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Submitted: 07-06-2007 by Bill

This is a follow up on my review written last year. I have more experience with PS395 now, as well as research and tried many different boats.

PS is a boat of versatility, so some people may like it for its non-paddling function, such as motoring. It is actually a Jack of all trade but master of nothing. But here at paddling.net, we should talk about it as a paddling boat, right? Then this is just another mediocre kayak. The performance is mediocre. With my best effort I can get 3.4 mph. It is vulnerable to wind. It tracks not well and this zigzag movement makes the trip longer. I tried several other boats, including inflatables and hardshells, and I found it was not my skill that was the bottle neck of speed. Stability is good. It provides me a solid platform for fishing, floating around (slowly), motoring is ok. I never tried its sail kit, but was told it's no good. Some said it may serve as a white water kayak, but I doubt, with it's high seating position. The price is around $1000, not cheap. When some of the reviewers said it appeared good in quality, let me tell you that depends on what you are comparing to. But with the same price, or less, you certainly can buy a MUCH better inflatable kayak.

This is my second year with PS395, it has not given me any safety trouble yet and so far looks solid. But for those of you know that rubber is better than PVC, PS395 (and all Seaeagle's boats) is a PVC. I just realized all Seaeagle boats are glued, not welded. Glued boats are less durable than welded. And how about portability? To me, light weight, small deflated size, easy and quick setup and wrap up, are crucial factors in portability. PS395 is 49lb to carry with, not bad, but not super. It is not practical to set it up in parking lot and carry it over to the water. So one has to park on the ramp to set up and drive to parking lot with the boat left on ramp, and walk back, and another trip at the end of water fun time. If you like to paddle several times per week, this is a hassle. Folding is ok but the material is not easy to be folded closely, comparing to ruber. Inflating is easy, usually takes about 7-8 min. Setup of the chairs is a little tricky, takes another 4-5 minutes. Combining all these, I would say the portability is mediocre.

I found most of the problems I mentioned was to much degree solved with Sunny from Innova, though one can not motor or sail with Sunny. There is no perfect world, but PS395 is not the best deal one can get in the IK mall.

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