Mirage26250Nov2By Paul Howard

Love and Anarchy, Mirage 26 hull #51, was launched June 3, 1978 for a new sailor, Diane Wait, who had previously sailed "two or three times with friends." "I went to the Toronto International Boat Show to find a boat I could handle," remembers Wait. "I also wanted a boat I would be content to sail indefinitely. I didn't want to be looking to trade up for something two feet longer in a few years." She went to the show three times that year, looking at boats in this size range over and over again. On the third visit she left a deposit on the Mirage 26.

Since 1982, Wait has sailed her Mirage 26 (PHRF 216) in the Monday evening women's race series sponsored by the Harbour City Yacht Club in Toronto. She finishes well up in the fleet, with an occasional first place. Love and Anarchy races with a crew of five or six women onboard, and her owner draws on a crew bank of seven women sailing friends. For Wait and the boat's builder, Mirage Yachts Ltd., the boat was a happy success story.

Mirage Yachts Ltd. was founded in 1972 by Dick Steffen at Pointe Claire, Quebec. The company successfully produced many different models until the doors were closed in 1989.

The lines for the Mirage 26 were drawn in 1976 by Robert Perry. The Seattle-based naval architect's design accomplishments are numerous, and he has designs in production around the world. At the time his reputation as a designer of fast family boats was already firmly established by the Valiant 40, a fully fitted-out cruiser that has made impressive finishes in shorthanded trans-ocean races.

The first Mirage 26 was launched in 1977 altogether about 150 were produced. The first few boats were outboard engine powered, then the OMC saildrive was installed as inboard auxiliary power.

In 1979 Perry lengthened the design to incorporate a reverse transom with inboard rudder. The overall length became 27ft. 2in., and it was then called the Mirage 27. There were no other changes in dimensions or displacement.

Most of the Mirage 27s were powered by a single-cylinder Yanmar or Volvo diesel engine with a conventional propeller shaft installation. A few had two-cylinder diesels. Three hundred Mirage 27s were built through 1986, for a total production run of about 450 boats.

Mirage Yachts dealerships sprang up in the Windsor, Toronto, Kingston, Ottawa and Montreal/Lake Champlain areas, with fleets concentrated near those centres. About 20 per cent of the production run was sold in the Chesapeake Bay area. Company founder Dick Steffen told me that one of the Mirage 26s he built sailed to Europe and back.

The Mirage 26/27 is a roomy boat for her length, with nicely laid out accommodations. The interior of Diane Wait's 26 has gelcoated liners under the decks, against the hull above hull above the berths, and on the overhead. There is a little wood trim inside; the furniture is made of fiberglass moldings which some feel is stark but is a feature I like. The white surfaces brighten the interior, giving a feeling of spaciousness, and the gelcoat surfaces are easy to keep clean.

The traditional interior layout has settees to port and starboard (Wait's boat does not have the optional pull-out feature which converts one settee to a double), a V-berth forward, and a head to port and hanging locker to starboard just aft of the V-berth. Between the companionway and the main saloon the galley spans the cabin, with an icebox and sink to port and two-burner stove to starboard. A drop-leaf table stands at the centreline of the saloon but can be removed and stowed against the main bulkhead, clearing the central living area. The saloon has 6ft lin headroom near the companionway hatch in the galley area, with headroom decreasing as one moves forward.

Mirage 27s were built with more wood trim inside than the 26s, eventually evolving to an all-wood interior with a varnish finish. Steffen admits he preferred the gelcoat interior, but felt compelled to change to the more expensive wood treatment because of the trend set by European boats toward elaborate interior woodwork. But while his rational was primarily to compete for sales against imported products, wood interiors were becoming the market preference.

I went sailing on Love and Anarchy on a mild, late-summer day. The wind was offshore at about 10 knots, so we set the fully battened mainsail and hoisted the No. 1 genoa. Reaching into Lake Ontario, we maintained an easy five knots.

