Sea Eagle TC16 vs Innova Seawave on puncture/scratch reistance and amateur performance

Thank you for checking this thread. First, let us ignore the price difference between Sea Eagle TC 16 and Innova Seawave.

I am mainly concerned about puncture and scratch resistance. We will trade performance for durability. On paper, it looks like the 1200 Denier Nitrilon bottom of the Innova Seawave is more durable than that of the Sea Eagle TC16 canoe (1000 Denier PVC?). Am I wrong in this regard? Will I see a real-world difference in puncture /scratch resistance (is there a significant difference)? This is my question #1.

For reference of real-world durability and the lack of, we do have oyster reef nearby, but have been fine with a lowly Sea Eagle 330 (600 Denier PVC?) for 3 years by being careful. But our friend managed to have the kayak cut open, after we loaned it to him.

On paper, the Sea Eagle canoe (10 PSI, 16’ x 38’’, 70 lbs, 915 lb capacity) seems to look better on the performance front, compared to the Innova Seawave (3 PSI, 14’9’’ x 31’’, 41 lbs, 551 lb capacity). But we are going to have 2 young kids (4yo 35 lbs + 8yo 50 lbs) and 2 small/light adults (wife 120 lbs 5’2’’ and me 140 lbs 5’9’’) in such a boat and 2-3 paddlers of the 4 do not know how to paddle well (I am the only decent paddler). We will mostly use single blade canoe paddles, to avoid getting wet and paddle collision. Very calm and flat water. And I will put a rigid PVC plumber tube under seats of Seawave to make it more rigid, if we buy it. Will we see a real-world performance difference, in our case? This is my question #2.

My last question #3 is also on real-world performance in hands of poor-decent paddlers. Innova offers a shorter inflatable kayak/canoe named Solar 410C. Its specifications are almost identical to the Seawave model, except that it is 1’5’’ shorter. Will we see a performance difference between Solar and Seawave, in our hands? Solar will save us $250.

To save your time, you can simply answer by #1, #2, #3. Thank you again!

You can reinforce the bottom of any inflatable by glueing a “sacrificial” layer of rubberized material on it, as many of us with folding kayaks do.

I don’t think attempting to modify an inflatable with pipes under the seats is a good idea. It not only will not “improve” performance, it could make it more dangerous.

I am concerned more about other aspects of your questioning than I am with your fretting about relative hull material strength. Your plan to take small children out in an open boat with another adult with little or no paddling skills does not seem prudent. Also, I always hear warning bells when someone insists that they will only be in “very calm and flat water.” There is no waterway on Earth, other than a half acre farm pond, that is always “calm and flat”. Also your concern about “not getting wet” suggests more than a little naivety about paddle sports. You say you will be paddling near oyster beds, which suggests coastal conditions, which can be quite dangerous for inflatables, which can get dragged offshore by currents and wind, into deep waters where it could be impossible to regain shore as conditions deteriorate. Where exactly is your target paddling location?

Are you familiar with the recent family tragedy on Lake Superior that is being discussed in the “Paddlers Place” section of these forums? Perhaps you should read it as a precautionary tale:

Thank you for your concern of our safety. I really appreciate that. Good idea about adding sacrificial layer too.

I got the pipe under inflatable seat idea from Advanced Elements. Some of their inflatables can accept a metal pipe (called Backbone) to stiffen their bottom. A YouTube guy compared it to drop stitch floor with GPS and said speed enhancement is about the same.

I would like to know why would a PVC pipe (with blunt protected ends) make inflatable more dangerous.

Our paddling location is Armand Bayou in Clear Lake, Texas. Many areas there are not deep enough to let me use a regular skeg. Most areas are under 5’5". Soft mud bottom. Won’t go further near the bay or sea.

Armand Bayou can have 15 mph winds and some current, but I always look at tide and weather forecast, before we go. For example, high tide today in Armand Bayou is 1.1’ and low tide is 0.1’. In our weather, we won’t go out paddling when weather is cooler than 65F or is too windy or rainy. My wife is big about safety, so I can guarantee that when we go paddling together, the water condition will have to be “very calm and flat”; otherwise wife/kids won’t go with me.

What I meant was, we do have oyster beds about 30 minutes of driving from us. But I have not taken family there. My friend took my previous inflatable there and cut it. We used to live on an island though, and have heard about rip current drowning swimmers and shark bites. So we understand the danger.

“Not getting wet” is something nice to have for my wife and maybe my sons. I love getting wet actually :slight_smile: and am a strong swimmer.

Another reason why I am getting an inflatable is because it will be easy to right. The 70lb Sea Eagle canoe, for example, can be right with one hand flip, due to its very high buoyancy (there is a YouTube video for it).

I read about that tragedy. I hate to say it, but many things were wrong to start with there. 60F/hypothermia, big lake, 4’ wave, thunderstorm, late afternoon paddling, to name a few. I don’t think we will be out paddling in any one of those conditions. I suspect heavy plastic SoT kayak that is not easy to right too.

You might want to call the customer line for, who sell a wide range of inflatables. I have found them to be very helpful with information on the various aspects of materials and design.

Thank you!

That is exactly what I am going to do. They carry all the 4 inflatables that I am considering now and even write down some very detailed analysis on them, including that BackBone (pipe under seat) for Advanced Elements kayaks.

Now I am leaning towards Advanced Elements Convertible tandem. It actually has the same interior space and weight capacity to hold 3 small persons (same as the 3 person Innova Seawave) and slightly smaller/lighter than Sea Eagle TC16.

I felt AE’s skin in store before and think it is more scratch/cut resistant than that of Innova or Sea Eagle. A review supports this opinion too (when it compared Innova vs AE). I do realize that its 3 layers of skins would take much longer to dry though.

Another thing I like about the AE is that it comes with rigid stern and bow inserts, plus ability to take keel and drop stitch floor. That would make it almost as stiff as the Sea Eagle all DS planels.