Submitted: 05-19-1999 by JLK
I intially purchased a Sealution II three years ago. This was my first touring kayak. I paddled in open ocean, bays, lakes and calm rivers. My Sealution II was a 60 lb. traditional touring kayak with two bulk heads and a full sit inside cockpit. I was so captivated by my experiences, I just recently stepped up and replaced the II with a full Kevlar model. Wow!! By dropping 20 pounds off the boat, it handles beautifully...quicker turning and very light on the water. Not to mention getting it on and off the car and carrying it to the water. To save even more weight (albeit a few onces) I had them clear coat the finish versus gel coated color. The result is a spectacular gold piece of artwork...the natural color of Kevlar. It carries a rudder (as I did on my first kayak) but I use it only for strong wind and current conditions. To complement the whole package, I have ordered a carbon fiber paddle. The big consideration to all of this is expense. Kevlar is three times as expensive as Polyethylene! This is a decision that should come when one is committed to kayaking beyond occassional bay paddles. This is a true touring craft that demands challenging excursions. To give you an idea, on my agenda over the next six months is a paddle over to Todos Santos in Baja California, exploration of Monterey Bay and the Elkhorn Slough and an eight day exploration of the islands off of Belize. Now if I could only figure out how to install teflon landing pads at these sites...you know what that first scratch is like!!