This classic and capable design is not to be underestimated, and often gets a first ten place in the annual time trial from Devizes to Westminster. With a surprisingly slippy waterline shape and generous secondary stability (from the flared back deck) it’s a popular choice for canoe clubs and schools alike.
Available with standard or lowered 2-pin seats for less experienced crews, or performance platform seats for the advanced, looking for an aggressive padding position and greater comfort.
Both understern and overstern systems are with the Mirage and the choice boils down to having more responsive steering or greater rudder durability. The overstern rudder has a kick-up system so vertical impacts will cause the rudder to rise up and avoid any terminal damage mid-race. However, inexperienced crews may find steering harder as a little foreword planning is required when navigating bends. The understern option is much more responsive, so is easier to steer, but is very exposed and so more prone to damaged. It’s not hard to replace an understern on the bank side (providing you have a spare), but a large impact could damage the boat and put you out of the race. Schools in particular might want to consider having your boat set-up to take both options, so developing crews can be moved between systems as they progress.
Here are the seat heights for the different seating options, for comparison only. Typically, the higher the seat the better the paddling position, but this comes at the cost of decreased stability. Seats measured vertically from the hull to the centre-front of the seat and are approximate.
- 2-pin seat: 4″
- Low 2-pin seats: 2.25″ (NB Fit may require padding)
- Platform seat: 4.25″
- Low platform seat: 3.5-3.75″