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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:59 am 
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Pros/Cons of Native 10’ Mariner Propel vs. Hobie Revo 11

I have an opportunity to buy a 2011 Native 10 Mariner, unused at a good price.

The use of either yak would be mainly for solo trips on local river or a couple of lakes.

There would be minimal fishing. The yaks would be used mainly for private touring or going with a couple of friends on our local waters.

My needs for this Yak would be:

1. Light enough for a 73 year old to throw in the back of my Ridgeline for a quick trip and light enough to transport from 100-200 yds on a cart to get to the water. Also, minimal effort launching and getting the yak out of the water with or without a ramp. :mrgreen:

2. Short enough to store in our shed or on the top of my Jon boat, where a 12’ yak resides at this time and light enough to easily get in and out of the double shed doors or up on the Jon boat.

3. Able to handle the mild wind and waves for the shorter cruises with the Pedal systems. No need for speeds more than 3-4 mph and most speed would be 2-3 mph. I would sometime cruise with friends with a Revo and an Outback, neither are into speed runs or marathons.

4. Dry re winds up to 8-10 mph and low waves up to 1’. Stabile in these conditions.

5. Ability to turn in tight situations like along docks or in tighter areas of my river or lakes.

6. Ability to be able to pedal the above trips without having to paddle and hurting :oops: my rotator cuffs.

This afternoon would be a typical day for the above. The weather has changed from rainy to nice, and we have minimal wind. High tide will be about 1:30 pm. The wind is low and not expected to start up until about 3:30 pm.

So I could drive 10 minutes, and launch the yak at about 12:30 to 1 and have a couple of good hours before the wind kicks in and the tide gets too low. Get back without being whipped from loading the yak, launching it, loading it for the return trip, put it in the shed or on the Jon Boat at home. Be able to watch the Stanford/Oregon game and go out for dinner with my wife later without feeling beatup/elder abuse by a big/long/heavy yak.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:51 pm 
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Grampa Spey wrote:
Pros/Cons of Native 10’ Mariner Propel vs. Hobie Revo 11

I have an opportunity to buy a 2011 Native 10 Mariner, unused at a good price.
The Propel definitely has its fans, and has some nice features -- easy reverse (if you want or need it) and comfortable seat -- but it also has a few problems. Here's an example:

Join Date
Aug 2010
Location
Wilmington, NC
Posts
15
Mariner repairs..
Mardoc, thanks for the post. I bought my Mariner from it's first owner about a year ago. Since then, I have had the following issues:
1. Push tab that holds the drive down broke... twice.
(I'm told it is supposed to, but that the first one I had was an old design that usually broke more easily than its supposed to..)
2. Both pedals have come unscrewed while cruising.
(I think I fixed the problem with loctite.. and I now carry the appropriate allen wrench with me.
3. The U-Bracket that holds the push tab the holds the drive down broke.
(I replaced it, but your idea of metal reinforcing band is a very good one... I'll do that.)
4. The steering cable broke.
(I went to a marine hardware store, bought cable and terminal ends and replaced it)
5. The plastic strap end that connects the seat back to the seat bottom broke.
(The local dealer got a new strap for me, but for the short term I just used a caribiner to attache the strap.
6. One of the rectangular tabs that the seat base slides under broke.
(Local dealer replaced)
7. The propel drive cracked as earlier indicated.
(Welded)

So far.. that's it, but hey... this weekend may provide a new adventure. I want to give credit to my local dealer, Hook, Line and Paddle. Chris, Brian and staff are great, and they have been extremely helpful, even though I didn't buy my Mariner from them.


The lesson is, demonstrate it first, even though it is "new". There may be a reason that Propel Mariner is such a good deal. See if you actually like the way the Drive works in the water and the comfort level of the pedal cranks. There is a lot more knee and hip movement with the Propel. They've recently changed the prop pitch to make it easier to pedal -- I think you would want that update. You can look into the conversion price on their forum.

While you're at it, check out their warranty and customer support -- some are happy with it and some are not so pleased.

I've demoed the Propel (Ultimate) and have also demoed or owned a few other pedaling craft. There is a good reason why I'm such a huge Hobie fan.

If you get to try it, let us know your impressions. 8)


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:17 pm 
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Thanks as usual for your thoroughness.

Interestingly for my needs, having a reverse isn't high on my list. You can flutter the Mirage in to land, put the blades into the neutral position and use a small oar or paddle to come ashore. They claim that having a reverse is great for fishing when you get a large fish. However, when your fly rod, reel and Spey line cost about the same as your kayak, a really big fish with either yak in my rivers/waters would be handled best by using light tippet and breaking off the fly if the fish starts to tow you around.

