They say that much of life comes down to having the right friends. Usually, this comes down to two things: having a boat friend and a truck friend.
Ironically, the realities of owning a boat mean that these two friends are almost always one and the same. Fortunately, the Seahawk 4 inflatable boat by Intex is here to break this rule. Now you, yes you, can be the “boat friend.”
And while the truth is that I’m being a little generous with the term “boat,” I believe that you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the capabilities and potential of this budget inflatable boat. I’ve owned this boat for almost a year now, and I would certainly say that I’m very happy with my purchase.
In a rush and want the bottom line up front? Here’s the deal: the Seahawk 4 by Intex is a budget-friendly inflatable boat best-suited for fishing but also an excellent option for someone looking for a lazy day on the water. While the ‘4’ in the name refers to a capacity of four adults, the Seahawk 4 is most comfortable with three adults when just floating and two adults when out fishing.
Check out the pros and cons of the Seahawk 4 below:
Pros for the Seahawk 4
- Great value from the very affordable price.
- Very portable: easily fits in the trunk of a car.
- Heavy-duty PVC material is puncture resistant and stronger than you’d first think.
- Low price-point leaves more money for DIY projects and modifications.
- While heavy, it’s possible to transport this to remote waters for one-of-a-kind experiences.
- Setup and take-down are relatively easy with the included pump.
2 rodholders and trolling motor mounts make this an excellent entry-level boat for fishermen.
Cons for the Seahawk 4
- While affordable, the PVC material is a little more suspect to UV degradation over time when compared to more expensive materials.
Softfloor makes it very difficult to stand up without adding some kind of hard floor.
- Though they are very portable, the included paddles are a little short and leave something to be desired (think T-rex arms).
Before I start talking about the features I like most about the Seahawk 4, I think it’s helpful to get a firm understanding of everything that’s included and discuss a little bit about who this inflatable boat best fits.
What Comes with the Seahawk 4
Starting with the boat itself, the Seahawk 4 inflatable boat measures to be 138″ long by 57″ wide. Intex lists this product as having a 1050 pound weight limit, which is why they are confident that this boat could reasonably suit four adults. The boat features a three-chambered design, with an inflatable I beam floor that helps to add rigidity to the overall structure.
This inflatable boat comes with two separate 48″ aluminum oars that break down into four separate pieces for easy transportation. The boat has integrated oar holders and welded oar locks to allow the easy use while one the water.
In order to allow for rapid inflation and deflation, the Seahawk 4 comes with a high output pump that easily works with the Boston valves of the second and third air chambers. It’s worth noting that the air chamber for the floor uses a traditional valve and therefore it is a little more difficult to pump up using the manual pump provided.
For the fisherman, the Seahawk 4 includes a built-in rod holder at the back-left and the front-right sections of the boat. This allows for easy use when fishing with two people, as each person is able to have as much space as possible when casting. Intex also includes a puncture resistant gear bag designed to hold sharp objects while in the boat. If you’re interested in adding a trolling motor to the Seahawk 4, rest assured knowing that it comes with motor mount fittings that work well with a motor bracket also offered by Intex. Intex recommends a maximum motor power of 1.1 kW for trolling motors, and the maximum weight of a trolling motor they recommend is 8.2 kg or 18 pounds.
Quality of Construction
Before discussing the quality of construction of the inflatable boat, I think it’s important to understand that this is a budget inflatable boat aiming to provide a quality experience while leveraging the most affordable materials. If you have a lot of experience with higher-end inflatable boats that use expensive materials such as Hypalon, you may not find the Seahawk 4 to be very remarkable. As those materials are so much more expensive than PVC, it would be unreasonable to expect the top performance you may have gotten used to while using high-end inflatable boats.
With all that said, the Seahawk 4 is far from some inflatable pool toy. If you are unfamiliar with the inflatable boat world, I can almost guarantee you that you’ll be surprised at how thick and durable the material is when you first test it out. These inflatable boats are built to last and they are really solidly constructed and it can take a beating. Now, I don’t exactly go out of my way to abuse my boat but I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how durable it has been thus far. I’m confident and will hold up for years to come with proper care and storage, but my understanding is that I can expect to experience degradation of the PVC material from UV exposure within a 10-year time frame.
Who the Seahawk 4 is an Ideal Inflatable Boat for
Now that we know a little bit more about what we’re actually getting from the Seahawk 4, let’s talk about who this inflatable boat would be a great fit for.
Entry-Level Boaters on a Fixed Budget
Don’t have a lot of money but want a boat? you’ve come to the right spot. simply put, the Seahawk 4 is the inflatable boat designed to get you on the water for as little money as possible while being confident you’ll be safe in reasonable conditions. whether you’re looking for lazy days on a slow-moving River or you’re just interested in paddling around on a small Lake that doesn’t experience major waves, this inflatable boat will be more than adequate for your needs. as I said earlier, I know that This boat could technically fit four people, but if you were going to do that I’d advise you to go with people that you’re comfortable with. anyway you cut it, fitting for people into this boat is going to be a tight squeeze. if you’re not looking to fish, I would say that three people is reasonable and two would be ideal.
