The Drive System
While i had the ultimate, i grew quite fond of the propel Multisport drive system. the ability to stay on station in the current and fish is a quality reserved only for these boats. while my friends paddle, then drift, then paddle, then drift, etc i can fish and move. Forward and reverse and all over is no problem. i owned a Hobie Revolution for my offshore boat and while i am a fan of the mirage system, i feel the propel is a better fit for fishing. its only drawback is it is a fixed depth unit. unlike the mirage drive that can fold flat for shallow areas, the propel has to be tilted up for the shallow areas. and the new peddles are much easier on your feet.
Anyone who has had the chance to ride in an ultimate or any Native boat has to know that there is no seat that is more comfortable than the Native first class seating system. In the Mariner they have exceeded even my wishes in the comfort dept. In the Ultimate Multisport, they locate the seat on the floor of the kayak to give a more stable and low center of gravity. But for me, this made me recline more than i was comfortable and made me feel as i was peddling at an incline. this angle was so sever for me it made fishing more difficult. So to solve this i added the seat riser to the Ultimate and this cured my problem. In the mariner, the angle is perfect. you sit at just the right angle to fish and peddle and there is so much room that you can stretch and move as you please in the cockpit.
Unrivaled, Enough Said. I know pro angler guys are going to dispute this fact but I tell you this, I can stand on the back deck and pole this kayak and that’s all you need to know about stability. I stood all of my 200lbs on the back deck and the boat said bring it on. Its stability is so much improved over the ultimate and the standing from a seated position is vastly superior to the ultimate too.
Speed and Maneuverability
The Multisport isn’t as fast as the mirage drive but I feel it’s a great balance of speed and endurance. My mirage could almost plane off the boat but I burned out quickly with speed. My propel is quite fast and quiet and there is no hull slap. The 14.5 ultimate was fast but the mariner is much faster. The new rudder is I feel the weakest link in this boat. It doesn’t retract like the PA and it isn’t connected to the keel. I catch it ever time I load it in my bed and im scared that if I was on an oyster bed I can get hung and break it. But it turns much better than the ultimate and overall I give it a 5.
Any thing you want to bring can go. Large back deck and nice hatch on the bow allow you to carry anything you like.
So to sum it up I love this boat and im sure I missed some key factors but please send me any questions you want and ill answer them to the best I can. The first trip out was this morning at Texas Bayou and had a fantastic time. Caught lots of specs, a nice 30” redfish and many rat reds, flounder, So many croaker, and a couple sand trout. SUPER SLAM for my first Slime of many in my new Mariner. Here are some pics….Joey