It seems like many of the yak makers have a deaf ear when certain problems occur across the board and not just with power users and those who yak on the edges.

Roadrunner wrote:
Grampa Spey wrote:
Pros/Cons of Native 10’ Mariner Propel vs. Hobie Revo 11

I have an opportunity to buy a 2011 Native 10 Mariner, unused at a good price.
The Propel definitely has its fans, and has some nice features -- easy reverse (if you want or need it) and comfortable seat -- but it also has a few problems. Here's an example:

Join Date
Aug 2010
Location
Wilmington, NC
Posts
15
Mariner repairs..
Mardoc, thanks for the post. I bought my Mariner from it's first owner about a year ago. Since then, I have had the following issues:
1. Push tab that holds the drive down broke... twice.
(I'm told it is supposed to, but that the first one I had was an old design that usually broke more easily than its supposed to..)
2. Both pedals have come unscrewed while cruising.
(I think I fixed the problem with loctite.. and I now carry the appropriate allen wrench with me.
3. The U-Bracket that holds the push tab the holds the drive down broke.
(I replaced it, but your idea of metal reinforcing band is a very good one... I'll do that.)
4. The steering cable broke.
(I went to a marine hardware store, bought cable and terminal ends and replaced it)
5. The plastic strap end that connects the seat back to the seat bottom broke.
(The local dealer got a new strap for me, but for the short term I just used a caribiner to attache the strap.
6. One of the rectangular tabs that the seat base slides under broke.
(Local dealer replaced)
7. The propel drive cracked as earlier indicated.
(Welded)

So far.. that's it, but hey... this weekend may provide a new adventure. I want to give credit to my local dealer, Hook, Line and Paddle. Chris, Brian and staff are great, and they have been extremely helpful, even though I didn't buy my Mariner from them.


The lesson is, demonstrate it first, even though it is "new". There may be a reason that Propel Mariner is such a good deal. See if you actually like the way the Drive works in the water and the comfort level of the pedal cranks. There is a lot more knee and hip movement with the Propel. They've recently changed the prop pitch to make it easier to pedal -- I think you would want that update. You can look into the conversion price on their forum.

While you're at it, check out their warranty and customer support -- some are happy with it and some are not so pleased.

I've demoed the Propel (Ultimate) and have also demoed or owned a few other pedaling craft. There is a good reason why I'm such a huge Hobie fan.

If you get to try it, let us know your impressions. 8)

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:12 pm 
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Location: High Point, NC
The owner of Native is a friend of mine, however... I feel that if you were to make an objective comparison of both the Propel and Mirage Drives, you'll choose the Mirage Drive model. As I've often said, the Propel is like pedaling a bicycle up a hill, the Mirage Drive is like pedaling a bicycle on level ground. Frankly, I don't think the comparison is even close.

However, there is nothing at all wrong with the Propel and Mariner. If you have the opportunity to buy one at a super deal, it might just be a wise thing to do. Unless, of course, you can find a Mirage Drive kayak for the same price.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 3:29 am 
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As a cyclist, I will say that a propel is like pedaling a recumbent bike around in circles where a mirage is like a seated stairmaster up and down in line. Do either of these motions sound more comfortable to you? Also, an objective analysis of product histories will show up plenty of problems with both products to cause concern. The Hobie is a good boat, and I'm about to buy one in a couple days. I suspect that either would work for you, though you're likely to see a lot more pro-Hobie responses here. I don't know if people answering already know your size. I see that you're 73, but that doesn't tell me if you're a compact 140 pounds or 6'+ and 250. That would be important to know if one were to answer about the dryness of ride and stability for the smaller boats.

Personally, and I'm not a little guy, I don't think any "normal" kayak is too heavy to drag with a cart. Loading into the back of a pickup off a cart is also pretty trivial if you're fit enough to be out on the boat.

Also, as far as having to paddle goes, I hope you have the ability to paddle in the event of a drive failure in either case.

I know the Hobie turns well, and would recommend investigating that aspect of the propel.

In any case, you should be able to get a test ride, or at least see the boats before you commit one way or the other. I'm not the expert, and I won't even claim to play one on TV.

