Research Kayaks in the Buyers' Guide!
Select Kayak to View in Buyers' Guide
Personally I paddle a fibreglass Prijon Proteus, only because it is a bit longer and faster than the Prilite Marlin. Prijon is one of the leading kayak manufacturers in Europe, and indeed in the world. The quality and comfort of the Prijon kayaks is hard to beat, and therefore why Prijon has remained our bestselling sea kayak brand for over a decade here in Australia.
Prior to the Prilite Marlin Prijon were producing a Prilite 500 but this was primarily shaped for flat water, and while very fast, was a bit tippy for most paddlers.
Prijon then introduced the Prilite 470 which was more of a sea kayak shape, but at only 4.7m was not ever considered a serious sea kayak, although it appealed to a much wider audience than the Prilite 500.
Finally Prijon brought out the Prilite Marlin in about 2010 in composite, HTP plastic (blow moulded) and Prilite plastic (thermo formed). The sales of the Prilite Marlin went through the roof and in fact it wasn't long before Prijon discontinued producing the Prilite 500, Prilite 470 and even the Marlin in HTP and composite constructions.
This beautiful craft became our overall bestselling sea kayak and has maintained this status for the past three years. Why is this? Firstly it is (as with all Prijon kayaks) unbelievably comfortable to paddle. The adjustable Prijon seat and thigh braces allow you to achieve maximum comfort for those longer trips.
It is fast! The Prilite Marlin is surprisingly stable for a boat just 58cm wide. The hard chines allow for plenty of edging on sharp turns, without feeling that you are going to capsize.
Lightweight but durable. Prilite (thermoformed) plastic is the technology of the future. Over the past decade we have seen this kind of material represent from 0% to now over 50% of our total sales (other brands such as Hurricane and Riot use similar material). The consistency of the thickness of this plastic when formed allows the kayak to be considerably lighter than its polyethylene counterparts, while remaining reasonably durable (not as malleable as polyethylene but stiffer). Thermoformed plastic retains its shape better than polyethylene and so the hull is less likely to become indented over time (from sitting on roof racks etc). The Prilite Marlin is as light as but less brittle than its composite counterparts, making it a very attractive overall package.
Immaculate finish and trims, deck mounted day-hatch and nose cap for added strength are just a few of the features that make it what it is.
Yes, we have had a few issues (three that I am aware of) but in most cases these have come down to misuse, and given that they represent less than a fraction of the Prilite Marlins that we have sold in the past four years, this is well below the average across all brands and models.
No, the Prilite Marlin is not for everybody. It does not really suit people over 100kg. Also, it is not an extreme sea kayak. It will suit 95% of people looking to get into sea kayaking, or upgrading from something more basic, but it is definitely not for those looking to push the boundaries of exploration.
There are approximately 5% of paddlers who will after a few years wish to upgrade their Prilite Marlin to a skeg boat, or something leaner and faster again.
We represent exclusively seven brands here in Australia but overall I cannot speak highly enough about the Prijon Prilite Marlin.
The problems started after having the kayak for two and a half months. The kayak cracked all the way thru just behind the cockpit. The kayak had been used a maximum of 15 times in flat water and had been looked after. The problem got worse when the Australian distributor told me the kayak would not be replaced and would be repaired, In an email he said:
"You damaged your kayak by sitting on the cockpit rim. The kayak is now repaired and good for use, in fact even if you continue to sit on the cockpit rim (which you really should not) it will now withstand this treatment."This is an ABS plastic sea kayak we are talking about. I am not sure how self rescues can be conducted without sitting or lying on the cockpit rim. Even the Prijon promotional YouTube clip shows the paddler sitting on the rim.
I was not happy with this decision and emailed the sales manager of Prijon in Germany, he very promptly acknowledge receipt of my email and I have not heard from him since, I sent a reminder and did not hear from him. I fully accept there can be problems with kayaks but do not understand the way I as a customer has been treated. Going thru the Australian forums there are at least four other kayaks with the same problem.
I am sure generally the Prilite is a good craft but if you purchase one make sure you go thru the warranty with the retailer. Good luck to an one purchasing Prijon products.
I was a bit worried about the stability of this size kayak when buying it because of limited or I should say no skill level, but from the first day have been amazed at what I can get away with when practicing my edging and traveling through some 4-5 foot wakes caused by boof heads in 50 foot cruisers.
I was advised to spend a bit extra on a good light weight paddle which I think is some of the reason I find the long paddles surprisingly easy for novice, I find it tracks really well with the wind in any direction even a hard quartering wind and in the flat water and rivers with the rudder up I'm often amazed how my edging skills are progressing, pretty sure it the kayak and not me
The reason I give a rating 8 is I have nothing to compare it with but for me personally it's a BIG 10, I often get comments from people on what a great looking rig it is. One point on the durability of the HTP moulded finish: the guy were I purchased it from also paddles this model, he has had the kayak on his roof racks for 12 months only takes it off to go paddling and the finish is as good as a new one with no noticeable fading or warping.
120,000+ people can't be wrong!
The Paddling.net Newsletter is a must if you like to canoe or kayak! Each week it is packed with great articles, photos, product reviews, and special features. Better yet, we promise not to sell your email address to anyone; that's right ZERO spam! Sign up today and find out what you've been missing!