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FLOAT TUBE FISHING FORUM » Float Tubes, Pontoons and Related Equipment Discussions » Float Tube, Pontoon, and Equipment Related Discussions » Seven Bass USA Design Review of Flatform and Explorer

Seven Bass USA Design Review of Flatform and Explorer

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jeffcpr

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So I was lucky enough to receive 3 kick boats from Seven Bass USA Design.  They are currently selling 6 different tubes and the 3 I received represent the 3 different levels of tube they have available.  The 3 boats I received where the Element, the Explorer, and the Flatform.  I will in this thread review the EXplorer and the Flatform, as they are the 2 boats that we have had the privilege of putting on the water.

So let’s start with the Explorer, and explain the basics first.  The boat comes complete and ready to go.  You receive the boat, an inflatable seat, Motor Mount, Backpack straps, a crossbar, apron with a pocket in the apron, a foot pump, repair kit, and a carry bag for all.  This boat is a bladderless float tube which is important to know as it is built very different than most float tubes.  The outside boat material is a very thick rubber with heat sealed ends.  This boat is built with the most amazing quality, you can see it when you first pull it out of the box.  

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So in preparing to get out on the water, I pre-inflate the boat at home which has to air chambers which are both pontoons as well as like said earlier the inflatable seat as well.  All use the summit valve, which I believe have a very good feature we will talk about later.  So when I am done inflating the Element I quickly notice that it has a pretty narrow profile.  The boat itself is very lightweight and with the backpack straps very easy to transport to the water’s edge.  Now for the test ride, and GT would be handling that part of the day.    As per GT the float tube was built very well and he really liked the clipline and the fact that the bags were removable (sold separately).   He mentioned to me the boat looked very fast as it is light and tight.  The drawback was that it was narrow.  This aspect would work great for a thinner smaller person but for me personally, I can see it would be hard for me to get in and feel comfortable in.  That, of course, does not mean that it is an uncomfortable ride.  While on the water GT mentioned that the seat did not feel good to sit on “too hard” which would lead to discomfort and ending the day sooner.  But quick-fix simple release a little air to make it softer.  After doing that on the water all was better for GT.  Another issue was the crossbar it was tough to connect when on the water.  Seven Bass said, “the key is to roll it in, and as you roll you pull back a bit and it pops in.“ I also feel that the more you connect it the easier it will become.  The overall handling of the boat on the water seemed great as it glides through the water with ease, and keeps you high and dry.  Cost is about $550 and weight capacity is 350 lbs.  As far as how they stack up to what we have out here already there is not too much on the market like it, so it is in a class all its own.  After discussing some of the concerns with Seven Bass the did mention that then the Expedition Kick Boat had a wider sitting area, it is called the Big Boy and can handle 400 lbs and runs for $600 with all the same supplies.  I think this boat has its place here with individuals that can see its value over other boats we have here in the USA.  I cannot express this enough I think the overall plus here is their quality, just plan top notch.

Now onto the Flatform I myself have had my eye on these tubes of kick boats for the last few years so to finally see one in person, I was impressed.  The boat is about 6’ 7" tall and 4’ 4" wide with there air chambers.  The boat is bladderless with a unique construction concept, called drop stitch.  The drop stitch construction allows the boat to in flat (no bladders) but not round out simple hold its flat platform style.  It does not look like the 2 side pontoons are drop stitch as they kind of round out some, but the largest chamber is flat which is the center and largest portion of the kick boat.   The boat comes with a crossbar, a kayak type seat, a repair kit, a motor mount, large center scag, Oars and mounting hardware, a stand-up pump with a pressure gauge (important) and a carry bag for it all.  A note; right off the bat this boat is heavy at 41 lbs.  But with that being said once again you are struck with the overall quality and construction of the flatform and all Seven Bass Products for that matter.

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So with the boat all inflated and ready to go I made two trips to the water one for the boat and the other to bring rods, fins, and side bags for tackle storage.  If you are looking to backpack or have to carry your tubes a distance to get to the water this is an issue, but there still is the option to inflate at the water's edge.  Not really an option for me but I feel it is important to note.  Once I was ready I shoved off and I was quickly struck but its ease of movement in the water.  There was no real effort to kick and turn, I was under the impression that it was going to be tough to move and turn but no not at all.  Don’t get me wrong you can feel the extra weight but only slight it is not an issue and is far outweighed by its ability to move in the water.  A concern that some people had was would it fight into tight spots for me into boat slips when needed.  Yes it will I did slip into one boat slip to retrieve an errant cast and I was able to slide in between the dock and a smaller tied off boat.  I backed in turned around and back out without hitting anything.  The overall size will limit your ability to get into the tightest spots but you won’t lose this all together.

I was very comfortable on the flatform after I adjusted the kayak style seat to seat me back a little more.  The flatform I would say is just like have the best of a kayak, a SUP Board, and a float tube.  You have oars that work well (more on that in a moment) you have the ability to stand up on it.  This is a great feature that I know has intrigued many, I did not attempt this but I am sure I will be testing this out soon.  One thing I can see that is an issue is the oars,  They are short and when in a strong current and wind, they don’t provide much movement for you.  It is designed for you to pick up your legs out of the water and row, but I found that in the current and wind it was better for me to keep my legs in the water and kick while I rowed.  The best features it posses like a float tube is the fact that you can deflate it and store very easily.  Plus it can also be packed into the trunk of a car and transported to your favorite lakes and bays and inflated on the spot.  The Flatform is in my eye one of the top performers when it comes to Float Tube / Kick Boats.  Over the years I have used quite a few and I feel this one is on the top of the list for me.  The Flatform retails at $1199 and is worth every penny, it is about 6’ 7" tall and 4’ 4" wide, and is very stable and maneuverable.  It comes with oars although I because the oars are small they don’t provide and strong rowing ability I still like having them as they can add you to getting out of some bad situations when needed.  The Flatform can hold an impressive 450 lbs and while heavy at 41 lbs still has a great some great agility on the water.  I think I have found my new favorite float tube.  

There will be some more testing and reviewing going on with the Seven Bass Kick Boats, and in time I am sure we will push them to there edge.  They have asked us to point out any downsides so that they can address them for the U.S. market as they continue to grow.  I have been waiting for the last 3 years to test out their products and I can say so far they have not disappointed.  Expect to see more from Seven Bass in the future quality product will always find their niche and Seven Bass will find there very quickly.


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jeffcpr

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Next review will be on the Seven Bass Element and tube that should be closely matched to the Cumberland and Fish Cat.

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Jerdon

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Can we have some dimensions on the Expedition, and will we have a smaller tester in the future?

The Flatform looks awesome but at $1100 will be a prized possession for most guys here.


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jeffcpr

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I will work to get that for you. The small Element float tube will not hit the water. There are other plans for that one.


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Slimfisherman

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The more I look at that Explorer the more I want one lol... Can you have the motor mount on the left side if you chose? Seems like the motor is going to be in the way when u cast if you cast from that side...

Slimfisherman

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In the video you say its the Element but its the Explorer correct?

jeffcpr

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Sorry it is the Explorer and the motor mount is only on one side


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SP Dan

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Hey Jeff,

I'm really looking forward to trying out the Seven Bass Float Tubes!
I think that it's really cool ... that we even have an opportunity to test out some float tubes before actually purchasing them.

This is totally unheard of and it's really cool!
See ... I pays to be a FTFF member indeed! Thanx Jeff! Thumbs Up

SP Dan     <"))><



Last edited by SP Dan on Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:48 pm; edited 1 time in total


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jeffcpr

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Cool Dan so are you going to come out for Saltwater Poker buddy should be fun.


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