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Watercraft Review


The Sea Eagle FoldCat, a fishing watercraft that’s exceptionally stable and quick to set up
 

Date: 1/6/06
Tackle type: Watercraft
Manufacturer: Sea Eagle
Reviewer: JIP






Total Score: 9.0

 
Introduction:
When it comes to inflatable fishing watercrafts, Sea Eagle is one of the best in the industry. With the new FoldCat 375fc, anglers can find a complete fishing package that’ll get them on the water and fishing immediately. The FoldCat is extremely stable, takes only minutes to set up, and has many features that will make this watercraft very useful to anglers.
 

Sea Eagle FoldCat (375fc) Specifications

Material Reinforced 1000 Denier
Seam Quadruple overlap seam
Inflated Dimension 12'4" X 4'6"
Deflated Dimension 56" X 21" X 10"
Air Compartments 2
Floor Aluminum roll-up
Tube Diameter 16"
Air valves Halkey-Roberts one way
Hull Weight 75 lbs
Weight Capacity 2 adults or 650 lbs
Motor Capacity (Gas) 3 HP (45 lbs max)
Speed 8-10 mph (gas motor)
4-6 mph (electric motor)
Warranty 3 years limited
MSRP $1299.00

 

Introducing the ultra-compact FoldCat 375fc Pro Angler Package

 
Impressions:
The FoldCat was first introduced at the 2005 ICAST show in Las Vegas where Cecil Hoge, President of Sea Eagle, impressed us with his latest design in inflatable fishing watercraft. Now that the catamaran-like FoldCat is available to order, we are able to get a closer look. The FoldCat appears to be an inflatable pontoon boat but at closer inspection, one can see there’s much more to it than that. This new Sea Eagle rig uses an aluminum flooring together with a support system that enables inflation and assembly in minutes, and vice versa. In addition, the 375fc’s support grid is sturdy enough to attach seats, rod holders, and other accessories. But the quality and versatility does not stop there. The FoldCat 375fc uses a thick and durable 1000 denier reinforced inflatable hull, which based on past experience, we’ve found o be very durable and rugged. The two pontoons are large enough to support a lot of weight and feature skegs at each end to help keep the watercraft tracking straight. Overall an impressive design leaving us quite eager for our maiden voyage.

 

When inflated the Sea Eagle FoldCat enlarges into a great fishing package

 

Transporting: Inflatable boats are compact to store and easily portable. When rolled up and packed into the transportation bag, the FoldCat measures only 56” X 21” X 10”. That’s small enough to fit in the trunk of a sedan or be easily tossed into the bed of the truck. Though it is small in size when rolled, the hull plus the aluminum flooring (which you do not take apart after the first assembly) weighs in at 80 pounds – could be a bit much for one person to lift, but if traveling with two, stowing and deployment is not a problem.

 

All the items can fit in the back of a sedan but we opted to just toss them into our truck bed

 

Rolled up, the 375fc can be carried by one person but makes it easier with two

 

Installation: The FoldCat is shipped in a few boxes and does take an initial set up. You must attach the aluminum slats, rod holder base, quick release seat mounts, and any other accessories you purchased. Fortunately, the installation process is quite easy thanks to the detailed manual, pre-drilled holes for the accessories, and supply of all the necessary hardware. After you are done with the initial setup, the slats, mounts, step bench, and footrest bar will not require removal for stowage. You just roll up the entire rig and wrap the 375fc into its storage bag.

 

The Pro Angler package comes with a storage bag where it can hold all the small components for easier transporting

 

Zander and JIP install the stabilizer bars underneath the slats after unrolling the inflatable

 

The base of the rod holders are installed during the initial set up which we recommend you do at home once it arrives. Then when you get to the water you quickly snap the rod holders (4 total) into the base

 

The oar lock assembly is quickly attached via large knurled nuts

 

When you’re ready to take the FoldCat on the water, lay the watercraft and components out on a spot for inflation - preferably near the water so you won’t need to carry it too far. Before inflating, just slide the four aluminum stabilizer underbars beneath the slats, then fill the two hulls with the A-41 bellows foot pump that comes with the Pro Angler package. Screw on the oarlocks and motor mount, snap on the seats and rod holders, and you’re on the water in about 10 minutes or less.

     


Next Section: Field Test and Maneuverability 
 


 

 

 

 

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