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Thread: Sea eagle 9

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    Default Sea eagle 9

    My wife and I are planning a 4 month trip to Alaska from Texas. I will purchase a Sea Eagle 9 with a Min Kota 50 to take on this trip. I plan on using it on lakes in Alaska and Canada for fishing and wildlife viewing. I am looking for any information on the best and safest way to use this boat and what lakes in Alaska & Canada are best for fishing and wildlife viewing.

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    Member Grizzly Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hstansel View Post
    My wife and I are planning a 4 month trip to Alaska from Texas. I will purchase a Sea Eagle 9 with a Min Kota 50 to take on this trip. I plan on using it on lakes in Alaska and Canada for fishing and wildlife viewing. I am looking for any information on the best and safest way to use this boat and what lakes in Alaska & Canada are best for fishing and wildlife viewing.
    I had a smaller Sea Eagle and used it on a bear hunting trip, once. Two of us rowed it 300-400yards across a bay and it leaked air. We sat pretty low in the water by the time we reached the other side. I bought it 2 days before the hunt and took it out of the box when I got out there, so lesson learned. Make sure you test it before using it. Not sure what lakes are best for wildlife viewing, but I would tell you to stay on the smaller lakes. This is not the boat to be in when the waves kick up. Also, be careful on rocks, brush, etc because it probably won't hold up well to being dragged or rubbed on anything. Last piece of advise is to make sure you have a patch kit and know how to use it.

    Not trying to discourage you, just pay attention to your surroundings and be safe!
    "What is it about a beautiful sunny afternoon, with the birds singing and the wind rustling through the leaves, that makes you want to get drunk?” --Jack Handy

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    Default Re: Sea eagle 9

    Keep in mind you're using a small inflatable. Make extra sure your boat is airtight and keep a repair kit and pump with you. Expect it to lose pressure when you get out in the water. The air contracts due to the cold water and you'll have to top off. Let the extra air out after you beach for the day so you don't pop a seam when it expands. Vinyl can get stiff in the cold and may not resist puncture as well.

    ALWAYS WEAR A LIFE JACKET! The water is very, very cold.

    Don't go out on the big lakes. You don't have the freeboard to deal with the waves and you don't want to get swamped with ice cold water. Keep to the lakes that are under a couple hundred acres and get off if the winds pick up.

    Always keep the oars with you in the boat, never rely on a trolling motor only.

    Any one lake is as likely or unlikely to have wildlife nearby as any other. I see moose in my yard more often than I do out in the "wild," especially if I've been using a chainsaw.

    Play safe and enjoy the scenery.

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great trip!

    For the fishing aspect of this, I would pick up some resources: Alaska Fishing, by Gunnar Pedersen and Rene Limeres. This is the go-to book for fishing anywhere in Alaska, and it provides great detail on fisheries along the road system. The Alaska Roadside Angler's Guide, by Gunnar Pedersen and Joe Nedland is an excellent resource detailing specific lakes and rivers along the road system, including tactics, timing and referrals to commercial services in the area. Our store has three copies of this book left, and when they're gone, that's all. I think it is out of print. If you want one, call Icebear (our store manager) at 1 (907) 895-4919 and tell her I told you about the book. The Highway Angler , also by Gunnar Pedersen, specializes in roadside fisheries, including many lakes. It is probably the most detailed resource available discussing roadside fisheries in Alaska. You should consider purchasing a copy of that book. Finally, you need a copy of The Alaska Milepost. This book is the bible of Alaska's road system, and it is worth its weight in gold on any road trip. It contains thousands of references to commercial businesses along the way; gas stations, motels, grocery stores, campgrounds and much more. Unfortunately some of these have not been recently verified, so you need to call ahead before you plan that 500-mile stretch with no gas stations! Still, you need the Milepost.

    Regarding the Sea Eagle boat, I don't have a lot to say that hasn't been said already. I do have concerns about durability, puncture-resistance and fabric quality, but if you are determined to bring that boat, so be it. If you are open to other options, you might consider any of the other inflatable canoes on the market, some of which are set up for rowing (which gives you great control of the boat). The AIRE Traveler is an excellent choice, as are the Grabner XR Trekking, the Grabner Indio, or the Grabner Outside (which is designed for rougher water such as what you might encounter on a lake when the wind comes up). A relatively cheaper alternative would be the AIRE Tributary series. Technically they're kayaks, but they have a similar profile to the Sea Eagles and Sevylor boats, but they're a step up in terms of quality. The boats on this short list will offer you greater reliability because the materials and workmanship are of superior quality. Better puncture resistance, greater abrasion resistance and greater resale value. You can find these boats on the used market, if you're trying to save money on this. Even if you buy new, you can always sell it at the end of your trip and recoup most of your money-- especially when you compare daily rental rates you would have paid. All of the boats pack up into small packages, and don't weigh much. You should have no problem storing them in your vehicle.

