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Reviews for Sealution XL Kayak by Wilderness Systems


Rated: 8.2/10 Based On: 15 Reviews

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05-29-2013
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     As a little, 62 yrs old woman, I've been paddling for at least 50 years. I've owned many kayaks and one of my all time favorites was a fiberglass Sealution XL. The only problem was that in Atlanta, there are not many places to launch or land a fiberglass boat. With much sadness, I sold her.

Last week, while paddling on the GA coast, I purchased a 1995 plastic Sealution XL. I'm so excited! I've been restoring her, re-decking the bungee, rescue cords, and am about the replace the seat. This is my all time favorite boat. I don't need to learn to paddle (lol)... so I always use a rudder. Makes life so much easier and lends for a very pleasant paddle...

All of my kayaks are Wilderness Tsunami's except this one. I own a 12.5, 14.5, and now this one. Beautiful boat in the water. The fish form is amazing. Good luck finding one! Wish Wilderness would make it again!

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05-12-2006
Submitted by: Jay GlassSend Email
Rating: 6 of 10

     I own several kayaks for 25 years and have sold them and taught paddling. I have enjoyed a solution XL for several years and paddled it inland and at the shore. After several rentals I picked it because it seamed most comfortable. Most of us need to try several, and we do change our needs. I was most disappointed with Wilderness Systems when my solution embraced my vehicle and Swedish roof rack on hot days followed the form of my car to distort its shape. Pretzel shaped kayaks are not as funny as poor customer service commitment. I was able to straighten the boat with sandbags and patience but never recovered from these failures. The xl is clearly a battleship, and at 200 pounds, I needed another 60 in bricks to reach a smooth waterline. The seat I found one of the most comfortable and serviceable, and the fish-form rocker hull I find most comfortable and assuring to work with. I believe few people need a 17 foot boat, and since it spends 99% of its time in a pile on land somewhere, that ought to be everyone's priority. Horray for $10 gas to get more people paddling and less in motor boats. Buy a big boat like the xl if it makes you feel comfortable.
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08-25-2003
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     I bought my plastic XL 5 years from a local outfitter who had used it for a season to teach kayaking to beginners as well as on guided overnight trips off the coast of Maine. It's perfect for both as it's incredibly stable and has enormous storage capacity.

I was relieved to read other reviews that confirm it's very difficult to keep on track without the rudder (I was afraid it was my lack of skill) and you can forget about going downwind without it...

After taking a rolling class this Spring and trying out a Nigel Foster Legend, I've come to realize that my XL is an aircraft carrier and while it's been fun and easy to drive, it's not contributing to my progress as a paddler.

The Legend, which is an expert's boat gave me a taste of what a "real" kayak is and how much I have to learn in order to be worthy of one, so I'm thinking that it's time for me to move on to something more challenging...

However, if you're a beginner looking for something safe and stable that's able to maintain decent speed, or if you're planning to do a lot of treking and need a platform that will haul your gear - this is your boat. (I'm hoping I can convince my wife to let me keep it)

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06-11-2002
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have owned the Sealution XLII for a year now (first kayak) and am very pleased with it. I find the room more than adequate for someone my size (6'1 - 220 lbs.). I have had it in very rough waters in and around the Manasquan Inlet, without a problem. Waves crash over the enclosed hull and she barely rocks. The storage compartments are cavernous, and ample deck chords allow for more topside storage than I anticipate using. Only complaint, as stated by earlier reviewers, is that without the rudder she is a bear to handle. With rudder, she's ready for anything.
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06-06-2001
Submitted by: bkmSend Email
Rating: 6 of 10

     I must be the only short guy (5'7" 175)to have purchased one of these plastic aircraft carriers. I considered a standard Sealution II, but I'd heard the small volumed bow would purl. Well nothing purls this log.

Needless to say, when I go over, I just pop out. Got it as my first sea kayak four years ago. The ginormous rudder should have been the obvious indicator of it's tracking performance, which is nil when the rudder is up. Loaded, unloaded, flat water, four foot seas, it wants to go anywhere but straight. The problem abated a little when I altered trim by moving the seat back two inches. Rudder down and no worries. The rudder is so huge, it must have multiplier effect when it's up and the wind is abeam.

The boat pierces through the surf zone well, must me all that weight. Trying to turn it in the surf zone is one of those experiences I will not soon forget and never repeat. It is very tough however. People like it's appearance. It's seat is comfortable. It holds its speed well, if you can keep from jinking the rudder too much. I'm going to keep it as a freighter, for that extended cruise I haven't taken yet.

Got a Arctic Tern 14 for what I really do, which is day trips in areas with surf zones. What a difference 35 pounds weight savings and a chine hull makes. The AT14 made me realize I actually do have some decent kayaking skills. It's beautiful and light and has a sophisticated hull. Now I even look down my nose at the fiberglass fatties with their $3,000 price tags and droll serial numbers.

