Last article update: October 2nd, 2021 (11:04 pm)
The Sea Eagle SE9 is a versatile inflatable raft. The portability, rugged construction, and 3-year warranty of this boat certainly help it stand out.
It has all the necessary features which you might look for in an inflatable raft for fishing, river trips, family fun, and even Class III rapids. The sum of its features and quality make the SE9 unparalleled as an inflatable raft.
Are you looking for a versatile, high-quality inflatable raft?
If yes, you need to check out Sea Eagle SE9.
I used to think that Sea Eagle boats were just overpriced SIBs, but boy has my opinion has changed after trying the SE9 for a day. You really get what you pay for here.
In my Sea Eagle SE9 review, I will highlight the things that make this a one-of-a-kind raft, so that you can decide whether it meets your needs.
Features of the Sea Eagle SE9
This new version of the SE9 is very sturdy. It has a reinforced, nylon fabric sheath protected inflatable floor, that allows you to stand up without the usual problems you would have in an inflatable raft.
Coupled with its wide stance and extra I-beam tubes, the boat is very stable and capable of carrying a large load.
The SE9 consists of a 4 chamber hull design. The chambers in the hull include:
- Main chamber
- Safety chamber
- Floor chamber
- Motor mount chamber
The 4-chamber design means that it is virtually unsinkable. If you look at the schematics of this boat, you will see that the main chamber runs all around the boat, with an independent safety chamber resting above it. This design introduces a redundancy, which makes the boat safer.
If there is a puncture in the main chamber itself, the boat will still stay afloat. This is made possible becuase of the backup safety chamber, and the air floor chamber.
Also, the design is such that the cockpit has more space than you would expect from an 11 ft inflatable boat.
The hull consists of 38 mil Polykrylar K80 material. This sturdy, yet lightweight material is a special formula of high density and molecular weight PVC. The SE370 Sports Kayak is made out of the same material by the way. It’s not as thick as you get on $1000+ dinghies, but way better than regular inflatable rafts.
The high-frequency welded seams ensure that regular wear & tear is not going to be a problem. They are also reinforced to provide even more strength.
This sturdy construction and good PVC means that using the boat in moderate whitewater conditions is not going to be a problem. It is actually rated for Class 3 rapids.
All in all, the build quality of the SE9 is second to none in the “raft” category of inflatable boats.
The SE9 features a 4-inch reinforced floor, which consists of 9 chambers in total.
On top of that, you get an abrasion-resistant nylon sheath.
You inflate the floor to 2 psi. The higher pressure means that:
- Buoyancy is great compared to other inflatable rafts.
- The stability which the floor provides is excellent, you can stand up in the raft. Try doing that in an Intex Excursion…
The harder floor also means that you can move yourself and your gear around in the boat more easily, which adds to the general comfort of the boat.
The boat offers several extra features:
- 2 seats: The boat offers two inflatable seats. The first one is a 13-inch fishing seat placed at an elevated position. You would use it for fishing obviously, as you sit high and have a good view over the water. You can also use the seat when holding the motor tiller.
The second seat is a 4-inch inflatable rowing seat. The position is lower than the fishing seat to enable proper rowing. Both the seats serve their respective purposes pretty well. In terms of sitting comfort, you will not face any problem in this boat.
- Grab line: The boat has a grab line that runs all around the hull. You can hold onto it when the board is traveling at higher speeds and it is helpful when swimming in the water.
If you plan on using the boat with your kids, this grab line will definitely come in handy.
- Easy to carry: You get a carrying bag you can put the deflated boat into.
When the boat is inflated, it has a grommet on the bow, and 4 handles on the side to make carrying easy.
- Four oarlocks: The SE9 consists of 4 molded oarlocks, 2 in the rear, and 2 in the front. They are very basic, so don’t expect much from them.
These oarlocks also act as the carry handles.
- Side molded oar clasps: These clasps ensure that you can hold the oars in place when not using them without being in the way. The placement of the clasps allows you to access those quickly if you need to do so.
- Two drain valves: The SE9 has a Class III whitewater rating, meaning you can go on moderate whitewater. If the water splashes in, the drain valves come in handy. Even in class III rapids where waves splash above the boat, you will not have to worry about draining water. Of course, this isn’t a true whitewater inflatable with 10+ drain valves, but it does get the job done on moderate rapids and waves.
- 15-minute inflation: It takes about 15 minutes to inflate all of the chambers of the SE9 once you get used to it. If you want to speed this up, consider upgrading to an electric air pump.
The SE9 comes in several different variations, depending on what you plan on using it for.
The base model comes with:
- foot pump
- very basic oars
- carry bag
- 2 inflatable seats
- repair kit
The most specked up model adds a motor mount & motor, bimini top, better oars, and the Fish-n-troll seat.
