Kayak Identification

Tangler

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Sep 5, 2016
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Nanaimo, BC
Looks a lot like an old Mariner II.
The front deck bungees going through the deck is a Mariner "thing". Other manufacturers may have done it too of course.
 

AM

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Yeah, that back end with flat deck looks Mariner-ish to me. The hatches are not stock Mariner, nor are the toggles through the end pour. Could this be an early model, before they figured out their outfitting strategy?
 

cougarmeat

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There is also no elbow catching 4-inch "inspection" port in the bow - to assist in sliding things in/out of that area. Those circular hatches look Mariner-isque.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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@KayakNinja - Is this a boat you can inspect, or just pictures from online? Dimensions and bulkhead arrangements would help with ID.
It would be unusual for a Mariner to have a rudder, as this boat did, but they did make some if customers insisted. (EDIT:Or it may well be later owner modification.) The cockpit shape is not like the Mariner II I had. I've also never seen a Mariner without ID under the glass in the cockpit - sometimes faded but usually there. I think almost all Mariners have the HIN on the starboard aft, just below the seam. A look at the underside would help - I don't see the typical Mariner 'keel'. But perhaps an original Mariner?
BTW- I notice that the Mariner website homepage is 'up' but the content isn't available today.
 
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mick_allen

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Yup - an old Mariner II : found another amost identical example yak with the name clearly marked . . . good eyes everyone!

[odd ckpt shape, 4 inserted decklines vs 3 but no parallel indents for tieoffs like the later II's, funny hatches etc]

MarinerII_18-0.jpg
 

JohnAbercrombie

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I wonder if they changed the deck - to a more 'pointey' cockpit with the deck 'rolldown' and the cleat recesses, later? It is strange that the logo on the red kayak doesn't have the 'II' after the Mariner name.
Here's a pic by George Gronseth that's captioned "Matt Broze in Mariner II in 50 kt wind waves Baja 86 or 87" in my files. You can clearly see the front mid-line round hatch; the other details aren't so clear.
Matt broze in Mariner II Baja 50kt wind waves  86 or 87.JPG
 

chodups

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Nov 2, 2005
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Matt says that he thinks it is the second Mariner that he and Cam built. I suspect that he will drop in to discuss.
 

SalishSeaNior

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Okanagan Valley, Canada
I do not believe the boat pictured above is a Mariner II. It looks exactly like the original Mariner to me. I had two of them, my younger brother still has one. The original was 18 ft 6 inches long if I recall correctly, the II is shorter and is a cutdown (length), version of the origninal which was 7 inches longer. I believe the II is also an inch or so less in depth with more flare to the hull. Here is a link to the Mariner History Page. The first image on the link is of Cam Broze paddling an original Mariner. If you scroll down, you will see an image of Matt paddling a Mariner II.

The first image is a dead ringer for the boats you picture above. The II is shorter, has a much abbreviated upswept bow and looks shorter and lower volume in the image. The boats you pictured above are most definitely the original Mariner, or "Grand Mariner" as I have begun to call it as a former owner. I in fact began to call it the "Grand Mariner" (my own term), to differentiate it from the Mariner II.

The red boat in the last image is identical to my first Mariner, right down to the colour. I paddled my original "Grand Mariner" in a rec race in Anacortes in the late 80's if I recall correctly. Matt was in a Mariner II at the same event. I beat him, not by a lot, we finished 1 and 2. The original Mariner was very fast! Great expedition boat for maximum gear capacity on long trips. Not a beginner boat however and took a lot of muscle to drive it and especially to turn it. It was also quite "tippy" when paddled empty. It was designed to be paddled loaded for long expeditions and efficient distance coverage. The hull is rated in the "Fast Sea Kayak Class". Great boat for young Turks who want to do big trips.

Here is a link to a post on this website from 3 years ago with images of a Mariner II being offered for sale. You can see in the first image that the logo on the deck says Mariner II. The logo on the deck of the Mariner shown above simply states Mariner. The original Mariner was first built in about 1980, the Mariner II came along as a design refinement a few years later. As mentioned above, the Mariner II also sported cleat recesses, which do not appear on the images of the boat you are enquiring about.

My two bits worth.
 
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mick_allen

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adding a wrinkle - the red boat in my post was described as a mariner II and was mentioned as 18' long . . . the info is not definitive tho', so . . . and in addtion the II shown on the mariner website is only marked 'mariner' like the red boat and does not seem to have the paralleled cleats:
MarinerII.jpg


however . . . the boat in the OP does appear quite lengthy - and I would need more to doubt what SalishSeaNior concluded - that it is a mariner I.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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Here is a link to a post on this website from 3 years ago with images of a Mariner II being offered for sale. You can see in the first image that the logo on the deck says Mariner II. The logo on the deck of the Mariner shown above simply states Mariner.
I think you are correct about the ID on the 'mystery boat' from the OP- that it is an 'original' Mariner. That ad you mention was for a Mariner II that I'd repainted, and I had new logos made for it. I'm pretty confident - but not 100% sure- that the boat had the same 'Mariner II' wording - but a different font- logo when I got it.
 
