Phyllis Williams shared her Manatee adventure on our blog recently. Now she’s back again comparing her experiences with hard hull kayaks and her inflatable Sea Eagle FastTrack.
Phyllis compares hard hull boats & inflatable Sea Eagles…
“I had a 16’ kayak and a 9’ rec boat. The kayak was heavy, and the rec boat filled up with water too easily. People with hard hull kayaks are curious about my FastTrack. They say they prefer the speed of a hard hull but I stay a right with them. And I don’t worry about tipping and rolling. They watch me and see the inflatable Sea Eagle’s advantages — mobility, packability, easy handling.
There’s a lot of water in this area and I do a lot of boating on the Tennessee River and the creeks in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area. Some trips have been with the Tennessee Valley Canoe
(and Kayak) Club, but most by myself. One thing I like about my Sea Eagle FastTrack 385ft is that I can handle it completely by myself: I load it un-inflated into the back of my camper-top pickup, carry it to the water, inflate it and be on my way. I have also hauled my boat inflated on top of my camper.
“I can handle it myself.”
I don’t need help getting in and out of it, and I’m very comfortable in waves (most caused by power boats on the river), in shallow areas and beaching just about anywhere there’s room to step.
My friends with hard-shell 16-footers always have to have someone steady the boat while they get in and out, and on the water, they can’t move around. I can move around in my boat on the water, and it’s very stable.
Safe & secure
I use all safety precautions when paddling by myself and don’t do anything unsafe, but when there’s no one to paddle with, I’m very comfortable paddling alone. I wasn’t when I had a hard shell.
Another thing the 385ft is very suited for is piloting open water swimmers. We have an active group of open water swimmers in Chattanooga, and I pilot for them on occasion on the Tennessee River. It’s a great way to make the swimmers’ supplies accessible to them, and if I had to take a swimmer into my boat, I believe I could with just a little assistance from another boater. That’s much easier than pulling a swimmer in the water!
Peace, quiet, and a Great Blue Heron
I paddled yesterday at Chester Frost Park, a popular camping, fishing and boating area in Hamilton County, just north of Chattanooga, Tennessee. It ties into the Tennessee River. I found a placid area and followed the shoreline for a couple of miles, where I saw flowers, bald cypress trees, a Great Blue Heron and other birds, fish, turtles, frogs and such. In my Sea Eagle FastTrack 385ft, I pulled up in several shallow places and took photos and just enjoyed the peace and quiet.
Other boaters are always curious about her Sea Eagle
My 385ft sparked a lot of curiosity from people at my put-in. A couple in a canoe (who took my photo on the water) were hugging the shore because of the waves. With wet PFD’s (personal flotation devices), they had obviously departed the canoe at some point. I could tell by the look on his face and the way he talked that the man was petrified. The lady wasn’t as afraid, and said she didn’t know when she’d get him back out there. They had just gotten their canoe.
The lady said, “Can you get back in that boat while you’re still in the water if you capsize? I told her you surely could and said, “Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to run and jump into your boat?” I guess that was mean.
“Is that a blow-up boat?”
Another curious guy was fishing on the shoreline with his family, and he said as I pulled up, “Is that a blow-up boat?” I said, yes, it was an inflatable Sea Eagle. He said, “I saw you coming across the water real nice and straight, and I thought it was a kayak. When you pulled up, I said to myself, ‘That’s a blow-up!'” He was amazed that it tracked so well and was swift, being a “blow-up” and all. I explained all the good details about my 385ft, and he said that’s what he and his family needed.
I wouldn’t be surprised if a couple in a canoe and a shoreline fisherman ordered some Sea Eagles in the near future!”
Do YOU have Sea Eagle stories and photos to share? Please email us today. Our many, many blog visitors want to know about your adventures and experiences!