I was fortunate enough to get a demo of the Native Watercraft Mariner 10 Propel today with thanks to Mark at Kayak Sports at Burleigh Heads. Although it was not the angler model and I did not have a rod with me, I was still able to get an impression on this crafts capability.Note: I am not comparing this kayak to any other, I wish to post up my experience from todays demo.The Native Watercraft website http://www.nativewatercraft.comsays:
"LENGTH: 10" / 305 cm
WIDTH: 32" / 81 cm
WEIGHT: 72 lbs / 32.5 kg
DISCOVER THREE BOATS IN ONE! Native Watercraft Multisport kayaks feature three unique propulsion systems to offer three very distinct kayaking experiences. The Ultimate™ Multisport series kayaks can be purchased with either the Propel Pedal Drive, the Volt electric drive or soon, the Wind sail drive but each interchangeable system can also be purchased separately.
The sit-on-top Mariner features an open rear deck that is great for a small passenger or gear for a day on the water. The unique low rear deck design coupled with unrivaled stability means that climbing back in after a swim or snorkel is almost effortless. The Propel pedal drive enables you to enjoy the Mariner's maneuverability and comfort all day. "What I say:
My first impression was how smooth a finish on the plastic and how comfortable the seat looked. Mark ran through the features with me, steering control and how to adjust the seat. Looking at the hull underneath I could imagine the stability from the twin pontoons of its tunnel hull design which also made me think it should have less drag than a flat bottom hull and so be a bit quicker.
The pedal drive system "Propel" is a solid unit. It would definitely take a lot of punishment. Raising and lowering of the unit can be done from the seat and is a very quick operation. I would say you could operate the pedal drive in 250mm of water.
Once seated on the water I was able to lean as far as I could without falling overboard but the kayak didnt even look like it would flip, not bad for a 3m kayak.
I ventured to stand up and was very happy to stay standing, I went through the motions of casting and felt confident. If you did fall off it though, it would be easy to climb back in over the stern.
The idea of pedaling a kayak took a little getting used to as did the rudder control by hand. This was my fist time pedalling a kayak and I havent even ridden a pushbike for many years. After playing around for awhile I did get used to it and was enjoying the ride. What I noticed was how easy it was to move along at a pretty good rate and also how responsive the kayak is to the steering. Reverse was simple, just pedal backwards.
I had a go with the pedal drive out and used a paddle. It paddled quite well, I used a normal kayak paddle and had the rudder in a straight position, I was able to turn with rudder fixed by using sweep strokes.
Its application as a fishing kayak would be perfect for dam fishing, especially holding position over deep holes and also venturing up the narrow arms and being able to reverse out again if needed.
In summary it is a very nicely finished kayak, comfortable to sit in, very very stable and the propel system is very quick. It also paddles well. There is a version which comes with a small motor that fits in the same spot as the pedal shaft.
If anyone is keen to check out these kayaks then I suggest you send a PM to Kayaksportsmark and arrange a demo.My Final Comment: IT DOES WHAT IT SAYS IT DOES