20 YEARS INTO RETIREMENT & LOVING IT — RV’ing & Sea Eagle Boating — the perfect retirement combination

During a good day’s fishing in his Sea Eagle 12.6 SR, Alan bagged this 3 lb, 22″ largemouth bass in the backwaters of the Colorado River

The Hodges strap their 12.6 SR onto their pickup truck and head for their favorite fishing spot. No boat ramp or trailer needed

Ever think about retirement and wonder what in the world you’ll do with  yourself? We talked recently with a Sea Eagle inflatable boat owner who’s 20 years into an active retirement and enjoying every minute.

Alan and Joanne Hodges, of Kiowa, Colorado, retired two decades ago from teaching professions. Alan had a varied career as a guidance counselor, phys ed teacher, and sports coach. Joanne taught phys ed, too, as well as social studies.

Easy to get up and go

“We have a 25-foot travel trailer,” Alan told us. “We pack up all our boating and fishing gear in the back of the pickup and go. The nice thing about an inflatable Sea Eagle is you just throw it in and go wherever you want to.”

They belong to an RV club that gives them reduced RV camping rates and camp several weeks at a time all through Colorado, Missouri, New Mexico, and Arizona. “One of our favorites spots is Blue Mesa Reservoir in southwestern Colorado,” says Alan, “between Gunnison and Montrose.” 20 miles long with almost 100 miles of shoreline, the reservoir is Colorado’s largest body of water and the biggest lake trout and Kokanee salmon fishing spot in the United States. Alan’s enjoyed flatwater fishing at Alamo Lake State Park near Ehrenberg, Arizona, and float fishing in the Taylor River near Gunnison, Colorado.

Enviro-friendly electric motor

Joanne loves to fish and she does it well as evidenced by this beautiful striped bass she hooked in an Arizona lake

“We camp at private campsites,” says Alan, “but they have to have fishing. Joanne loves fishing and loves to catch fish.” And there’s a bigger attraction, too. “It’s always beautiful, serene, and relaxing out on the water.” An electric motor makes it even more peaceful. “We don’t like the sound of a gas motor or the smell of gas.” And going electric gave the Hodges access to the many lakes that ban gas outboards these days.

A bigger Sea Eagle boat

The Hodges are long-time Sea Eagle boaters, having owned a Sea Eagle SE9 for many years. “The SE9 looked like a good deal,” says Alan. “It had a solid floor and was well built. I thought it would be pretty nice and it was. We used it for 10 years and hauled it a lot of places.”

They recently replaced their SE9 and upped the ante with a Sea Eagle 12.6SRRIK – a Sport Runabout. They wanted something a little bigger and felt, “a 10-foot boat isn’t quite big enough.” How big could they go without having to trailer a boat? Alan took out his tape measure and figured out how much the 12.6 SR would hang over the back when strapped down. It all worked.

With 70 lb. thrust, their electric outboard is surprisingly powerful. “We fish the Colorado River,” says Alan. “The current can be quite strong depending on when they open the irrigation canals up north. We felt we needed more thrust.”

Sea Eagle to the Rescue

“More thrust” came in plenty handy when the Hodges helped rescue a fellow boater recently. Alan tells the story…

 “While preparing our Sea Eagle 12.6 SR for fishing in Paradise Lake located to the North of Phoenix, we saw a boater at the launching ramp who could not get his boat motor started, and could not get the boat on the trailer since the wind was blowing  him away from the ramp, and precariously close to the rocks lining the ramp.  

We were able to tow him out of danger and into the proper position for him to load his boat.  He was impressed, as were we, that  our Sea Eagle inflatable with a 70 lb thrust Minn Kota trolling motor could tow his very heavy 20-foot pleasure/fishing boat out of danger.”

Gas-saving fun

Because of gas prices, the Hodges are planning a trip to nearby Pagosa Springs south of Gunnison, Colorado. “We’re taking our boat and truck, not our RV. They have a lake there we’ve fished in before. Then we’ll stop in Gunnison where we have a 1-week stay scheduled at a cabin.”

Alan and Joanne’s tale is proof: RV’ing, Sea Eagle boating, and fishing really are the ideal retirement combination!

