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Old 02-20-2015   #11
2kanzam's Avatar
Charleston, West Virginny
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 461
Originally Posted by amv48 View Post

Here's that video I mentioned if the guys in Oregon. I found another of the owner making it into a self bailer.

Taking the slatted floor and keel out would pretty much take the best parts of the boat away...or if he just punched holes in the floor to let it drain and left everything else inplace would be a PIG with all the drag and water weight you introduced.

I've considered it myself...but only because it might as well be bailer since the floor springs a leak so often.

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Old 04-27-2015   #12
Washington, Washington, D.C.
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 6
Originally Posted by amv48 View Post
Wondering if any of you had used one of these, and if so, used one on moving water? Specifically the Mariner 3 or 4.
I know this reply is a couple of months later, but in case it's helpful....

I bought a Mariner 3 and put a row frame on it as an intro raft. You can probably find my old thread with a few pictures on here somewhere. I only took it out 3 times, basically on flat water and some mild riffles as a fishing boat, but it did just fine.

The boat is definitely more durable than a pool toy, but it is not nearly the same quality as a commercial level raft. The boston valves are cheap, and when the boat is inflated the circles from the valves sort of protrude out of the PVC skin in a way that makes you wonder if they're going to hold. I put pipe insulation between the frame and tubes so the metal wouldn't rub. The raft is only 2 chambers, so if one of those fails, you're in rough shape. The patch kit that comes with the boat is crap, so get Tear Aid Type B and some duct tape. The plastic oar locks didn't seem very strong, and certainly never intended for rivers above flat water, but I never really used them. My Mariner won't ever be used on truly remote rivers where I'd be in trouble if the boat just failed.

All that said, the material the boat is made of is only marginally less thick than the PVC of a Saturn RD 365 (ducky/light raft). Considering the RD365 costs $600+, I think a $200 Mariner is quite a fair price for a brand new boat of this quality. Just don't count on it to take any real abuse or last you 10 years.

Most folks on here (but not all ) poo poo'd my strategy of buying the Mariner 3 as a first boat, but I'm glad I did. I loved taking it out, I learned a lot about boats and frames, and I built a row frame from steel fence rail post and aluminum Hollaender fittings. Even using the boat just 3 times so far, I spent about the same as I would have for a canoe rental somewhere.

I recently lucked out and found a good deal on a used Aire Traveler in my area, and I am now modifying the same row frame for the Traveler.

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Old 04-27-2015   #13
Learch's Avatar
Dundee, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 655
Originally Posted by amv48 View Post

Here's that video I mentioned if the guys in Oregon. I found another of the owner making it into a self bailer.
That's the run I took my 3 and 6 year olds on all summer last year. lots of idiot carnage there when it's hot out. My 14 mows most of it down, but we have a blast with the kids.
Wishing I was on the river instead of surfing the web...
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Old 04-28-2015   #14
Buffalo, New York
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 109
I can imagine people getting in over their heads w these boats. I I have a newborn now and figure I need another non paddling adult to keep watch on my 2 yr old, so I picked up a mini cat for fun for now. I'll use my larger raft when we do something with the kids for now and when they get a little older like your kids, maybe I'll pick up the mariner for screwing around on the class I creeks around here. Safety first with little ones, safety third with friends:

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