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Submitted: 06-07-2007 by upthecoast1
After five months of paddling my yellow SVX100DS in whitewater classed between class 2(mostly), class 3 (some), and class 4(I fell out), I have formed a great attachment to and a high opinion of the boat. As yet, the paddler's ability has not matched the boat's. It will perform well in class 4 water if the paddler is highly skilled.
Strong? Value for money, yet well made. With great effort a friend managed to hole the outer hull bottom by "jiggling" vigorously whilst stuck on a sharp boulder in the middle of a water-fall. The hole was tiny though and easily repaired. It made no difference other than adding another self-draining port. The boat was severely pinned against trees in a raging river on another occasion but showed no stress. However the rubber skeg has ripped caused by running boney creeks and I will made an effort to glue it back on. It may be a better creeker without it, as it does add draft and tends to reduce boulder slippage. Whether tracking will be badly affected I am not sure but I have paddled with it ripped in class 3 water and found no difference.
Positives include high stability, light weight,a good bag and a good quality pump. All my floors fitted as specified, although the boston valve pressure gauge is difficult. I merely pump the hulls up (3 psi) until the wrinkles disappear and the floor as hard as I can (7 psi). There are plenty of attachment points for strapping down gear and the seat is very comfortable. Do you get wet in white water? Absolutely soaked! The boat handles well even when filled totally with water, in fact, it might even handle better in higher grades with the added weight at times! It is nippy and easy to turn but buy a good quality white-water paddle. On flat slow water it convinces you that it is a creeking and river-running boat.
A gripe? Getting spare parts in Australia is hopeless. Contacting Sevylor is nigh on impossible and they most certainly do not communicate back with you. Perhaps you need to go through your dealer? But be warned! This is a worry because the pump nozzle required for the 7 psi floor is a special one! Don't lose it! The Boston valves on the hulls aren't a problem though, plenty of generic fittings.
Fit thigh braces! Absolutely crucial in white water. You will swim more rapids than paddle them otherwise. Why they do not supply them as standard in a white water boat is a question you could ask Sevylor if they ever answered!
Take care to avoid holes if possible. Keepers tend to gobble up light inflatables like this one and have done it to me.
But in summary, a worthy and low-cost entry into white water. Be aware that the boat tends to make you appear better than you are and paddle it positively all the time! But, it's good.
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