Kayak Identification

SalishSeaNior

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Nov 15, 2020
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72
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Okanagan Valley, Canada
Fully agree with Cougarmeat, you would need flotation in addition to a sea sock Empty inflated dry bags will work for that if you are paddling it unladen, or you can likely buy purpose built air bags. But if you choose not to use a sea sock, then the air bags must be secured inside so they don't drift our in the even to a capsize.
 

mick_allen

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May 15, 2005
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3,481
As one would likely not go thru the work of replacing the tiny round hatchlids with large lids, I wouldn't bother to glass in bulkheads but instead glue in tabs for some kind of netting or webbing airbag or drybag control at the logical bulkhead locations.
This will make gear inserting way more easy espec with additionally reaching in with an arm at the tiny hatchlid locations.

It helps to consider that all stuffed gearbags are way less massive that their equivalent water volume so virtually all gearbags in a tightly packed boat will provide huge amounts of floatation notwithstanding no bulkheads . . . they just need some kind of control.

And in the empty case, use airbags or whatever other good floatation bags you have that are restrained by that netting.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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Dec 7, 2011
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3,333
Location
Victoria, BC
In an email to me, Matt Broze (Mariner Kayaks co-founder with his brother Cam) added some excellent information which I will post here.

On flotation and float bags:
We had custom float bags made that were far bigger than the float bags that were available at the time (mostly to fit WW kayaks before the introduction of pillars required even smaller split float bags, which without the pillars would easily get out past each other. The closest I'd ever come to losing a float bag in all the surfing and rescue practice and testing I did was by driving down the highway with no cockpit cover in place and having the low pressure from the Bernoulli's effect move the sliding seat forward as far as it would go with the airbag right behind it pushing it forward. I never lost a float bag that way, but I could see the possibility and started using cockpit covers to prevent a somewhat deflated float bag (perhaps deflated for driving over a mountain pass--which might pop a fully inflated one) or any other items in the kayak from coming out due to the low pressure created by the air speeding over the cockpit. Even in surf the seat blocked the stern bag from coming out. The foot pedals we had made seemed to do a good job of keeping an inflated bow float bag in place, but I can see they might not be adequate with pedals that could easily be pushed back (or slide back out of the way like the rudder pedals in the kayak under discussion.



I gave George Gronseth our float bag patterns when we retired, so Kayak Academy is the only place I know to get big enough float bags for use in our sea kayak models. George modified them slightly by rounding the ends facing the cockpit so it was less likely the 90 degree corners (ears) might get pinched by the foot pedals. I've never tested them, but that modification might mean they could get through the foot pedals just a bit easier. They come in bow and stern sizes, but the Coaster takes two bow bags, and the longer stern bag might be a better fit to maximize flotation in the original Mariner's long deep bow. If the kayak under discussion is indeed the second Mariner ever made, as I still think it is, it is 3/4 of an inch deeper than the vast majority (all the vacuum-bagged ones) of the original Mariner.
Reading the Flotation Manual on the Mariner kayaks website would also be a good idea.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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Dec 7, 2011
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Victoria, BC
On the hatches:
The hatches on the kayak under discussion are Henderson TCL4 hatches. Back in 1980 they were what was on nearly all British made sea kayaks with bulkheads (that I was aware of then, anyhow) and all one's gear was loaded through their roughly 7 or 7.5" diameter holes. Sleeping bags were stuffed through the hatch last, and into a bigger dry bag inside the kayak that had to be sealed up through that hatch hole while inside the kayak. Packing hatch and bulkhead kayaks took a whole lot longer back then than they do now.



When VCP came out with their original rubber lid (round) VCP hatches most Brit kayaks soon switched to them. They were a little bit bigger, but stuck up higher at the bow creating more spray in head seas. The plastic used in the rims of the early ones, was usually glassed into place during the decks lamination. With age the rim material shrank enough that the rubber lid would get loose, and they all had to be replaced with ones made with plastic rims of a more suitable material. Quite the nightmare for VCP at the time. The TLC4 had its own problems that the VCP hatches cured.



