Why would a cruiser want a kayak you wonder? Well, there are lots of reasons but the main reason is that sometimes, it's really nice to peacefully paddle yourself around without having to start an engine and make all that ruckus. Not to mention, kayaks are famous for being able to get into all sorts of places (like estuaries shallow bays, rivers...etc.) that other boats (like a dinghy) cannot. It's also a great workout, which is always a bonus.
We'd put off the purchase of a kayak because we were concerned about space and cost. So we waited. Finally, one day while we were sitting at anchor and I saw a nice couple glide by our boat on their kayak with beaming smiles I thought, "That's it...we're getting one."
We've seen lots of boats with kayaks on them - but none of them really caught our eye. They all seemed too wet, too heavy, too cumbersome, too much effort...so I hopped online and started doing some research. There had to be something better out there. After a little Googling, I found a site that listed the Top 5 Inflatable Kayaks and was immediately impressed by numero uno, the Sea Eagle Fast Track.
I contacted the company and voila! We had a new sponsor and a new kayak on the way! So how does it measure up?
In short - we LOVE it. It has made a fantastic addition to our "fleet". Here's why:
- Comes in a (relatively) small package that measures about 31"x19"x8" and is easily stowed on our boat
- Easy to assemble, even on the boat (don't need to launch from a beach or dock)
- Incredibly durable (watch their demo video with the hammer!) and come with a THREE year warranty
- Can easily be converted from a tandem to a solo kayak
- Tracks very, very well thanks to a keel-type design and a small removable skeg on the stern
- So sturdy, you can Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) in it with the addition of their SUP paddle (this thing is more sturdy than our rigid dinghy!)
- Weighs only 35 pounds which is light compared to other models
- The hull material is made of 1000 Denier and completely resistant to sun and salt water
- DRY! You butt stays nice and dry (is there anything worse than sitting in salt water?!), thanks to 2 self bailing drains and a superb design
If you are looking for a versatile, general purpose kayak for your cruising boat, I would not hesitate in recommending the Sea Eagle Fast Track Kayak (we were given the "pro" package). We have used ours nearly every day since we got it and love it. In addition - Sea Eagle Boats has a whole slew of other types of kayaks and boats to suit just about any need, including a LongBoard which would be ideal for Stand-Up Paddling.
- We're probably going to have to watch the hardware like the metal clips for the seats and the D-rings. We have yet to find a metal that will not cease up in salt water. Luckily, we have plenty of Boeshield T-9 on board!
- Apparently, the kayak doesn't track as well without the fin in the back (we've never needed to use it without this, so cannot confirm).
Be sure to 'like' Sea Eagle Boats on FaceBook too while you're at it!
Brittany & Scott