Originally Posted by nashwillisX
Sea Eagle 370 - I read to stay away from these but money wise a good deal and you get oars, pump with them.
Sea Eagle explorer 380x - looks to be better material than the 370
Aire tributary Tomcat tandem - heard great reviews, how would it be in a lake?
Advanced Element straightedge 2 -
Right off the bat, scratch the SE 370- it's basically a pool toy. I've put my hands on one-you don't want it.
The AE Straightedge, well I couldn't find anything on the material, but every AE boat I have seen is crap and all the ones I've researched are like the SE 370: pool toys. Not to mention at the price I saw ($799) you can get into a (better?) boat made by a reputable company.
Now the SE 380x: I have one and like it (3 years now??). It really is a pretty tough little boat. SE has made some design improvements over mine that I like (like the extra bailing holes and floor cut to drain better) and it should benefit from them. One thing I did notice when I got a replacement seat awhile back is the seat materials & hardware got cheaper feeling than my originals...haven't had issues just didn't like the feel. I hope the other materials don't suffer from the same "downgrade" (and doubt they do).
The SEs do come with a lot of accessories that other boats don't so that helps the overall price of getting into one. When I bought mine they were about the most bang for your buck as far as quality but now the Aire tribs and NRS outlaws are eclipsing that threshold and SE are pricing themselves out of it.
The aire should track better than the SE...but I think the SE might have better primary stability (I can stand in mine) but I bet the Aire hase better secondary stability. The aire is heavier...the aire has a 1 year warranty (might be no fault though) and last I checked SE had a 3year but it certainly is NOT a no-fault warranty.
The SE with deluxe seats is freaking really comfortable, even with me and my GF in it. It has a reall high carrying capacity (aire is probably close) but I think there is more room inside the tubes of the SE than a Trib. The SE tracks like crap and is slow on flat water. Rapids in the Class III can be done but it just isn't a great whitewater boat compared to the Trib. One thing I REALLY like about the SE is that ability to close the bailing holes. I like to run dry most of the time and you don't get that in other boats.
Ulitmately it boils down to this:
The SE is great platform for tandem fishing, camping, moving rivers up to class II and staying dry when you want to.
The aire would be more whitewater worthy and probably better for a lake (read faster/better tracking), however you are sacrificing a little comfort and interior space. I wouldn't want to fish with me and my girlfriend out of it.
As much as I like my SE, I am looking to buy more whitewater worthy ducky like an outlaw or Trib, but keeping the SE. There is a place for both in my quiver.