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Watercraft Review


The Sea Eagle FoldCat, a fishing watercraft that’s exceptionally stable and quick to set up (continued)
 

Stability: Stability on the FoldCat is most excellent! Thanks to the two large pontoons, aluminum slats, and other supports, this inflatable will make you feel completely safe. Where as some inflatables are difficult or impossible to stand on, or allow only one angler the opportunity to stand, the FoldCat can be fished with both fishermen standing at once! This is an incredible feature of an inflatable boat as the ability to stand provides for more accurate casts, power and control when fighting a fish, and better visual perspectives when sight fishing. There is a safety tag on the floor that states “No standing on fabric floor” as this area wasn’t designed for anglers to stand on, but you can safely place your tackle bags and other gear on there. With that said we have to conclude that the Sea Eagle 375fc is the most stable inflatable we’ve tested to date that does not use a heavy metal supportive frame.

 

Stability is very good, making standing and fishing possible

 

We stood up to fish the majority of the time. It allowed easier and more controllable casts and better hooksets

 

With two anglers onboard plus much gear, the pontoons still ride high

 

Durability: The two inflatable pontoons on the FoldCat are very similar to the Sea Eagle PaddleSki that we reviewed previously. Though larger in size, they both use a tough 1000 Denier material that applies the STS (SOL Type System) process. The STS process not only coats the internal reinforcement fabric with an outer layer, but forces the outer material into the thousands of tiny gaps in the base fabric weave to form a single homogenous material. This results in a much more rugged and puncture resistant hull that any recreational outdoorsman can rely on.

 

JIP tests the durability of the hull by ramming the shoreline at full speed

 

While fishing from the Sea Eagle FoldCat we drove over branches, rubbed against rocks and various type of abrasive structure, and also landed the inflatable pontoons on sand, gravel, rocky, and mud shorelines. After one trip we noticed a long brown mark on the bottom of the hull, thinking that something sharp must have marked and scratched it badly, but after washing it down with water and scrubbing the mark off we noticed no actual damage underneath. The only thing we noticed was the minute marks from landing on abrasive rocky shorelines. Like the PaddleSki that we still use after three years, we don’t foresee any problems with this inflatable’s hull material.

 

The new improved oar lock system is now very solid even when rowed aggressively

 

You cannot stand on the fabric floor, but you can store your bag and additional tackle on it. And if you drop something it won't fall into the water like a rigid framed pontoons would

 

Component wise, the aluminum parts, seats, and other accessories, performed and held up well. We did notice a slight bend in the raised round oarlock tubes but since we received one of the first FoldCats, the oarlocks were the first prototypes. Sea Eagle happily sent us the production model of the oarlocks that are now constructed from square tubes and are much more solid. We’ve experienced no issues with these new components.

  

          Next Section: Ergonomics and Conclusion

 

 

   

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