I bought the 385FT earlier this year to take on a charity event to raise money for Cancer Research UK. The idea was simply to paddle from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean in an inflatable kayak, 530 km in all!! I chose the SeaEagle primarily as I was so impressed with the Utube SeaEagle torture test video!
I paddled this kayak the whole 530 km through rivers, canals and the Med' sea. As kayaks are not allowed in French 'locks' it had to be portaged around them, all 84 of them! This involved physically dragging the kayak, fully laden (50 kgs) with gear, up the river/canal banks out of the water. This kayak was dragged over grass, brambles, roots, wood, gravel, tarmac and concrete! It was subjected to so much abuse that there was no doubt in my mind that the handles would fail, that I'd get a puncture etc. But, having completed this epic trip, I can confirm that the underside is, of course, marked, but no deep scratches, no significant scrapes and no punctures. In fact, upon close inspection the underside is far less marked than my hard sit on top kayak that has suffered next to no abuse!
The front and rear handles took everything I asked of them, no problem! I am totally amazed at how tough, how well made and how reliable this kayak is! This trip would have destroyed my Gumotex kayak (that I did the length of the Thames in last year), it would have destroyed the Syvelor kayak my mate has, this 385FT is frankly amazing! Regards on the water performance, with the skeg fitted it tracks really well (spins on a dime without it!) its very stable (yes with care I did stand up in it numerous times and never fell in!) , it can carry tons of gear and the hard nose and tail bits are super strong and for the first time, enable worry free accidental ramming of banks, walls etc! The self bailing plugs work really well when in the sea waves, you can be fully confident it wont sink! Overall, this is probably "the best inflatable kayak in the World"!
Thank you Spindrift for your support and thank you SeaEagle for making it. 10/10
hugh cole | United Kingdom | July 2014