    Hope it helps!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

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    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Sibir that is great advise, sound, to the point, and real thank you for sharing.

    I will add to Mike's info a little as well. There are also several Drop Stick smaller inflatables on the market not so far off in price then the Sea Eagle that IMO have a little more quality and a lot more realibility then the Sea Eagle Nine.

    Yes Made in China or overseas however a reasonable value - look at purchaing through West Marine www.westmarine.com or West Marine Austin, lewisville or San Antonio, any Maxxon dealership 1-800-356-7887, or in Alaska through Alaska Raft & Kayak or Martia Ski & Marine etc... the list goes on an on.

    Also consider going to Iboats.com and or any other online dealership just type in Drop Stich Inflatable sport boats might be suprised at what is available on the market that might just meet your needs and price point concenring your trip.

    Best wishes

    BMR

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    Does the Sea Eagle even use a base cloth? or is just straight plastic??

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    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goeaux View Post
    Does the Sea Eagle even use a base cloth? or is just straight plastic??
    Been a while since I looked at them, but I think it's just unsupported vinyl. A pool toy...

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  8. #8

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    Thanks Mike -- I had the same thoughts!! Hope all is well with you and you are ready for winter. Think about that Rondy downhill pac- raft race!!
    Sure you remember how much fun it was back then and I have life long friends I met at the competitions!!!
    Goo

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by hstansel View Post
    My wife and I are planning a 4 month trip to Alaska from Texas. I will purchase a Sea Eagle 9 with a Min Kota 50 to take on this trip. I plan on using it on lakes in Alaska and Canada for fishing and wildlife viewing. I am looking for any information on the best and safest way to use this boat and what lakes in Alaska & Canada are best for fishing and wildlife viewing.

    I have a Sea Eagle 9 and their smallest sport kayak that I use to zip across the Kenai to my favorite red hole. They are what they are but I consider them far beyond a pool toy. Many have taken long trips in the 9 with hundreds of pounds of gear, packed moose, etc.. The 9's are easy to inflate and have a slug of air chambers so if one is breached you are still afloat. I've bounced undamaged off stuff that I was sure would "rip the raft a new one". For use as described in your post, I don't think you could go wrong or do much/any better for the money. Just follow the safety advice given in this thread and have a great adventure. As with driving a car, riding a bike, etc. there is no need to turn yourself into a nervous wreck...just always be vigilant and aware of what is going on around you.

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    I made many, many beer floats down a class I/II river in California as a young man in a Sea Eagle raft. Like the above post states "it is what it is". As long as you don't exceed the purposes and limitations for which it was meant you should be fine. Even back then in my more reckless days we always had along "life jackets". Now I don't float a river unless everyone is wearing their pfd.

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    Just want to add my experience with Sea Eagle. I bought a used sea eagle 9 from a buddy in the early 90's. For a few years I used it several times on the local lakes and even floated lower willow creek once without any issues. Was getting gear ready for a hunting trip to kodiak in fall of '98 and inflated the sea eagle just to make sure everything was cool when I noticed it was leaking a little out of one of the valves. So I tightened the valve and added a little more air with a standard hand pump and leaned it against the wall. Went in the other room to do something about 5 minutes I heard a loud POP!. Ran in to see the entire back end blown out at the seam. Was glad I checked it out before I took it on that trip! It hadn't been abused prior to that and was always stored indoors in the winter. Since I bought it used at a cheap price I figured I got my moneys worth out of it.

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    Unless you are really going to float or "buzz" (electric motor buzz) around only on little urban ponds, I urge you to consider more boat, a bigger boat, a better boat.

    While slightly better than a pool toy, keep in mind that this nine foot long inflatable is only about 7 feet long inside the tubes. That is less than one/forth of a first down in a football game, or the length of two full steps for an adult human of average height. And it is only about 2 1/2 feet wide between the tubes, almost wide enough for a small dry bag filled with emergency gear. When Sea Eagle makes video advertisements for this boat they put little tiny adults in the boat to make it appear as though the boat is bigger.

