Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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Mirage 32, considering purchase?
There were two companies called Mirage (one in Florida and the other in Canada) and each built a 32 footer, the first is a Kelly designed IOR influenced 32 foot race boat that was built by the Florida Mirage,and the second was built by the Canadian Mirage and was a Bob Perry designed performance cruiser. The Florida Mirage was a reasonably well built but quite spartan race boat. Not too many were built. You see them for sale quite cheaply as they are somewhat obsolete as race boats and yet not very roomy as a cruiser. I have only seen one of these boats and so would be hesitant to comment further.
The Canadian Mirage was a better built boat than the Florida Mirages. The Canadian company began life building race boats, the Kirby 25 and Kirby 30. I owned a Kirby 25 and thought that it was a well built little boat with high quality glass work and some nice construction details.
The 32 was a prett nice boat that I would say was intended as a good all around coastal cruiser. It had a nice two state room plus main salon layout that would work well when cruising with two couples although the aft stateroom was nothing to write home about. I think of these boats as being Canadian competitors to boats like the Oday or the Pearsons of that era but with perhaps a better build quality and a more advanced design. Finish levels vary with the year of manufacture. The first of these boats that I saw had an oiled teak finish (if I remember right) while a later model had a very nicely varnished interior. It does seem like they are a little light in the tankage department.
When you ask, "Would you purchase this boat?" that is a difficult question to answer since you have not given a price range and of course what each of us would buy is so subjective. If someone came to me and said, "I am looking for a good family coastal cruiser with a nice useful layout and good accomodations, that I can sail and cruise with another couple or my family, do a bit of club level racing, that should offer reasonable sailing performance and ease of handling, and which would be a reasonable boat on an occasional heavy air day." I would probably recommend this boat pretty highly and certainly higher than some of the better known companies that might come to mind.
On the other hand if I had to answer that question for myself, given the price range of these boats I would probably try to find a Farr 1020, a Dehler 31, or an Express 34, which offer a little more performance albeit with perhaps a bit less accomodations.
You might email Bob Perry who is a genuinely nice guy and who was the designer of the Canadian boats for his opinion. The last email address that I had for him was email@example.com