Two hours later the wind increased to about 15 knots, and became gusty. We double-reefed the mainsail with the owner's new jiffy reefing system but kept up the No. 1. The boat was still balanced nicely and sailed with little weather helm, though was slightly overpowered in the stronger gusts. We beat our way into Toronto Harbour's Eastern Gap against the fluky northeast wind. The boat carried her way through the lulls in the wind, then accelerated, without excessive leeway, as gusts heeled her sharply. She tacked positively when we neared the breakwalls in the narrow gap, whether we were heeled to a gust or drifting in a lull.

Wait improved the sail handling hardware on the boat after she began racing. She shifted one of the original small halyard winches from the coachroof to the companionway hatch to help control the spinnaker sheet. The original jib sheet winches (Lewmar 10s) were moved from the cockpit to the coachroof to act as halyard winches, though she through-bolted them as the original halyard winches screwed onto the coachroof – one of the Mirage's few design flaws – had worked loose. Wait installed two-speed Lewmar 16s as sheet winches at the cockpit coamings, but I would prefer larger self-tailing sheet winches; sheeting home that large genoa as we short-tacked in the stronger winds was hard work - harder than I like to work during my leisure time! The anchor roller incorporated into the bow fitting is inadequate. At one inch in diameter, the rope would easily jump off. But aside from that and the previously noted winches, the hardware is of good quality and of substantial size.I liked the solid feel of the Mirage 26, and her sail carrying ability. She was responsive, sailed well, and held her course well. The molded fiberglass components are of high quality and have weathered the years very well. The inboard shrouds leave wide side decks, and give good sheeting angles. The single-spreader, masthead rig is simple to set up, and the split backstay with a tackle to tension it gives keen club racers a rig adjustment to play with. The cockpit is deep, felt safe, and was comfortable during the entire five-hour afternoon sail.

"I'm going into my fourteenth season with Love and Anarchy," notes Wait. "I feel comfortable on her whether I'm racing or cruising around Lake Ontario during my summer holidays. I'm happy with her manageable size and see no reason to trade boats."

Diane Wait's story is not unique and just goes to show that a quality, performance cruising sailboat, even a smaller one, can lead to a long and happy ownership.

Originally published in Canadian Yachting's March/April 1992 issue.

Specifications

LOA            26 ft. 2in.

LWL            21 ft. 8in.

Beam            9ft. 3in.

Draft            4ft. 4in.

Displacement            5,200 lbs.

Ballast             2,200 lbs.

 

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
This shot was taken last week by Jessica Lee, a freelance photography pro, Albacore racer and part ...
On a sunny and windless day we led Alicia and another sailboat into New York Harbour. There were ...
It was a trip 2 or 3 years ago, and all 4 boats traveled up to the Killarney area in a ...
My name is Alexandrine GOVAN, mother of a 5 years old girl and I found your contact on internet. ...
John Booth, who passed away just a few weeks ago was one of the most amazingly gifted and ...
We left Vero Beach on Saturday morning with Alicia, a boat from Sweden, following close behind. The ...
At the end of last month, Canadian sailors gathered on the Palma Beach in Palma de Mallorca, Spain ...
In 2019, C-TOW celebrates its 35th anniversary of providing 24/7 “Peace of Mind Boating” for ...
West Vancouver Yacht Club reports that following an independent certification process the Georgia ...
It has been hot in the Abacos this winter. Whoever said this area was cool this time of year must ...

DIY & How to

  • Prev
On the Friday before a weekend with a gorgeous forecast, I heard on the news that a boat had ...
A reader suggested we take a look at anchors. Anchoring seems simple enough. A weighted hook with a ...
If you’ve spent any time in a boat yard during spring commissioning season, you won’t find it out ...
As a busy marine mechanic, I tend to have the same or similar conversations often, and they’re ...
This time of year, great deals abound. That boat with the ‘for sale’ sign looks quite attractive. ...
For less than US$2,500, Jim Leshaw, a lawyer who lives and works in Key Biscayne, Florida, ...
Each spring, I tend to notice canvas. I wish it was because it’s been immaculately maintained and ...
I’ve had two emails over the past few weeks with a count-down to launch (47 days per the last ...
Last time we looked at making proper electrical connections – the tools, supplies and methods ...
Winter is a great time to look at some of the hidden spaces on your boat – to take stock of what is ...