-bob


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:03 am 
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I'm 5'9" @ 200#'s. I'm an avid walker, and we live on a steep hill and walk a minimum of 5 times per week and sometimes twice a day. The walks are a minimum of 1.5 miles up and down a short but a rapid increase in height from basically sea level to just under 500' in a quarter of a mile.

My problem with lifting is due to two rotator cuff tears and a bicep head tear on the right shoulder. In spite of a lot of PT, I still have problems of lifting my arm over my shoulders with zero weight. That eliminated a couple of classic Spey Casting actions like the single Spey cast, and my PT advised me not use a two handed spey rod that weighed over 8-10 ounces and over 13'.5' long. So I have sold the longer rods and moved to the shorter rods, which are the big sellers now.

I was not ready to be a cripple for life, so I have adapted to the shorter two handed fly rods and avoid doing casts that require lifting my hand over my shoulder. On shad, striper, steelhead fishing, my adaptations enable me to catch as many fish as the uninjured fishers and often more.

There are a lot of two handed casters with similiar shoulder problems. Since the financial meltdown, the surviving rod makers have moved to shorter and lighter rods. Many of the manufacturers, who stayed with the 15' to 18' rods have gone out of business, been bought or are in terrible financial situations. They failed to address a real need in their audience and continued to create and market rods for the pros and international competitors, who might make up 2-5% of the total market.

When, my fly fishing friends and younger relatives suffer from an overload of testosterone and challenge me re not lifting my hand over my head. I ask them if they would make fun of a blind man, not able to see, a deaf person unable to hear or a one legged guy unable to run. Those are disabilities like my right shoulder is.

The bad shoulder is why I got into the Hobie Mirages. We had a roof rack for one day, and we had to get rid of the roof rack on my pickup and went to a trailer for our Oasis due to my limitations.

I have a bed extender for my pickup, and I can load my 12' Freedom Hawk with its poontoons attached on and off with no problem. Or I can throw it into the truck bed without the poontoons and use a cargo net.

My shoulder doesn't allow me to load our Oasis with the bed extender without some help. I know that seems like I'm a woosey to some. Also, some people can stand up in their Hobies and cast fly rods. I can't, nor do I worry about not being able to do it.

Pedaling the Oasis has not been a challenge and after the first couple of trips, 1-2 hours of good steady pedaling was not a problem. My wife and I averaged about 3-4 mph, (measured by GPS), when both of us get into a cadence with our Oasis, and we have hit 6 mph for a short time.

I probably would not have a problem with the Propel except maybe taking an unplanned nap in calm water on a sunny day with that seat. I have a similiar add on seat for my Fish Hawk 12, and I have come close to nodding off on a calm day while anchored in the sun.

To restate my needs. I'm looking for a good pedal yak 10-11.5' which is light enough to load and unload with my physical situation. Launch it and retrieve it with minimal problems. Then, have a safe, dry and fun ride in good to moderate conditions. It should be easily removed from my truck and stored on my Jon Boat or in our car port shed by this old woosey. I want those trips to be enjoyable, safe and not require a day's rest to recover from so called fun.

Thanks for your comments.


bsee wrote:
As a cyclist, I will say that a propel is like pedaling a recumbent bike around in circles where a mirage is like a seated stairmaster up and down in line. Do either of these motions sound more comfortable to you? Also, an objective analysis of product histories will show up plenty of problems with both products to cause concern. The Hobie is a good boat, and I'm about to buy one in a couple days. I suspect that either would work for you, though you're likely to see a lot more pro-Hobie responses here. I don't know if people answering already know your size. I see that you're 73, but that doesn't tell me if you're a compact 140 pounds or 6'+ and 250. That would be important to know if one were to answer about the dryness of ride and stability for the smaller boats.

Personally, and I'm not a little guy, I don't think any "normal" kayak is too heavy to drag with a cart. Loading into the back of a pickup off a cart is also pretty trivial if you're fit enough to be out on the boat.

Also, as far as having to paddle goes, I hope you have the ability to paddle in the event of a drive failure in either case.

I know the Hobie turns well, and would recommend investigating that aspect of the propel.

In any case, you should be able to get a test ride, or at least see the boats before you commit one way or the other. I'm not the expert, and I won't even claim to play one on TV.

-bob

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 Post subject: Re: As usual Tom, thanks
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:17 am 
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Tom, did you find pedaling the Propel to be more tiring? Have you tried a Propel with their new Prop?

Re your last paragraph. "Unless, of course, you can find a Mirage Drive kayak for the same price."

