Marissa - first Impressions

posted Oct 4, 2016, 8:38 AM by Richard Sevenich
I've used this kayak for a total of only 7 days. None of the days had difficult water, so Marissa has not been put through her paces. I find her maneuverable and pleased to be put on edge. My prior kayak, a Boréal Design Ellesmere named Bianca, always seemed happier with at least some skeg. Marissa neither weather cocks nor lee cocks and, of course, has neither skeg nor rudder. I only experienced minor whitecaps so far, and the behavior stayed the same. It's not a big deal, but I am really pleased not to be messing with a skeg or rudder.

Marissa does not roll as easily as Bianca. That's not quite a fair statement because I learned a decent roll with the Ellesmere, but never tried another boat until now. So the criticism should probably be aimed at my technique and not the kayak. I'll know more next season, since our season is ending.

Is Marissa a fast kayak? My feeling is that it is very slightly slower than the Ellesmere, but I have no data to support that conclusion. If I race the Sand Creek Challenge next year, I'll have a data point. However, I last raced 'seriously' at age 74 and I'll hit 76 by the next race. I assume that I am slowing down, so if next year's time is somehow faster than at age 74, I'll consider Marissa to be quicker. Otherwise, the result will be indeterminate. The Ellesmere is 12 inches longer overall than the Mariner, but I never recorded the Ellesmere water length. Further, the skeg would introduce some drag.

I like the sliding seat, easily adjusted but then it stays put. At this point, it is a convenience that allows plenty of room for getting into the kayak, securing the spray deck, and then placing the seat where I want it. I've not yet needed to situate the seat for boat trim in adverse conditions.

I was concerned that the hatch openings might be a bit small. But I just rearranged the load to fit through the appropriate openings e.g. swapping the first aid kit to the stern and putting something comparably heavy in the bow hatch. My preferred trolley doesn't fit at all, but I have another one which can go into the stern hatch.

All in all I am extremely happy with Marissa.