There’s nothing quite like the feeling of freedom that comes from floating on the water in a boat of your own. The synergy between boats and their owners is special. Just as riders know and trust their horses, boaters love and know every inch of their boat. Those who love their boats that much know that not all vessels are created equal, and that there’s a big difference between simply getting “a boat” and “the right boat.” To outsiders, different inflatable boats may seem similar, but for those who love boats, the sense of connection when they find the right boat is immediately identifiable.
So – what’s the deal with the Intex Seahawk 2, and is it “the right boat” for you?
What Should You Expect From an Inflatable Boat?
Before we get into the features offered by this model itself, it’s worth going over what you should look for in an inflatable boat. One of the biggest revelations in this regard is that while there are some things all inflatables should have, a lot has to do with the purpose for which you wish to use your boat.
For example, one of the most desired features for inflatable boats is size – the bigger the better. On the one hand, that makes sense. When it comes to fishing expeditions or fun with friends out on the lake, the more the merrier, and more space means more people can come along. On the other hand, however, smaller boats can be preferable for families with small children.
One of the biggest upsides to inflatable boats over their hard-shelled counterparts is the fact that they’re so lightweight. If anything can take the fun out of a boating adventure, it’s feeling sore after schlepping a heavy boat to and from the water. That’s a common problem with heavy, hard-shelled options, but much less of one with inflatable boats. On the other hand, inflatable options take time to inflate and deflate. You don’t want to wait around forever waiting for it to inflate or deflate, so the faster the inflation and deflation times offered by a model, the better.
One thing all inflatable boats require is durability. That’s true of any boat, of course, but with inflatable boats the issue is especially sensitive given their “softer” nature compared to hard-shelled boats. In the past, inflatables had something of a reputation of being a water balloon ready to be pricked at the slightest provocation. Thankfully, that’s not the case now, with PVC plastic being the material of choice for most of the leading brands on the market today.
Easy to Store
You’ll also want to think about the boat’s storage capabilities. Whether you are going fishing, paddling against the tide of the river, or want to chill on the water while enjoying brunch with friends, you’re going to need some storage space.
Comfort is another key issue. Regardless of how big the boat is, you aren’t going to want to sit in it for hours if it leaves you feeling cramped or sore. That’s why the best inflatable boats strive to include comfortable seats and footrests to increase comfort.
At the same time, one thing inflatable boats have historically struggled with is their tracking. Hard-shelled boats retain an advantage in this regard. Even so, in recent years inflatable boats have started to narrow that gap a bit with ribbed bottoms, which can improve their tracking.
View this post on Instagram
Features of Seahawk 2 Inflatable Boat
So how does all of that play out with the Intex Seahawk 2?
Some of the most important features included in this model are:
- Weighs 18.6 lbs, measures 92.91 in. x 41 in. x 114 in.
- Weight capacity of approximately 520 lbs
- No assembly required, ready to use right out of the box
- Two Boston valves for inflation and deflation
- Intex Quick Fill Air Pump included
- 2 x 48 in. oars that can be used with the two rotational oar locks
- Motor mount fittings for attaching a motor to the back of the boat
- I-beam floor for added rigidity
- Three separate air chambers
- Two fishing rod holders
- Gear pouch
- Repair patch
There are a lot of things to consider here, not least of which being the weight capacity paired with the size. As mentioned above, these are two of the most important qualities to consider when choosing an inflatable boat. You need to find a boat that is big enough to accommodate everyone you wish to bring along on your boating expedition – and this model can accommodate you nicely. It isn’t necessarily the biggest model on the market (though it certainly isn’t a dingy little dinghy) but the weight capacity is superb. Over 500 lbs – more than enough to bring along several people and a full complement of fishing equipment. That latter part is aided by the inclusion of a gear pouch, so you don’t have to sacrifice precious seating space to store your fishing rods, tackle, food, and all the other accoutrements that make time spent on the water so delightful.
Here you can check a cool unboxing video by FiftyOneNorth:
Boston valves are a common inclusion in many modern inflatable boats, and they’re a welcome sight here. As mentioned above, one of the biggest perks of inflatable boats is that they’re typically more lightweight and portable than hard-shelled options. The Intex Seahawk 2 model from Intex certainly lives up to that, weighing in at 18.6 lbs, which isn’t too heavy at all for a boat of that size. Just as important are those valves, which allow users to inflate and deflate the boat relatively quickly.
This model also comes with a pair of oars. They may not be industry-leading options, but it’s always nice to see boats include them, and they’re more than sufficient for beginners. The motor mount included can also be helpful for those looking to add an engine and use that instead of the oars. Motors are often preferable for those looking to go on a fishing expedition, since it frees your hands up to grasp the fishing rods. Helping with that even further are the fishing rod holders.
As mentioned, durability is essential for any inflatable boat, and this model is sturdy enough to take a hit and keep going. Even if you do suffer a puncture, the three-chambered system is a big plus and should keep you afloat. In addition, the repair kit can help you fix any damage on the fly.
Pros and Cons
Our rating: 4.6 / 5
There are a lot of great things about this model, starting with the fact that, as noted above, it is easy to inflate and deflate, making it extremely convenient to use. If you hate the hassle of having to wait around forever while your inflatable boat takes ages to inflate or deflate, this boat is for you, Boston valves and all.
Then there’s the fact that this model can be used right out of the box. Let’s be honest – nobody wants to take forever assembling this and that into a working boat. As with so much of this model, this is a huge boost to the overall convenience factor. Simply take it out, pump it up, and voila.
At the same time, that also hints at a tiny negative point with this model, namely that it’s so basic. Complex models may take more time to assemble, but that also typically means that they offer more advanced features as well. That’s not the case here. If you don’t care about having too many bells and whistles, that shouldn’t be too big of a drawback. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something that’s flashy or state of the art, you may be a bit disappointed.
Still, there’s nothing disappointing about this model’s fantastic weight capacity. You should be able to carry out any number of activities in this boat with several friends without having to worry about bringing “too much” along for the ride. When a boat can hold more than 500 lbs, it’s hard to overload it.
All of these factors make for a boat that’s comfortable and pretty versatile. Whether you are interested in a boat for fishing, rafting, or relaxing on the lake, the Intex Seahawk 2 should be up to the task.
There are lots of things to praise about this model from Intex. It is lightweight and portable, making it a great choice for those looking for a travel and camping-friendly inflatable boat. Also, it has enough weight capacity to accommodate several friends and their gear.
It is true that this model isn’t that advanced. However, it isn’t trying to be. It positions itself as a model that is easy and accessible to use, a true family-friendly inflatable boat, and it excels in that regard.
If all of this sounds like “the right boat” for you, this model from Intex will likely meet your expectations, and perhaps even surpass them.