Wilderness Systems Sealution

I have the opportunity to get my hands on an 18’ WS Sealutions model kayak. The price is between $300-$400. From what I understand, the backrest of the seat is broken. I haven’t even seen it yet so I have no idea of the condition of the boat. I am asking for your opinions on this particular model. Flatpick, you were the first person that popped into my head.



Good boat in its time
Late '90’s era boat, lot of paddlers really liked them. Seat back is a stand up thing that extends above the cockpit rim, more for comfort than performance, would suspect it really impacts ability to roll. Cockpit was reasonably large. Check the footpegs . . . the slider rail footpeg assembly for the rudder was a weak point. If it is still installed and solid probably fine, if it pops off and flops around make sure you can re-attach it and it will stay.

If I remember right, the hatches have neprene cover under the hard hatch. They need to be in good shape if you are going to keep water out.

This boat really tends to “oil can” if it has been stored improperly. A Sealution in good condition is a good cruising, camping, thumping around boat. I have never thought of it as a put on edge performance boat (by today’s standards).

I had a Sealution II.
The plastic one. Playful with rudder up but needs a rudder in conditions. Not a bad all arounder at a good price.

Make sure rudder mounting hardware and hatch covers are all there and in good shape.

What size?
They came in a variety of sizes from relatively small to monstrously big. All were heavy, not well outfitted, and kind of a tank to paddle (especially the monstrous one). If someone came up to me and said, “I have a Sealution kayak I don’t want any longer. Would you like it for free?” I would have to think about it.

WS Sealutions Kayak
Thanks for the feedback. I will be taking a look at it this weekend. At least now I have some things that I need to be sure to check on. Thanks again.


it is still a great kayak
the rudder is a huge plus, so is the missing seat back. You won’t have to remove it to put in a back band.

It is a far far better kayak than the Cape Horn which replaced it.

If it is the original Sealution in glass, it is a bargain to get out on the water for 3-400 bucks(unless it is beaten to death). You can do a lot of skill building in this boat but I think it is a little rudder dependant. It won’t be the last boat you ever own, but so what. If it is a Sealution II alla a rotomold, they do oilcan badly. Save up and buy something better.


I have good memories of the boat
First real sea kayak I paddled was a glass Sealution, and I instantly loved it.

I have paddled a plastic one on a camping trip with the boat loaded. In rough conditions, when a wave trys to slap it, this boat slaps it back. Rather, it would split the wave and barge on through. I consider the boat a good solid craft. It had a ton or room for gear.

I don’t remember the details of the foot pegs and the hatches.

At the price you mentioned, get the boat and get on the water.


At that price…
Obviously check for the issues mentioned above. But if it vets out in good shape, you are getting a very capable sea kayak for the same price or less as a new Swifty. The only price-related issue is that you’ll probably also need a third party rack to cartop it that’ll cost as much as the boat.

That said, it is an older, well-respected boat that got a lot of paddlers out into some real water and home again safely without a lot of fuss. It’ll get you started. And while you are likely to want a kayak with different characteristics as your skills improve, this boat can always stay in your stable as a comfortable tripper.

Swiftys aren’t capable sea kayaks?

We kinda tried that…

– Last Updated: Mar-24-08 8:08 AM EST –

took the for-renter-use Swifties from the cove out where they shouldn't have been over the course of several years, though we were mildly sane and didn't push the Swifties as hard as the Dagger Cypresses.
We were also lucky. It took until the Cypresses to find that out.

My good boat…
Geeze, where have I been? I consider my GOOD sea kayak my Sealutions II, in plastic, 16’10" long. The rudder rusted shut long ago and so I took it off to improve my ability to roll it. Sure, it’s a little oil-canned but I can cruise all day with it. Maybe the reason I like it so much is that I compare it to my other boat, an Aquaterra Sea Lion.

Sure, I’ve been lusting after a CD caribou-s, but in the meantime I’m out making memories. This summer is a jaunt out 22 miles off the coast of Maine to an almost-never visited island. I’d buy that old Sealutions II before buying anything on the market that was shorter in length or wider. I have had no safety issues with the boat, save the rear bulkhead started to leak, which I repaired.

I have the sealution II
I don’t have your exact kayak and my husband has the sealution XL. I believe the seat would be the same as in yours. His seat also broke but he easily fixed it I believe with a pop rivet type setup. If you really want expert advise the largest paddlesport store in North America is Rutabaga in Madison, WI

You can call them with any kayak question…really, I have done so many times. 1-800-I-PADDLE or google rutabaga paddlesports and you will have the link there. I have had my kayak for 14 years and used it a ton…and it still works great. I have used many other kayaks around the country (rentals in Maine, Alaska, South Carolina and Georga) and I think mine is just fine. Rotomold is heavier but I sure get a kayak good for a variety of paddling including some rapids in Montana (not recommended…too long).