You are right for 'ease of handling!'
Posted by: tkkcc70 on Feb-21-13 9:17 PM (EST)
To start off, I began with an iflatable used Advanced Elements Expedition due to storage and transportation, and according to other AE owners that I agree with regarding on-water performance: closed cockpit [SIK]; upper end of the AE line and competitive with upper end plastic rec's and even a few bottom line touring models. When I wanted a lower end open cockpit [SOT], I looked deeply towards Sea Eagle, especially a specific used 330 model I found on craigslist in my area. I never received a response from the seller, which was quite disappointing. I ended up going with a West Marine K1 (extended clone of a Sevylor Rio).
From the reviews I have read about the Sea Eagle 330, I would use it the same way I use my K1. Flat-ish water unless you've got some experience in rapids; relaxing paddles where you don't have much need for speed; you WILL get a bit wet (especially if you are a 'high angle paddler') unless you can play some magic with the blades; and at "officially" 26 lbs. dry and probably 30-35 wet, it is quite easy to transport if you have at least a little bit of natural balance.
My only recommendation is to make sure you have a comfortable seat (Sea Eagle sells different versions of seats that fit in the 330), and be ready to look for a longer paddle than many people say you should use in an SIK. Because of the open cockpit with high sides, you'll need a longer paddle; I'd immediately recommend 230cm if you are anywhere near 6' tall and especially if you use a 'low angle paddling technique'.
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