Anyone ever had the chance to compare these two kayaks? Thanks.
as a matter of fact
i'm probably one of the only people who has owned both, since they are very different boats. the mariner 2 is a wonderful boat, especially with a sliding seat. it's one of those boats that makes you a better paddler than you really are, if you just relax and trust the boat when the water starts to get rough. absolutely no need for a rudder with the sliding seat. decently fast, especially when it is rough. i'd buy one again in a heartbeat if i could find one.
the 700 was much faster than the mariner 2. well made, excellent qcc service etc. i was much more into racing by the time i had that boat, and so used it mostly with the rudder. it was fantastic going downwind, and solid in rough water. i found it uncomfortable, but i was beginning to switch to surfskis, which have a totally different (and much better, imo) seating arrangement. anyway, it was also a very good boat, but i never connected with it "emotionally" the way i did with the mariner 2.
Mariner kayaks are once again available.
All of their models are excellent boats. I own an Elan, have test paddled the Express, and used the Coaster during a five-day training course.
Have you tried a Max?
Merlinus, have you tried a Max? I have a skin Coaster that is a great boat. Most people really like it, and those who've tried one say it's very similar to the original. Someday I will want a full size touring boat for the open ocean - the Max looks great, but there don't seem to be any that come up for sale back east. I'm almost intermediate, 5'9", 200# for now - any opinion?
The other fellow on my training course used the Max, and absolutely loved it. He was about 6'2" and a bit over 200#.
I am 5'7" and 145#, so the Elan is by far the best fit for me.
The sliding seat works fine
but it adds about seven pounds to the weight of the boat. I paddled a friend’s Express for the best part of a summer and it was a very friendly boat without being pokey. I owned a Coaster about 10 years ago and that was probably the best all-around kayak I’ve ever owned. Only 13+ feet long but less than 40#, it was easy to keep up with a group and that little boat liked to surf and would surge ahead of the pack when the following seas kicked up.
Not to offend anyone here, but I always read that the 700 is great but I also see comments that it is uncomfortable. Why can’t they make it with a comfortable seat?
Well I may have to go visit family in Seattle next summer and try to track down some Mariner kayaks to test paddle. The sliding seat is something I'd want to check to make sure it merits the weight penalty. There was a used Max for sale out west, but disappeared after only a few days. If the boat is that sweet I'd probably want it fully customized...
BTW, I've tried a Q700 - it was a bit over my skill level, but the front deck was too low for my legs, which fell asleep almost immediately. It sure felt fast, though.
The QC700 is not uncomfortable
At least not any more so than any other sea kayak. But like all sea kayaks you have to outfit it to suit yourself. Lots of kayaks put your legs to sleep if they don’t fit properly and people are very different. I think the QC700 is a great boat (and there are many other great boats) but I replaced the seat pad/back support with a decent back band and threw away the seat pad. It is now very comfortable (for me). Someone else might have to do something else, like replace the seat entirely with foam. But there is no way that a boat company can make a boat that is “comfortable” for even most paddlers out of the box.
How can that possibly be?
It’s only 13 ft. and not “British”!
it works brilliantly. you can fine tune the trim of the boat in any conditions so that it tracks exactly the way you want it. definitely worth having, at least with the longer mariners. i loved it.
For a long trip down the Mississip,
which boat would you prefer? Some day I hope to do some extended trips.
Can’t comment on the Mariner, as I’ve never seen one let alone been in one. Did own a Q-Tip 700 for a period. The seat itself, IMO, is not the factor that a number of individuals took issue with, although I did swap mine for Pat at Onnopaddles’ seat and it was an improvement in comfort and boat control. For such a high volume boat, the front cockpit is on the low side, and the thigh braces force your legs down into the splay-legged position. The narrowness of the keyhole precludes poppoing your legs out like I can do somewhat on my Epic. Add to that the Toe Pilot rudder controls vs. a gas pedal, and your legs remain locked down, which can concentrate direct pressure on your sciatic nerve causing leg numbness. Affects different people different ways-some have no issue. I did, and it was frustrating, as the boat is superb otherwise. If they ever change the mold, raise the foredeck providing some knee humps maybe providing a more open K-1 syle cockpit, scallop the sides for a closer catch, and lower the rear deck a bit for laybacks and rolls. The hull is fast, efficient, and extremely well behaved in conditions-surfs well also. And then there’s the flawless build quality…
The Mariner Max and Northwest Pursuit
look very similar to me. I suspect that Northwest may have even modeled the Pursuit after the Max as they appear to have done the same thing with their Sportee which looks a lot like the Coaster in profile view. I know that Mariner is back in limited production but I’m not sure if Matt Broze is putting the sliding seat in all of his kayaks. That was never an option with the Coaster and it really didn’t need one. There should be more good short boats like the Coaster. I think there would be a market once experienced kayakers realized that a short boat with a modest beam and a not-too-huge cockpit can be such an excellent all-around sea kayak. John
The scuttlebutt I read re: lookalike designs by NW kayaks was that they were producers of Mariner boats in the past and used their inside knowledge to produce unauthorized knockoffs of Mariner designs, with inferior performance. Somewhere I read a scathing review/critique of the Sportee as a poorly performing ripoff of the Coaster. This is all unofficial, of course, but I think Mariner has earned their chops as hull design innovators over the years and are clearly the source of the similar (on the surface) designs, and so deserve the business.
I agree with John re: shorter, more hydrodynamically efficient and versatile hulls being an untapped market, if the mindset of 'longer is better' can be worked around. My skin Coaster is smooth as silk - my open water courage isn't fully developed, but I'm trying to get to the point of taking it into really challenging conditions to see how it performs. The word is Mariner designs handle big and confused conditions well, which gives me hope.
QCC700 comfotable for me "now"
I removed the sling seat replaced it with a NSI backband and love it, very comfortable “now” sitting on the seat pan with no padding. But the stock sling seat was not good for your posture and got uncomfortable because the buckles would gradually loosen up in ~1 hr and it was not easy to tighten in the boat.
carldelo-check your email!