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Post Info TOPIC: Sea Eagle Foldcat - Inflatable Pontoon/Fishing Boat


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Sea Eagle Foldcat - Inflatable Pontoon/Fishing Boat


Might as well go ahead and post information on our Sea Eagle Foldcat since we often get questions about it.  That's right, we carry TWO inflatable boats - the Foldcat below and the Sea Eagle 330 entry level kayak/canoe.

Sea Eagle Foldcat

The Foldcat is quite a bit more expensive, but it is another toy that we really love. 

We got the Foldcat for three reasons: 1) We wanted a boat with a motor for those times when we wanted to go upriver or go a little farther than we can with the kayak, 2) We wanted a boat that was a little better for fishing, and 3) We still needed to save space.

We have had some fabulous days on the water fishing and wildlife watching.  We also did an overnight trip on the Buffalo National River through 22 miles of pristine wilderness with no takeout points along the way.

It took me all day the first time I put the boat together - I had to make sure I did it right.  Once the initial assembly is done, it's easier after that.

Now we can have it on the water in 20 - 25 minutes and off the water and packed in about the same.  Oh, and we do have the optional canopy as shown above.

As long as you have your weight evenly distributed, the boat is very stable.  There is no problem standing up and we can get quite a bit of gear on it.

But this boat is not for everyone.  Here are my cautions.

1. It is not as compact for storage as we thought it would be.  The pontoons roll up with the aluminum floor slats, the transom, and the seat bases.  That all rolls into a package of about four feet across that ties together.  Then there is a bag for the foot pump, rod holders, oars, oar locks, and various other pieces.  But the folding seats do not fit in the bag.  So we have the boat, the large accessories bag, the seats, the motor, the optional canopy, and the heavy electric motor battery that we had to make room for.

2. It is definitely NOT a one-person boat.  The ads say it is seventy pounds, but it is a very heavy, awkward seventy pounds.  I can only do this boat by myself if we are parked very close to our launch point.  Then my time getting it in the water would probably double.

3.  The plastic bases that the seats slide into are light to keep the whole boat lighter, but do not seem very secure.  Every time I lean over in the back on the higher seat, I feel like the base is going to pop out and dump me in the water.

4.  We opted for the electric motor rather than gas because it is so quiet.  It's a 5-speed (30 thrust) and it moves pretty good at top speed.  However, your battery time on the water at top speed is limited to about 2 hours.  You can go all day in first or second speed and maybe even a couple of days, but it's slow and your distance is limited.  You might want to consider going with a higher end electric motor with more thrust.

5.  The electric motor works best with the prop all the way down.  However, the motor won't tilt up with the shaft all the way down.  So if we run aground, we can't just quickly tilt the prop out of harms way.   We're still learning how to deal with this one - we'll figure it out. 

With all that said, we still love our Foldcat.  It gives us a lot of flexibility and our overnight trip with it on the Buffalo River was the adventure highlight of our full-timing so far.

Again, for more information and the best pricing and service on Sea Eagle boats, contact our friends Tim & Crystal Ryerson at InflatableBoats4Less.com.  Be sure to tell them "Howard at RV-Dreams.com sent me." 





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Howard,

Thanks for the information on the Foldcat. I did purchase one today from InflatableBoats4Less.com. I gave them your name as your post helped me decide this was the boat to meet my needs. I also found another forum after I purchased the boat that has some very positive information on the foldcat:

http://www.tackletour.net/T3Forum/viewtopic.php?t=7457

Thanks again and I can't wait to go fishin when the boat arrives.


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jcw


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Howard wrote:


With all that said, we still love our Foldcat.  It gives us a lot of flexibility and our overnight trip with it on the Buffalo River was the adventure highlight of our full-timing so far.






