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Old 05-02-2018, 12:52 AM   #21
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Old 05-02-2018, 02:02 AM   #22
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I have no idea who/what air forums is/are, therefore missed out on whatever conclusions you are referring to. I was not trying to sell Sea Eagle to anyone but rather was simply saying that an inflatable was a viable option & that is what we chose. Ours has performed fine so far. If/when it dies, I promise to be more diligent when looking for a replacement.
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Wasn't a dig at you D&J, it was just a review of her experience with the product, which I appreciate. Everyone has different experiences and I've read about others who had the Sea Eagle and liked it.

I'll probably "rent at the lake" a couple of times first, though. It's funny how things that were really fun when my knees worked better are less so now...
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Old 05-02-2018, 02:20 PM   #23
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Air Forums is a forum similar to this one, except its Class B subforum posters are limited to those who own the Sprinter-based Interstate or other B van predecessor models (e.g., the B-190, Avenue, and now the new B+ Atlas), all Airstream products.

Sea Eagle seems as if they might be making an attempt to reach the van crowd generally, knowing that it could be a good captive audience from a marketing perspective given that it's such a challenge to carry full-sized rigid kayaks on vans. They managed to reach The FitRV who posted on Instagram about their new Sea Eagle. I noted the dry rot issue on their post as well, because I feel like people should be informed. Sea Eagle apparently designed their products primarily for durability. Some of their kayaks are rated for Class 4 rapids. Unfortunately the trade-off seems to be lack of longevity. They're tough... while they last.

The two of us who were most vocal on Air Forums about our Sea Eagle failures responded to those failures using opposite strategies. I went with a $75 cheapie as a replacement. My cohort bought an Oru folding kayak. REI is currently offering one of those models for $1,600. Yikes!! I could wreck and replace twenty-one cheapies for that investment!! I wasn't about to go higher-end in any non-rigid kayak until I could see long-term evidence of durability. Plus, most if not all of the folding models would not accommodate a 50-pound dog very easily.
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Old 05-02-2018, 04:47 PM   #24
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Plus, most if not all of the folding models would not accommodate a 50-pound dog very easily.
Has your dog traveled in your inexpensive kayak? Is it possible for one person to paddle this 2 seater alone?

My husband photographs dragonflies, and for jaunts along the shoreline your 2 seater seems amenable for him plus his waterproofed camera equipment, and occasionally me or the calm 35 pound pooch instead (with life jacket).

Your projects are always an inspiration. Your blog showing how the boat fits across your van roof is very encouraging. We still have some space up there.
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Old 05-02-2018, 06:53 PM   #25
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If you want to load a boat on a rack up top I would look at the ingenious Eide boat loader. There are videos on youtube. Doesnít require a ladder at all, it can all be handled from the ground

Some people have commented that removing the original roof of the van and replacing it with a fiberglass top gives the walls of the van a tendency to bow outward and that wieght on the fiberglass roof makes this worse. I would think that attaching a sturdy enough rack to the rain gutter would support the weight and stabilize the walls.

We went with an inflatable. We have a Sea Eagle PaddleSki. We love it, it handles much better than our old hard shell (Ocean Kayaks Malibu II Tandem) and is much more stable.

No dry rot issues.

I would say that if youíre thinking of an inflatable, go with the high end models. The $300 cheapies arenít that good. High end Sea Eagle, Advanced Elements and some other brands get good marks.
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Old 05-02-2018, 07:17 PM   #26
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If you want to load a boat on a rack up top I would look at the ingenious Eide boat loader. There are videos on youtube. Doesnít require a ladder at all, it can all be handled from the ground

Some people have commented that removing the original roof of the van and replacing it with a fiberglass top gives the walls of the van a tendency to bow outward and that wieght on the fiberglass roof makes this worse. I would think that attaching a sturdy enough rack to the rain gutter would support the weight and stabilize the walls.

We went with an inflatable. We have a Sea Eagle PaddleSki. We love it, it handles much better than our old hard shell (Ocean Kayaks Malibu II Tandem) and is much more stable.

