19 Jan 2012
Fishing World – October 2011
REVIEWED: Native watercraft marvel 10
DAN TROTTER tests the Native Watercraft Marvel 10 – a compact, light weight delivery of comfort and fun.
Love paddling around quiet unspoilt waterways, but always head out solo? The light weight, stable and comfortable Marvel 10 by Native Watercraft could well be the solution you’ve been searching for.
Through my fishing years I’ve spent a fair amount of time paddling a range of watercraft, from old school canoes, surf skis, kayaks and more recently, modern arrivals made from poly plastics whilst in pursuit of my favourite slippery wet scaled little friends.
One thing that’s for sure is a number of factors really contribute to the enjoyment of self propelled fishing craft. These are comfort, true tracking, manoeuvrability, stability and drift. Upon picking up the 18kg, 10 foot long Marvel I wondered how this compact ride inside kayak would stack up, and was pleasantly surprised when we slipped her into the drink on a perfect sunny, blue sky Sydney Harbour day.
The comfort provided by the trademarked “First Class Seat”, is as good as any seat I have ever sat in, well apart from a plush three seater lounge. In fact I’d guess that anyone would struggle to find a seat whether in an office, a boat, canoe or kayak that simply supports your back as comfortably, proof was that after an hour searching for a fish in vain my shoulders weren’t aching nor my legs or lower back. Both the seat and the foot rests are adjustable to suit paddlers of different heights or different seating preferences. The seat itself can be removed so when you stop for a break on the bank you can continue to relax in comfort, clever fore thought and design indeed.
One thing’s for sure, having a craft that tracks true takes a lot of the paddling difficulties away. For such a small craft, stroke after stroke, the bow kept true to the direction I wanted to go, gliding along swiftly and surprisingly fast for a craft only 305cm in length. Even after ceasing paddling the ‘yak continued in the same direction, and once stationary didn’t slide or drift making accurate casting a pleasure rather than like a game of twister. At rest the hull design actually delivers impressive stability, there is some initial roll, but that balances out the further you lean. Climbing out and sliding my full body weight to both the bow and stern proved that this little craft indeed delivers.
Storage in this neat little craft is well considered, a suitably sized hatch is accessible behind the seat, and whilst it is fully sealed and provides ample dry storage for drinks, snacks, fishing tackle, jackets and other paraphernalia, water-proofing and some refine on the clasps could be improved. Noticeable clever inclusions are thigh pads (although catching your nails and fingers on them could be a bother) and a clip-in clip-out paddle holder. The omission of rod holders in the base package was a bit of a surprise given that most people purchasing a small craft like this are likely to be doing some form of fishing, rather than exercise, whist they can be purchased and retro-fitted being a dyed in the wool angler I feel two of these would not go astray. Due to the shorter length of the Marvel 10, anyone taller than 6’1” may struggle with leg room as the foot rests can’t be adjusted far enough forward. Additionally, the colour choices could be closer to neutral as stealthing up shallow skinny creeks or quiet bays and estuaries is kinda difficult in a bright orange boat?
Designed for accessing skinny water, whilst still capable of tackling open harbours, bays and estuaries the Marvel 10 really comes out shining for such a small watercraft. Digging in the paddle blades and putting some muscle into it would see you get along at a top speed of about 10km/hr. With all these surprising plus’s you’re probably wondering about manoeuvring in a tight little bass creek, the answer is on a dime. Die-hard ’yak fanatic Dan Bode was along for the paddle that day and he had fun pushing this boat about although not suited to the offshore pursuits he’s super fond of he was duly impressed.
Simple by design, the Marvel 10 is perfectly suited to one person handling from roof racks to water, delivers great stability, is strong and robust, tracks true and straight and above all takes you where you want to go in real seated comfort.
Test kayak supplied by: Fish Outta Water, Manly Vale, NSW: (02) 9949 9488
Native Watercraft Marvel 10
Length: 10’ / 305 cm
Width: 30” / 76 cm
Weight: 40 lbs / 18 kg
Available in the following colours; Yellow, Mango, Firebrick, Blue and Ice