Length: 11' 2" - Width: 34.00" - Starting at: $239.00See More Details about this Kayak
I highly recommend the SeaEagles, with one minor suggestion to go with the upgraded inflatable seats, if you're going to be in it for longer than an hour.
Have owned the brand and style for 6 years and am very happy to this day!
Paddling - it handles well and steers fine. Not tippy. I was only concerned about "blowing out to sea" after reading other reviews - do not blow around that easily. Compared to the Marvel 10' (which I really wanted but can't handle myself)- it's just a little more work paddling, but not that much. Got the deluxe package - seat is very comfortable. Highly recommend this to people with storage issues!
I would recommend upgrading to the deluxe seats as the standard ones do not offer back support. Having read previous reviews, I set my seats back to back. This seemed to help a little, but not much.
The next negative was that the built in skegs were warped to the left of the kayak. This was easily compensated for when paddling, but still an annoyance.
The only other bad point I had was that there are no bungees. The skirts make a nice place to strap an extra paddle, or a small bag if needed...if you have straps.The included paddles seemed too short to me. Having never paddled before the issue could have been me, but the paddles just seemed like they should have been longer. As mentioned before a strong wind will cause the 330 to weathercock. Fortunately though this seemed easily correctable.
Now for the good points:
Despite the warp in the skegs the 330 tracked pretty darn straight. Other than a lapse in my technique the 330 moved in as close to a straight line as one could expect, especially considering hull design.
Another thing I liked was the amount of room. While not enough for two full sized adults, I found it to be quite adequate for my 5'6" frame. After using some tie-down straps around where the skirts attach, I was able to secure a spare paddle up front, and a small water proof bag in back. There is easily enough room to pack gear for a short overnight/weekend trip if a person is small like me.
The 330 seemed a bit tippy getting in/out, but once out on the water felt stable. I gave the 330 the rating I did because I have nothing to compare it to as it is the first craft I have paddled. It performed as I was expecting it to, didn't seem to have any limitations I wasn't already informed of, and over all is a fun little craft for someone like me who isn't able to get out often or for very long.
Now for the big problems: Undiscouraged I planned a tandem paddle with my brother on the nearby Eno River for the next weekend. Our run on the Eno offers up to class 2 whitewater and the SE 330 is rated for up to class 3 (laughs). Immediatley following put-in we capsize. The boat is extremely tippy and unstable, even with its wide beam. I can't fathom why the boat is supplied with 2 seats because its way too crowded for 2 people - leg positioning was a nightmare. Anyways... determined to have a good time on the water that day we set off in the cramped boat, jerking this way and that to keep the thing from tipping again. Lo and behold the second set of riffles appear and the boat bottoms out. OK - no problem to make a short portage. As we get underway again in deeper waters however, brother comments that the boat appears to be sinking in the back. I chuckled and said, "no it can't be." After all the Sea Eagle is made for class 3 so some small riffles should hardly pose a problem. A few moments later Brother chimes in again: "No. Its definately sinking" We ground the boat on the riverbank and flip it upside down. My heart sank at what I saw - One of the tracking skegs that are built into the bottom of the boat had apparantly caught on a rock and ripped right along the seam. A 3 inch gaping hole in the bottom air-chamber was the result. I deemed the craft unfit to carry us to the take-out (with the combined weight of us it was about 1 inch from getting swamped). We carried the crippled boat up the bank and found an old abandoned log cabin. From the look of the empty beer cans on the floor it looked like it had been the early '80s since anyone had been there. We stored the boat in there and gathered what we could carry. What followed was a 2 mile hike over extremely rough terrain - steep gulleys and rock bluffs. We barely made it back to the put-in before sunset, all the while cursing Sea Eagle.
About 2 months later my girl and I went back there and found it in the old cabin, undisturbed. We carried it out of there (good thing my girl is tough!). I Packed it up in the box and returned it as defective for a full refund. Ive learned a lot about boats and paddling since then and I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy a Pamlico 120 by Wilderness Systems next. All things considered I highly disrecommend the SE 330 and I would be wary of any Sea Eagle products. That boat was merely an over-priced pool toy! Don't be like me and get caught up in thier clever marketing. Its not worth it dude, just don't do it. Save your bucks and get the hardshell.