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04-12-2001
Submitted by: Gerrold AdlerSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I bought the WS II (plastic) XL a few months ago on the secondary market. I did not realize that it was made for the XL paddler. I would probably fall out in a roll, and that is fine. I don't think I can snap it anyway. I do not have large feet, but I appreciate the prior comments on toe room. A friend (important) and I recently installed the SealLine SmartTrack pedal system. It's a godsend, but installation is best done by two. The boat's speed is more than adequate. It is easy to maintain 4 mph, and it handles wind waves and swells pretty well. I have not seen a kayak 15 feet or longer which handles well in wind or seas without a rudder. That's why it comes with one. It is a bit heavy but the plastic will take a lot of punishment. A trailer eliminates the need to car-top it and keeps the salt water off of the car paint. I haven't loaded it yet, but it does have lots of room.
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02-07-2001
Submitted by: Neal FlanaganSend Email
Rating: 6 of 10

     I owned a Sealution XL for a year I found its greatest strengths and weakness summarized in one phrase "it's big." The greatest strength is that it is large and will haul an unbelievable amount of equipment. It's weakness is the big and sloppy cockpit. I'm 6' 200 lbs and I could not pad the cockpit enough to feel that I was really in the boat. I would literally fall out of the boat during roll attempts (I now have a glass P and H Capella that rolls easily). While the boat was relatively fast for a plastic boat, it had serious weather cocking problems. Don't buy unless you want a canoe with a cover.
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11-05-2000
Submitted by: PARSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I bought my Sealution xl 6 months ago as my first kayak after a bit of comparative research of the manufacturers spec sheets and the dealer's allowing me to pick his brain extensively during the slow months of late winter. It met all my expectations. Good tracking requires the rudder, at first I thought it was my technique, but after getting a Solstice GT, I realize it is the hull. The seat is quite comfortable for my 6/1" 245# frame. Haven't loaded it up yet, but I'm sure it can handle that as well. Been in a 2 foot swell on Long Island Sound. I can liken it to a good training aircraft, stable enough to instill confidence, but challenging enough to keep a beginner on his toes.
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08-29-2000
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 8 of 10

     My first of several sea kayaks, I have the poly model. The boat is very stable, will NOT track without the rudder but handles well with. Worked out very well as "first boat" for large paddler not willing to invest $$ in glass boat initially. I have had the boat in my "fleet" for 4 years and it has been the platform of choice for training neophytes basic paddling skills. It's strong points are it's stability, seaworthyness and large comfortable cockpit(especially for xl paddlers). It's weaknesses are it's tracking w/o rudder and it's weight. My boat weighs in at 69 lbs.
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05-22-2000
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 7 of 10

     I am 6'3" size 15 feet. A very tight fit in the feet. Must paddle barefoot which causes numbness after a half hour. I custom made a closed cell foam seat to sit lower, further back and fit better. It has taken me on five day trips to the gulf coast, and Florida rivers as well as the Maine coast. Very seaworthy and stable and looks great. Mine is plastic. Graded down for foot volume. I am now building a CLC with extended sides to fix the big foot problem.
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01-16-2000
Submitted by: GJKSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Well it has been a while since I got back from Canada this past summer. I must say that the boat handled well. Didn't have any problems with loading all my gear for the 5 day trip or the day drips that I took once I was back. I was up for 2 weeks.It handeled waves 2-3 ft with no problem and tracked great. I happened to be there when they were having the World Rowing Championships in St.Catherines Ontario and had the time to talk to many about the kayak and kayaking it self. Many people knew about white water but not to much about open water kayaking and how seaworthy they are on water like Lake Ontario or the ocean. I know that there are no doubt other great kayaks out there but this kayak is great from my experience so far.
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01-12-2000
Submitted by: Ace C.Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have just had my SealutionXL for a month. I am new to kayaking so I am not an expert reviewer.I picked the SealutionXl after months of looking and trying because of its size. I am a large person it was one of the few kayaks I fit well in. I have noticed the weathercoking but I am not sure it is not my paddling experience. Other than that I am very happy in fact love the boat. I try to get out in it every day. I have found the boat to be of good quality.
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09-28-1999
Submitted by: Rich R.Send Email
Rating: 8 of 10

     My first Kayak bought because of its speed and volume. Broke rudder in the rough and found that in a quartering wind it weathercocks quite persistently. Recently paddled a Caribou S and the hard chine and skeg I much prefer. Still the Sealution XL is hard to beat when you want lots of room.
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08-26-1999
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     Beautiful boat. I had loads of fun for a week up in the Adirondacks. It glides smoothly, tracks well and very comfortable. I am 6'3" and 225# but I still have plenty of room. I have packed enough gear for two people. The rudder works well. Rudder is not too sensative that it makes it hard to stay straight but still turns well.

Reason I gave it a nine was because it is made of fiberglass and I have to be careful with it (No rocks). Also it is so long it is a little hard getting it up on the roof carrier.

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07-14-1999
Submitted by: GJKSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     The Sealution XL is the second kayak that I have owned. With this one I have found that it responds great in waves, turns, rolls and it's stability is good. There is plenty of room in the bow and stern compartments. For a person my size 6'3" and 235 lb's the cockpit is very comfortable.The seat and backrest give great support even after 6 hours. The reason I gave it a 9 is, I haven't used the rudder and don't know how it handles. I don't like to use rudders and thats the way the kayak comes from Wilderness. I have had a lot of positive comments on the style and colors. As for the rest of the summer, two weeks in Canada with it. Can't wait. Love the boat.
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