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Submitted: 07-26-2013 by jamoaque
**NOTE**: this review is for the 385FT Classic 2012 model (not the new 2013 model).
Overall an excellent, versatile kayak. Seems very tough - can strap it to top of van; have had it inflated for days and it keeps its pressure; rated for class 3 whitewater. Fairly light weight for such a tough boat. Has a large weight-bearing capacity. Works just as nicely solo as it does tandem.
When tandem, it is nice with their inflatable "deluxe" seats, that you can position them wherever you want in the boat, i.e., you are not forced like w/ some kayaks to only put the seat(s) where there are rings to hook the seat onto. Very stable - can even stand up in it. Speed is OK. The long skeg helps it track perfectly straight, but it sticks so far down into the water; I have trimmed (sawed and ground off) several inches off the end of the skeg so it can handle shallower water. My family likes this kayak a lot.
Two things we like about inflatables. One is the portability - we have taken it both w/ vehicle and on flights, as it fits in a suitcase. (Added flexibility - can transport it inflated on top of a vehicle so it is always ready to go, but then when you want, you can deflate it and tuck it away inside.) The other is that since the seats are also inflatable in addition to the kayak, it is very comfortable; you can kind of lay back and stretch out, put your feet up, etc., when you want to relax, which you cannot do so easily w/ a hard-shell. (However, at times the air in the bottom part of the inflatable seat leaks out gradually when you sprawl out and stretch back - this is one thing they could make more robust.)
Misnomer: to call this a "Fast" track is somewhat of a misnomer. A detailed, consistent study w/ a GPS unit shows that Sea Eagle's basic SE370 "Sport" kayak for ~1/4 the price (approx. same 12.5' length as the Fast Track) and also a 10-foot hard-shell will both achieve the same speeds as the "Fast" Track. Typical range for solo of 2.8 to 3.4 mph for easy to steady paddling, 3.8-3.9 for firm paddling, and 4.4 or so for a sprint, with tandem paddling being only slightly faster. The Fast Track can not reach its "theoretical maximum hull speed." They really should have called it either a "Straight Track" since it does track very straight, or a "Versa Yak" since it does have many nice features and capabilities to it.
Therefore I am glad to see that Sea Eagle introduced a new design for Fast Track in 2013 that is more streamlined for better speed and glide; the compromise is that the new version is rated only up to class 2 rapids (yet this may actually not be an issue for most people, but is something to be aware of).
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