Mariner Carb/Kevlar Lay up

For those who have purchased a Mariner Kayak (any model) in Carbon/Kevlar lay up - what has been your experience with the durability of the lay up? Has it withstood reasonable use and abuse? Any failures or limitations?

Anyone have experience with both Carbon/Kevlar and Fiberglass lay up on Mariner boats? How does the Carbon/Kevlar compare to the standard lay up for Mariner?

I am really trying to assess spending the additional money for an upgrade to Carb/Kevlar, over standard fibreglass on a Mariner II. So, Mariner specific feedback on these lay ups would be very helpful.

As always, I appreciate the knowledgeable feedback of this group.

Weight Info?
I would like to know the weight of the various layups. I can not find any info on boat weight on the Mariner site

Mariner II Weight
For the Mariner II (the only one I asked about) with no bulkheads/hatches and sliding seat, the fiberglass is 50-52 lbs, depending on gel coat color. The carbon kevlar was 8 lbs less, 42-44 lbs.

Mariner doesn’t publish weights, since they say the weight depends on whether you get hatches, bulkheads, sliding seat, certain gel coat, etc. So they only quote weight after you talk to them and they understand what your are looking for.

I don’t know about Mariner

It is my understanding that in general, manufacturers tend to keep the ruggedness of the Kevlar combo boats about the same as the FG with the only advantage being the weight saved.

If they made them both the same weight the combos would be much stronger…

Now leaving off the gel coat may cut the life a bunch…

what do the Broze Bro. say?
My brother had an all carbon Mariner Max that didn’t appear as durable as the all glass one as it had some dings/cracks from a hurricane throwing it into a fence,ok maybe that’s not bad after all,it was 38lbs before seat and rigging.

My glass Express delivered a loud crack during paddlefloat rescue practice in rough water which was a consequence of a seam tape that was too low allowing a stress riser at the edge of the aft deck. I repaired it and now 10yrs later have added a lot more cracks to it from instruction and generous use.

There’s a reality you can’t get away from with a big kayak,it’ll weigh more than a little kayak. So I wouldn’t look to make a Mariner II into a superlight kayak without losing durability.

My $.02 with absolutely no experience of their carbon/kevlar boats is that it would be as durable as you’d need a regular glass kayak to be,if you needed more then another layer of glass could be added to the bottom. Their boats are well made.

Broze Input on Lay up
I spoke to Cam Broze, and he recommends the glass lay up, unless you specifically need/really want the light weight lay up. He indicated that the glass is just more durable and will withstand more abuse, especially an accidental drop or rough treatment in the surf. According to Cam, even a “heavy” lay up of Carbon/Kev has diminishing returns, and will still not be as tough as the standard fibreglass lay up.

Thus, my question to people with direct or indirect experience with both Mariner lay ups. What is the real world implication of Carb/Kevlar vs fibreglass, for Mariner boats? How much durability would be given up in real life, for someone who is not going to rock garden or have the boat in the surf zone (I am considering another boat for that)?

But, after hefting my current 58 lb boat again last night, the thought of a 40-42 lb boat for day trips and training seems like an even more reasonable choice. But, I do want to suspend judgment until I get more feedback on this board, especially given the price. Also, you can pick up a used fiberglass Mariner 2, but I have never seen a used Carb/Kevlar Mariner 2 for sale. I think I would be forced to buy this new, if I decide on Carb/Kevlar, increasing the cost of this choice further.

Again, thanks for your additional input.

Gel coat impacting weight
The option discussed on gel coat is not leaving off the gel coat, although I guess that could be an option. It is that certain gel coat colors do not cover as well as others. Thus, some colors - for example yellow - require more coats of gel coat and therefore increase the weight of the finished boat. At least, this is what Mariner says regarding their boats.

However, in purchasing an Impex and an NC Kayaks boat, these manufacturers said that the gel coat color choice didn’t impact quoted weight.

So, given conflicting info on this issue, I am going to guess that Mariner is right about their own boats, but the overall impact of gel coat color on weight is still ambiguous to me and doesn’t quite make sense.

Maybe the only way to solve this issue is to bring a scale to the show room, and weigh two boats of different colors, that are the same otherwise.

Cam is smart…listen to him
They have the Carbon Kevlar as an option for those who just have to have it. I’d like to see Carbon / Glass. Glass is just tough stuff, and easily repaired. Kevlar provides very little strength on it’s own. I say stick with the good and proven glass lay-up on your Mariner.

I know a gentleman who bought a medium light carbon/kevlar P&H Orion. It looks neat.

The problem here is that you’re asking for a specific answer for a vague range of possibilities as to the consequences of light construction. One thing is specific, the description of the material or weight of the kayak,the other is subject to the randomness of individual use where the people you’re asking probably don’t have a glass and carbon/kevlar Mariner to bash in equal contexts.

It gets down to “I want the lightest/durable Mariner II and money is no object”


“I want a Mariner II where durability/cost is paramount”

I don’t think you’ll find yourself in the position an acquaintance was in getting a Wilderness Systems Cape Horn in Kevlar where sections of the hull were too flexible allowing gel coat cracks in light use/transport.

my vote is get the carbon/kevlar one. It’s good for the economy?