|• 4 Package Options||• Includes aluminum carrying case|
|• Waterproof Drone||• 12 to 19 minute flight time|
|• Return to launch functions||• Payload release mechanism|
The Mariner Drone, also known as the Splash Drone, comes in 4 optional packages. There is the DIY package, for the hobbyist. Then there are the RTF, PRO and AUTO packages.
It comes with 3 return to launch functions. If the battery is running low, if you fly your drone out of range and if you press the RTL button on the RC unit.
The RTF, PRO and AUTO come equipped with a 2 lbs maximum payload release mechanism that will let you carry an object to a point and remotely release it.
The coolest thing about the Splash drone is that it is waterproof. Not water resistant, but waterproof. You can land/take off in water and even fly it on a rainy day.
Another classy touch is that the RTF, PRO and AUTO come with an aluminum carrying case that is fitted just for your new toy. This way it’s easy to take to parks, lakes and the beach in order to show onlookers your crazy skills.
- Waterproof Body
- Can carry up to 2 lbs
- GPS and Return to launch functions
- AUTO package has follow function
- Aluminum carrying case included
- Decent flight time
- Expensive, especially the AUTO package
- Reported GPS issues
- 2 people needed for calibration
- Manual is a bit difficult to understand
|Size:||19.7 inches X 19.7 inches X 4.7 inches
(Length X Width X Height)
|Max Payload:||3.0 lbs|
|Battery:||4S 4500mAh Lithium Polymer|
|Flight Time:||12 to 19 minutes|
|Controller:||8 Channel Telemetry Controller|
|Camera:||Gimbal Kit for GoPro Hero (Gimbal and Camera case Sold Separately for DIY & RTF versions)|
|GPS:||Yes (Smart flight control system GPS that includes OSD module inside)|
|Return Function:||Yes (Return to Launch)|
|FAA Registration:||Required (FAA Page)|
There is a bit of confusion out there about the Mariner Drone / Splash Drone. So I’ll start by clarifying a few things.
The first generation of this waterproof quadcopter was called the Mariner Drone. This is the second generation and has been renamed the Splash Drone. However, it is still called Mariner or Mariner II (2) by many.
The maker is a Chinese company called SwellPro. They have a few authorized re-sellers that are better suited to handle sales and customer relations.
The new Splash Drone comes in 4 varieties:
- The DIY version: This is for hobbyists. This unit is not ready to fly (RTF), does not come with an RC unit and must be assembled.
- The RTF version: This is the base version and requires no assembly, aside from screwing on the propellers. It doesn’t come with a gimbal, camera case or autopilot software.
- The PRO version: This version is also ready to fly and it comes with a waterproof gimbal and GoPro case, a 7″ video monitor and an internal 5.8ghz Video Transmitter.
- The AUTO version: This version takes the PRO and adds an upgraded flight control system which comes with a ground station module, allowing you to fly the Splash Drone with an android device. It also comes with a follow me function and predetermined flight path function.
The RTF, PRO and AUTO all come with a really nice aluminum carrying case included in the price. The foam interior of the case is specially designed to fit the drone perfectly. This really makes it easy to take your drone along to the beach.
The price tag of this drone is heavy, especially once you get up to the PRO and AUTO versions. However, if you live or fly around a lot of water you may actually save money in replacement costs. Crashing into the water with the Mariner drone is not an issue.
I really like that the AUTO version comes with the follow me function and programmable flight path software. This coupled with its battery life make it fun and easy to record water sports or just a day at the beach.
Another justification of the price is the strength of this drone. It can carry a weight of up to 2 lbs on its auto release mechanism. I don’t really know what I’ll ever use it for, but that’s pretty awesome.
That power carries over to flying stability. This Mariner Drone (Splash Drone) can handle 25 mph wind gusts and rain storms like a pro.
The manual is very complicated and has a good number of grammatical errors. It’s pretty obvious it was translated from Chinese to English. Although it is not the worst one I’ve ever seen, it does make some aspects hard to understand.
It is important to note that at the beginning of August 2015 some customers were saying they had an issue with the Splash Drone’s (Mariner Drone) GPS. They reported that it would cause the drone to fly in large circles and the only way to retrieve it was to shut off GPS and bring it in manually.
Another issue was with the calibration of the GPS on the unit. It was originally setup in a way that required two people for it to be done correctly.
SwellPro confirmed these issues and reported it only affected a small number of drones. They also updated the firmware in mid August which has apparently fixed the issues.
Even though the Splash Drone (Mariner Drone) is a bit pricey, it seems to be well worth the money. The re-sellers are prompt with answering questions and SwellPro is quick with fixing software issues.