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Old 03-02-2015, 08:47 PM   #1
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Camping and Boating - Anyone use inflatable boats while camping?

Does anyone use an inflatable, heavy duty boat while camping? Such as a Zodiac, Sea Eagle or Saturn?

I'm looking at a fold up inflatable boat to bring along on our trips. Small enough to put inside the trailer when on the road but large and sturdy enough to use on large lakes once we setup. With all the different brands and styles, I'd like to hear observations from people that have done this.

I'm currently looking at the Saturn 15' heavy duty boat and probably start with an electric motor to get me out fishing.


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Old 03-04-2015, 02:17 PM   #2
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I had a zodiac but was not pleased with the handling or the pumping and then could never get all the air out of it, so it finally developed a budge that made it look funny. I changed over to a set on top kayak that is 9' and am very pleased with the way it works and fishes.
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Old 03-04-2015, 03:05 PM   #3
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We had a Sea Eagle, probably the Cadillac of the inflatables, but we ended up with hard side kayaks. Much sleeker in the water and easier to have his and her boats rather than always going out together.


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Old 03-04-2015, 03:32 PM   #4
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We have a Sea Eagle 370 and have nothing negative to say about it. It was one of the only things we could haul around with us, so that's why we have it.

3 of us, 1 adult and 2 kids, use it regularly on lakes and slow rivers.

If we had the room, we would probably have hard-sided ones for each of us, but since we don't, we have one inflatable.
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Old 03-04-2015, 03:49 PM   #5
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I have a Sea Eagle 375fc Deluxe Package folding pontoon boat, holds 2 people easy, it is very stable, a little heavy but use a small 2 wheel cart to haul it around, use 45 lb thrust trolling motor and a big battery, stay out all day with it even take a large cooler on it. Comes in 2 bags, but does take up a bit of room. Take a look at the sea eagle site. I found a 3 year old one that had hardly been used.
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Old 03-05-2015, 11:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaxfl View Post
I had a zodiac but was not pleased with the handling or the pumping and then could never get all the air out of it, so it finally developed a budge that made it look funny. I changed over to a set on top kayak that is 9' and am very pleased with the way it works and fishes.

We thought of a kayak but with spine surgery I still have a problem in that sitting position for long periods. I also am limited with area to carry them. There are four of us to get out on the lake so I decided to go with an inflatable I could fold up.

With the Zodiac, did you use a 12v pump to help with the inflation?


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Old 03-05-2015, 11:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
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I have a Sea Eagle 375fc Deluxe Package folding pontoon boat, holds 2 people easy, it is very stable, a little heavy but use a small 2 wheel cart to haul it around, use 45 lb thrust trolling motor and a big battery, stay out all day with it even take a large cooler on it. Comes in 2 bags, but does take up a bit of room. Take a look at the sea eagle site. I found a 3 year old one that had hardly been used.

I looked at that pontoon! It's a nice fishing rig. I just needed something with more room to get us all out for a ride on the lakes or bay. If it was just a fishing rig I needed the pontoon would definitely be in the picture.

How long does it take to inflate? Do you use a hand pump or electric pump?


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Old 03-05-2015, 12:04 PM   #8
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It uses an electric pump, hook up to 12V and let it pump, takes about 3-4 minutes, but you have to use the manual foot pump to finish off, about 3-4 pumps. then when you sit on the seats it doesn't wobble.
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Old 03-05-2015, 12:16 PM   #9
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So I researched a couple of different makes. Specifically looking at price, thickness of material, type of material, quality based on reviews, and how constructed.

I narrowed it down to Zodiac, Sea Eagle 14SRO, and the Saturn 470.
Zodiac was too far out of my price range so it was eliminated.

Sea Eagle and Saturn both use the same material and have comparable reviews. Seems people either love them or hate them.
The one difference was how the seams are done. Sea Eagle welds their seams where Saturn uses a glued seam. There are so many different opinions on this, I decided since my boat will not be inflated or outside exposed to UV sunlight all the time, this may not be an issue for me.

The Saturn 470 uses a slightly thicker material, comes standard with an aluminum floor, and was 1,000.00 less.

I ordered it in red and expect delivery this weekend!


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Old 03-05-2015, 12:21 PM   #10
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It uses an electric pump, hook up to 12V and let it pump, takes about 3-4 minutes, but you have to use the manual foot pump to finish off, about 3-4 pumps. then when you sit on the seats it doesn't wobble.

Does the 45lb motor have enough push? With the travel trailer it's probably easier to bring a big electric along instead of added weight of a gas engine. I'm not looking to ski, just do some riding around and a little fishing.


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