Who knows, maybe a local/near by Hobie dealer might read this and order a hull only Revo and make me an offer I couldn't refuse! :lol: Apparently, their business is so good they don't need my business re a hull only Revo 11 at a fair price for them and me.

Tom Kirkman wrote:
The owner of Native is a friend of mine, however... I feel that if you were to make an objective comparison of both the Propel and Mirage Drives, you'll choose the Mirage Drive model. As I've often said, the Propel is like pedaling a bicycle up a hill, the Mirage Drive is like pedaling a bicycle on level ground. Frankly, I don't think the comparison is even close.

However, there is nothing at all wrong with the Propel and Mariner. If you have the opportunity to buy one at a super deal, it might just be a wise thing to do. Unless, of course, you can find a Mirage Drive kayak for the same price.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:59 am 
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More tiring? Try 10 times more tiring. I didn't even find the two systems comparable in terms of overall efficiency or comfort.

If Andy has changed something to make pedaling the Propel easier, that would most likely be a change in gearing. A lower gear would indeed make it easier to pedal, but at the expense of overall speed. Or, they've reduced the prop pitch, which while making it easier to pedal, will also lower your overall speed. You can't get something for nothing.

The fact is, for what humans are capable of doing, the flippers or fins on the Hobie are simply far more efficient than a propellor is going to be.

If you have pedaled a Mirage Drive boat, but not a Propel, I'd strongly suggest you try before you buy. If you're looking for it to be in any way similar to the efficiency of the Mirage Drive, I think you'll be in for a huge disappointment.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:07 pm 
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not to sound bias or anything but HOBIE VS NATIVE ? :lol:

sounds like the revo 11 would fit the bill perfectly for you...light as a feather .



PS. mods, can we get a HOBIE cheerleader smiley?....with pom-poms!!


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 9:23 am 
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Last month I went to Florida with the intention of buying a Native Mariner 10. I told the dealer that I wanted to try it out before I purchased it. I glad I did. The Native Mariner Propel Drive was uncomfortable. You have to recline the seat to pedal the boat. The rudder control was inside the boat and you can't get your arm comfortable. It didn't track strait so you had to constantly adjust the rudder. When entering shallow water you have to take the cover off the Propel drive, pop the locking mechanism, align the prop verticaly and then lift unit out of water. The process is much to complicated and time consuming. The Mariner 10 weighs in at a whopping 73 lbs and the dealer did not recommend using kayak racks. The seat buckle broke on the way back to the ramp and I had to lay on my back to pedal the boat back to the ramp. I was not impressed. I went to a differant kayak dealer to try out the Revolution 11. The Mirage drive was much easier to pedal. The Revo 11 tracked straiter and the rudder control was on top so you can rest your arm while stearing the boat. The boat turns on a dime. When entering shallow water one push of the pedal and the fins are flush with the bottom of the boat. The Revo 11 weighs in at 47 lbs and can be carried on standard kayak racks. The only advantage the Native Mariner has is the First Class Seating. It is the most comfortable kayak seat I have ever sat in. The Revo 11 is a much superior boat. I purchased the Revo 11 and will be picking it up in two weeks.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2011 10:54 am 
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I turn my drive 180* and wa la la, reverse. :D


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:53 am 
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leadhead wrote:
Last month I went to Florida with the intention of buying a Native Mariner 10. I told the dealer that I wanted to try it out before I purchased it. I glad I did. The Native Mariner Propel Drive was uncomfortable. You have to recline the seat to pedal the boat. The rudder control was inside the boat and you can't get your arm comfortable. It didn't track strait so you had to constantly adjust the rudder. When entering shallow water you have to take the cover off the Propel drive, pop the locking mechanism, align the prop verticaly and then lift unit out of water. The process is much to complicated and time consuming. The Mariner 10 weighs in at a whopping 73 lbs and the dealer did not recommend using kayak racks. The seat buckle broke on the way back to the ramp and I had to lay on my back to pedal the boat back to the ramp. I was not impressed. I went to a differant kayak dealer to try out the Revolution 11. The Mirage drive was much easier to pedal. The Revo 11 tracked straiter and the rudder control was on top so you can rest your arm while stearing the boat. The boat turns on a dime. When entering shallow water one push of the pedal and the fins are flush with the bottom of the boat. The Revo 11 weighs in at 47 lbs and can be carried on standard kayak racks. The only advantage the Native Mariner has is the First Class Seating. It is the most comfortable kayak seat I have ever sat in. The Revo 11 is a much superior boat. I purchased the Revo 11 and will be picking it up in two weeks.

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