It seems that the Mariner Coaster is no longer made since the Broze brothers went into retirement a year or so ago. The Coaster has been called “the almost-perfect sea kayak” and, having owned one some years ago, I almost agree. Not “perfect” but certainly a wonderful little kayak. If not the Coaster, are there any kayaks out there that might possess most of the good qualities of the Coaster? [The WS Tsunami 14 in composite has been suggested]
SC-1 by Cape Falcon
I never paddled a Coaster, but am scheduled to go to Oregon to build a version of it in skin-on-frame. The reinterpretation of the boat is authorized by Mariner. The designer is Brian Shulz at Cape Falcon, and the boat building session is $1100 for a one-week build. At the end of the week you have a custom-fitted boat and Greenland paddle. The building of the prototype and a lot of other info is available on his website:
I haven't paddled SC-1 either, but there is correspondence on the site from people who have paddled both - it seems like a faithful reproduction, with differences you might expect from differing construction.
>>You could probably contact him directly with questions - he's very responsive.
He’s Out Enjoying the SC-1
Brian is responsive and a nice person, but don’t expect a response from him until late this month or early March. He is doing a solo circumnavigation of the big island of Hawaii in a SC-1. Yes, its a 13 foot kayak. No ordinary 13’ kayak however.
at www.baskers.org, there were some listings for coasters. I don’t think it was a complete retirement for them.
Pygmy Tern 14?
It’s very different from the Coaster, but seems to have a lot of fans who enjoy wave play.
Might be able to still get one
Mariner isn’t totally out of the biz
Find A Mystic RM
aint’ many around either unfortunately. (I have one and the only “long boat” I am keeping). It’s got nice enough rocker to play with. Nice dropped down skeg to track if need be. The RM version is actually 22.5" instead of 21.5" wide and has very shallow v in the middle (meaning it’s almost a planing hull). The hatches do leak, some I gonna have to make neo covers to fit underneath the hard plastic strapped down covers. Right both bulkheads are filled with air bags (this is a playboat and not a boat for carrying stuff for).
what aspects are you looking to achieve
from a non-coaster-but-like-a-coaster???
If It’s More Play and Rock Stuff
you and I would both say: ROCKHOPPER 340! Much better design for the hairly stuff than even the Coaster, which as noted is still more a sea playing kayak, albeit a short one.
why sing…you read my mind.
the Pygmy AT14 surfs great
… and those hard chines make turning a snap. You can find these used or make your own from a kit. We have a AT14 and a Coaster, and while they paddle differently, both are fun and efficient (up to 4 kt.) I love them both!
You might also look at the Liquid Logic Sojourn. Lightweight and strong, with similar dimensions to the AT14. This is the closest thing to a plastic AT14 – stronger and stiffer than PE, yet is has a “composite” look and the weight of the wood/glass AT14. Quite a nice combination. I have never paddled one, but would like to, for comparison.
BTW, we just bought our Coaster off Craig’s List for $1650 incl. the full compliment of accessories (sock, skirt, cover, float bags, etc.) In brand-new condition (ignoring a few scratches). So, they can be found. You just have to be patient and check the “classifieds” regularly.
The AT14 was also from Craig’s List: $1050 in very good condition. You can beat those prices, but as the price drops, you have to be quicker to repond to the advert. or else someone else will get it.
Not many Coasters
were sold on the east coast mostly because Mariner only sold direct with no dealer network. For awhile, North West Kayaks were making Coasters [the real thing, not the Sportee whch they marketed later after breaking with Mariner] and they could be had though a dealer network. I have been thinking about the Arctic Tern 14. I’ve never put together a S&G but this looks do-able. I like hard-chined boats and the idea of having a very light weight second boat when speed is not important and I don’t want to deal with the weight of a long kayak has a lot of appeal. My average paddling speed,even in an 18’ kayak, is only a bit more than 4mph so the AT14 should be no problem.
Brian Shulz’s SC-1 looks like a great boat and if he ever decides to sell plans for it, I would love to try building one. A good follow-up project to the AT14. One nice thing about little boats is that they are easier to store so you can have more of them.
Akin To QCC Distribution
actually I've seen two coasters and three other Mariners here in New England. Similar to seeing two QCCs.
It's not only the distribution approach that limited Mariner and QCC distribution in New England. It's also that folks get drawn to what they see their "instructors" or "gurus" paddle. Around here the instructors have been largely into the Brit boat types because of the BCU star thingie. Increasingly though that's getting challenged by the gurus in the the Go-Native boats.
I do like the concept of DIY boats. I find it sort of weird though that folks go to "replicate" a design that is a replication of another design. The attraction of SOF building is having the flexibility to insert your own thoughts on design and performance into what you want in the creation. As I was selling my Greenland S&G and my SOFs, I kept getting asked, "Whose design are those. Whose designs are you replicating?" Strange. Some folks do try to make exact replications around musuem examples. But that musuem example was made by a paddler likely designing a boat built to his size and his desired performance characteristics. I tend to think, unless you are built exactly like that original paddler (if this could be known), you would never really get the feel of the original boat through the replication. Kinda of a futile effort in that way.
must be a dirty on >;-)
not dirt…just lots of sand and salt…
After disappearing from his blog, Brian has surfaced again to do the next leg of his circumnavigation of the big island.
(Link to Qajaq board post.) http://tinyurl.com/3dhma7
(Carl if you are signed up for his class and have not gotten his "Captains Orders" emails. Then send me a note.)
Bob - yes I received the Captain’s Orders (and for the curious they’re on the Cape Falcon homepage). I guess I just have short term memory loss. Or my brain never really processed the idea of someone paddling a skin boat around a big scary island in the middle of February, so it never stuck in my memory. Or I’m fried from writing and grading midterm exams. OK, all three - I’m looking forward to the boat building this summer…
Actually I was refering to the “super decoder ring private edition” with the link to the Hawaii blog.
The best part of the class is when you are done and it finally sinks in that the boat you are carrying to the water is your own.
This is one you dont see mentioned often but it was designed for coastal exploring. While it is 17’ its waterline length is about 14’8" and it turns on a dime. A lot of fun to paddle and almost rolls itself.