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Submitted: 05-12-2004 by bill

We've just bought 2 Safaris as camping / play boats for trips when we don't take our seakayaks, and for a bit of white water fun. Maybe even some motorcycle kayaking ... These are my first inflatables - previous white water boat was a Prijon Cyclone - and chosen as an altrenative so smal s-o-ts. First impressions are how easy these are to set up - the skeg is a bit fiddly and seems very quickly salt affected, but overall it's a breeze. Packing up is as easy. In fact, it's simpler than loading and unloading my seakayak from roof racks. On the water, I'm surprised by how quick these are, and how well they track for a 10' boat. So far we've done a bit of flatwater paddling - some with wind and tide. I'm quite satisfied with the experience, and since I'd expected a very poor comparison with my seakayaks, this is very pleasing. For a short paddle, I might even prefer these boats ... The amount of water inside is very slight, though a bit of wind and sloppy paddling (drips) can creat a wet bottom - otherwise I got a dry ride. Gear roomis pretty good, and they certainly track better with some weight in the bow. Only had time for one brief grade I - II bounce, and without skegs, the boat is very responsive. For my use .. just bouncing up and down river and getting no more technical than the odd ferry-glide and some eddy-hopping, it's more than competent. One quirk was that I seems to have more draft than my rigid whitewater boat - I think I was too timid on inflation for fear of tearing the hull.
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