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.

 

 

Destinations

  • Prev
Chartering in the Caribbean conjures up images of turquoise sea, palm fringed beaches and great ...
Since anyone who opens an independent bookstore is at least as brave as a small boat shop owner, I ...
You’re on your way east to the 1000 Islands or the Trent-Severn. By entering north of Prince ...
I have lived in Ontario my whole life but have only recently had the pleasure of visiting the City ...
My trip to the Northwest Passage started long before I boarded the flight to Kangerlussaq with ...
During the summer of 2016, my wife and I cruised through the North Channel in Lake Huron on our ...
It’s like we’ve waved a magic wand and disappeared into a picture perfect painting, our ...
The Schooner Cove Yacht Club is situated between Nanaimo and Parksville, on the east coast of ...
After months of planning my trip to Prince Edward Island in my CL16 open sailing dinghy Celtic ...
The first time we sailed to Madeira we wondered if the island had vanished. Or at least that's how ...

Cowichan Bay to Genoa Bay – Almost the Gulf Islands

Cowichan Bay to Genoa Bay – Almost the Gulf Islands

 By Catherine Dook

“So you’re going offshore to Genoa Bay,” said an old salt at coffee that morning. Genoa Bay was 15 minutes away from our homeport of Cowichan Bay and hardly counted as offshore, but it was our first destination that fall. The fog had socked us in all that morning, so John and I drank coffee and gossiped with the neighbours while waiting for the weather to lift. We’d provisioned with cans of chilli, a sack of apples, and tanks full of water. We’d tested the engine and the anchor winch. We were ready.

Read More of Cowichan Bay to Genoa Bay.....

 

 

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
Two-hundred-year-old homes are what ghost stories are made of, and Beaconsfield Yacht Club (BYC) ...
This time our photos come from Gimli where Katie Coleman Nicoll was on the scene. She’s an ...
Recently we celebrated our country’s 150th anniversary, and in true form thousands of ...
   We left off Part 1 at the year 1914, and will here pick it back up, running through ...
This week’s POTW comes from across the pond. Who knew we had a European audience   ...
Here is our boat anchored at Hockey Stick Bay. We live in a beautiful country.     ...
Michelle Jacques of Cambridge ON share this memory of her adorable pooch. “This is Frodo. ...
  Our 150 year history began in 1867, but Canada was no stranger to watercraft prior to our ...
If our Photo search were a contest for the hallmark shot of eastern Canada, this might be Stephen ...
Do you know how many boaters you run into while standing in the lift lines of Blue Mountain and the ...

 By: Katherine Stone

Do you know how many boaters you run into while standing in the lift lines of Blue Mountain and the surrounding private ski clubs? Quite a few! Start some conversations on the ski lifts and you might be surprised how many avid boaters you can meet.

Many who boat say that winter sports are just there to pass the time until the ice clears and you can get your boat launched and start boating again. As a ski instructor, you tend to meet even more interesting boaters… Read more about the Reef Boat Club ....

 

 

 

DIY & How to

  • Prev
Since the initial article of this series we have looked at the iPad and its use as a marine ...
The moment we all dread. It’s a warm sunny day and you’re out for a cruise. Suddenly ...
For most of us – this is the time to make the most of the boating season – launch and ...
Question: Is it possible to mount, protect and charge your iPad during marine navigation. ...
  Is iNavX the superlative marine navigation app?    
Question: Can I buy generic automotive parts or products for my boat, or should they specify ...
  There is a good deal of hesitancy and lack of understanding as to whether an iPad can ...
‘Top dead centre’ is the position of the wheel that allows you to steer your boat ...
Before leaving on an extended cruise, it is critical to inspect and maintain all systems on your ...

Marine Products

  • Prev
During the heat of summer, many boat owners turn on their air conditioning units. Whether portable ...
A milestone has been reached. The new D13-1000 sees Volvo Penta move into the 1000hp marine leisure ...
  Still looking for the perfect slip for your boat? Look no further!    
Canadian Yachting traveled to Newport to review and sea trial the new MJM 35z.     ...
Erik Pawson Of Watertight Boatworks here in North Vancouver, BC, is really passionate about the ...
Hydro Clean Hull Wash is Canada's first automatic, mechanical hull wash system and the company has ...
For 2017 there were a total of 31 events planned and 2 were cancelled for a total of 29 events. All ...
When Terry Conrad, of Conrad Marine, offered me ride in a brand-new Sea Fox 288 Commander that he ...
EMCS Industries Ltd. has a unique antifouling system that’s quite clever and incredibly ...
Discover Boating Canada recently launched a new Boating Safety App. We are pleased to let our ...

By Owen Hurst

Since the initial article of this series we have looked at the iPad and its use as a marine navigation instrument. We have discussed its functionality, available apps, relevant hardware and compared it to traditional charplotters. This focus on iPad led one of our readers to an interesting question that we have yet to address.

Question: Why has the focus been solely on the use of iPads for marine navigation rather than Android devices?

Read More Going iPad or Android.....