You can purchase all Sea Eagle accessories separately as well.
As I have highlighted above, the boat is pretty lightweight at 35 lbs.
When it is inflated, the 4 side carry handles make moving it about relatively easy.
You get a carry bag with the boat as well. In a deflated state, its dimensions are 26″ x 23″ x 10″. You can see that carrying it around is not a problem.
Is the SE9 comfortable?
The USP of this boat is that it is lightweight but still quite sturdy. The ride quality is comfortable and stable, thanks, in part, to the added buoyancy provided by the 2 psi inflatable floor.
The SE9 can carry up to 4 passengers and a significant amount of load.
2 adults and 2 kids would be comfortable, but I wouldn’t sit more than 3 adults into it without them wanting to get close and personal.
The included inflatable seats are comfortable, but they do take up some space inside the boat. If you have lots of gear plus a few people in the boat, you would have more space if you just leave the seats out.
Motorizing the Sea Eagle SE9
There are few inflatable rafts that can take the strain a motor results in, but the SE9 is one of them.
Getting an electric trolling motor is a straight forward choice, it is lots of fun and gets you where you want to go easily. Here are my trolling motor recommendations.
This boat can also be mounted with gasoline powered outboard motors up to 3 HP. This 4-stroke 2.3 HP Honda motor is a good pick.
Who is the SE9 suitable for?
The SE9 is a versatile boat, suitable for many uses.
The company markets the SE9 as a Fisherman’s dream. And yes, if you are a fisherman on a budget, the boat will serve you well. It does not have any built-in rod holders, so make sure you get the Fish-n-Troll upgrade. As with all light inflatable rafts though, you can expect the wind to blow you around if strong enough. A mushroom anchor like this alleviates this problem though.
It is suitable as a yacht tender as well, because it is quite compact after deflation.
It can also serve as a family boat for a relaxing time with your family on the lake.
Due to its large load capacity, it can even perform on longer river trips, where you would have lots of gear in your boat. Thanks to the Level III whitewater rating, you can tackle most rivers with confidence.
The only thing this boat is not suitable for is sea/ocean use.
Warranty & return policy
Sea Eagle provides you with a 3-year warranty on this SIB.
This is unheard of in the “inflatable raft” category, most other rafts have a 30 day warranty…
With a 3-year warranty, which can help you with any manufacturing defects, you have nothing to worry about when you’re buying the sea eagle se9.
Additionally, you get a 180-day return policy.
So basically, when buying this boat, there is no risk.
Sea Eagle SE9 specifications
|Capacity||4 adults, 544 kg (1200 lbs)|
|Dimensions||335 cm x 142 cm (11 ft x 4.6 ft)|
|Weight||16 kg (35 lbs)|
|Vinyl||38 mil Polykrylar K80 PVC|
You can learn more from the official instruction manual of the SE9.
Sea Eagle SE8 vs SE9:
When you conduct due diligence for the SE9, you will come across the older model, the SE8 as well.
The SE9 has quite a few upgrades and improvements over the older model:
- Redesigned high-pressure seats
- Nylon sheath covering for the newly designed high-pressure floor. The nylon sheath provides an extra layer of protection, which was missing in its predecessor.
- The floor drains were also missing in the predecessor. The floor drains can make the SE9 suitable for moderate whitewater.
With so many different upgrades, choosing the SE9 is a no-brainer.
What SE9 users say
Since I only used the boat for 1 day, I was curious to read the opinion of owners of this boat online.
Most people get the boat assembled in 20 minutes with the foot pump, and just around 10 minutes with an electric pump like these.
I found 1 person who reported on failing seams after 2 years of use, but with the 3-year warranty, the boat was quickly replaced by Sea Eagle.
Most others commented on the roominess inside the boat, its reliability, and sturdy floor.
Here is a short but sweet video of a couple rowing 750 miles in their SE9, and how they liked it.
The Manufacturer – Sea Eagle
Sea Eagle has been in business since 1968. It is family owned and operated from Long Island, USA.
I have only heard good things about the company. People rave about their customer service, and about how helpful they are both via email and on the phone.
This is not a Chinese manufacturer, that’s for sure.
Opinion of the Sea Eagle SE9
The versatility and quality of the SE9 is what has made it so famous. It does not matter if you’re going on a family boating, a fishing trip, or camping; it is easy to use in the water and easy to store on land.
The durable construction means that you will not have to worry much about wear and tear. The boat bounces off obstructions with ease.
The only thing I would have liked to see are better oarlocks, but that would have sacrificed the handles.
All in all, this is definitely your best bet in the “inflatable raft” category.
High quality, premium raft
Best inflatable raft
This raft by Sea Eagle is a good choice if you are looking for a dependable inflatable raft for fishing, family fun, or river trips. Its 3-year warranty and Class III whitewater rating is proof of its quality.
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