Sailboat Under Cloudy Skies

By Joan Wenner, J.D.

Sailboat under cloudy sky by Bill Cox-Unsplash

Have you ever needed on-the-water assistance due to a mechanical breakdown, running aground, taking on water (perhaps from striking a submerged or floating object), having a mishap with another vessel, or have a medical emergency and the authorities are not near, but another mariner answers your mayday or perhaps observes your predicament. Another boater is in the vicinity, but will, or should, that person offer to help perhaps at his peril? What if you were that pleasure craft operator?

Read more about Good Samaritans............

 

  

Monte Carlo 52The launch of the new Monte Carlo 52 will be one of the highlights of the Cannes Yachting Festival 2019. This 50-foot high-end motor yacht is eagerly awaited and will introduce the Monte Carlo “Smart Luxury” generation. The stylish flybridge powerboat has inherited all the superb signature features of a successful range: modern design, elegant lines, distinctive character, incredibly well-used spaces and a careful focus on details, not to mention the iconic large porthole, distinguishing the 15 m (50’) to 18 m (60’) class of yachts made in Vendée. The Monte Carlo 52 has greatly improved all these features.

 

Read more about the Monte Carlo 52..............

 

John ArmstrongOur Canadian Yachting test team, John Armstong and Andy Adams, were at a Jeanneau media event called “Throttle Down” in St. Petersburg, Florida. The media event was held to highlight the Jeanneau Power Boat Line with the emphasis on their outboard models. 

The media event was scheduled to follow their Jeanneau dealer meetings, held earlier at Thunder Marine International in St. Petersburg. The Thunder Marine location is on the water and has a cooperative agreement with Jeanneau to host the full line of Jeanneau power boats in the water for dealer demonstration to their clients.

Read More about the Jeanneau Media Event...........

Destinations

  • Prev
Provincial Boat Havens are those special places to drop anchor in British Columbia’s West Coast and ...
NW Explorations, a Bellingham, Washington-based yacht charter, brokerage, and marine services ...
If you haven’t cruised the Rideau Canal before, you have missed a special treat and even if you ...
At the 2019 Vancouver International Boat Show I had the pleasure of meeting up with Allyson and ...
Following the harsh impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, The British Virgin Islands is making an ...
For the adventurous boater Bunsby Marine Provincial Park is a special place, situated due south of ...
There is good anchoring in Cowichan Bay and nearby, and salt water enough to make any boater happy. ...
We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...
Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...


ChicagoBy Mark Stevens

Photos by Sharon Matthews-Stevens


From my perspective on the observation deck of 360 Chicago in the John Hancock Building, I have an eagle’s-eye view of this Lake Michigan metropolis.

The city stretched out before us is a forest of concrete. Toward the lake – right below us – there’s a beach volleyball game in progress. White triangles crisscross Caribbean-blue waters in the distance. Sunday morning must be race day – just like home.

 

Read more about Chicago....................

 

Marine Products

  • Prev
When I took the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV down to Wednesday night racing, the people that came over ...
Protecting your boat from scratches and dents isn’t always easy. That’s why the Big Bumper Company ...
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA - Forespar has just introduced a new smaller size version of their ...
As boaters we all have a very unique connection to the water and all the opportunities it presents. ...
Edited by the Quebec Marine Association under the direction of L'Escale Nautique (producer of the ...
Blue Guard has announced the general availability of the BG-One, a solid-state bilge pump switch, ...
With the introduction of the Ion Power Basic, a safe Lithium Ion battery formulated with Lithium, ...
Finding a car brand that you enjoy while it does what you need can be tough, as they can be ...
Yikes! No boat refrigeration? You’ve Got to be Kidding me!! But then again, true campers don’t use ...
The Walker Bay Venture 14 claims to be the world’s first luxury Explorer Sport Tender. It is ...