I believe I've read every one of your blog entries and I don't remember reading about this trip. It sounds like it was a blast. Did you blog it? If so, can you provide a link to that blog entry so I can re-visit it? I just don't remember reading about that overnighter.

thx...
-- jcw

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Here ya go JC.

http://rv-dreams.typepad.com/rvdreams_journal/2006/10/index.html

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jcw


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Phil Bob wrote:

Here ya go JC.

http://rv-dreams.typepad.com/rvdreams_journal/2006/10/index.html





Oh yea, the Lower Buffalo River Wilderness Adventure. Now I remember reading that. What a great trip. Thanks Phil Bob for hunting this down for me. How'd you find it? Good memory or did you come up with a clever search term that located it for you?

-- jcw

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I kind of remembered the general time and looked it up in the archives, glad I could help.

I just noticed in your sig that you are a goldwinger. We have been riding for around 20 years on various wings and are GWRRA life members. We are still a few years from full time but we have started dotting our "T's" and crossing our "I's" biggrin  for 2012!!

on edit: go to Aug. 2006 in the archieves and you'll see a picture of me taking Linda for a ride on the wing. (she's the pretty one in the photo biggrin)

-- Edited by Phil Bob at 08:54, 2008-02-07

-- Edited by Phil Bob at 09:02, 2008-02-07

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jcw


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Cool.

thx...
-- jcw

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Now that you have had your foldcat for a while what do you think?

I just ordered the new 440fc and it should be here on Wed. Any tips you can give me since you have had it out a few times?

Steve

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Steven Godlewski


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Steve,

I don't have much to add to the above.  You will just have to find more storage space for the Foldcat 440fc since it is a little larger and has two additional seats (four-person boat).

And with the four-person boat, my guess is you won't be happy with an electric motor.  It just won't get you very far very fast with four people.  So you will probably end up with a gas motor if you haven't already.  smile

We are planning to take our Foldcat out today.  I only wish we had the opportunity to take it out more.  biggrin


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I am THIS close to buying the Foldcat 440fc... am almost obsessed with getting one! 

One of the questions many of my friends and family have asked is,  is it easy to slip off the slats when you are standing on them?  Do they get slippery when wet?  They are concerned that one could sprain an ankle if you slipped off the slat.

I've thought about making 2 extra (slip in) slats that you could slip into the space between the first 2 slats... just to make more floor space at the front.  Would this be redundent or a good idea?

We usually always fish with rubber boots on and the water is quite cold in Northern Ontario... so getting wet is not thought of fondly... do you stay dry even when sitting at the front of the 440?  We don't expect to be moving at full throttle and will probably be rowing more often than not. 

Will definitely purchase the anchor kit...

Would really appreciate a response from someone who has the Foldcat 440fc!

Thanks


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Lise MacFadden



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We have never slipped on the slats.  They do have raised ridges on them.

Staying dry is pretty easy on the Foldcat.  You sit pretty high up off the water.  You may get a little splash with rough water but nothing to soak you.

Hope that helps.  If you do buy one, we would appreciate you mentioning Howard & Linda with RV-Dreams.



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Thanks Linda!  I thought about it and even in the aluminum boat, we do get splashed on from time to time so a few splashes are no big deal.  I can't wait to get it... will blow it up right in the living room - ha that will be fun!  I'll take some pictures and post them!

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I have another few questions if you don't mind...

I am considering buying these accesories:
casting bar
canopy
ele BST pump
extra pedestal
seat back pack (holds alot of stuff and just drapes over the seat back)
bungees
anchor

Do you think these accessories are a good choice?  Am I missing anything important?

Also, I need a good pully system for the anchor... what type of anchor is best for this boat (mushroom anchor?  What weight is best for the 440)?

I know that in our aluminim boat, getting the anchor in and out is a bit of a drag so some type of pulley system would be great!

One more question... I have seen a few dollies available to pull the inflated boat.  Has anyone thought of having something that you could load the uninflated "stuff" on to be inflated at the shore?  Some of the areas we fish in are really remote, and some of them have floating bogs we have to cross... and the trail to get to these "secret" fishing spots can sometimes hardly even take a 4-wheeler... just wondering what would be the best way to transport our load.

