Sea Eagle SE370 Inflatable Kayak

December 30, 2015
The Sport Fishing Package

I own the Sea Eagle 370 as my second kayak, with a Trophy 126 being my first. I wanted a boat that could be comfortable as a tandem kayak, without taking up a lot of storage space.
I do have the "deluxe" package, which included more rugged seats that the basic kit.

The total kit includes a storage bag, two four-piece paddles, two inflatable seats, a foot-operated air pump, a repair kit, two inflatable "doughnuts" to protect the skegs while packed, and two inflation gauges. The boat is very rugged with heavy fabric, a tow point on the bow and a drain plug at the stern. There are a total of five separate air chambers: the floor, each side tube, the bow and stern skirts (which are separate pieces and held in place with rigging). The inflation gauges help get the correct pressure on the side tubes, but you have to guess at the correct pressure for the floor. I don't know why the manufacturer couldn't have setup the flooring to also use the inflation gauge.

After a bit of practice I've been able to setup the boat in 20 minutes, about the same amount of time it takes me to setup my hard shell. Packing up is also quick as I merely deflate the boat and throw everything into my car, knowing I'm going to clean everything when I get home.

The Sea Eagle's buoyancy and center of gravity feels more like a canoe than a kayak as you sit higher up in the boat due to the inflatable seats and inflatable bottom. Because the seats are removable, you can set them for either two people or use only one seat for a single paddler, something not possible in hard shell tandem boats.

Stability is a bit touchy in high crosswinds, but easy enough to get used to. The length of this boat is roomy for two people and cargo. With one person you could easily pack all necessary equipment for several day's camping.

Paddling is also a bit different as the sides of the boat are a bit higher than a hard shell, which forces me to hold the paddles a little higher to avoid rubbing the sides of the boat. The paddles are covered with rubber tubing when they can rub the boat, which I think is a nice touch for protecting the boat's fabric. The skegs seem to help with tracking, but I do notice that winds blow this boat around more than a hard shell kayak, presumably because there is more exposed surface area. The boat will also "flex" in choppy water, which takes a bit getting used to.

The real advantage of this inflatable boat is it's ease of transport. As one other reviewer has noted, the boat is airline transportable. The entire kit packs into a large duffle bag which is a real storage advantage for a condo dweller or someone who only has a small car. For people who have rotator cuff (shoulder) problems, it is much easier to load this boat into a car instead of dragging it off the top roof rack. It's also easier to pack this boat along on a long trip, instead of tying a kayak onto the car roof.

One caution is that the boat has to be absolutely dry before storing it to prevent mold from growing on the fabric. I learned this the hard way and now I have a very unsightly three-inch diameter black stain up at the bow, around the area where the skirt and side tube meet.

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Source: www.paddling.net
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