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Watercraft Review


Sea Eagle PaddleSki, a truly versatile water prowler that's 5 boats in one
 

Date: 4/30/02
Tackle type: Watercraft
Manufacturer: Sea Eagle
Reviewer: JIP






Total Score: 9.00

Introduction: Sea Eagle combines the best from a Catamaran and Kayak to create an entirely new and versatile watercraft, the PaddleSki.  The PaddleSki 395ps can be used for paddling, motoring, rowing, sailing, and of course our favorite, fishing!  TackleTour got the opportunity to test this versitile watercraft from an Angler's point of view.

 

Sea Eagle 395ps PaddleSki Specifications

Material Reinforced 1000 Denier
Seam Quadruple Overlap
Exterior Dimensions 12' 11" X 3' 3"
Interior Dimensions 11' 6" X 1' 4"
Deflated Dimensions 38" X 19" X 10"
Chambers 2
Tube Diameter 12 1/2"
Air Valves Halkey-Roberts One Way Valves
Weight 49 lbs.
Weight Capacity 500 lbs.
Engine Capacity 85 lb. thrust (electric)
Features 2 skegs, 12 D-rings, 3 aluminum yokes, 4 side carry handles & bow handle, front spray skirt
MSRP $799.00

  

About Sea Eagle: Sea Eagle, a Harrison-Hoge company, has been designing and manufacturing high quality inflatable boats for over 30 years.  Along with thoughtful engineering and strict quality control, the use of premium materials has been utilized to make boats for many different water-sports that include fishing, motoring, yacht tending, kayaking, rowing, canoeing, whitewater rafting, and now sailing.

  

Impressions: Have you ever received a watercraft delivered to you?  It must have been quite large right?  When TackleTour received the Sea Eagle, it came in 5 small well-packed boxes.  Our first impression of the Sea Eagle, after taking it out of the box, was that this inflatable boat can be packed tightly and can be taken with you anywhere you go.  This is because the PaddleSki can be rolled up neatly and placed in a versatile carrying bag with adjustable tightening straps.  A single person can haul the 49 pound inflatable boat from their car to the edge of the water.  Yet when inflated the PaddleSki 395ps reaches 12 feet and 11 inches in length.

 

The Sea Eagle PaddleSki 395ps can be rolled up and packed tightly for easy transportation and storage

  

The Sea Eagle PaddleSki is constructed using 1000 denier hull material that's is thick and durable.  The three aluminum yokes serve as stabilizer bars that make this inflatable boat a safe and solid ride on many types of water.  The addition of the skegs on the rear of the boat is used to make the PaddleSki track straighter.

  

Deluxe Package Includes

PaddleSki 395ps
Two AB-20 8' double end paddles
Two DKS Deluxe Kayak seats
A-41 foot pump
Carrying Bag
Repair Kit

  

Everything from the PaddleSki's Deluxe Package fit nicely into the trunk of a sedan, even with the two seats inflated (the car's rear seats are not folded down)

  
The overall design of the Catamaran plus Kayak combo sure makes the PaddleSki 395ps a unique inflatable watercraft.  Along with the thoughtful design features that add to this kayak and the many fishing accessories that you can purchase as options sure gave us a good first impression of the Sea Eagle PaddleSki. 

  

Additional Accessories: One of the many benefits of purchasing a Sea Eagle is that they have many accessories you can add on to your PaddleSki.  The list below was sent with the PaddleSki 395ps to enhance the fishing experience on this newly designed inflatable kayak.

  

PaddleSki Accessories Added

Accessory

Cost

1 Deluxe Fly Fishing Seat $49.00
1 PaddleSki Motor mount $59.00
1 Rowing Frame (Includes two 7' oars) $149.00

  

The Deluxe Fly Fishing seat is not just for fly fishing, but can be used for any type of fishing.  The fishing seat allows the Angler to sit approximately 3 inches higher than the Deluxe Kayak seat.  By sitting in the PaddleSki you're already sitting higher than other types of kayaks, but to add more height to make casting easier and more comfortable, the Deluxe Fly Fishing seat is a great option for any Angler.

  

Want to mount a trolling motor to the Sea Eagle 395ps PaddleSki?  No problem!  The all new motor mount was designed specifically for the Anglers using the PaddleSki for fishing purposes.  The motor mount is attached by bolts and straps at the rear of the PaddleSki.  It's constructed with coated marine plywood with stainless steel and aluminum components.  The mount can accommodate an electric trolling motor with up to 85 pounds of thrust.

