Read reviews for the SE-330 by Sea Eagle Inflatables as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!
We definitely recommend it to anyone. It is a little bulkier than we expected, but, at least, we don't have to strap it to our roof! The two boats fit nicely in the rear compartment of our motor home. This is exactly what we wanted!
All in all this is a great kayak for the price. I occasionally use a friends' NRS but my SE-330 does all I ask of it! Recommend!
This kayak is easy to store, transport in the included bag and set-up for use. The seats are a little different from the SE-370 and we found they're a bit more comfortable. This kayak performs well in the ocean, the bays and the river with no issues whatsoever. It's so easy to use my 14 year old and a friends take the kayak out in the river by themselves and have yet to report any problems. Tracking was my only concern, which was unwarranted since it tracks just fine. The kayak is also very durable and can take a beating against rocks and other debris found in rivers. Thank you for reading this and I hope it helps with your decision process.
Our maiden voyage was early one morning starting at north side park - shallow water launch. My wife had difficulty getting in and didn't stay long, too bouncy (there was 10-12 mph wind) I didn't think it was too bad in the cove she got out at the park saying she would meet me at the canal (at 118th st). I made it in about 40-45 min. Wind was from SSE , it was tough paddling, I could not slow down much less stop paddling or I'd be blown back toward the park. A tail wind would of been great.
Ride was bouncy, it rides too high in the water and blows with the wind. I estimate swells were 6-12 inch. With the buoyancy I had no concern of capsizing or sinking just tough going with wind. In the canal there was less wind yet it didn't paddle well my ISUP would have had no trouble. To disembark I had to use a finger pier, it was very difficult to use the boarding ladder I'm sure my wife would hove been totally unable to get out.
Pros. Easy to transport and inflate. Great buoyancy, stable underway
Cons. Difficult boarding and disembarking, forget using it with more than 3 mph wind. Needs tapered depth entry forget using dock or pier.
If only used at a shattered lake and no wind it'll work for you
Great thing about it is the compact size when deflated yet I have a full size kayak when we get to the river. Two thumbs up, Sea Eagle!
Also kudos to Sea Eagle Dan for helping me out getting a SE-330 Pro in our school's benefit auction...Yeah!!
These boats are wider and sit higher than hard shells. This makes tracking and paddling more cumbersome. But they will NEVER capsize. We enjoy ours for portability, like when RVing. Very easy to get onto the water. My parents, in their 70s just bought the 370 because of the light weight and it gets them out on the water. I recommend the Sea Eagle 330 for its versatility and toughness. If you want something fast, spend the $$ for a sleeker boat.
Rating 4 if you get the 330 with basic SEC seats (not as good of back support as the deluxe seats)
Rating 5 if you get the 330 with deluxe seats (worth the extra money)
Rating 6 for the accessories (paddle blade push-buttons can jam or slip thru; foot pump can have limited life)
Rating 7 if you get the SE370 instead of the SE330
Rating 8 for the overall value of an SE370 package as far as what you get for your money
Rating 10 for Sea Eagle warranty and 180-day trial period
If you're looking for a basic kayak that is easily portable (can be taken by plane too), has a reasonable price and yet good durability, has a good warrantee, and can be used effectively either solo or tandem, Sea Eagle Sport Kayaks are worth considering.
Some of the virtues of the 330 (and 370):
Note that one important factor in the above ratings is that in my experience, the 370 is noticeably more stable than the 330. A couple actual examples:
a) once on a choppy mountain lake (windy), the 330 was unstable enough that my wife did not feel comfortable in it, so we moved her over to our 385 Fast Track, and, b) one time when I was getting into the 330 from a dock, I initially sat onto it a bit toward one side and found myself teetering between upright and tipping over for about two seconds % I have never had that happen on any other inflatable or hard-shell, and I have paddled over twenty different kayaks. So it seems to take more attention to stability than the 370. However, please note that I have paddled two different 370's, but have only paddled one 330 - could that 330 somehow have been a rare exception that does not represent the rest of the 330's??
Summary of advantages of the SE370 over the SE330 that you may want to consider:
a) I like it better even for solo paddling than the 330.
b) The 370 seems more stable.
c) The 330 is tight with two adults, so the 370's extra 16" of length helps a lot.
d) You'll get a little more speed from the 370's extra length (around 6% more)
e) The 370 uses 38 mil Polykrylar instead of 33 mil on the 330.
f) These advantages come w/ little extra weight and for only another $50.
