03 October 2014

Video: Aquarius Sea Lion LV

On a sea trip of 5 weeks in Sweden and Åland (Finland) Petra paddled a Sea Lion LV.



Aquarius of Poland sponsored her with a very light carbon/Kevlar kayak and we installed her Flat Earth sail to make our expedition more fun.
Petra picked the color scheme of her kayak and I thought the graphics were particularly attractive making the kayak very visible against the water and granite islands.
The kayak behaved very predictably in varied conditions and weather-cocked just enough to make it safe when windy, even in a storm.
The only real modification was removing the padding that was factory fitted on the seat; lowering the center of gravity made the kayak a bit more stable. Given that she has never paddled a Sea Lion LV before, Petra liked how she felt in that kayak right from the beginning.
Despite the cockpit maybe being a bit too roomy for her the key hole style thigh braces allowed her to brace efficiently when the waves picked up and tossed her around a bit.
Cargo space was sufficient for our extended trip and the main hatch covers (Kajak Sport) never leaked (the "glove box" needed a bit of sealing around the rim).
The skeg performed flawlessly and was butter smooth to operate. Adjusting the foot rests was possible even while paddling (without needing to exit the cockpit to reach the adjusting tab behind the foot rest!).
The shorter waterline and the rockered hull seems to be well suited to shallow waters with shorter waves (no ocean swell in the Baltic sea). Clapotis was not upsetting Petra and I noticed increased confidence in following seas where she was catching and surfing waves way faster than me, leaving me behind.
I think that the Sea Lion LV combined with a sail is a great fun kayak.
It performed well with just light loads in strong winds (slight leek cocking when sailing) and very steady when filled with camping gear, food and water.






10 comments:

  1. Nice vid. Gnarly, did you use any reinforcing of the deck when mounting the sail mast? Do you think composite kayaks need reinforcing for this purpose?

    KP

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did not reinforce this kayak because the mast was mounted close to the edge of the hatch recess where it is rather strong. Otherwise I do reinforce most composite decks since they are not designed to take a localized load. I also reinforce some areas where the stay anchors are as I have seen some anchors pull out from the deck, with a nice chunk of fiberglass attached :-(

      Delete
  2. Nice review of an interesting kayak. Do you know the height of the foredeck inside the cockpit on the LV-version? Can't find that information anywhere when reading about it.

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sorry but I did not take any measurements of the kayak. If you contact the manufacturer (see their website) I am sure they will be able to help you.

      Delete
  3. Hi Gnarly, what are the dimensions (height, weight) of Petra? I'm asking as I want to check for a present for my wife and need to see if she will fit ok.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Petra is a bit light to paddle the Sea Lion LV empty, but we were on a trip of 5 weeks so the expedition gear inside the kayak made the perfect combination of size/volume/speed/handling. I think a paddler of 90-85Kg is the ideal weight.
      Petra is 168 cm tall and fitted the cockpit surprisingly well (but not snug). The thigh braces are located in a spot where bracing is effective without being constrictive.

      Needless to say I did not fit the Sea Lion LV ;-)

      Delete
  4. I am 164 cm tall and evaluating Lion LV, the distributors website claims 50-85 kg range for this kayak. One option would be to go down to Leopard (smaller version of Lion LV), but I often take trips lasting several days with all the gear and don't want to be wet in Leopard. Leopard might not be spacious enough for the gear, but Sea Lion LV might not be ideal for short training trips without the load for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. only now that I re-read my comment above I see that I wrote 90-85Kg... what kind of range is 90-85? ooops, I meant to write 70-85Kg (yeah 70 being a smaller number makes sense!). Apologies for the typo.
      At 50Kg with an empty boat probably a bit bobby (like a cork?)

      Delete
  5. Hello,
    i have a SeaLion LV, too. And I have the same problem with the glove box (water inside after the roll). Can you please explane, what do you mean with" sealing around the rim" ?!
    Thanks a lot!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I rarely get a kayak that doesn't leak somewhere. This one only leaked in the glovebox which is much easier to rectify than other larger sealed compartments.
      By sealing I mean: run a bit of polyurethane sealant around the black plastic rim (that holds the lid) and the gel coat surface of the deck. I first put the goop on with the caulking gun and then smooth it out by moistening my finger and press-in make the surface smooth.
      I make sure I have plenty of paper towels ready to clean my fingers. Let it cure and next day is 100% sealed.

      Delete

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