I had a kayak stolen and now am looking to replace with insurance money. I have experience with the Aquaglide Chelan HB but was looking at the Sea Eagle 380 OR the 385. The AG tracked beautifully but is only rated for 400 lbs. I was concerned with using it with a hunting buddy and our gear. With my wife and I it was fine. But the SE is rated at 700 lbs. That’s insane. I wanted to know if anyone here had those and could attest to it’s trackability.
I’ll throw more into the mix: Advanced Elements Convertible AE1007. I like the combo frame/pontoon and the optional deck coverings that can be purchased for it. It is heavier however, and doesn’t seem to have an easy way to mount a motor should I ever want to. Sea Eagle has really thought out their accessories well. AE does have things like the sail, foot pegs, etc. Sea eagle seats look better, but the thing that I really like about the AE is the deck. Some people say that ripstop fabric gets waterlogged and heavy however. One is class 2 rated one is 4. I don’t whitewater raft, We’re mainly taking this thing out on Lake Washington, MAYBE into the puget sound for crabbing, light bay kayaking. We also live by a small calm lake, so we’ll likely take it out there too. The Explorers seem more like rafts, which is maybe why they’re good at whitewater. I can’t find any definitive yes/no on AE’s design regarding a drain or bailing valve, which is odd.
Back to Sea Eagle…
Fastrack kayaks, the keel looks nice. It gets a bump down in class rating, but that’s probably from fewer bailing valves. Probably less affected by wind (which on Lake Washington can get windy)
Razorlite…this thing looks FAST. Might get more wet in here due to smaller walls for waves and such. Might be better for only calm water?
AE: wins on deck covering (optional thought, which means more $$$ but it’s actually an option). Loses on the fact that a dropstitch floor will cost an extra 250 bucks (and that’s a requirement). Loses on setup time and weight as well.
SE: wins on setup time, more drains, lighter weight, greater weight capacity. Loses on open top, possibly tracking since there’s no rigid frame? and by a little bit cost.
I already have two paddles that aren’t fancy, but they belonged to my previous kayak so they’re free.