    So if you are only expecting one or two seasons of use on small urban ponds without unexpected winds it will probably work for you.
    While the inexpensive cost may be attractive to some, don't expect much more "adventure" out of it.
    Think Safety first, second and third.............

    ...gonna be a long, cold winter...

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    I'd just like to say (since this isn't the first time you have posted for more information on this subject) that the advice you have recieved over and over has validity to it. Alaska is not the home of sandy beaches and warm water. You will do as you may as many of us have done ourselves and learned the hard way. As noted above there are people that have used such crafts in AK and lived to talk about it and there are those that have used them and wished they hadn't. In my opinion, if your looking for people to suggest that you should purchase that boat for use over 4 months of vacation in Canada and Alaska that your looking in the wrong place. There are many people in this forum with years upon years of experience here and most are wiser to the conditions here and won't offer much support with what has been noted as a "pool toy". Will it work, probaly, would I buy one, definetly not. Floating rivers here with few, if not only 1 takeout option you surely don't want to have to end up walking out soak and wet because the boat sprung a leak due to quality not suitable for the environment its being used. I noticed that you already decided to spend a little more on a "slightly" better craft but I would strongly urge you as other have to spend a little more. If not mentioned already, the resale value would be much greater on a decent craft over what your looking at if you only intend to use it for this trip. Just my .02, best of luck on your trip.

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    Thanks for the feedback. I have been looking at the Sea Eagle 9 because of reviews and lightweight to pack in the truck when not in use. As I am a rookie using his type of boat, I welcome all advice for or against it. I will not put the boat in a river with strong currents or on lakes larger than 150 to 200 acres. I will seriously study the weather forcast for the day I plan to go boating. What 2 man boat would you recommend that has a electric motor mount weighing less than 50 pounds that I can store in my truck while traveling? I don't mind spending more money on a boat when safety is involved. Mainly we just want to putt putt around on small lakes, looking for wildlife, and fishing. I thought trolling might be a good way to fish a lake and cover a lot of territory.

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    Thanks for the reply, Mike. Yes, I would go with a canoe or kayak except that my wife has bad knees and would never be able to get into one of those craft, much less sit in one for awhile. I have to have a boat that she can sit upright in. For just two of us, I thought the SE9 would be big enough for us, motor, battery, fishing gear, and safety gear. I may be wrong about that since I have never seen one inflated. Can't find any place in Houston that has one on display.

  16. #16

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    Sea Eagles are junk, period. I would never get inside of one unless it was in a swimming pool. Literally you can die up here just by hitting the cold water and the shock can kill you within seconds, life jacket or not.
    Buy a quality raft or don't go into the water.

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    Hey Money Pit have you actually owned a Sea Eagle? I have and it functioned for a long time for what it was designed for. I'm not advocating the brand for longterm, demanding use but for what hstansel is proposing I just don't see a problem.

  18. #18

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    No I have not owned one. Looked them over a couple of times and researched what materials they were made from and how they were made and passed. I wouldnt buy one for $10.

    Read some previous comments before mine and most opinions are the same. Junk.

  19. #19
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    I made dozens of floats down the Class I/II lower American River near Sacramento when I was a teenager in a Sea Eagle. I don't remember what size it was, but it fit about 5 of us, was PVC or vinyl I guess, and had multiple chambers. The raft suffered the abuse of my buds who may or may not have have imbibed in an underage adult beverage or two. The only problem I ever had was a cut from beaching the boat on top of a broken beer bottle. The raft is almost 30 years old and if I were to call my dad and have him inflate it I bet it would still hold air.

    I was looking for pics with one of my sons in the bow of that boat many years after those trips but I guess I don't have them with me.

    Would I float a similar river like the Kenai with it now? No
    Would I be willing to inflate it, put the floorboards and an electric motor on it an putt around a lake never straying too far incase the weather changed? Absolutely

    They are a big step above a "pool toy" but also a big step below an outfitter grade whitewater raft. They have a niche and the boat will fill his needs for his stated purposes.

    Hstansel buy the boat, a paddle, and PFD's (lifejackets). Get comfortable with it at home on several trial runs and then bring it along on your trip up here. Take pics and post them after with you holding a nice greyling or trout.

  20. #20

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    Just a question-- Does it have a base cloth or just pure plastic?? As you of all people know -ALASKA is another ride!!
    Cheers-
    Goo

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