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Home » Sailnet Boat Reviews » M - Boats starting with 'M' » Mirage
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Mirage 5.5
Reviews Views Date of last review
8 7869 Mon January 4, 1999
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Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers None indicated None indicated












Description: Mirage 5.5
Keywords: Mirage 5.5
 


Author
administrator

Administrator

Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Thu September 5, 1996 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:


Great 1st boat! Swing-keel, trailer-sailer that is easy to setup, launch and retrieve as well as sail single handed. Light and responsive. Flat hull planes over waves. Easily trailered with 4cyl. pickup.

LOA: 20'; LWL: 17'4"; Beam: 8';

Draft: Swing keel (320 lbs.) 5'4"(down) 1'6"(up)

Sailarea: Main + 100% jib masthead rig: 190 sq.ft.

Main has one set of reef points, cunningham and boom vang.

6' cockpit provides room for 4 adults (could be more). Cumbersom traveler system henders movement and use of cockpit.


Cabin has sitting head room for a 6' person. V-berth in the bow and two quarter berths under cockpit seats provides sleeping for four. Wash basin with manual water pump. Storage under cockpit sole and in lockers under quarter berths. Two smoked plexiglass windows along with hatch over V-berth in conjunction with companionway provides light and ventilation. Running and anchor lights for night sailing.

Great for a small family or single-handed. Easy to sail and good use of space.














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administrator

Administrator

Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Fri January 24, 1997 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:


good design. enough cabin space for overnights and yet sleek for racing. Max comfortable wind speed.35 mph with mainsail reefed and no jib. bow and hull shape designed to ride over waves instead of cutting through..ride gets rougher as wind increases. easy to launch and retreve..suggest a keel guide be added to trailer for easy centering when loading. three years of sailing have been very enjoyable.




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administrator

Administrator

Registered: January 2000
Location: maryland
Posts: 1888
Review Date: Wed November 25, 1998 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Specifications per an old Sailing World article are as follows:

LOA: 20' LWL: 17'4"
Beam: 8' Dspl: 1200 lbs
Ballast: Swing Keel, 320 lbs
Draft: SK up: 1' 6", SK down: 5' 4"
Sail Area: Main + 100% - 190 sq ft

We primarily pleasure sail and have been pleased with the performance of the boat since it is light enough to move in summer air, but stable enough to handle a breezy day.

The cockpit is large and can easily handle 4 adults. It is a standard sloop rig. Our mainsail has 1 reef point, the jib has 2 sets of pulleys (up/down wind), and a heavy weather guide for the jib (to flatten the sail). There is a metal rail around the edge of the deck to allow precise placement of the jib pulleys, as well as a good place to tie a line. A second set of high wind sails (approx 100 sq ft) are quite useful on very windy days.

The boat has a swing keel that folds underneath the boat, not into the cabin, which allows for better cabin space. It also has a folding rudder and a tiller. We currently use a very old 3 hp Johnson that moves the boat well.

The cabin has a V-berth up front with 2 single berths (1 under each side of the cockpit). I am 6' and have no difficulty moving below since it has good sitting headroom. The boat has a simple pump sink system that works well. I have mounted a fire extinguisher under the sink with good success. The boat has two windows on the sides of the cabin and 1 opening hatch above the V-berth. My wife and I have overnighted in the V-berth without problem.

The electrics on the boat are quite simple: Bowlights, stern light, mast light, anchor light, interior light. I rewired the control panel and have modified the system to accept a rechargeable battery with good success.

We keep the boat at the lake on the trailer. It is relatively lightweight and we launch it from the trailer with my wife's sedan. It is easy for the two of us to launch without the use of an extender or a tether. I typically back it into the water and my wife pulls it off the trailer and ties it to the dock.

Overall, we are pleased with performance of this 18' boat. It allows us to do everything from daysail with friends to overnight, is light and easy to trailer/launch, and is easy to sail.
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Review Date: Mon January 4, 1999 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

The Mirage 5.5 is an EXCELLENT first boat. It is very responsive and gives one a real feeling of speed. The tiller and boat are extremely well balanced, more so than most boats. I took a few sailing classes, and then bought my Mirage as a first boat, and couldn't be happier about
the choice. Make sure yours comes with a 100% or smaller foresail (jib), as that is a better choice when learning. The 150% Genoa on mine is a real powerhouse, and makes the boat heel rapidly in gusty winds. (The boat is easy to overpower with sail due to its masthead rig. You should probably just take it out with only the main up at first.) It is easy to single hand, accelerates well, although some boats can point into the wind a bit better.

Things to watch out for are cracks in the keel trunk area. Some cracking will be apparent in the storage compartments, but you should not see any in the keel trunk area. When I got mine, the keel winch was a rust blob. $34 bucks at West Marine and I had a new one in. Make sure the keel cable is in great shape, as it is hard to replace.

My boat has been ocean-raced and modified extensively. It has a traveler, inboard jib tracks, big Spinnaker, Spinlocks on all the halyards, and Harken hardware. I had to do a lot of work on it when I got it because there was a lot of corroded parts, and the topsides needed painting. The hull however looked, and still looks brand new. For a twenty year old boat used heavily, it is still holding up well, and is easy and fun to work on.

Decks might leak, but caulking the toerail should fix that. I have manuals to it, so if you bought one and need a copy, email me. You can't go wrong with this boat design. The only bad thing I can say about mine is that is doesn't
sleep my family of four! Two people and gear and you've run out of room.
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Review Date: Mon May 1, 2000 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

My wife an I decided on our Mirage 5.5 as our first sailboat knowing little at the time about sailboats in general. In the past two years we have trailered our boat to both Florida coasts and many lakes in between. It has suited us well as beginners in being both sturdy and forgiving. We often bring a third guest with us on various weekenders, but never a fourth due to space limitations.
In races that I have participated in, the Mirage is usually classed with 23' Hunters but also keeps pace with 16' Precisions. I have seen more competitive Mirage owners equip their boats extensively for racing. I have found that in winds above 15 knots, the solid swing keel keeps the boat at less of a heel than some bigger boats, particularly the water-ballasted kind. In the same conditions however, the Mirage feels like it is bouncing over waves instead of cutting through them, which makes for a rough and wet beat. The light displacement of the Mirage benefits the boat in very light winds, passing heavier boats with ease. I am told that the Mirage will plane, but the most I have been able to do is get it to surf (match boat speed to wave speed allowing the waves to push the boat faster).
Racing is the primary purpose of the sailboat judging by the lack of various creature comforts. Unfortunately, if I wish to continue having my wife crew for me I will need to upgrade to a boat with at least sitting headroom and a bimini top. As I have found, not having a bimini on a boat in Florida is not a good idea. Until that time comes, I will probably add some hardware, better sails, and take the opportunity to improve my racing skills.
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deanmc
Junior Member

Registered: October 2000
Posts: 3
Review Date: Thu April 4, 2002 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Wonderful trailerable 20 footer. Can be single handed or great fun for two adults. Room below decks for 4 to sleep (cramped) or just great for an overnight with the kids.

Built in Florida but I ocean-sail mine out of Nova Scotia Canada.

Check out the Very Active users group at;
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mirageownersclub/
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Review Date: Thu April 4, 2002 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

The Mirage 5.5 was manufactured in Florida but is no longer in production. Consider yourself lucky if you can get your hands on one of these fast little boats. A great day sailor with enough cabin for an overnight stay too.
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baronmarsh
Junior Member

Registered: May 2000
Review Date: Fri June 20, 2003 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Very forgiving, handles well to weather.

There is a Mirage 5.5 Users Club at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mirageownersclub/
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