All in all, my advice to anyone thinking about buying this boat is to make sure that it is what you want before you get to the end of your 30 day trial period. I am fairly new to kayaking and felt this was a good entry level boat for me. I’m already wanting to upgrade to something with a bit more performance (even if the boat had been trouble free). If you just want a boat that saves space and you just want to go out for an occasional paddle on calm water, it might be fine for you. If you are thinking about getting serious about kayaking, look into the foldables or a hardshell.
The dinky inflatable seats are better than I expected and keep your butt dry. so I would use them. And you can pack some stuff behind the seat to keep your leg room free.
Paddling in a wind it a tad tough but I assume this is common with any inflatable or high sitting boat. Tracking also was a little iffy. The 'lil skegs don't seem to do a lot, mind you it could be a lot worse without them.
The 4 piece paddles that come with it are not much good but will serve as handy emergency paddles for my hardshells! I took my 2 piece asymetrical 240cm aquasport and it worked much better.
Inflating and deflating worked very well. The vavles work well and the pump is pretty fast.
My boatmate had a 395SE and my lil boat had a higher capacity than his but the 395 took 2 paddlers much better.
Not much else to say about it. I bought the used hull from Sea Eagle for US$200 and think I got a good deal amd am happy with the convenience it gives me.
I would recommend the 330 to someone to supplement their boating experience but not to be all of it!
The skin material seems durable. The skin on mine has been abraded and poked and has held up well. One problem with a leaky air valve cover was solved quickly and hassle-free over the phone.
On the down side, you can really get pushed around on open water on a windy day. There is also a slight learning curve involved if you want to travel in a straight line. The skegs that are supposed to help the SeaEagle track straighter will drag bottom in places where a canoe will not.
The bottom line on the 330 is that it is a great little starter boat. I have a lot of fun in mine. Some day I will trade up to one of the bigger SeaEagles, but for now this one is a keeper.
I'm planning to add skegs and perhaps a nicer seat. The Sea Eagle 330 does catch ride high and thus catches breezes, however, I assume that this is common to most inflatables.
Got the first chance to try it this week. Thanks to the extra large footpump - inflating the whole boat was under 10mins; which is probably faster, and definitely easier than to untie and unload my fiberglass boat off the top of my car. A note on inflation, it has an inflation guage on the boat - I feel like over inflating just a little bit. Reason being after inflating on hot dry ground, and paddling is cool water, the boat tended to "soften" a bit.
First try was in Lake Simcoe (Ontario Canada) - calm, flat water... It didn't track too well. But after a short while of getting use to, it's easy to compensate. I went solo, so I wonder if the added weight of the 2nd person would make the boat more stable?! That I will find out another time. The inflatable seat was ok, not exactly comfortable. However, I recommend to keep it fully inflated - when water comes in, it will keep your pants dry.
Second try was also Lake Simcoe but right before a rain storm - so the water was considerably rougher. I found that it tracked better. It had a "softer ride" in the wavey water than rigids. But it's still very easy to manuveur. By the way, I tried to tip over the boat - which was not as easy to do as the rigid boats. Which might be a good thing if you have little kids or young paddlers onboard.
Deflating the boat was just as easy: just unscrew the three main valves and the boat flaten in a minute or two. The drain valve at the back came very useful to drain off the water in the boat, especially after the second day's stormy water ride. It's a little tricky to put away since the skegs are glued on. I keep the come with foam protectors on so it won't get bent. The factory's carrying bag is big enough to carry the boat, paddles, pump and everything else in there. If the bag comes with handles and straps would be even better.
Originally I intended to bring this to camping. Though it rates to carry 500lbs, it doesn't have that much room for 2 people plus gear. Unless you go very light on the gears, and bring a small kid. For single person however, you should have ample of room. This boat is low as a kayak but open like a canoe, you should use waterproof bags to keep your belongings dry.
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