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on August 25, 2011
I don't believe that I am qualified to review this product in the abstract - I have experience with only one other such product, a Sevylor Caravelle 2-person boat that I bought about ten or 15 years ago. Really, really loved that thing, but it finally started developing some leaks (it went a decade or more without so much as a single one, and it got dragged around a good bit), and I decided to replace it with something a bit larger. To be fair to the manufacturer, the holes that it developed may have been the result of our addition to our family of a little dog (who, I just realized, has surprising sharp toenails), rather than any deterioration in the materials, but I just don't know.

Anyway, the new one ... it is larger than the 2-person that I had previously (a slightly different model), but not quite as much as I'd hoped. It is still a bit cramped with the three of us, and the dog, but that is what I said about the 2-person, too. Mrsmousepotato, on the other hand, thinks it is a lot larger.

The materials may be slightly lighter, but I am not sure about that. They still seem adequately durable, and held up just fine for the four or five days we have used it thus far. Per my scale it weighs just about nine pounds without the rope, the oars, or anything else, which is only a few pounds heavier than the old 2-person Caravelle. It is still light enough that I was able to put it on top of my backpack and drag it up a very, very steep 1,000-foot ascent (in one mile) to an alpine lake.

The construction is just as good. Not a leak anywhere. Held air just fine. Aesthetically pleasing work. Nice, even seams, well cut pieces, etc.

This one has an inner chamber that circles the entire inside. The old one had only two long chambers on each side. I guess that is an advantage if the outer chamber loses air as it seems like just the inner chamber alone would suffice to keep one afloat and dry; however, I also think that it reduces the interior volume of the vessel a bit.

The valves are both better and worse. The old one had valves just like what you'd find on a cheap beach ball, but they worked just fine for me (I had to put a small stick inside to hold that flap thingie open when deflating), and were better in that one could depress them after inflation so that the tops were below the surface to which they were mounted. The new ones are heavier duty and operate on a different principal, which has advantages and disadvantages, none of which are particularly significant, except that they stick up somewhat and are prone to being dislodged and opened when shifting weight, items, and feet while the boat is in use. Not a big deal (if you're paying attention), but overall, I really think that the cheap old beach ball valves were better.

This one comes with a built-in pressure gauge that looks cool, but is kinda inscrutable in operation. I still am not entirely sure if it was telling me to add pressure or release pressure, or really just how accurate it is. Better than nothing, I guess.

This one is not quite as easy to row on account of the placement of the oarlocks. Again, I am not qualified to say whether or not the oarlocks are located in exactly the 'correct' position (I have to defer to the experts at and expertise of Sevylor in that), but I can say that the old one was slightly easier to row (easier to get the paddles up out of the water), I believe on account of the oarlocks being placed slightly higher on the gunwales.

And, finally, this one is not quite as 'stiff' as the old one. I used to inflate the old one such that it was almost as rigid as if it were made of wood. Seriously. I could just about stand on the bow of it without the fabric being depressed at all. Keep in mind that I really did not have a clue about what I was doing, and I may well have been overinflating it to absolutely eye-poppingly dangerous pressures, but I can say that it did, in fact, hold up well for a decade or more. The new one is not like this; it is quite a bit more flexible and spongy, but I filled it by using, not my old method of blowing and blowing as hard as I could until my cheeks hurt and spots appeared in front of my eyes and I passed out cold, but by reference to the built-in gauge, which may well indicate that a proper inflation pressure is substantially less that what I had thought theretofore. Without the gauge, I most certainly would have added more pressure (and more, and more) and, thus, greater stiffness and stability, perhaps at the danger of overinflating it, but that was never, as I said, a problem with the old Caravelle.

