Great boat but Prilite construction feels a bit flimsy
I bought my Prijon Marlin PRILITE construction kayak to paddle the length of the Danube, Europe's second-longest river at 2800km. I needed a large boat, being 6'1" (185 cm) and weighing some 95kg (210lbs). I looked at a number of boats - Rockpool, P&H, etc - but none were quite as comfortable as the Marlin to sit in and all were heavier.
Prijon uses a Prilite construction, which is a rotomoulded plastic. It is lighter than traditional rotomoulded boats (I'm not an expert, this is what I was told and read) and reckoned to be as robust.
The Danube, for those who don't know it, has almost every aspect of water you'd think of - some rapids, narrow and shallow parts in Germany, fast-flowing parts where other rivers come in and after rain, very wide lake-like parts in Romania. Oh and many, many portages, some very long indeed (1500m in places) with difficult access/exit points in some cases.
I don't regret my purchase.
The Marlin handled well in all waters. I didn't have a rudder (optional extra that as a highly experienced racing kayaker I thought I'd not need) but the boat tracked fairly well on exposed side-winds, though I did work hard to keep the boat on course in a few places.
The lightweight (22kg - 48kg) hull easily allowed me to put in another 20kg of kit in - tent, food, sleeping bag, changes of clothes, maps, other equipment. There is no shortage of storage space with two large compartments front and rear and a third one that isn't waterproof in front of the cockpit. Netting was great, easily stored drinks and food just in front with my trolley on a net behind the cockpit.
Access for a big paddler is easy, the cockpit is nice and large and I was extremely comfortable at all times.
My only grip is the construction. Prilite gives you the lighter weight, and that was important for me, but the boat feels flimsy compared with glassfibre and other materials. The hull under my seat has warped slightly and the back of the cockpit rim split where I placed my hand as I got in once. Prijon say this is a simple repair with epoxy resin/glue but to my mind it's a design fault. I've come across other Marlin owners with the same problem. How are you supposed to get into the boat without putting some weight on the back of the cockpit? In my view the cockpit rim should be reinforced and strong enough to take your weight as you transfer in.
I also question whether this Prilite construction will take as much use as a grp construction.
Overall, I'd give the Marlin 8/10. A lovely design, great in waves and wind, tracks well, masses of room for gear but the Prilite construction isn't all it should be. But I'm keeping the boat and repairing the cockpit, planning more trips.
I purchased a used prijon…
I recently purchased an…
This boat is fast, fits me like a glove (I didn't care for boats with larger cock pits), has a comfortable seat and seat back, and stable. The day hatch in front of the cockpit within easy reach is a great feature. I had read about the scratch resistant and strong hull of the Prijon boats and having spent most of my paddling time in Prijon boats I'm sold.
There is one draw back - I've had trouble obtaining replacement parts (hatch covers, for example.) The Prijon website is not helpful and needs to be overhauled. I would score this boat a 10 if I had a source for replacement parts.
This boat looks a little…
This is my fiancee's first boat. So far we have one big beef with this boat: The combing seems to be oversized. It take two men and a healthy young boy to get the spray skirt on. We can get it on but I could see plenty of females and possibly some men having trouble detaching the skirt after capsize. My G/F did. Prijon makes their own skirts, this may solve the problem. This is a serious safety issue- I've experienced it with her on two occasions to date. The RM body and hull are very rigid and in general it's thoughtfully constructed.
The design of the seat takes some getting used to, if you have seat problems (we did) make sure all your shock cords are in position. The owners manual doesn't mention this.
The low rating has everything to do with the oversized combing and the safety issues this presents.