  

Now why would I use a rowing frame?  I am on the lake to fish, not row.  Well, it's simple...  Rowing can get you from point A to point B much quicker than paddling.  Also for the Anglers who travel far to fish or head up to those remote lakes or rivers, carry a heavy battery and trolling motor is too much of a hassle.  Plus rowing will give you a good workout!

  

Sea Eagle offers many more accessories that you might find helpful on your fishing trips.  Check out Sea Eagle's website for more options.

 
Real World Tests: Before we even took the PaddleSki onto any body of water we wanted to see how long it would take to set up the Sea Eagle 395ps for the very first time.  A quick glance at the instructions the PaddleSki was unrolled and constructed in a very short time.   With the A-41 foot pump the two side chambers inflated in just 5 minutes.  The Halkey-Roberts one-way valves are really easy to use and keeps the high pressure air inside.  The three strong but lightweight aluminum yokes are already built on.  No installation or disassembly is required, just tighten the knurled nuts after the PaddleSki has been inflated.  After that the only two things remaining are the inflatable seats.  In a just few pumps they are nice and firm.  Ten minutes or less to put together the basic PaddleSki configuration for paddling is quite impressive.  And if you want to use the motor mount or the rowing frame, just add a few more minutes.

  

After the initial setup the PaddleSki 395ps was taken to Anderson Reservoir, Lexington Reservoir, and O'Neill Forebay to experience different types of water conditions while fishing for largemouth bass and stripers(striped bass).

  
Maneuverability: As many of you know, kayaks are designed to cut through the water without much effort from a paddler.  Seeing kayakers battle upstream through the rapids with ease is quite amazing.  Catamaran, two pontoons placed at an efficient distance away that's held together by a lightweight frame and consists of a sail, is designed for high speed sailing.  

  

The Sea Eagle PaddleSki was designed with the benefits from both the kayak and catamaran in mind.  The bow is kayak-shaped allowing this water prowler to swiftly move throughout the water.  The narrow design also allows a paddler to easily turn when needed.

  

Since only the PaddleSki's two pontoons touch the water (the middle never touches or is immersed in the water) the surface area is greatly reduced.  The catamaran design keeps the hull out of the water for lower drag and quicker movement.

 

Notice the middle of the PaddleSki is well above the surface of the water.  Only the two pontoons sit in the water

  

Another design feature that improves the PaddleSki in the mobility area is that the rear of the pontoons are pointed downwards.  This along with the two skegs allow the Sea Eagle 395ps to track much straighter.  

  

Either in windy conditions at O'Neill Forebay or in the calm mornings at Anderson or Lexington Reservoir, the Sea Eagle PaddleSki allows you to easily maneuver.  So no matter which of the 5 boats you choose to take onto the water, each will take minimal effort to move around while you're fishing.

Stability: The PaddleSki 395ps is only 3 feet and 3 inches in width.  How stable is it?  Because the Sea Eagle PaddleSki's design took after the catamaran, this boat is more stable than others.  When you sit on the PaddleSki the weight distribution is mainly in the middle of the boat, but the two main supporting points are the pontoons that are on each side.  Therefore the weight applied throughout the PaddleSki is more even than a canoe or other boats where the focus point touches the water in the center which can cause it to tip over easier.

To further enhance the already stable PaddleSki, Sea Eagle designed the 395ps with 3 aluminum yokes that is used to hold the inflatable chambers straight and steady, similar to stabilizer bars used in cars.  The yokes can also serve as a place where one can attach fishing accessories such as rod holders, fish finders, and much more.

Durability: Throughout our tests with the Sea Eagle the bottom of the PaddleSki ran into many different types of structure in and around the lake since the water level is currently low.  The PaddleSki's tough 1000 denier hull material protected the boat well.  After many accidents with sharp branches, rocks, and the rubbing when landing, the two chambers experienced no damages.  This is because the material production process used by Sea Eagle coats the internal reinforcement fabric with many outer layers, which in turn forces the outer layers into the small gaps in the weaved base fabric to construct a single homogenous material.  Aside from the strong hull fabric, the rest of the PaddleSki uses high quality durable material that will withstand much abuse.

  

Paddling for Fishing: Paddling the Sea Eagle for fishing can be fun and at the same time gives you flexibility.  By this I mean that you can paddle slow and soft to sneak up to places where the fish are holding so you won't spook them, venture into coves and creeks where larger boats aren't able to reach, launch and dock almost anywhere, travel light to those far away remote lakes, and much more.