Your recommendations would be greatly appreciated!



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Lise MacFadden



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Hi Lise,

Casting Bar - Yes, if you fish a lot

Canopy - No, if you fish a lot.  It's great to keep sun and rain off, but it's useless and in the way while fishing; Also, wind makes it more like a sail, and usually in the wrong direction.  smile

Electric Pump - Yes, but remember it weighs an additional 12 lbs.  That's a lot when carrying it for long distances.

Extra Pedestal - Your call.

Seat Back Pack - Why not?

Bungees - Get them cheaper at Walmart

Anchor - Yes, we have the 8lb mushroom anchor.


Just remember that if you transport uninflated you are carrying the boat in the bag (heavy & awkward), all the accessories including the awkward seats, the heavy seat pedestals, the heavy anchor, the heavy electric pump, the oars, the oar locks, etc., AND the awkward motor AND the very heavy battery.  That's probably why they recommend the cart for the inflated boat.  But for us RVers, that's just one more thing to store.

I don't want to dampen your enthusiasm, but if you plan to haul this boat over long distances or rough terrain, inflated or not, it will be a hassle.

We will carry everything about 50 yards without a cart and make three trips in order to inflate at the shore.  Anything beyond that and we take the smaller, simpler, lighter sport kayak instead.

Just think everything through very carefully for your situation.  smile

 



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Thank you Howard - extremely valuable information!

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Lise MacFadden



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Remember, this is just one person's opinion.  I  have owned Sea Eagle inflatable boats and I enjoyed them very much.  For the money you can't go wrong. 

However, I got turned on to a folding boat by porta-bote.com.  I love my folding bote, so stable and solid as a rock.  Great for fishing.  I have the 10' model, but if I had to do it all over again, I would have bought the 8 footer.  Much lighter and the two foot makes a world of difference in storage. 

After numerous times folding and unfolding, I can put mine together in 10 min  and the same for unfolding.  If it were me, and I had the storage capacity, the folding boat is an alternative to consider.  While travelling, I tie my down on the top of my 2006 Honda CRV.  Thats the only pain in the butt to deal with.  If I had the 8 footer I could store it in the basement of my motorhome.  I am currently trying to sell my 10 footer and buy the 8 footer.   I push mine with a 50lb thrust minkota trolling motor.

Remember, not knocking the Sea Eagle, this is just something else to consider.

Terry

 



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Thanks for the review... I appreciate all input!  I have looked at that model of "compact" boat but it seemed to me that the Foldcat would be much more FUN since you are sitting high up with much less displacement in the water.  I will look into it...

Can the porta-boat hold 3-4 people?

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The 10' could hold 3 or 4 people, just not exceptionally large people.  The 8' would be for 2 people or 2 people and one small child.

One thing I didn't add to my review and that is that the Porte-Bote is much more expensive than the Sea Eagle. 

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Humm, is Spring just around the corner? Is it just me, does anyone else recognize Howard's marketing skills?
No harm meant, just jealous. LOL

 The Sea Eagle Foldcat is high on our wish list, and Howard we will gladly mention you and Linda when we make our purchase.



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I did a bit of research on the porta-boat and I'm still leaning towards the Foldcat 440... the pedestal seats and back supports are high on my list.  It's certainly long enough and wide enough to be extra stable.

We already have the aluminum boats (just not enough of them when the group gets bigger) and we're looking for something that has a bit more portability and something that can add an element of fun to our days of fishing on remote lakes.

We've also spent long hours sitting up in an aluminum boat with no back supports and let me tell you, you can't get a good night's sleep without some tylenol or something to help curb the pain.  That's also why standing is a must.... to ease out those kinks throughout the day. 

We're all getting on into our 50's and where we can avoid pain, that's the direction we want to go.  So back supports (on 360 degree swivels no less!!) are numero uno...

