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Submitted: 10-01-2003 by gcouch
$460 on eBay plus the shipping. From looking around, it seems you can pay considerably more than this, but the average bargain price seems to run in the $460-$510 range. This was my first inflatable and has worked out well enough that I have since ordered an Aire Tomcat tandem. The Aire has not arrived yet so I cannot make any comparisons between these two boats.
Since moving to Arizona, the opportunities for using my two sea kayaks and recreational kayak have shrunk. What seemed to open up was some river running, particularly the Verde and Gila. That is what drove the purchase of the Sevylor. As a shakedown, took the SVX200 on a seven-day solo float down the Green River in Utah. Launched from Mineral Bottom and took out at Spanish Bottom on the Colorado.
The boat performed admirably, although it wasnít stressed very much. A half-dozen sandbar groundings, a couple run-ins with rocks at the riffles, and one sickening incident with an unseen, underwater snag. I could not even find a scrape. In seven days, only topped off the bladders once so even the cheap Boston valves worked fine. Made sure I carried two spare valves. Rigged as a solo, there was no loading issue with its 250-pound passenger, 9 gallons of water, and other gear. Didnít weigh it, but it would not be far off the 425 pound mark. The 650 pound spec seems high, but 550 does not. That is assuming easy water. I had the self-bailers plugged so was reasonably dry. Rigged as a tandem in white water, both people would be sitting in water at that load level.
Have not taken it into any real moving water yet. I donít have any experience in other inflatables so cannot objectively judge the handling. A good sweep stroke will spin it 360 degrees within itís own length, or close to it. Have had it on a lake twice, once as a tandem and once as a solo. It worked, but you really have to enjoy pain to want to do it much. Synchronized paddling is not in my wifeís vocabulary, so it was a struggle in that situation, but probably not for others. Tracking took a lot of effort on my part and the speed left me bored. Didnít bring the GPS to get a number unfortunately.
The seats are typical SOT types. I found myself gradually ďsinking inĒ which required constant effort to keep an upright paddling position. For the Green trip, the dry bags/icebox placed directly behind the seat gave me a very nice seating arrangement. The six D-rings give adequate tie-down points. Wish the floor had been re-enforced PVC as you could just feel the sand and grit wearing away at it. Especially on the Green trip. It was difficult to get the footrests inserted and I typically leave them out. They should work better than they do. Another issue with them is due to my leg length, the adjustment for them just didnít work for my foot placement.
Have not weighed it, but it is a ton. Especially if you forget to completely close the maintenance zippers and get any water into the bladder area. The carry bag is a joke and barely works. Havenít solved the issue of drying/cleaning it. There always seems to be a large amount of moisture in with the bladders and I can never get all the sand/dirt out of the narrow area where the self-bailers are.
Overall, itís been a decent boat so far for the money spent on it. I like the cosmetic look of it a lot better than the Tomcat.