Sevylor Fish Hunter opinion
Sevylor’s Fish Hunter is a capable inflatable boat. It comes in 2 variants: the 360 for 6 people, and the 280 for 4 people. There are a lot of features aimed at fisherman, like the Berkeley rod holders, 5 separate air chambers, and 4 swiveling oar locks. Too bad the package does not include a set of oars and a pump.
If you are looking for an inflatable boat to go fishing in, you will probably have come across the Sevylor Fish Hunter models. Sevylor designed the boat with fishing enthusiasts in mind and has added features that anglers will appreciate.
The Fish Hunter comes in 3 sizes, but the boats share the same features as we’ll outline below.
Can the Fish Hunter make it onto my list of best SIBs money can buy? Let’s find out.
Features of the Fish Hunter 360
I had a chance to inspect and try a new Fish Hunter 360, so this review will concentrate on this model of the boat. There are 2 smaller versions, the 250 and the 280.
Also, this review is based on the newer post-2015 model of the Fish Hunter, version II if you will. This new model is much wider, and thus has 63% more room than the previous version.
Here are the pros and cons of the Sevylor Fish Hunter:
Build and durability
The boat is made of heavy-duty 32-gauge PVC, which will resist pokes and scrapes from hooks. But you still want to be careful, sharp objects and inflatable boats are not a good match.
If you do puncture your boat, you will still make it to shore, thanks to the 5 chamber configuration of the boat. This is quite impressive, I don’t believe any other inflatable boat in this class can boast a 5 chamber setup.
You have your standard main chambers (1) on each side of the boat, plus a safety chamber (2) as well.
The floor (3) is made of 2 chambers for added stability.
You also have lateral chambers (4) on the lower sides of the boat, which helps keep directions while moving.
Naturally, the boat uses Boston valves, which make inflation and deflation as quick as possible.
Rowing the boat was great. It felt natural and the boat moved quickly in the direction I wanted it to go. The swivel oarlocks held the oars nicely. Oh yes, there are 4 oarlocks in the Fish hunter: a pair in the front, and a pair in the back.
The Fish Hunter also has a wrap-around grab line, which is standard at this price point. It is a very useful feature, as it makes getting out of the water much easier, and being in the water much safer.
Sevylor Fish Hunter inflatable boats come with:
- 2 Berkley fishing rod holders
- 2 inflatable seats
- a gear bag
- a battery pouch
- 4 swivel oarlocks
- chafing pads
- 4 tie-downs
- 4 drain plugs
- wrap-around grab lines
- repair kit
The Berkley rod holders would cost about $15 each if bought separately.
The package does NOT include oars, nor an air pump. You need to buy those separately, which is a shame. All Intex boats come with oars and a pump, which might make the Intex Excursion boat series more appealing to some.
The boat takes less than 20 minutes to set it up from start to finish, and about 10 minutes to break down.
If you’re going to be rowing the boat for extended periods (instead of using a motor), I would recommend you keep one of the inflatable seats in the boat. The higher position makes rowing much more comfortable. Fishing will be more comfortable from the higher sitting position as well, as it makes casting easier.
Otherwise, I would just take the seats out, as they tend to get in the way. At least with my family of 4 in the boat.
Officially this is a 6-person inflatable boat, which usually means you can get 3 adults and 3 kids into it comfortably.
Here are the more important specs of the Sevylor Fish Hunter 360.
|6 people – 1250 lbs
|137″ L x 67″ W
|heavy duty 32 gauge PVC
|2 inflatable seats, gear pouch, battery pouch ditty
|2 Berkley quick set fishing rod holders
|motor mount fittings
|4 oar locks
Is the Fish Hunter good for Fisherman?
The boat is spacious, so 1-2 fishermen with supplies will easily fit in the boat. It is made out of tough 32 gauge PVC, which is strong enough to avoid accidents due to abrasion, but you still have to watch your fishing hooks. They will puncture the boat.
The boat has an inflatable tube bottom, which is great for families, but not so for fisherman. You cannot stand on it, it’s just not stable enough. It also makes moving your heavy objects a bit more difficult due to the lack of proper weight distribution. I really think that if you’re going to sell an inflatable boat to fishermen, you should have some sort of solid floor, at least like the Mariner class of Intex boats.
If you are planning on using the Fish Hunter for fishing, you should definitely build a hard floor for the boat.