Saw someone's photo today and they had a cool fly fishing vest draped over the back of the seat... what a great idea.  Lots of storage compartments and I have a great one that I purchased last year and never got to use yet... will work perfectly as extra storage for snacks and stuff.

Now I just have to make the decision and go for it.... ;D

Thank you everyone for your input...



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Just a quick reply to what you had to say.  I use folding bleacher seats on my Porta-Bote, with backs.  Works great.  Also, one can stand in a folder.  In fact, with me in the boat, my son-in-law, who is 6'3" 230 lbs., has tried to turn the boat over, but all he does is fall out of the boat.  Almost impossible. 

However, like you, I really like the Foldcat too, especially the price.  I just don't have the room to store one in my rather "short" MH.

Happy hunting!

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We did alot of comparissons between the Sea Eagle Foldcat, the Sea Eagle Sport Runabout, and the Porta-Bote. We finally decided on the Sea Eagle Sport Runabout for our fulltime RVing lifestyle.  Check out our article on the price comparissons, boat differences, and why we decided on the the Sport Runabout over the Foldcat.

 

Our portable boat.



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Just got my new SeaEagle Foldcat 440fc. Had it out on a small pond to check it out, but I haven't taken out for a real test yet. I decided to put a floor on mine to avoid stepping between the slates. Not sure how it is going to work, but i think it should be good. If anyone would like to see it as it comes from the factory, I shot a video of it and the floor I made for it. You can view it from YouTube at the following link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-56T5DOHqj0&feature=g-upl&context=G2adf234AUAAAAAAAAAA

Thanks to all you guys from earlier posts, you helped me decide to go for it. Now I'm really glad that I did!

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Thanks Jeff - good video.  Haven't made my purchase yet but I'm really dying to have one - hopefully this spring!!  I thought about adding a floor as well for more stability... would be great if they had an alluminum or fiberglass option that could snap on somehow in the opposite direction.  Would be easier than carrying 2 large pieces of plywood.



-- Edited by lmacfadden on Monday 16th of January 2012 07:09:31 PM

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I didn't notice any type of anchor system... did you purchase one?  What would you recommend?



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Lise MacFadden



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I just purchased an anchor deviice from Bass Pro. @$10 but I havent installed it yet. My plan is to put the boat together again on the next 50 degree day we have and make a few changes. I still need to mount my trolling motor and figure out where the anchor will go.  Honestly I want it to be just like a drift boat, quick and simple.

I agree totally about the flooring. I would have gladly paid an extra $1-200 bucks for a 'factory' floor, but I believe the ply will be fine. I have a truck that i will be hauling this thing in so space isn't a concern. Just in the short amount of time I spent out on the boat in the pond, I slipped off the floor boards 3 or 4 times so it needs a floor.

I will shoot some more video next time I put everything together and figure out the anchor/trolling system.  :)



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Great!  I'm looking forward to seeing it!



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Lise MacFadden



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This was the first trip on on the boat. Still have a few things to work on, including a new idea for a great motor mount..

Overall the boat performed great. Lots of fun.. Actually shot about 70 yards of decent rapids in this boat, scary but fun..

See the video here:
http://youtu.be/C3eDJTPGpwQ

 

EDIT by Moderator:  Activated link  Terry



-- Edited by Terry and Jo on Sunday 5th of February 2012 08:48:41 PM

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Thanks Jeff... nice view of the river.  Gave me good memories of trolling down our favorite river in Northern Ontario.  However, though I did catch a quick glimpse of your boat (and nifty floor) I would have liked to see more of the boat itself!



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Lise MacFadden



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That was the first trip out on the boat. Got a few good ideas, and made a few changes.  During the next rip out I plan to shoot more in depth video. I've mounted my anchor system and adjusted my flooring boards. Overall the boat is about where I want it to be.

Looks like out weather has started a cold turn, so it might be a couple of weeks before I get back out.



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