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Pakayak’s Bluefin vs Old Town’s Castine (a traditional 14-ft kayak)

By October 11, 2018 No Comments
Pakayak's Bluefin 14

Pakayak’s Bluefin 14

Old Town’s Castine 140

Pakayak’s Bluefin 14 Old Town’s Castine 140
Length 14 feet / 4.3 m 14 feet / 4.3 m
Width Total width: 24”/ 61 cm Total width: 24.75” / 62.9 cm
Cockpit 18” x 34” / 46 x 86 cm 20” x 38” / 96.5 x 50.8 cm
Weight 59 lbs / 26.7 kg 53 lbs / 24 kg
River (flat water) ★★★★★ ★★★★☆
Lake ★★★★★ ★★★★☆
Ocean ★★★★★ ★★★★★
MSRP $1,795.00 $1,349.99
Colors Surf, Chili, Habanero, Sunshine Sunrise, Lemongrass, Black Cherry, Cloud
Material HDPE HDPE
Made in USA USA
Max Weight 300 lbs / 136 kg 375 lbs / 170 kg
Storage Front hatch dry storage: 7000 cu in / 115 l
Rear hatch dry storage: 4000 cu in / 65 l
Behind the seat storage: 2500 cu in / 41 l
Bow Hatch Capacity: 4619 cu in / 75.7 l
Stern Hatch Capacity: 4851 cu in / 79.5 l
Brand Highlights Rigid hull performance kayak that performs like the top day touring kayaks on the market, but collapses down into a small, easy-to-transport package One of the oldest manufacturer of canoes and kayaks

Introduction:

A good kayak will last you for a long time, will take you many places, and will keep you safe. They’re a worthy investment, but with so many choices out there, it’s best to weigh out your options before committing. Check out our comparison review, where we take a look at mid-price range 14-foot monohulls. Today, we compare our own Bluefin 14 with Old Town’s Castine 140 on matters ranging from the standard specs, to special features, to company highlights.

Measurements Overview

Lengthy kayaks like the Bluefin 14 or the Castine 140 are renowned for their efficiency over long distances. They track well and have plenty of cargo space.

Pakayak’s Bluefin 14 is long and lean, designed after the Bluefin Tuna one of the fastest fish in the ocean. Though the Bluefin 14 does feature next-level design for an optimized kayaking experience, all in all it is very much in line with any of the leading sea or day touring kayaks on the market today. The key difference, of course, is that the Bluefin nests down into itself from 14 feet long to 3 ½ feet long for compact storage and ridiculously simple transportation.

Pakayak packable kayak 14 feet to 3.5 feet

Sleek kayaks like these can feel a bit tippy when entering or exiting, but both the Castine 140 and Bluefin 14 do a nice job of balancing that out with the roomy cockpit. With measurements quite similar to the Bluefin 14, you can expect a similarly delightful outing in the Castine as far as speed, tracking, and control are concerned. It’s a sturdy, efficient, and comfortable kayak.

Where To Paddle

Both the Bluefin 14 and the Castine 140 are designed to excel in the open ocean, big rivers, lakes, and ponds. Both will give you hours of fun paddling most anywhere.

Both boats carry cargo with ease and are built to track well at high speeds. In fact, the Bluefin’s patented hull design allows you to travel faster with less effort than most kayaks of the same length. Skilled paddlers will find that this bluefin-shaped hull is perfect for surfing the waves all the way to the shore. The double-chined hull also allows for carving, secondary recovery and amplified stability, perfect for open waters.

Both feature ample cargo space with bungees, hatches, and unique storage features so you can safely take everything with you. The Bluefin’s wheeled bag neatly folds up to fit behind the seat for added convenience especially allowing you access to more remote places or one way trips. The Castine 140 has a removable slide-away day hatch that fits on the cockpit rim.

If you’re an avid ocean explorer, these boats are just what you need. Landlocked folks will find that the Bluefin also is perfect for shorter paddles in lakes or rivers with its easy-to-transport design so you can quickly get into the water if even for a post-work ‘yak sesh.

Beyond the mere types of water you can bring the Pakayak to, let’s consider where that water is. The Pakayak collapses down to roughly the size of a mini-fridge and comes with a sleek wheeled suitcase that fits behind the seat. This means that where you decide to bring your Bluefin 14 is virtually limitless. Road trip in the RV? Check. Midnight train going anywhere? No problem. Hopping the next flight out of town? The nested Pakayak is the same size as your luggage. So whether you’re trying to explore Lake Placid or Sydney Harbour, you can always bring your trusty Bluefin 14.

Features Overview

Each kayak comes with unique features designed to give you the best experience for what you’re after. Of course, we’ve talked about the superior tracking ability for each boat, their aptitude for speed, and we have the obvious bonus feature of the Bluefin’s nesting capabilities, but let’s take a closer look at what makes the Bluefin particularly special.

Performance:

The long, lean Bluefin 14 stays straight despite the wind, waves and current you’ll face out on the water.