Fishermen Wanting a Gear-Heavy Setup that’s More or Less Permanent
Boaters get serious once you start talking about fishing setups. For the Seahawk 4 inflatable boat, I break this down into two different groups: permanent set ups and portable setups. When I say permanent setup, I’m talking about people who would like to add a wood floor, a trolling motor, a motor battery box, and maybe even proper fishing seats you would see on an aluminum boat.
For myself, I fall more into the portable setup category as I’m more interested in keeping my entire setup as portable as possible, even at the cost of some functionality. However, many people don’t mind if their inflatable boat has to remain inflated and fully setup in between uses because of how heavy and complex their setup is. One warning is that I do think that it would be a little bit more difficult to properly care for a Seahawk 4 if you had a permanent set up.
You will need a trailer to haul your boat around, but for many of those won’t be a big deal and the main reason they’re interested in the Seahawk 4 is likely the budget-friendly price point. There’s little chance of you getting on the water with a setup like that and fishing for less money. If you’re interested in seeing what creative people have done with the humble Seahawk 4, I’d recommend you check out custom setups on YouTube. It can be a lot of fun to see what people have created.
If you look at an inflatable boat as just the inflatable version of a traditional aluminum boat, then this might be a good belt for you due to the extremely friendly price point. If anything were to go disastrously wrong with your inflatable boat, it wouldn’t be a very big deal to simply buy another Seahawk 4. These things are just that affordable.
Fishermen Looking for a Portable Fishing Boat
Here’s where we get to my favorite application of the Seahawk 4 inflatable boat. While I certainly would never call this boat lightweight, it is possible to haul this boat around as a single person and it’s much easier to carry when you have a friend. Coming in a little more than 45 lbs, this boat is light enough to be hauled into locations you might not otherwise entertain the thought of.
For me, this has meant fishing remote lakes deep in the National Forest that are more than a mile off the trail with my brother. While we were able to pull it off, I don’t think I would recommend a trek that far. I’d probably recommend that you stick to trips that are less than half a mile in length. It’s not that it’s super heavy to carry around, but whether inflated or deflated, the Seahawk 4 is rather awkward to carry and this gets old pretty fast.
With all that said, having the Seahawk 4 has really opened up my fishing opportunities and I’m really looking forward to fishing remote lakes in the future. another nice feature of the Seahawk 4 is that it is compact enough to easily fit in the trunk of a normal car. so if you don’t have the room for a full boat or if you don’t have a truck to hook a trailer up to, an inflatable boat like the Seahawk 4 is a great option.
My Favorite Features of the Seahawk 4
Now that we’ve covered the features and best uses of this boat, I’d like to tell you more about my favorite features of the Seahawk 4 inflatable boat.
Low Price-point Means More Leftover for DIY Customizations
Can you add DIY customizations to a more expensive inflatable boat? Of course you can! However, I personally would feel a little nervous about adding DIY customizations to a boat if the entire boat cost me $800 or more to replace. Maybe it’s just me, but I really enjoy the fact that I can replace the entire Seahawk 4 for a really affordable price. Not that I think I’ll necessarily need to replace my boat anytime soon, but to me this is it a little bit of relief.
So, what customizations have I made to my Seahawk 4? So far the only customization I’ve added is a lightweight floor made out of corrugated plastic that allows me to stand while fishing. I plan on adding bench seats and some kind of DIY rod holder setup in the future but for now it’s just the floor. If you’re interested in adding functionality to your Seahawk 4 I would highly recommend that you start here with the floor. Compared to the base performance, some kind of solid floor (whether like mine or from wood) offers a significant upgrade in performance.
If you search on YouTube you can see that many creative people have gone out of their way to really crank up the performance on their Seahawk 4 inflatable boats. from plywood floors to mounted swivel seats to well-made battery boxes for trolling motors, you can find just about any kind of customization done to a Seahawk 4 online. As it is such a widely purchase inflatable boat, there are a lot of really neat plans out there. If you would like to see the DIY projects I’ve done so far and what I have plans for, feel free to check out this page for my Seahawk 4 mods.
Extremely Portable: a Major Plus for Those Lacking Space
I’ve touched on this before, but the portability of the Seahawk 4 inflatable boat is a serious advantage and it can be a game-changer for your fishing experience. As our house doesn’t have a garage that’s accessible from the driveway, I wouldn’t have anywhere to store an aluminum fishing boat, even if I wanted to.
Also, I’d like to avoid buying a truck unless I really truly need it. An inflatable boat solves both problems for me, as I can store it in the basement when it’s not in use and I can easily haul it around with the trunk of any car (maybe not a smart car, though).
Great Performance for the Price
Here’s the deal: is the Seahawk 4 a perfect inflatable boat? Of course not.
While I could consider the imperfections to be negatives that would have steered me away buying this boat, the extremely affordable price-point has me considering these imperfections to merely be quirks. You’re simply going to run into quirks like this when you buy a boat this cheaply. Short of dropping a lot more money on a boat, I’m not sure there’s a way around that.