Sea Eagle 385fta Inflatable Kayak
Wifey and I both had rotomolded kayaks, just could never quite figure out how to bring them along in the RV, wound up giving them away when we went full-time.
I missed getting out on the water though, so I started looking at folding kayaks... always wanted a Klepper but I see one needs to be independently wealthy to afford one of those, plus it's not clear I can squeeze my fat derriere into one any more.
Sea Eagle inflatables caught my eye. Their 12 1/2 footer is rated to carry 600lbs, and there's enough room in it to use as a tandem (barely) but it's not too big for a solo paddler. Typical "inner tube" style pontoons; there's a keel of sorts made out of a combination of hard plastic and an inflatable section. And the floor is made from the same technology as inflatable stand-up paddleboards, not quite sure how they do it, but with as little as 3psi inflation it's pretty durn firm.
Wifey and I took the Sea Eagle out for its maiden voyage today, and we are impressed. It's plenty quick. Sits low to the water so it handles OK in the breeze, I will say it has a bit of yaw in a following sea or downwind but it was generally a snap to handle. The combination of the low sitting position, the rigid floor, and decent sized side tubes makes for a stable boat.
Paddling around in the mangroves, it was blessedly quiet, it'll be a great stealth fishing boat. Out in the bay, we encountered up to eight inch chop. It's not a dry boat by any means but it'll handle a mild chop well, as well as moderate wakes long as you keep your eyes open.
It's heavy and a bit awkward to lug around uninflated. Easier if you blow it up so the two of you can tote it around by the grab handles.
Speaking of which, it's easy to inflate, seriously it took longer to snap the seats in than it did to inflate the thing. On the other hand, putting it back to bed again is a production. The carry case is well designed so you don't have to fold it perfectly; however, you have to spread it out to let it dry before you store it.
They have a couple of different packages. They have a fishing package with a swivel seat, which struck me as fairly unique so I bought that. The fishing package also has rod holders, and I believe extra layers of material to protect against punctures. They also have non-redneck versions for those so inclined.
Far as accessories go, their four-piece paddles are actually really nice, at $60 apiece, stock up on those. I don't know that their "tall back kayak seats" are anything to scream about, I got a pair off amazon for cheap. What would really make a difference would be a pair of boat cushions, which I guess is a testament to how firm the floor gets.
You're only supposed to use their pumps, which have custom fittings, so get one. We got the one that looks like a bicycle pump; it's not hard to use but if you have a bad back, get the foot pump.
I ordered from the manufacturer direct, paid $1400 for the Bubba package and considered it money well spent.
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