We have bought several inflatable boats from Sea Eagle and I can not say enough good things about their products and their customer service. They sell great inflatable boats at reasonable prices.
I highly recommend the SeaEagles, with one minor suggestion to go with the upgraded inflatable seats, if you're going to be in it for longer than an hour.
Have owned the brand and style for 6 years and am very happy to this day!
I would buy Sea Eagle again with no reservations. The ease with which I can carry and load my 330 in and out of my car is fantastic because I need no racks, trailers or large vehicle. I give it a big number 10!
All in all, the package comes with two seats (different depending on which package you purchase), two 4-piece paddles around 230cm in length, the kayak, a foot pump with attachments, and a repair kit in a floating/waterproof necklace.
I first paddled with my friend in his, I will admit, a big downfall for this kayak is when it is used as a tandem. Two people are typically cramped into the kayak leaving the person in back with minimal leg room.
When used solo, the weight capacity and proper positioning of the seat makes this kayak breeze through the water. With a 500lbs weight capacity, you can really load this thing down. I've done overnight trips in my SE330 on slow rivers and it surpasses expectations.
The material may look like "pool toy" inflatable, but in truth, the kayak is extremely durable. I've accidentally ran it into protruding branches and skid across countless rocks and there has never been a scratch afterwards.
Inflation and setup takes a single person roughly 15 minutes and the carrying bag is large enough to fit everything in and light enough that most people should not have any trouble carrying it to the vehicles or entry points.
The balance is incredible and almost impossible to tip over. I recommend this kayak package to someone who is looking to start kayaking but isn't sure on proper techniques while in the water. It is a great source to learn from and very forgiving when it comes to not being able to avoid debris.
Once the Sea Eagle is on the ground, first thing you notice is the air valves have an O-Ring, it takes 7 of these O-Rings before you can put any air into the sea eagle. The O-Ring installation is no easy task. It took me two hours to get the 7 O-Rings on the valve stems.
The air pump works excellently and hopefully will continue for some time to come. It weighs about 50 lbs inflated. So if portage is a problem need two people to carry it. Once down to the edge of the water it is not easy to get into, as the sides will give way under your weight, so it is a hurry up proposition. Once in I was on my knees and getting into the seat was not easy either. As I moved one leg the bottom of the kayak would raise up so the stability is questionable. Someone said you could stand up, better be a good swimmer.
Once in the seat, the bottom scraped the mud and I was stuck, so rather than get out and in again, I used the paddle to try and push off the mud. That was easier said than done. Finally with some scooting and pushing and getting mud on and in the kayak I was finally sea born. Yahoo, the paddling is not easy, it takes some concerted effort and the wind will push you back in the mud.
Over all somewhat impressed. Next time will get someone to go with me.
Paddling - it handles well and steers fine. Not tippy. I was only concerned about "blowing out to sea" after reading other reviews - do not blow around that easily. Compared to the Marvel 10' (which I really wanted but can't handle myself)- it's just a little more work paddling, but not that much. Got the deluxe package - seat is very comfortable. Highly recommend this to people with storage issues!
I hit the river about 1-2 times a month and this kayak never lets me down. Also I can fit 2 boats with all accessories in the small trunk of my rx8 that also has a large sub box in it. E-mail me if you have any questions.
I would recommend upgrading to the deluxe seats as the standard ones do not offer back support. Having read previous reviews, I set my seats back to back. This seemed to help a little, but not much.
The next negative was that the built in skegs were warped to the left of the kayak. This was easily compensated for when paddling, but still an annoyance.
The only other bad point I had was that there are no bungees. The skirts make a nice place to strap an extra paddle, or a small bag if needed...if you have straps.The included paddles seemed too short to me. Having never paddled before the issue could have been me, but the paddles just seemed like they should have been longer. As mentioned before a strong wind will cause the 330 to weathercock. Fortunately though this seemed easily correctable.
Now for the good points:
Despite the warp in the skegs the 330 tracked pretty darn straight. Other than a lapse in my technique the 330 moved in as close to a straight line as one could expect, especially considering hull design.
Another thing I liked was the amount of room. While not enough for two full sized adults, I found it to be quite adequate for my 5'6" frame. After using some tie-down straps around where the skirts attach, I was able to secure a spare paddle up front, and a small water proof bag in back. There is easily enough room to pack gear for a short overnight/weekend trip if a person is small like me.
