Originally Posted by Creetch
I think the Mariners are the best of the Cheap Crap. You will probably be disappointed after using good stuff. Also the Mariner 4 is actually 11 ft so you won't see much difference from your 12'.
I picked up a Mariner 4 unused in the box from a garage sale for $100 a few years back to use as a fishing raft on flat/slow water. The slatted floor and inflatable keel is pretty cool. My intex Mariner 4 is 10.5 feet long...maybe they changed that with the redesign?
Day one....blew a baffle. The oars are crap, so I put a trolling motor on it and it moves along pretty good. It has taken some bumps on class 1 rivers pretty well but a few times I have floated around a lake and ended up looking like I took anti-aircraft fire from below without even knowing I so much as rubbed on anything. I just put some tear aid on them as they show up...and they will show up.
The floor separates from the tubes very easily. I have a slow leak in the weld of one of the tubes (manufactureing defect) that cannot be stopped. I haven't had valve issues.
Ultimately is served me pretty well as a crappie fishing boat on lakes, but everytime I take it out (didn't even unroll it last year) I go out almost expecting it to fall apart on me. As far as rafts (roundboats) in the $350-$400 price range, this is the best....BUT it is not worth that much IMO. The should be in stores for about $200. I honestly don't feel too great about the $100 I spent on mine, but it's just $100. I recently bought an old 12ft star raft for $50 which after I did some repairs is 10 times the boat....and is replacing the intex in the motorized raft/crappie fishing duties.
If you have a 12' trib you won't get anything extra out of having the mariner IMO.