AdvancedFrame Expedition Good Upgrade from Sea Eagle 330?

AE1009-R Ultralite(2006)
AE1009-Y Advanced Frame Expedition(2007-Present)

Moderator: JCOOLEY

Post Reply
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:33 pm

AdvancedFrame Expedition Good Upgrade from Sea Eagle 330?

Post by JapanConsidered » Sat Jun 14, 2008 3:17 pm

I've been reading the forum for a couple of days. Thanks for all the excellent information and suggestions.

Now a Newbie-Type Question: Would an AdvancedFrame Expedition, AE 1009-Y, inflatable be a good choice as an "upgrade" from a Sea Eagle 330 inflatable?

Some Background: I became interested in kayaking back in early March of this year at the suggestion of a colleague. Said it's good exercise, and would improve my balance. Having no experience "messing about in boats," as the saying goes, large or small, I put safety and feasibility first, and ordered a Sea Eagle 330 inflatable kayak. Looked like a good boat to learn on. And the price was right.

Since its arrival in early March I've been paddling it two or three times a week on South Carolina's ponds, swamps, small lakes, and large lakes. I'm hooked!

I've found the Sea Eagle 330 is a wonderfully patient and forgiving boat. It doesn't seem to mind having aboard an overweight 65-year-old academic who obviously doesn't know a thing about kayaks, or boats in general. It's stable, seems very safe, and reliable.

However, I'm now regularly paddling for several miles per trip. And the Sea Eagle isn't the sleekest boat on the water. I get the impression it wasn't intended for five-to-ten-mile paddles on fairly calm lakes. It works. But it takes some paddling!

Sooo, the notion of a still-safe, still-inflatable, but sleeker boat comes to mind. Mine, at least. I've looked [Internet looking only] at the Innova Sunny and the Pakboats Arrow and Swift. Owners speak highly of both. But they're both considerably more expensive than the AdvancedFrame Expedition. And cost is an important consideration for a country school teacher.

So, would you folks recommend an "upgrade" to the Expedition for the purposes I've described? No white-water excitement. Just paddling on lakes, ponds, and placid rivers. Two to three times a week. So assembly/disassembly time and durability are another factor. I'll take it camping. But my camping is travel-trailer-parked-beside-lake sort of camping. Not kayak/tent camping.

Oh, and size. I'm 5'11" and around 215 pounds, with size 12 shoes. Not terribly acrobatic, at 65. But in reasonably good shape. So, boat size too is a factor.

All information and assessments appreciated.


Posts: 28
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 5:07 pm
Location: Jersey Shore

Post by Damien » Sat Jun 14, 2008 6:55 pm

I actually looked at the Sea Eagle but none of the websites that were dedicated to performance type kayaking mentioned them when the subject of inflatable kayaks came up. I honestly think it's in a different category from the AE kayaks. It struck me more as a true inflatable "blow up" boat rather than a kayak that happens to be inflatable. AE boats are "Hybrids" of folding and inflatable and actually have a frame type structure as well, which helps a lot in terms of rigidity and performance.

I have an Advanced Frame and it works great. I regularly paddle 10+ miles in rivers and on lakes in a good chop into a headwind and it works out great, and the AF is the smaller 10.5' version of the Expedition. You should be just fine with the Expedition and I think you'll find it a big step up...and it's very forgiving as well. But I think you'll find it easier to paddle and it'll go faster and smoother. It'll also hold a nice amount of gear if you do want to camp out of it.

I'd recommend purchasing the backbone and the sprayskirt as well and invest in a good paddle.

With my Advanced Frame I find it very easy to set up, however it's important that you set everything up according to the directions. The one time I didn't have everything lined up right the boat pulled to one side. I fixed it and it paddles straight and true and is very easy to use. Good luck and enjoy.

Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:37 am

upgrade from 330

Post by ejmichel » Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:50 am

I followed the exact same path buying a 330 last summer and paddling it until the weather started to get cold and then purchased the Advanced Frame at REI. I was able to paddle through the winter on local canal and rivers. I still use the 330 when I take one of my kids with me, but am very happy with the Advanced Frame. One bit of advice is that I get much better tracking with the Advanced Frame by putting a 7.5 pound weight on the floor at my feet. This seems to "set" the front of the kayak and track much better.

Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:33 pm

Upgrade to AF Expedition from Sea Eagle 330

Post by JapanConsidered » Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:03 am

Thanks for the replies and suggestions, Damien and ejmichel. Very helpful.

Lots more to think about. I hadn't considered the comfort of that deck during winter paddles. We do get a little chilly here in South Carolina during the winter. Also the additional weight in the bow makes sense. I'm going to try that with the current boat to see if it reduces "bow wiggle," for lack of a better term, during longer distance paddling.

Now, to get together the funds ...


Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:02 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Post by kiltie_celt » Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:41 pm

I have a similar boat to your Sea Eagle. Mine is the Sevylor Tahiti K79-HF. It looks almost exactly like your Sea Eagle and when I saw the Sea Eagles my first thought was they copied the general design of the Tahiti kayaks which have been in production from Sevylor since the 1960s. Anyway I found my Tahiti to have the same problems you're experiencing. It has such a wide beam that it's almost uncomfortable to paddle on long distances or for a long time. I upgraded from the Tahiti initially with a Sevylor Pointer K1. I really liked how it tracked and how much more maneuverable it was than the Tahiti. It also pumped up a lot faster. However, it split a seam the third time I pumped it up. I was kind of cramped for me - not much leg room for a guy 6' 1". So I got to thinking and I ended up deciding to upgrade again to the AE Advanced Frame Expedition. It's due to arrive tomorrow and I've got a feeling I'm going to enjoy it even more than the K1 Pointer. So, in short, from a fellow kayaker with little experience in these boats and owning a boat very similar to your own, I think if you can afford it you'll probably like the AE expedition even more.

Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:33 pm

Sea Eagle 330 to AF Expedition?

Post by JapanConsidered » Fri Jun 20, 2008 4:18 am

Thanks for the information, Kiltie_celt. I've read about the Tahiti kayaks, but not seen one yet. Good luck with the incoming Expedition. I hope you will post your impressions and experiences after the boat arrives. It would be helpful.

Yesterday I took the Sea Eagle 330 out on a nearby lake for a five-hour paddle. Covered just over 9 miles, according to Google Earth. With only a 20-minute lunch break. Didn't break any speed records!

kiltie_celt wrote:I have a similar boat to your Sea Eagle. Mine is the Sevylor Tahiti K79-HF.

[snip] So I got to thinking and I ended up deciding to upgrade again to the AE Advanced Frame Expedition. It's due to arrive tomorrow and I've got a feeling I'm going to enjoy it even more than the K1 Pointer. [snip]

Post Reply