now feels a part of. That Saturday night we even were out under the full moon. I couldn't keep up with her, and eventually ended up with a Nantucket, and now we match both in performance and color. I have never seen her so excited. The store, Appomattox River Co., did a great job in recomending the Castine for her. But why only a "9" - nothing is perfect, but maybe the fiberglass Castine would be a "10".
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09-20-2000
Submitted by: SISend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     My brother and I tried the 2 Castines (no rudders) a local outfitter rents on our midwestern river. We have a nice drop, with frequent Class I riffles interrupting the flatwater stretches. More importantly one must dodge downed trees and sweepers, or slalom through just the right channels to stay off the bottom. The Castines were a nice balance between maneuverability and speed, much faster than the Loons that he rents to most customers. We did 8 hours plus, covering double the typical daily distance on the river in surprising comfort. We also noted the leakage problems mentioned by others. The outfitter will be providing aprons in the future. You wouldn't want to roll this one, but our river is often only a foot or two deep anyway. It's a fun boat for playing around on our little river, because it's fast enough to eat up the flatwater stretches but easy to steer around obstacles. WAY better than most of the tubs in this price range. With a rudder I think it would even be an economical cruiser. Just caulk up those bulkheads! 9 out of 10 because it's a great boat for the price.
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08-31-2000
Submitted by: RonSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     As the very satisfied owner of a Loon 120, I jumped at the chance to try a friend's Castine a couple weeks ago. Conditions were VERY windy with quite a chop. Compared to the 120, this boat has much better acceleration. I could paddle directly into a 25 MPH wind where the 120 would have been veering right and left at will. Stability was not quite as good as the 120 but still better than those very narrow boats. Maneuverability seemed better than the Loon due to the quick response of the boat. Very comfortable, stable and quick.
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08-12-2000
Submitted by: C WSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     My wife and I just bought an Old Town kayak( Castine) and we traded in our sit on top kayaks for them. We enjoyed them, and after taking lessons, the instructor said,"by fall you'll both want something longer and faster" and she was right. We tried out a Waldon Vista, to see if we would(or could) get used to the cockpit and it was no problem, but the comfort was NOT there for us in the Waldon. We could not find a dealer that would let us try a Castine out, as they can not even get hold of any, so we took a chance and bought them any way. Well, we lucked out, and we are really happy with them. We go out every single night for at least two hours, and cannot tell you how happy we are with these kayaks.They track really great, are fassssst! and very stabile. These are our second Old Town purchase, and they came through as usual, and made a great product. Have let my fellow kayakers try them and one has already gone out and bought one. The others cannot find them anywhere. I think Old Town, did not have any idea how fast these Castine's were going to sell, as I have been told by several dealers that they have back orders and wished they could get their hands on more of them. We had to buy one locally, and then drive another fifty miles to get another, but it was well worth it. The only complaint (and not really a big deal with us) is the advertised paddle holder which did not come with the kayaks as they did advertise in their brochure. They need to correct that, as some people might get more upset with it then we did. We were looking for comfort and that seat is most definately the most comfortable seat you will EVER find in any kayak made today!! I give this wonderful kayak a BIG plus and a 10 for sure. We plan on having these for qiute some time. Thanks Old Town !!!!!!!
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08-07-2000
Submitted by: MDLSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Bought this boat for my wife along with a Nantucket for me. The quality of the Castine was much better than the Nantucket. I was surprised that the boat's legroom is too short for me (6'1"). I can squeeze in, but my feet push against the foam bulkhead and you know how long that would last! My wife really likes the boat and uses the rudder all the time. It, too, was missing the advertised paddle holder, but OT was all to pleased to sell us 2 paddle holders for $19.98! Quite a bit for a bungee cord and some tie-downs and rivits. Nevertheless, we now have paddle holders! Very decent boat for shorter paddlers. If you're longer of leg, give the Nantucket a try. Happy paddling!
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07-23-2000
Submitted by: jimbob
Rating: 8 of 10

     I have an Old Town 120 and really enjoyed the boat and so when I saw the new Castine I was very curious. It was hard to find one and when I did I bought it. It looked to be in better shape than my last 2 new Old Town purchases. My Old Town Camper canoe had a few little problems which Old Town addressed. My new Loon 120 had a very minor problem which Old Town also addressed. My new Castine appeared to have no problems. It was however missing the advertised paddle holder. When I took it out it was nice. It might be me but it didnt track as well as my Loon. I am not very experienced but it seemed as though it should have tracked a little better. The rear "sealed" compartment leaks badly. And I dont mean it trickles. I do like it and it was a faster boat than my Loon. I have purchased my third Old Town product in less than 12 months and wouldnt buy another until I hear that the little production problems have been addressed. I hope they can address my currnet problem and that Old Town improves. I think they have a good product line.
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