Reading this, one might get the impression that I don't like or recommend this boat, but I think it deserves five stars because it is a quality product, and it is what it is; and the only negatives I can think of to say about it is that I, personally, liked my old boat better. (Wah.) Mrsmousepotato, on the other hand, likes this one better because of the larger size, and she feels its a bit safer due to the larger inner chamber. My 11-year-old daughter, whose opinion doesn't count, thinks it is easier to row.
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on April 9, 2013
I bought this for my husband for Father's Day last year, and we have really loved it. I was a little concerned before purchasing it about whether it would be wimpy or what, but have been pleasantly surprised. It inflates really easily with great instructions on how to do so, and deflates and stores really easy and small. We love that we can keep ours in a storage tote out in the shed. As far as the size of the inflated boat goes...I'm not sure what 3-person's they were talking about when they labeled this as a "3-person" boat. My husband is 5'9" and 185 lbs...and he and 2 of my little boys (a 7 yr old and a 5 yr old) fit pretty well, except that one boy has to be between my hubby's legs, making it difficult to use oars. I figure that if 3 adults want to be in it, they'd have to be sitting side-ways, with their legs on the side of the boat, using a motor. ?? My husband and I can fit okay if we sit at opposite ends, with our legs crossed indian-style. So, yeah...I'd call it a 2-person boat...but that's just me. :)
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on May 13, 2011
Used twice on the beach for fishing. Is really meant to hold 2 adults with barely enuff space to hold yr gear. Hasn't leaked yet, is light and easy to transport, is hard to manoeuvere in the water though; tends to spin around in circles. Make sure to get the oars and pump also; easier to inflate and deflate. use only in calm waters.
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on May 17, 2013
We bought this for the kids to have a boat to ride around in the swimming pool. They play with it every day. There is plenty of room in for several friends and it is very sturdy. Pleased with the purchase!
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on September 1, 2011
Bought to use to get to a motor boat kept on a mooring in Lake Superior. It works very well for that purpose and for rides with the grandkids. Choppy waters on the big lake can make it a challenge to steer,
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on February 7, 2014
Heavy duty construction and can really get up some speed using a couple of small oars. Grandson and I have a grand time in it. I use a vacuum cleaner with reverse blower to inflate it. A decent price and free shipping.
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on June 25, 2015
We have a backyard pool. We have many grandchildren who are getting bigger and bigger. We have occasional pool parties with big kids -- hey, they are almost all pretty much adults now -- so big !!! This boat is always the favorite no matter how big or how many peeps are in the pool. To be honest, it does need to be replaced on occasion. But it definitely takes a lot of abuse -- FUN abuse. So much so that if it develops a slow leak at the end of the season, we are not surprised. Usually it lasts a few seasons. Reliable enough that when it reaches the time for replacement, we know just what we will order next time -- THIS BOAT !!!
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on September 18, 2013
I found a picture of the two person version with people in it, and yes two people fit as long as they have no items and do not mind being on top of one another. That is why we went for the 3 person. Still a tight fit, but we could at least also place a very small cooler between our legs.
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on August 29, 2014
I purchased this raft specifically because it's supposed to have attached motor mounts on the back for attaching a transom for use with a 12 volt electric motor. I've been using these rafts for about 30 years. I love the rafts but this specific rafts description is incorrect. It supposed to include the mounts on the back as per the description (Includes fittings for attaching 12 volt electric motor) but there is no photograph of the rear of the raft that allows you to see the fittings. After receiving the raft I was surprised to find that it DID NOT have fittings for attaching a 12 volt electric motor. I looked at the packaged box and indeed it does say that it has fitting for 12 volt motor attachment but there are none on the raft. I returned the raft. If you want a good all around 3 person raft for recreation or play then this is a great raft, but if you are looking for a raft that has fittings for electric motor on the rear of the raft then you have to purchase the Super Caravel 3 person raft. It has the fittings and shows a photograph of the two black attached fittings on the back of the raft.
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on January 8, 2015
Boats didn't come with patch kits. Orderd two boats. Both got holes within 1 hour of inflating very sad camping trip. One boat was punctured just on the 15 foot walk from the camp to the lake not as durable as we had hoped. Not purchasing again. : (
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