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Submitted: 05-19-2004 by Rich R
First boat was a Wilderness Systems Sealution XL, like others demoed Gulftstreams and Caribou S a number of times, loved both mainly for the handling as contrasted to the battleship gallactica Sealution XL. It was hard to decide and I am still not sure if I made the best decision but choice between Gulfstream and Caribou is splitting hairs, few would be disappointed with either. I will say this though in contrast to my initial impressions, the Sealution has significant plusses. If you want to be out in big water you would rather be on a big ship, Aircraft carrier not a PT Boat. The Gulfstream is like the agile tin can destroyer compared to a aircraft carrier. You want handling you got it. The same thing that makes it great can make it just a bit squirrely in the rough stuff. Sealution is very stable, at least primary stability is high, nice wide flat hull shape, Gulfstream is a bit rounder, a good bit less initial stability the issue for me is it takes longer to get comfortable in the Gulfstream but all the while it is rewarding you with predicatble handling. But for the inexperienced in open water seas it may be a bit more than you bargain for. It is not a kayak for a novice...it is something you graduate up to as an intermediate. I will keep the Sealution XL for those days when I just want to make a dry crossing and not worry about stability. It will get me there, albeit with full use of rudder. I think only a very skilled paddler will find the Sealution XL not needing of rudder. Whereas Gulfstream just goes whereevr you want it. Rich
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