Every once in awhile, even Sea Eagle fishermen hook an ugly one…like this big bottom-feeding carp Alan snagged

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15 thoughts on “20 YEARS INTO RETIREMENT & LOVING IT — RV’ing & Sea Eagle Boating — the perfect retirement combination

  1. I continue to talk as many people as possible warning them that in 3 years, the gule you use dries up and the seams fall apart. Your responce to my problem was that you would sell me another boat at a 10% discount…..gee thanks……….

    • I have owned 3 sea eagles for many years now. I’ve done a lot of patching. Last year, I had some problems with some of the patches coming loose. I have repatched many of the holes but have decided that some of them came loose because the boats are stored in the off season in a box in the barn and it freezes. I don’t think the glue holds up well when its frozen for 5-6 months out of the year. This past winter I stored everything indoors (or at least above freezing). I didn’t have any trouble. We’ll see as time goes on. As far as seams falling apart, they’re supposed to be welded, not glued. To me, that means (melted) together. I’ve never had a seam fail. Good luck to you:)

  2. The Hodges enjoy life like we do……….plenty of RV’ing and Sea Eagle fishing! We normally camp about every two weeks or so and haul our SE8 in the back of our Tundra so we can pull our trailer!
    Great Blog!

  3. Had a great day at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, NY with my Kayak SE 330. It was very challenging, do to choppy waters of the Ocean. got a great workout. I had a great day.

  4. Craig, I don’t know what kind of boat u have but we have a Sea Eagle 330 and have owned it for about nine years and it still looks as good as it did when we got it. Of course being fold able we keep it indoors when we’re not on the water. Good luck in the future.
    John G

  5. Dear Craig Steinkraus, I have owned a sea Eagle 440 FC for three, going on four years. I use it very regular. I take it to Arvada reservoir a lot which is about 6000 feet elevation and I have had absolutely no issues with the boat. It just works perfectly. I wish you well with your problem. I only had a minor issue when I ordered my boat and the order got messed up a bit but they were very very helpful in resolving all the issues. As a matter of fact I ended up with some extra equipment a couple of seed extensions and a a pair of oars. Good luck… Ken

  6. I am also a retiree and RV and fish Texas State Parks. Just returned from a week at Livingston State Park (the Big Piney). Fished with my Foldcat and had a wonderful time as usual. I have had the boat for three years. Had to make a couple of patch repairs otherwise works great. Currently using a 50 thrust electric but want to move up to a gas motor. For portability and reliability and great customer service Sea Eagle is the boat to go with. Thanks

  7. Do you all notice that this Craig dude posts a negative comment and then you never hear from him again? Kinda chicken sh*t of him (hit and run & hide) I’m guessing that this person is really someone from one of the companies in competition with SeaEagle trying to slander SE and/or if he/it really has a defective kayak, that is is a different brand name. Come on CS, give it your best shot.

    And it would also be nice to hear from a Sea Eagle representative, who would put out a response or comment on this blog. However, maybe they are taking the “high road” and are letting this dude sink in his own bucket of slime. Thanks for hearing me out.

  8. John, I also had the 330. It was possibly the batch of glue they used that day, but the seams all let go. I understand that anybody can put out a defective product for a number of reasons, but what irritated me was that Sea Eagle simply did not deal with the issue with me. Offering to sell me another boat was not an appropriate responce in my opinion….

    Dakota-dude, Take a long walk off a short dock……

  9. Keith, No, I’m sorry I don’t. After talking with the mfg. I was soooooo disgusted, I cut off the D- rings and threw the rest away. The seams simply fell apart. There was no gule resadue apparent. It was like the joints were cleaned for glueing.

  10. Craig,
    I couldn’t determine if you had a 330 or some other model. You mentioned that you had a 330 but then referenced d rings. The 330 and 370 do not come with D ring and Sea Eagle doesn’t recommend installing D rings on the sport kayaks. I am fairly certain that the seams on the 330 and 370 are electronically welded. There shouldn’t be any glue for the seams. The PVC is fused together with heat. Where did the seams let go? The floor? These boats are pretty tough but you have to be careful when in the hot sun because the air pressure will increase which in that case you have to let a little air out. I also try not to sit in the boat when it is out of the water because it puts more pressure on the seams. Maybe you just got a bad one. Sorry to hear about your problems. I think I will try the Fast Track next. These boats are more durable and faster to paddle.

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