No dry rot issues.

I would say that if youíre thinking of an inflatable, go with the high end models. The $300 cheapies arenít that good. High end Sea Eagle, Advanced Elements and some other brands get good marks.
Agree with your assessment...

The cheap Sea Eagles may have issues but the high end models have a more durable construction and work great, we have two, an Explorer and a FastTrack, and have never had any issues.

Consider a modular hard shell kayak as an alternative to an inflatable, there are a couple of options for modular kayaks. We are planning to get two of these new ones with a tandem kayak section that they are planning to introduce at some point. Not cheap but they should perform like a standard kayak...

https://pakayak.com
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Old 05-02-2018, 07:26 PM   #27
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Has your dog traveled in your inexpensive kayak? Is it possible for one person to paddle this 2 seater alone?

My husband photographs dragonflies, and for jaunts along the shoreline your 2 seater seems amenable for him plus his waterproofed camera equipment, and occasionally me or the calm 35 pound pooch instead (with life jacket).

Your projects are always an inspiration. Your blog showing how the boat fits across your van roof is very encouraging. We still have some space up there.
Oh, heck, you're asking me to post pics of my dog. Like I'd need a second invitation.




Yes it is possible to paddle it alone... it does weave back and forth a bit, but it comes with one or two skegs which are detachable for deflation and packing. The skegs do help. Somewhere I've got drone video of the kayak underway... I'll try do dig that out.

The longest I've taken it on one outing is probably two miles. I'll do longer than that if I can snag a day when I know that the wind is not going to come up and force me to fight it.

The dog's PFD is from Cabela's. I'm not saying theirs is the best, and she doesn't like it, but she had to have something. Ours (husband and mine) are the inflatable kind from West Marine. The other Class B consideration is where to put the PFDs, paddles, seats, etc. Having inflatable PFDs is a great space-saver vs. the solid core ones. Plus I built an under-chassis shelf upon which to store some of that stuff, in the rear well where sometimes extra batteries are installed. Blog post here.
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Old 05-02-2018, 08:25 PM   #28
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Your buddy is very noble looking. We've already got a PDF for our dog stowed away, which includes the important handle for pulling out of the water because I'm always hoping we will rent. Do you need some extra claw-proofing in the inflatable?
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Old 05-02-2018, 08:58 PM   #29
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Nothing extra needed for our inflatable. Her nails did not damage it. Rocks didn't damage it.

Here's a one-minute video of that kayak, a video which I will not claim has any elegance to it. This was one of the first times my husband put the drone up, and droning is harder than it looks. The dog and I were en route to investigate that tiny island out there in the lake. There was a cross-wind so I was dealing with that.

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Old 05-07-2018, 03:32 AM   #30
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Anything more than 10 ft 6 wide would be a problem....
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Old 05-17-2018, 01:39 PM   #31
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Humorous video as a kayak manufacturer strikes back at the cheapies that some of us have swallowed our pride and chosen to buy.

It's a nice job but they'd do well to also respond by innovating and not just griping. For instance, design and market a model that will also accommodate my dog. Then I might be interested.

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Old 05-17-2018, 03:26 PM   #32
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I sold my two Perception Kayaks knowing I would never carry them on a Class B van. We carry two Advanced Elements inflatable kayaks instead. They are good enough for puttering around in inland lake for a couple of hours.
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Old 05-18-2018, 12:04 AM   #33
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Interblog, why did you buy an Explorer instead of a couple of Challengers?

Still trying to decide what to get...
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Old 05-18-2018, 11:58 AM   #34
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Interblog, why did you buy an Explorer instead of a couple of Challengers?

Still trying to decide what to get...
I needed room for my dog. The Challengers that I see on the internet have a more closed-off nose.
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Old 05-18-2018, 10:17 PM   #35
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Funny video, but the two kayaks we bought at Costco over 10 years ago (for less than half what a Perception would go for) are still going strong and have none of the issues the video talks about...
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