Mountain Buzz banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
109 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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 have a 12' Aire Trib that I love for paddle and rowing, but moved to the northeast last year and am surrounded by a lot of class I+ creeks (within 30 min driving). I read all of the reviews I could find, and other than cheap, breakable oars, it sounds like the material holds up to rocks and tree branches. I am looking for something small, convenient, and safe to row and to get my 2 almost 3 year old on some float stretches this summer, without the overkill of my frame and oar setup. Mostly use my Trib now for paddling bigger water w family and friends, or traveling to row bigger rivers.

Let me know if you paddle or have paddled/rowed one of these on moving water. Two videos I found on YouTube. One was the mariner 4 with three Oregon boaters paddling big water, the other was a guy on I think the Provo river breaking an oar, hitting a bridge pile-on and flipping his wife and toddler.

Thanks!
 

·
Paddling in to the Future
Joined
·
574 Posts
personally for the way I saw it being used with two piece kayak paddles broke down to use as two paddles in a video (not sure if its the same you viewed) I think you'd do better putting a couple thwarts in your boat and using it as a paddle raft. I personally wouldn't bother with that raft if I already owned a decent boat. I do have a cheap sevylor hunter/fisher raft that fits 4, that I use at a local state park swimming area, the kids bounce around in it and stuff. but it was a brainless purchase off craigslist for like $50 and doesn't do anything other than that little local state park pond.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
We have a Mariner 4 that we used before we found a used outfitter boat. It has been great for the mostly Class 1 Truckee and Merced in Yosemite Valley. I would agree that it is well enough built for the family style float trips. You may be disappointed after working with the real stuff though. The biggest issue we have had was leaky valves.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
109 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the feedback. I've guided 16-18'ers for years in the southwest. The 12' was awesome in AZ for a private boat and is great here in NY too! Good call on not going smaller/cheaper. I did read that about leaky baffles and valves. I think they recently redesigned them for "fishing shallow waterways," hence the reinforced material, upgrade to the Seahawks II. Video on rubber boats.com.

Would hate to waste money on cheap crap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Would hate to waste money on cheap crap.
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'.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
462 Posts
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'.

Spot on.

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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
312 Posts
how many go-pro's does it take to film 8 googans ( aka Joeys or Gapers) as they run their poverty boats down class II water?!


lol. im just kidding... that is a pretty river... would love to float it. looks like those guys are having plenty of fun in their INtex boats... whatever gets you on the water!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
462 Posts
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 ...it 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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
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.
 

·
Jared
Joined
·
733 Posts
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=m9yjWxwN70Y

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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
109 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
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:
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top