In order to meet the anticipated postwar demand for civilian light aircraft, Republic endeavored to build the Seabee as inexpensively as possible, while still retaining reasonable performance and range. A lot of thought went into eliminating what were at the time termed as 'airplane frills,' resulting in a strong product built with as few parts as possible. For example, Seabees as built did not have ribs in the wings; instead, the heavy corrugated aluminum sheet which formed the skin provided the necessary stiffness.
Seabees became popular in Canada and the USA and were also well-suited for operation in countries with long coastlines, many islands and lakes and large areas of wilderness. By the time production ended, 108 Seabees had been exported to several countries and dealerships were established in Brazil, Cuba, Panama, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Peru, Venezuela, Chile, Argentina, Fiji, New Caledona, South Africa, England, Norway and Sweden.
From the late 1940s and into the 1950s, the Seabee was a popular bush plane and air ambulance in Canada, Norway, Sweden and the USA.
In 2006, over 250 Seabees are still registered and flying, a number that is increasing yearly as new aircraft are assembled from parts and wrecks. A few Seabees are still operating commercially as bush planes and air taxis.