Styled after the bluefin tuna, one of the fastest creatures in the water, our patented hull design has this kayak screamin’ through the water. You’ll find it’s faster than most kayaks the same length.

Need for Speed

It’s rudder ready and the flag-style adjustable foot braces can also be used for a rudder.

So now for the million dollar question: does this thing leak? Not a chance. Our Bluefin 14 comes with a leak-proof guarantee, but the proof is in the pudding.

The Bluefin 14 features silicone foam gaskets at each end of the connecting segments to keep your boat watertight. These gaskets are the best-possible rating for UV radiation and salt water exposure.

The gaskets in each section form to the tongue of the connecting piece to create a seal that withstands minor dirt or sand contamination, but if you happen to get a lot of dirt around the gaskets, you need only rinse off with water or wipe down with a cloth prior to reassembly.

To make it even easier, a towel is included with your purchase. We recommend using that to place beneath the Bluefin 14 during assembly. Another pro tip – assemble the Pakayak vertically for the least exposure to sand/dirt. It’s also the easiest way to put it all together.

Best of all, set up takes only three minutes.

With all these benefits, the Bluefin makes it easy to go it alone but, since we have a Pak Members group, you don’t have to. “Join the Pak” and hook up with fellow Pakayak owners around the world!

Security:

Both boats have two sealed bulkheads, fore and aft of the cockpit, to ensure that they stay afloat if you tip over or swamp the cockpit. The Bluefin 14 is also equipped with reflective safety lines and watertight hatches. Of course, if you are heading for waves and wind, you can always slap on a spray skirt and take it for a spin. The Bluefin 14 is designed to slice through the water with ease. Its double-chined hull enhances recovery and creates an all-around more stable experience.

As far as setup is concerned, the Bluefin 14 is the poster child of efficiency and dependability. Each section of any Pakayak model interlocks using a design that has been successfully used in the scuba and aerospace industry – the same technology that makes underwater dive cameras and lights possible. It withstands temperatures ranging from subzero, as long as the water is liquid, to scorching hot, direct sunlight.

The latches and plates that hold the segments together are made of either 316 stainless steel or steel coated with an enviro-coat which gives the same exposure resistance as the 316 stainless steel. Each clamp is rated at 300 pounds of holding force, and with 5 clamps in the cockpit section, that means those sections are held together with 1,500 pounds of holding force!

instruction labels
unclamp cockpit
cockpit pin locator

Comfort:

As far as comfort goes, you’re in good hands with the Bluefin. The seat is made from a new cutting-edge foam designed specifically for kayak and rowing seats. The Castine has adjustable thigh braces and a well-ventilated and cushioned seat and backrest.

Price

Any decent-to-superior quality touring or sea kayak with a length around 14 feet will range between $1,000 – $3,000. For a seasoned touring kayaker, the investment is well worth it. The Castine 140 and the Bluefin 14 come pretty close in price, but this day in age it’s important to understand what you’re paying for. Both are manufactured here in the United States and are made of top quality materials. The added cost of the Bluefin is easily outweighed by what other kayak owners would need to pay for a roof rack, garage space, or storage. In short, with the Bluefin 14 you’re paying a little more for a whole lot of convenience.

With the Old Town brand serving as one of the oldest manufacturer of canoes and kayaks, Castine remains in the middle ground between both ends of the standard touring kayak rates.

The Pakayak is made of the materials and processes identical to the most popular kayaks on the market today. Since the very beginning of the Pakayak project, the team has refused to skimp on quality and performance. Pakayaks are designed to look and paddle just like a traditional monohull, like the Castine 140, when assembled but also designed to come apart and nest together for obvious storage and transportation advantage.

Both brands proudly ensure top quality and performance. If you’re curious about similar boats on the lower and higher end of the pricing spectrum, check out Perception Kayak’s Carolina 14 ringing in at $1,029 and Swift’s Saranac 14 on sale for $3,295.

Company Details

We’re dealing with two truly awesome companies here, so it’s worth listing off a few of the reasons why each are worthy of your time and consideration.

Old Town is the great-grandparent of the watercraft world. They have humble roots dating back to the late 1800’s, and are now under the Johnson Outdoors umbrella with a family of 30 other watercraft brands. They proudly claim to be on the cutting edge of canoe and kayak development, made clear by the launch of both Castine and Sorrento kayaks in 2017.

And then we have Pakayak, the newcomer making some hefty splashes in the watercraft world! The Pakayak team also comes from modest beginnings in an equally small town in New England, and are driven by the insatiable need to explore, live adventurously, and to  bring the joy of kayaking to more people.  The Pakayak team has built their business model around owning their independence and sticking to their vision. No longer do people need to rangle up a truck, a roof rack, or an extra pair of hands to explore the water. No longer does the size of your home control your ability to own and enjoy a kayak. The Bluefin 14 solves all the complexities of owning a kayak while maintaining and exceeding performance expectations.

There must be something about kayak enthusiasts just being great people!

Conclusion

You’re on your way to becoming a fully-informed new kayak owner. But don’t stop here – check out our Performance and FAQ pages to get all the info you need on the Bluefin 14!