Another aspect anglers need to consider is that the boat has a flat bottom, without a keel. This means that even light wind will blow the Fish Hunter around. You will probably want to get a couple of small mushroom anchors and anchor line of appropriate length to avoid this. Mushroom anchors work perfectly in lakes with sandy sea beds, and best of all, they are not sharp, so they won’t puncture your boat.
If you plan on fishing often, you will probably want to get a motor mount and a motor for the Fish Hunter. If so, it is a good idea to stick to electric trolling motors, and not use gasoline outboards.
I say this because telescoping L rods on Sevylor’s stock motor mount are too long and thin, so they will bend easily under too much force.
The Sevylor website says the boat and mount are designed to take up to 4 HP motors, but I have my doubts about that one. Stick with a trolling motor and you should be fine.
A nice value-added feature is the pair of Berkley fishing rod holders included in the package. You can set the holders and be confident that your rods will stay put.
Other Sevylor Fish Hunter boat reviews
Amazon is not just a store, it’s also a review service, where you can read what other customers think about the boat.
Here are the reviews for this boat on Amazon.
One interesting review I found was on the Fish Hunter 280 page. The customer said that he is having trouble getting proper documentation for the raft, which would be a requirement of getting a motorized boat license in his state.
You can read about the boat registration requirements in your state on this page.
Other than this, the boat received mostly positive reviews. The only negative ones were due to manufacturing errors. It’s a pain, but it happens. If you get a faulty model, Amazon makes returns easy, and just get a new one.
Here is an informative video review of the Fish Hunter 360 with modifications.
Sevylor Fish Hunter modifications
Upgrading inflatable boats has become the norm these days. It adds value and utility to the boat.
If you’ve read the article up to this point, you will already have read my thoughts on adding a motor mount and a trolling motor to the Sevylor Fish Hunter.
Here is the motor mount on Amazon.
Sevylor sells its own motor, which actually doesn’t need a separate motor mount, as the fittings are on the boat. The bad side of this motor is that it is very weak at 12 lbs of thrust, and also way too expensive for such low power. I wouldn’t recommend getting it.
Read this article I wrote on electric trolling motors and batteries instead of opting for the Sevylor motor.
Adding a hard floor is a straight forward choice, especially if you plan on using the Fish Hunter for, well, fishing. It adds stability and proper weight distribution.
Sevylor used to sell a separate hard floor for the Fish Hunter 360, but I can’t find them anymore. You will need to build your own floor, it’s not as hard as you think.
A canopy can make a long day in the sun so much more comfortable. You can get generic inflatable boat canopies and install them yourself, here is how.
Sevylor Fish Hunter 280 vs 360
This inflatable boat comes in 2 versions: the larger 360, and the mid-sized 280. The previous generation of the boat had a 250 iteration as well, which was the smallest version. I don’t think they’ve made one for this new and improved version of the boat though, or at least not yet.
Here is a comparison of the Sevylor Fish Hunter 280 and the 360 models.
Fish Hunter 280
Fish Hunter 360
|Fish Hunter 280
|Fish Hunter 360
|4 people – 750 lbs
|6 people – 1250 lbs
|107″ x 61″
|137″ x 67″
Other than the actual size, the 2 boats are basically identical. They come with the same feature set, like the swivel oarlocks and the Berkley rod holders.
The only thing different about the boats is the considerable size difference.
The manufacturer – Sevylor
Sevylor was founded in 1948, and is part of the Coleman company. It manufactures waters sport and recreation products, selling them globally.
The company is at the forefront of PVC innovation and has been for decades. Their boats are positioned in the low-mid range, presenting an affordable alternative to other brands.
Opinion of the Fish Hunter
After getting to try the Sevylor Fish Hunter 360, I am left with mixed feelings. It’s a fine inflatable boat for the family, it’s very spacious and safe. It tracks in the water well for an inflatable raft (thanks to the lateral chambers) and is easy to row.
There are several features that will appeal to fishermen, but there are several things missing from the boat. These make it less than outstanding for fishermen (you can read about these things above in the fisherman’s section).
Also, at this price, Sevylor could have easily added a set of oars and a pump to the package. They will cost you at least $50 extra, depending on which ones you get.
If you are looking for a fishing boat, consider the Intex Excursion 5 as well. It costs less and can be converted to a capable fishing boat.
Sevylor Fish Hunter 360
Roomy fishing raft
The Fish Hunter 360 is aimed at fishermen, but families can also get a lot from this roomy inflatable raft. You need to buy oars and a pump separately, which is a shame.
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