There is an article in this month’s Flyer about this gentleman who took his SeaRey round the world.
A good friend has flown one for some years in the Argentinean lake district and occasionally takes it to Buenos Aires, which is no trivial distance.
They seem a great all rounder, and a couple of knots faster than a 90 HP Super Cub.
Here is the travel blog for the RTW flight…
What a great blog and adventure.
I looked into these quite seriously and was tempted to get one. It appears they make great flying boats for two light people. The advantages over a similarly powered float plane seem to be that the seaplane hull weighs less than a normal fuselage plus floats. You also appear to be able do relatively sharp turns on the water. This is really nice for small mountain lakes where you can get planing downwind and then turn upwind for take off (This can be a very difficult balance to judge in a conventional float plane). The Rotax uses auto fuel, so it is perfect for fueling at a Marina.
I think you have to get a ‘light’ one though. Once you have added the interior, electric gear, etc., the useful load goes down. For my purposes, two normal people, full fuel, and camping/mountaineering gear I would need a stripped out one.
Also worth noting, they started out as a much lighter aircraft. I think you have to keep a close eye on the structure, e.g. cracks in the internal aluminum support structures where the landing gear ties in and corrosion in the tail feathers; although this is no different than any other seaplane.
Although my needs are presently more for a full size float plane ala C180/C185, I still think I might get one of these in the future… There is nothing like buzzing around for a couple of hours at tree top height and doing touch and goes every minute or two :-). Perhaps not in the southern UK….
Here are some shots of one in the Vancouver area.
What wave height can they be used in?
I had the pleasure of quizzing Mike Smith on aspects of his adventure during this past week, I was staying at John Brennan’s house in France. John is another Searey owner, and Mike and his wife have been touring in Europe (by conventional means of transport this time).
Mike’s circumnavigation must rank as one of light aviation’s most extraordinary achievements in modern times. When he departed westbound for the Atlantic crossing those of us following his blog were apprehensive that it could end very badly. But he worked through all the difficulties. The night he departed the western Aleutians towards Japan we were very concerned; there was a period when the tracking signals stopped for a while, his groundspeed got down into the thirties at one stage.
A book and a film are in preparation …..
Flying one in Ireland for the past 10 Years. Love the comments about 2 light people ! Myself and equally “slim” passenger tour extensively … Runner up to best homebuilt in Vichy France RSA rally 2012, many visits to UK including LAA Rally Sywell … Best legal high in existence. Search YouTube for Searey Sligo or come and visit Sligo and join me for a wash in local lakes.
SligoSeaRey, I wasn’t trying to be smart about the ‘2 light people’ comment, it looks like you have had a lot of fun with your airplane! Great stuff!
My experience with doing adventure/camping/climbing trips with a small float plane is that you are always fully loaded. Having been unable to get planing (and thus unable to take off) quite a few times, the tower was always amused when I called in the aborted take off and reported returning to the dock to leave the ‘watermelons’ behind (or the case of beer :-)). I made my wife the load master so that she decided what to leave behind (and I wouldn’t get in trouble for having the wrong priorities).
Although my base was at sea level, the lakes I want to go to are at 3000 to 6000 feet. My partner in the aircraft once landed at a lake and couldn’t get out. He had to leave everything behind and another aircraft brought the supplies home. For float planes, lighter and more powerful is better :-).
@Maoraigh I haven’t flown a SeaRey so others might be able to comment. Given that it is quite a small craft, I would not take it in any significant waves, say perhaps 10 inches or less. I think the website for the SeaRey says 12 inches or less.