The Henderson TLC4 hatches had screw threads that pulled the separate central plate and rubber seal straight down on to the rim. That design meant at least one didn't have to turn the rubber seal (while it was under pressure) to loosen the lid (which is one reason why we used the 4" Beckson "inspection port", rather than their harder to open and seal, bigger 6" model, for armhole access). Beckson also had much bigger threads, than their competitors. Those big threads were far easier to get sand out of. We tethered them to inside the hatch to try to keep them out of the sand as much as possible. But I digress. The TLC4 hatch also had a problem with grit and sand and could be very hard to open as a result. Some folks made a big spanner out of plywood to engage two of the lugs at once and provide much more leverage than one's hands on the lugs could. I used to sometimes have to pound on one of the lugs with a piece of driftwood, or two, like a hammer and chisel, to open them. That is, until I knocked off one of the lugs by doing that.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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Dec 7, 2011
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Victoria, BC
More from Matt Broze:
Anybody who buys that early original Mariner should know that the level trim location for the back top of the sliding seat to the cockpit coaming behind it was about 9". BTW, that seat back to rear coaming distance was 6" on our next model, the Escape, which had the same cockpit coaming. If a new buyer puts a fixed position seat where they normally go in most kayak cockpits, the original Mariner kayak will be seriously out of trim, stern heavy, and that will make that hull overly stiff tracking, a little slower, and much worse, especially hard to turn into a strong wind. Adding a rudder won't help that last problem any at all, unless it is lifted out of the water to catch more wind at the stern, but rather is more likely to make the problem worse by turning the angled rudder into a brake (if the rudder is angled any more than the kayak can turn into the wind without it). Over doing the rudder angle would likely be a rudder users' natural tendency if the kayak isn't already turning as quickly as they want it to turn. Braking with the rudder is a problem because slowing the kayaks speed in a sidewind reduces the natural weathercocking tendency of a hull moving across the wind. That weathercocking effect can help some for turning into a wind. Like the original Mariner taught SalishSeaNior to get much better at bracing, it taught me to be better at turning into a strong wind by paddling, in a safe place, upwind from a beach, during named storms.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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Dec 7, 2011
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Victoria, BC
And, from Matt, the right paddler and the right boat:
Personally, I'd advise someone who really wants an original Mariner and is suitable for it. That is HE is big, strong, has good bracing skills for paddling it when unladen (bigger and taller is tippier), and is willing to learn how to best turn into strong winds, and will practice that in a safe place, such as in a strong wind blowing towards a good landing beach (or will be just using it for long heavily laden expeditions). I'd suggest finding an original Mariner for sale that has been vacuum-bagged (if this one is #2, as I think, it is hand laid-up), is solidly built (not lightweight and flimsy as some Kevlar ones were built, at the customer's request). Actually, I used a flawed (too light and not stiff enough for the customer) one of those myself for racing and once pretty much wrapped it around a big buoy near the Montlake cut, surfing the wake of a powerboat that suddenly accelerated, making a big breaker that surfed me sideways right into the buoy. There was surprisingly little damage and didn't even require a repair. I was leaning and bracing so hard trying to pull myself over that breaker that the bruise from hitting the steel buoy was on the side of the kayak that had been closest to the powerboat--but I digress again). I'd suggest they find an original Mariner that has a functioning, or at least easily repairable sliding seat system. One that hasn't been painted over, so doesn't need nearly so much work (and with this one, perhaps, also needing a, no longer available, sliding seat). Being 3/4" deeper than most original Mariners this one would hold even more gear than the vacuum bagged ones, but wouldn't stand up to serious abuse nearly as well.
 

KayakNinja

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Joined
Mar 23, 2018
Messages
10
Location
Strange Island
Well folks, this kayak is up for grabs - if you want it and can come get it (in Ucluelet) please message me. A financial donation of some sort for the person who had this in their backyard would be appreciated. Thanks!
 
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