Native propel Mariner 12.5 review - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 01-15-2012, 11:56 PM   #1
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Sorry this is so long but if your curious about the Native propel 12.5 I feel it is worth your time
First off I’m not doing this review to try to sell you on the native propel or to convince anyone that it is as good as the hobies . I tried hard to find information on the kayak before buying this one but it was almost non-existent . these are the kayaks I have owned and what I am basing my opinions from. Pelican outcast 116, Ocean-kayak prowler trident 13, Older model Hobie outback, New model Hobie outback, and the pro angler.

I gave the native about 5 pedals and instantly I thought I had made a great mistake! It just didn’t feel like a Hobie and felt awkward. Five minutes into the trip and I had changed my mind it now felt natural going in a full circle. There is more resistance in the pedals when compared to the mirage system but I easily found my groove. It was fairly easy to compare the speed to the pro Angler since Millertime had his and Coolbluestreak had mine out. Cruising speed is about the same for the two kayaks but in a sprint the Pro angler easily came out ahead. At high speeds the Propel drive starts to cavitate feels like the prop slips in the water .

Next I tested its shallow water abilities. I feel that the propel drives shallow water ability is its biggest disadvantage. I found that the drive has to be pulled out around the time that one would spread the mirage pedals to avoid hitting bottom. One simple tip to help prevent damage to the propel drive is to unlock the middle drive lock shown in these pictures . Doing that when you anticipate shallow water will allow the drive to pop up if you hit bottom . Beware that peddling fast with it unlocked will also cause it to pop up I usually go slow through the shallows even when using my Hobie(you never know what could be down there .) The shallows also revealed that the native propel actually paddles pretty good for not being a paddle kayak even with half a paddle I was able to track fairly straight and at a decent speed. Shallows with the native propels is possible but requires attention to detail and caution.

Next I tested the kayaks stability . Using the pedals I was able to pull myself up to cast and land fish. From the kayaks I have owned the pro angler is easily the most stable but the mariner comes in second . I also found the ride to be about as wet as the ride in the pro angler both stay dry unless taking decent waves from unusual angles right millertime and coolblue? Lol . The mariner I own has a homemade rudder upgrade which performs very well . It is easier to turn then the pro angler but is no match to an outback with a sailing rudder . The downside to the mariners rudder is that it is always “deployed” mine having the homemade upgrade has issues launching it digs into the ground.

After our 8 hours of fishing and exploring I was pleasantly surprised. My back and knees felt great normally I have pain in both! This leads me to my favorite thing about the mariner and that’s its simple yet very comfortable seat it is hard to explain but it just feels right. I had issues when going for more than a couple hours in my other kayaks . I also have issues with my feel going numb and falling asleep with the mirage pedals this didn’t happen with the propel. Here is a video of the kayak in action

http://vimeo.com/35111551

My next goal is to test it in the ocean to see how it handles out there. If you are in the market for a peddling kayak do yourself a favor and test everything you can before making a decision . If you consider testing the native propel and don’t know where to go let me know and maybe we can set something up so you can test mine. I did have issues with the rudder cable getting pinched on the rudder control wheel but it was an easy adjustment of one screw. Today I had an issue with my pro angler rudder getting stuck in the up position but that’s another story lol. If anyone has any other questions or thing for me to test let me know and I will try to get it done.
Thank you for reading

oscar

Last edited by oxbeast1210; 01-16-2012 at 12:44 AM.
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:57 PM   #2
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ill try to fix the links sorry
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Old 01-16-2012, 12:07 AM   #3
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Native propel Mariner 12.5  review-dsc09776-jpg   Native propel Mariner 12.5  review-dsc09777-jpg   Native propel Mariner 12.5  review-dsc09780-jpg   Native propel Mariner 12.5  review-dsc09781-jpg   Native propel Mariner 12.5  review-dsc09782-jpg  

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Old 01-16-2012, 12:27 AM   #4
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Sounded like more negative then positive I've heard the prop gets jamed in shallow water flats. My knees are 100% better than they were considering I've had both if them replaced the mirage drive gibes you way more advantages in my opion. Thanks for the review though!

Chase
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Old 01-16-2012, 12:35 AM   #5
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Just my honest opinion
like I said im not trying to suggest its Better then the hobies but if you find one at a decent price its not bad at all .
Everyones body is different for me this has been the best for my back and knee(dislocated knee cap that broke into two pieces and two surgeries ) . that Being said my pro angler is still my baby
biggest thing is try before you buy

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Old 01-16-2012, 09:15 AM   #6
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Good review. Seeing u out there it definitely seemed comfortable and stable. Ultimately it is what is the best fit for an individual angler
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:13 PM   #7
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This is awesome, thanks Ox. I was just about to search back through the kayak forum to see if any one had a Mariner and compared it to the PA. Tax return season is upon us and that is just what I had been eyeballing. I do have to ask, how would you compare your Castaway 116 or the Trident Prowler to the Mariner? The difference has to be miles apart. I have a 116 and a Pescador 12 and while the PA might be nice I'm still not convinced that its worth paying the extra $1K for it over the Mariner. Where did you pick up your Mariner? I've seen them at Pensacola Kayak and Sail. I might want to add that I am a cheap broke bastard, I payed $200 for the 116 and I won the Pescador as a door prize at a Navy Ball.

Another question does it come with everything they're advertising or are they just showing what it can be outfitted with i.e. anchor trolley, rod holders?

http://www.nativewatercraft.com/boat_detail.cfm?id=24

Last edited by Seatmech86; 01-16-2012 at 11:36 PM.
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:20 PM   #8
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Hey I think I met you before you were launching under the bridge into the escambia river and your friend was having trouble ordering.his lisence on the phone right?

Anyway I got a great deal on my mariner on craigslist it was only used twice and you can tell. The one you looked at online is the angler version and comes with everything shown.

The pro angler is on another level but like you said it will cost you. Some things to consider is transporting. Depending on what you have you might need to make some changes if you get the PA.

The mariner seems to be designed to compete more with the outback then the pro angler .

I prefer any peddling kayak over most paddling its another world makes many things a lot easier.

Ill pm you my number in case u want to try both of them out
just let me know
Oscar
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:30 PM   #9
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Hey Ox,
Thanks again for letting me use your PA, I had a blast. I told the wife I had fun and she said "don't even think about it, I found out how much they cost".
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:35 PM   #10
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No problem I had fun
LOL sorry for how long that trip was seemed easy getting out there not so fun getting back haha I need to get an elliptical.
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