Marlin: A pretty devastating critique

I’ve sort of toyed on and off with the notion of getting a more conventional sea kayak, but still one that would be performance oriented. The Nemo/Marlin seemed like it might be the best thing out there, based on some early paddling reviews. Not anymore. Read this:

I guess it’s worth not always being an “early adopter”.


That truly sucks and speaks volumes.

What about the Rapier? What do people think of it?

EXCELLENT review.Thanks

made in china? you don’t say!

Rapier 18
I whish I had more time in mine - only had it on the water for a couple of hours since I too need to repair it. But not from defects - I bought it with some damage and it needs work (a tree fell on it).

However, it seems very well made and sturdy, where there is no damage. To save weight, the rear half of the rear deck is really thin but the area immediately behind the cockpit is very sturdy. The front deck is contoured and very stiff although it is also rather thin. The cockpit area and the hull however seem very well made (mine is in the “mid-grade” Pro-Kevlar layup). The foot braces are very sturdy but I much prefer to have a foot bar like in the Marlin and will be making one eventually. The old style rudder that I have does its job OK and looks like it will be easily field-serviceable but is wobbly (the blade assembly) and I am suspicious of adjustable ties at the pedals in general (prefer one-time adjustment and a solid link).

I think the Rapier 18 construction is pretty good and though I would not go bashing it in “rock gardens” etc. I think it should be a reliable boat for general use as a sea kayak.

Not sure how it stacks-up against a Marlin/Nemo or an Epic 18x for speed though. I could easily reach higher top speed in it than I could in my CD Extreme, just like I could in the Epic 18x but I do not have enough time in either of the two r the Marlin to be able to tell which one is faster in general.

I like the way it is rather narrow and sculpted for a close paddle entry. But why did they have to make this pointy front of the cocpit is beyond me… I can’t take off my spray skirt easy from the front unless I stretch it forward first and I also think the sharp edge will poke thru it quickly. I will be sawing the edge off next time I work on the boat…

Lastly, the thigh braces may be OK for a short paddler or for someone who does not want to paddle with knees together, but for me they did not allow me to paddle knees together (fine for bracing and such though) and I could barely get in and out of the cockpit with them.

Speaks very well for QCC. Mine arrives
next week. I will post on my initial experience after 30 days of use. In general, not all, more than 50%, of Chinese manufacturing is not up to the standards of the US and Europe. In time they may very well blow right past us. Until that time, you may need to be more careful in deciding what you purchase from China. In this case, I completely blame Kayakpro for selling a product that appears to be sub-standard. I don’t care who makes it, if your name is on the box it is your responsibility. Bill

I had a 700. great service, exceptionally well-built. unfortunately i found it uncomfortable. most people don’t- i bet you’ll like yours a lot. it’s quite fast too.


Review was posted on pnet
back in December.


I agree completely

and so it was
I hadn’t thought to look. The reviews here are generally pretty worthless.