The 330 seemed a bit tippy getting in/out, but once out on the water felt stable. I gave the 330 the rating I did because I have nothing to compare it to as it is the first craft I have paddled. It performed as I was expecting it to, didn't seem to have any limitations I wasn't already informed of, and over all is a fun little craft for someone like me who isn't able to get out often or for very long.
Just a few minor problems I had in case you are looking to buy one. I am 6'2" 220lbs so some of the problems have to do with my size. In shallow water, when I went over rocks at a slower speed, I got stuck and had to get out to move the boat to deeper water. I know more of this has to with the the fact that my rear sits in the water a little lower than others might so I have to deal with it.
I only used one seat and when I centered it in the boat, it kept slipping to the back of the boat. I had to use the air pump and a hand held water cooler to wedge in between the seat and the end of the boat. When I did this, it was a very comfortable ride and my back didn't get sore even after 7 hours. I am going to buy something to use as a wedge otherwise the seat will keep moving.
The other thing I didn't like is that there isn't any rope on the sides so you can tie down your gear. I ran a rope around and made my own to clip my stuff to. It works good. For a guy my size, I had enough room for a cooler of beer between my legs and some food and my other stuff clipped in front of my feet. Not a problem for a day trip but maybe to small of a boat for an overnight trip. When I do take it on an overnight trip, I plan on sleeping in the boat, its that comfortable.
This boat is very easy to turn and paddle. Yes, you have to steer it to keep it straight, but thats what I bought it for, a workout. I went through some class 2s and I never had a problem, and it was a very fun ride. I didn't even take the bailing plug out and I hardly got any water in the boat except when I tried to get out after a few too many Buds... but that's my fault.
If you're looking to get started like I am, this is a very good boat to start with. $350 to your door, 10 minutes to pump it up and another 10 to load you stuff and you are ready to go. I will update after some more trips, but it was a good start.
Now for the big problems: Undiscouraged I planned a tandem paddle with my brother on the nearby Eno River for the next weekend. Our run on the Eno offers up to class 2 whitewater and the SE 330 is rated for up to class 3 (laughs). Immediatley following put-in we capsize. The boat is extremely tippy and unstable, even with its wide beam. I can't fathom why the boat is supplied with 2 seats because its way too crowded for 2 people - leg positioning was a nightmare. Anyways... determined to have a good time on the water that day we set off in the cramped boat, jerking this way and that to keep the thing from tipping again. Lo and behold the second set of riffles appear and the boat bottoms out. OK - no problem to make a short portage. As we get underway again in deeper waters however, brother comments that the boat appears to be sinking in the back. I chuckled and said, "no it can't be." After all the Sea Eagle is made for class 3 so some small riffles should hardly pose a problem. A few moments later Brother chimes in again: "No. Its definately sinking" We ground the boat on the riverbank and flip it upside down. My heart sank at what I saw - One of the tracking skegs that are built into the bottom of the boat had apparantly caught on a rock and ripped right along the seam. A 3 inch gaping hole in the bottom air-chamber was the result. I deemed the craft unfit to carry us to the take-out (with the combined weight of us it was about 1 inch from getting swamped). We carried the crippled boat up the bank and found an old abandoned log cabin. From the look of the empty beer cans on the floor it looked like it had been the early '80s since anyone had been there. We stored the boat in there and gathered what we could carry. What followed was a 2 mile hike over extremely rough terrain - steep gulleys and rock bluffs. We barely made it back to the put-in before sunset, all the while cursing Sea Eagle.
About 2 months later my girl and I went back there and found it in the old cabin, undisturbed. We carried it out of there (good thing my girl is tough!). I Packed it up in the box and returned it as defective for a full refund. Ive learned a lot about boats and paddling since then and I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy a Pamlico 120 by Wilderness Systems next. All things considered I highly disrecommend the SE 330 and I would be wary of any Sea Eagle products. That boat was merely an over-priced pool toy! Don't be like me and get caught up in thier clever marketing. Its not worth it dude, just don't do it. Save your bucks and get the hardshell.
All in all, my advice to anyone thinking about buying this boat is to make sure that it is what you want before you get to the end of your 30 day trial period. I am fairly new to kayaking and felt this was a good entry level boat for me. I'm already wanting to upgrade to something with a bit more performance (even if the boat had been trouble free). If you just want a boat that saves space and you just want to go out for an occasional paddle on calm water, it might be fine for you. If you are thinking about getting serious about kayaking, look into the foldables or a hardshell.