  

When paddling you need the minimal equipment to get you going on the water.  This also means that you can carry all the equipment and launch anywhere.  Paddling allows easy access into coves of different sizes and fish in shallow water without the fear of getting stuck

  

Whether paddling alone or with two people on the PaddleSki, the hydrodynamic design of the boat allows near effortless and quick movements to your next fishing destination.  As long as you have the power to paddle, you can move around and fish all day long.

  

Rowing for Fishing: When fishing in larger lakes rowing might be a better option than paddling due to its ability to move from point A to point B much quicker.  Rather than having a restricted area to fish, the use of the rowing frame on the PaddleSki will allow you to easily maneuver around a lake and fish many more areas.  When rowing, this boat can still accommodate two anglers and their storage.

  

Using the rowing frame for fishing is very effective, especially in larger lakes.  When fishing you can let the oars dangle in the water

  

Rowing is effective, efficient, and provides a great workout.  When the two rowing oars touch the water and propel the Sea Eagle forward, its kayak-catamaran design glides quickly through the water with little friction, even in rough and windy conditions experienced at O'Neill Forebay.  After the initial set up of the PaddleSki the rowing frame is assembled with just a few pieces in a short time.

  

The rowing frame sits on top of the PaddleSki.  The weight of your body holds the frame in place while rowing and fishing

  

Motoring for Fishing: The PaddleSki 395ps is so versatile that you can even mount a trolling motor onto it.  With Sea Eagle's new motor mount you can attach an electric trolling motor up to 85 pounds of thrust.  The motor mount can also accommodate difference size batteries.  TackleTour tested the PaddleSki using a Minn Kota MK40 and a Kirkland oversized battery.

  

The motor mount, trolling motor, and battery fits securely onto the rear of the PaddleSki. 

  

The motor mount can be installed in minutes and disassembled to fit nicely into the trunk of your car.  When using the PaddleSki with a trolling motor it's better to go fishing with two people or bring along something to weigh down the front.  The trolling motor and battery does make the PaddleSki rear heavy.  But when using this set up you can swiftly navigate through the water.

  

Field testing the PaddleSki using the trolling motor at O'Neill Forebay.  The windy and rough water conditions didn't stop this water prowler from cutting through.  Notice it's slightly rear heavy, but the boat still sits on the two pontoons and the middle never touches the water

  

Warranty: To further add value to the PaddleSki 395ps, Sea Eagle has a 2 part guarantee.  1) On-Water Trial(30 days): Return for a full refund (excluding shipping) if you're not satisfied for any reason.  This allows you to test drive the Sea Eagle on the water.  2) 3 Years Warranty against Manufacturer's Defects: If any part of the PaddleSki becomes defective, simply return it for repair or no charge replacement.
 
Ratings:

SE 395ps PaddleSki Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality Highly durable 1000 denier hull material that's weaved and contains 6 outer layers.  The PaddleSki is also resistant to UV.  The other parts of the boat uses quality rugged parts for longer durability.  The outer shell of the inflatable seats are built with a thick fabric that can withstand a lot of abuse 9.5
Performance The kayak plus catamaran design makes this boat truly hydrodynamic on the water.  It cuts and flows through the water with ease, turns quickly, and the stability is amazing for an inflatable 9.5
Price Decent price for a versatile, long-lasting inflatable that comes with everything you need to get yourself onto almost any type of water 8
Features Like other small watercrafts, the PaddleSki also requires personal modifications to make it a useful "tool" for fishing.  But this boat comes with oars, 12 D-rings, skegs, yokes, repair kit, and a flexible carrying bag to assist you in your fishing trips 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) Designed to allow an angler to move about, bend or stretch your legs when needed, seats that give good support, allows a comfortable day of fishing.  This is all due to it's superior design 9.0
Application An excellent boat that is easy to set up, launch anywhere, simple to use, quick, responsive, and with 5 boats in one makes the PaddleSki a great boat for fishing and other recreational usage 9.5

Total Score

9.00


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Versatile L No self-bailing drain valves
J 5 Boats in one  
J Quick and easy to setup  
J Compact storage  
J Stable  
J Portable  
J Great hydrodynamic design  


Conclusion: No matter what watercraft or boat you're looking at the design is an important factor.  The design can mean many different things like the boat's ability to navigate through the water, how it will handle calm to rough waters, and much more.  When Sea Eagle designed the PaddleSki they took the well performing components from the kayak and catamaran to construct a boat that will outperform anything else in its class.  The Sea Eagle PaddleSki 395ps is 5 boats in one.  The versatility of this water prowler allows an angler to do many things, in many places, and at anytime.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 
 





 

 



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