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Launching: Strip built Mariner

Hi All:

I just launched my newest boat, a strip built Mariner Express, or as close as I could get to it with available information. I used to have a Mariner Max, and I loved the way it paddled. However it weighed 57 pounds with the sliding seat, and I was making much lighter boats that were easier to get on and off the car.

What I was after was an Express, which is 16' by 22 1/2 ". THe Mariner web site has an old Sea Kayaker magazine review of the Elan, a variant of the Express. This review includes a tiny picture of the lines. THe Mariner site also describes how they derived the Elan from the Express. Basically I took the tiny Elan lines picture, expanded it to the beam I wanted, visually faired the lines, and then increased the depth to arrive at my Express. The forms (21 of them!) were nowhere near fair, despite my best efforts. While stripping I was constantly fairing and smoothing with a wood rasp. Here I went by what looked good, and by what I wanted it to look like, remembering my Max. The hull is fairly complex, especially at the stern.

Here is my build album, with some completed pictures at the end. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202830106230932.1073741838.1749593420&type=1&l=fdae4b19ca

At the end it came out to be 16 1/2 feet by 22 3/4 inches. my Max was 17 feet by 23 1/2 inches.

I love the boat. It is everything I had hoped it would be. It paddles like my old Max, and I had forgotten how good that was! Excellent primary and secondary stability. Quite maneuverable and with good tracking and wind balance. Excellent leaned turns. Soft dry ride going into a chop. My biggest concern was cockpit location, as the information I had (grainy pictures) was not precise. But it came out well, and there is negligible weathercocking, and the boat is easily controlled with paddle and lean. I put in a skeg, which I doubt I will need it much.

It was a lot of work, but well worth it in the end.

Ralph

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Launching: Strip built Mariner
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