The dinky inflatable seats are better than I expected and keep your butt dry. so I would use them. And you can pack some stuff behind the seat to keep your leg room free.
Paddling in a wind it a tad tough but I assume this is common with any inflatable or high sitting boat. Tracking also was a little iffy. The 'lil skegs don't seem to do a lot, mind you it could be a lot worse without them.
The 4 piece paddles that come with it are not much good but will serve as handy emergency paddles for my hardshells! I took my 2 piece asymetrical 240cm aquasport and it worked much better.
Inflating and deflating worked very well. The vavles work well and the pump is pretty fast.
My boatmate had a 395SE and my lil boat had a higher capacity than his but the 395 took 2 paddlers much better.
Not much else to say about it. I bought the used hull from Sea Eagle for US$200 and think I got a good deal amd am happy with the convenience it gives me.
I would recommend the 330 to someone to supplement their boating experience but not to be all of it!
Setup was not bad -- but I couldn't get the seat into the kayak ..I am not sure if I have to inflate the seat or the kayak first ... the instructional video shows inflating the kayak First.. I am not too sure. Secondly the inflation pressure is big guessing game. The inflation template that came with the kayak clearly has a problem as the circular reference showed under-inflation while the linear scale showed over-inflation. I had no help, and just used the 3/4 inch depression thumb rule as suggested by the instructional video.
In the waters .. despite the skegs, the tracking was lousy ( Compared to hardshells I am used to). I bought this inflatable due to space and budget constrains. I found that I had to compensate every other stroke - it was quite frustrating actually.. to make things worse, the kayak listed about couple degree to the port side even though both the port and the starboard tubes were inflated to roughly the same amount.
I tried the kayak out on the 31st day after purchase .. So I can't return it.. If you but it ...TRY IT and make use of their return policy.
The skin material seems durable. The skin on mine has been abraded and poked and has held up well. One problem with a leaky air valve cover was solved quickly and hassle-free over the phone.
On the down side, you can really get pushed around on open water on a windy day. There is also a slight learning curve involved if you want to travel in a straight line. The skegs that are supposed to help the SeaEagle track straighter will drag bottom in places where a canoe will not.
The bottom line on the 330 is that it is a great little starter boat. I have a lot of fun in mine. Some day I will trade up to one of the bigger SeaEagles, but for now this one is a keeper.
I'm planning to add skegs and perhaps a nicer seat. The Sea Eagle 330 does catch ride high and thus catches breezes, however, I assume that this is common to most inflatables.
Got the first chance to try it this week. Thanks to the extra large footpump - inflating the whole boat was under 10mins; which is probably faster, and definitely easier than to untie and unload my fiberglass boat off the top of my car. A note on inflation, it has an inflation guage on the boat - I feel like over inflating just a little bit. Reason being after inflating on hot dry ground, and paddling is cool water, the boat tended to "soften" a bit.
First try was in Lake Simcoe (Ontario Canada) - calm, flat water... It didn't track too well. But after a short while of getting use to, it's easy to compensate. I went solo, so I wonder if the added weight of the 2nd person would make the boat more stable?! That I will find out another time. The inflatable seat was ok, not exactly comfortable. However, I recommend to keep it fully inflated - when water comes in, it will keep your pants dry.
Second try was also Lake Simcoe but right before a rain storm - so the water was considerably rougher. I found that it tracked better. It had a "softer ride" in the wavey water than rigids. But it's still very easy to manuveur. By the way, I tried to tip over the boat - which was not as easy to do as the rigid boats. Which might be a good thing if you have little kids or young paddlers onboard.
Deflating the boat was just as easy: just unscrew the three main valves and the boat flaten in a minute or two. The drain valve at the back came very useful to drain off the water in the boat, especially after the second day's stormy water ride. It's a little tricky to put away since the skegs are glued on. I keep the come with foam protectors on so it won't get bent. The factory's carrying bag is big enough to carry the boat, paddles, pump and everything else in there. If the bag comes with handles and straps would be even better.
Originally I intended to bring this to camping. Though it rates to carry 500lbs, it doesn't have that much room for 2 people plus gear. Unless you go very light on the gears, and bring a small kid. For single person however, you should have ample of room. This boat is low as a kayak but open like a canoe, you should use waterproof bags to keep your belongings dry.