Inflatable Sea Eagle 370 Epic Failure on First Run

The ww perspective

I’ve punctured two boats transporting them. One was an avon raft in an extra light lay up. Some how it got knicked on the back of the hitch buddy or on a shuttle. I paid to have it professionally patch since the boat was loaner to me.
My other was a tandem saturn ducky, and it got raked across the the hood latch. So stuff happens. We liked to blow up the duckies really stiff for new river gorge runs. Admittedly we were pushing the limits of what the boats were designed for taking them on class IV water. That’s why I don’t like bladder boats unless the bladders are really substantial. To be fair to the manufacturers most of the duckies I own are only rated for class III.

It is not that inflatables are bad but they are a bit more prone to failure. Quality varies greatly even within the same company depending upon the layup, design and particular model.

Rocky mountain rafts and duckies are very popular in southern wv. Colorado is first in sales with wv being second. Their Boats are made in china, designed and specs in the USA. I accused Bobby one of the designers and leading sales rep of ripping off the nrs design for the bandit and widening just a wee bit. The key to their success is making affordable boats, that wear well, at a decent price. The boats are heavy though. Meaning they are harder to transport and carry and bit more sluggish on the water. Star and Saturn are just below them in quality.

Just say no to old used duckies and rafts, these boats have a lifespan and don’t get better with age.

Good point. The gash is kind of exactly below where I was sitting. I think I definitely hit something. The gash is mostly on the bottom, but it ends awkwardly in a seam. That makes the repair a little trickier. I’m 6’1", and 200 lbs, but I was the only one in it. It’s supposed to hold 650 lbs! I definitely didn’t overload it.

Under the seat is a bad fail point because you are going to continue to put stress/weight there.

So lately my hard plastic whitewater boats wear out under the seat. It is the combination of running over rocks, collecting small rocks under the seat, and my own body weight which is usually around 210 pounds. The boats actually wear from the inside out. The last two boats I’ve paddled a lot have worn out in a year and a half: Pyranha 12r, pyranha shiva. My friend David had the same issue with his pyranha machno. So I get someone to weld the old boats and I switched manufacturers. Pyranha wants to act like its not a real issue. Under the seat they use a less dense (black in color) closed cell foam. I’ve talk to them twice in person. The foam breaks down and traps debri like small pebbles which you can’t rinse out. One individual I know removes the black foam and replaces it with a denser foam when he buys a new pyranha boat. I am unwilling to do that. We will see how long the Dagger Vanguard lasts. I’ve already abused it quite a lot. I don’t worry about dragging or oil canning because those aren’t the points where my boats fail. Under the seat is my nemesis.

Inflatables fail for all different reasons. Valve or valve seats crack or rust out, seams leak, the boats themselves delaminate, or a ton of pinhole leaks. These old boats become noodley (they fold a bit in waves). Punctures aren’t the cause because they are patchable. I took the campways shoshone to the dump, the maravia is relegated now to the upper new, one of the trash guys (boater as well) took the riken cherokee on trash day, and I take a pump when I run the yellow sevylor ds on the upper new. I’ve soaped that boat and still can’t find the leak.

Is this something you can contact Sea Eagle for and get a replacement (since you should still even be under the 3 month trial), or is it considered by them user error and not covered? It’s still worth a shot. If you can get it refunded, I strongly suggest investing in a better boat. I know the 370 seemed a good choice because of its price, but it is nowhere near the quality of the Fasttrack and Explorer. I’d recommend a 330 or 370 for my wife, but she’s barely 100 pounds. My 380X is supposed to be rated for 750 pounds, but I’d be a little skeptical about fully loading to that. Thankfully, my wife and I together are still under 300, probably right at 300 with everything we bring on the boat.

The SE370 was our first kayak, seven years ago. I was responsible for one small rupture, due to a broken pressure gauge and over-inflation of one of the tubes. It was easily patched and we still have it as an extra kayak. We used it 5 years before that blunder, with no issues. Ours proved to be pretty resilient. Small holes can be reliably patched. We have since moved up to heavier constructed, 1000-denier tarpaulin, like the Sea Eagle Explorer 380x, rated for Class IV whitewater. What you experienced does not sound typical. Proper inflation and moderate use should be no issue for this decent PVC kayak. However, we replaced ours with the Explorer series, considerably more expensive, but tough beyond belief.

I put my best patch on it. It was kind of a hack job because the patch wasn’t big enough and it goes into the seam. But I was pretty conscientious about it and I gave it a few days for the glue to fully cure. Today I inflated it and soaped it. It seems to be holding. I guess I will leave it inflated for a while and make sure it holds. I’m not too confident.

Somebody from Sea Eagle finally reached out for some more info, so we’ll see what he says.


If it happened on your first run, you’d hope they’d replace it.

Very odd experience. Makes me think there was a manufacturing defect in this situation or the object you scraped on was unusually sharp. I have a 370 myself which I have owned since the spring of 2020 and my experience with it has been that it is surprisingly rugged. I have taken it in some mild white water, scraped on rocks, scraped on concrete/cement, etc, and I haven’t even had to patch it yet. By the way, I got mine at a significant markup due to supply chain issues at the time, almost 800 dollars instead of 300 or 400.

I have used mine in multiple environments: calm lakes, choppy water with some white caps (not ocean, just unusually rough water in a reservoir due to high winds and motor boat wakes, though I have also gone in the Chesapeake bay), white water with some portage required at times, and small barely navigable tributaries. Have no issues still with it except making sure I keep it clean and dry when I store it (used a self-service car wash recently, was effective except for some stubborn stains). I constantly scrape it on sandbars, boat ramps, etc. Anyway, I hope you got a refund or at least a replacement. In my opinion, the 370 is mid range type. Better than nearly anything made by Intex or lower end types, while not as good as some of the more expensive types, including the even higher end sea eagles. It is good as a versatile and well rounded craft through, not excelling at anything while able to do most types of paddling while durable enough to last, your example being an exception. When I got mine by the way, all the talk on the Internet praised it for being a good value.

1 Like