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chodups

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Matt wasn't saying "Mariner II". He was saying that it was the second "Mariner" that they built. They wrote the first purchase order for boat number 6. He seemed pretty sure about it but was asking Cam to confirm. They kept numbers 1 and 3 for a while and boat #2 went to someone in BC. Numbers 4 & 5 they lost track of but from #6 on they knew who they went to.
 
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KayakNinja

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Mar 23, 2018
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Strange Island
I am impressed and humbled by all of the incredible knowledge and information here. Thank you all! What should one do with a kayak like this?
 

JohnAbercrombie

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I am impressed and humbled by all of the incredible knowledge and information here. Thank you all! What should one do with a kayak like this?
Buy it and paddle it! :)
Seriously, do you own it now? With air bags or large dry bags for gear when tripping IMO you could paddle it 'as is' after you add some new deck lines.
 

SalishSeaNior

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Nov 15, 2020
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Okanagan Valley, Canada
If I had that boat, I would most definitely refurbish it, if it is still sound and relatively seaworthy. Looks like it has been painted, so it would require stripping and fairing the hull, and then painting, or having it painted with an appropriate marine coating to make her shine. If you have room and are interested in that type of project, you could do it yourself; lots of advice here, or on the web.

If not, you could have it done by a marine repair shop, We don't know where you, or the boat, are located, so can't give advice on that. My brother had his refinished at a small shop here in the Okanagan Valley and I have had work done on my own boats in a couple of different small shops in different places. So you could look for a marine repair, or even automotive repair shop nearby, where you could go and ask. Best to take the boat so they can look at it and tell you if they are willing to work on it. Of course that will likely cost a bit, but at the end, the boat would be redone and a real classic. As Chodups says, it is quite possibly the second "Mariner I" out of the mould.

As drahcir mentioned, you could put bulkheads and new hatches into it to bring it into the modern kayak vein. Or, alternatively you could paddle it "old school" with a sea sock and dry bags, or float bags for flotation. That is the way the Broze brothers initially intended it to be paddled and it works quite well. I have a friend who still paddles his boat with this setup and he is loaded and unloaded long before the rest of us with newer kayaks with bulkheads and watertight compartments every time we go out. The boat you picture has the two small round crew on hatch ports front and back. Those are intended to allow you to reach dry bags at the bow and stern ends without having to crawl inside with a stick to reach them. You can also tie strings to the bags that are way up in the ends and allow them to trail to where they are reachable. That would be a far less costly option than the full rebuild.

The Mariner I swallows gear and is the perfect boat for lengthy outings. I used to carry a large two burner Coleman stove in mine on lengthy trips. It went inside the cockpit in front of the foot braces. That made cooking for a group soooo much easier and was one of the big perks of paddling that boat. I know of no other kayak, other than large K2s, that are capable of doing that.

I also do not know what your paddling skill level is, but as mentioned earlier, this is a long, narrow boat that requires skill and power to paddle it comfortably. It "needs to be put on a hard lean to turn it" effectively even with sweep strokes. The write up on the Mariner on the history page I linked earlier admits as much. This is especially true if you paddle it empty. I pretty much learned to paddle in a boat identical to this, but I was in my early 30's, strong and confident. Even so, I scared myself a few times in it early on. It made me a more competent paddler though.

So if you want to keep it, fix her up, and own a classic in the real sense of the word. If not, I expect you could offer it for sale here on WCP and someone will buy and repair it. Either way, it is a boat that deserves to be given a second life. Good luck with whatever you choose to do.

Cheers
 

cougarmeat

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Sep 17, 2012
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Bend OR USA
> Thank you all! What should one do with a kayak like this?

I'd build a shrine for it. :)

If you refurbish it, I wouldn't glass in both bow and stern bulkheads. One of the beauties of the Mariner is being able to shove gear - large gear - in the bow and stern without fighting small dry bags and relatively tiny hatches. That said, the lack of bulkheads does create a safety issue with no built-in flotation. Loaded, there is probably enough interior water displacement and flotation because of the drybags. But empty, you need to add some "airbags". I wouldn't trust just the recommended sea sock.

For that reason, my boats have a rear bulkhead. It gives me one flotation chamber and still allows the ease of sliding bags pasts the foot pedals up to the bow (tying a tether line on the first bag in of course).
 
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