Small "Coaster-like" kayak??

Dear Folks:

It was much to my dismay that I read that the Coaster by Mariner Kayaks is no longer being produced. The Coaster seemed like the ideal kayak for me. Small but very safe and seaworthy, especially in very rough conditions. I live in Michigan and want a smaller kayak that “loves rough water” but also can be taken out on nice days to get a good workout and explore the beauty of nature. I’m of smaller stature (5’08" and 155 pounds). Paddling 3 seasons with many lakes of various degrees of challenge.

Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks to all who respond.


Here it is

how far are you from raleigh nc?
you can build your own f1 in a class with brian if you can get to raleigh for a week.

I thought I read somewhere
that Mariner was up and taking orders again

I think they were and now they are not

Our group has Brian for that class and we have one week full and trying to fill a second class starting January 18.

Coaster - like
I’ve never paddled a coaster but hear that Nigel Foster’s new boat – the Whisky – has similarities. Check it out at

Dagger Alchemy
not much info out there yet but Dagger has a new boat that is very ‘Coaster-like’ called the Alchemy.

More rocker and a retractable skeg…and way more comfy (IMO)

they should be in stores in a month or so.


A couple of suggestions
I second the Cape Falcon F-1. I built the SC-1 in summer 2007 and it’s a great boat. The F-1 is a refinement of the design. Skin boats are quiet and light, and are actually pretty easy to make in a class. Going to Manzanita for the class was a lot of fun, and Brian now does some customizing of the boat size to the paddler.

Check out the Delta by West Side Boat Shop. It has similar overall dimensions as the Coaster and is made by a well-respected builder.

There’s currently a thread on the Delta(started by me):

From what I’ve read, the Sportee is the same general shape as the Coaster, but doesn’t perform nearly as well. Also, it’s a stolen design, so it’s probably bad kayak-juju to paddle one.

BTW, there is a used Coaster for sale on the p-net classifieds, although it’s in California. They don’t come up often, and they are usually out west.

Used Coasters

The place to look for used coasters in on the San Francisco Bay Area Kayakers forum. (BASK)

Not cheap and they go fast

This year Matt and Cam had a small ad in SK Magazine to see if there was enough interest to keep their builder in business (I think it was a one man shop). From what I understand the answer was no.

I would love for Sterling Kayaks to partner with Mariner to bring back the Coaster, but that is just wishful thinking on my part right now.

The Sportee is similar, but different. Good write-up on for more information.

The Dagger Alchemy has my attention.

For quite some time, I’ve looked for a used Coaster for sale on the East Coast, but have failed to locate any. Best bet is to buy out west and find a good shipping company.

if you can get one:
a RH340 from the UK…i love mine…rockgarden classes with other instructors in a scorpio and i was keeping up just fine…plastic so it bounces…

No Cape Falcon F1 Reviews…
I plan to change that in about a month…if that goes well and I learn anything, a Yost or two is on tap after that.

How bout a Tsunami 120
a bit wider and shorter but seems like it could fill the same niche.

Pygmy AT14
not really the same handling but somewhat similar intent given four panel hull.

it would seem…

– Last Updated: Dec-10-08 1:31 AM EST –

that a boat like the Zephyr along with a couple others would offer performance equivalent to or better than the Coaster along with built in floatation. i've paddled the C once in moderate conditions, and it was decent enough, but personally, i think there are a number of contemporary designs that have its upsides with no real downsides. the C is certainly unique and very well made and has mystique and it's own draw in that regard.

rough water yak
How about the Necky Chatham 16? Its designed for rough coastal exploration. Good defined chine for stability / turns and a good amount of rocker too.

Read this thread on WcP

another boat to peek at if you can find one is the:

Delsyk Nifty 430 made by The old owner of NEcky

as far as i am aware it is available in Canada and up in Seattle at NWoc.

Coaster is a versatile kayak
It’s light, on the short end but not slow, great in rough conditions and just a lot of fun to paddle. The last time I talked with Matt Broze he said that the guy who was building his boats could not get enough work from Mariner and had moved on.This was about a year ago so maybe he’s found someone else who can fabricate boats to his standards which are pretty high. When i asked Matt if there was a Coaster-like boat on the market he said that he thought the Tsunami 12 was about as close as you might come. He paddled the T-12 and claimed to have liked it. I would also consider the Necky Manitou 13. I’ve only paddled it once at a demo but it has a good amount of volume in the bow and I like the moulded-in skeg; it shouldn’t weather cock to any degree. It’s also light weight and that’s always a good thing. I would also love to try the Dagger Alchemy and the RH340. They might even be better than the Coaster. John

Coaster = stiff tracker
the Coaster, as well as all Mariner yaks, are very stiff tracking, especially at the stern. They are generally shorter and deeper in the stern section, hence the low/no weathercocking aspect. a beach in a very strong wind or reverse, being relatively outta balance in these situations.

Many of the ‘modern’ designs being discussed here as comparisons are more maneouverable (rocker) and better overall balance.

The Coaster is pretty unique. So unique no other boat (except CF’s copy) is even close.

Paddle a Sportee next to a Coaster…they’re not the same.


check —

theres a description and a Sea kayaker mag review