Submitted: 12-06-2005 by roadrunner
Having a Mirage Classic, we decided to get the tandem so my wife could join me on the water. We've had it for a couple of years now and have used it solo as well as tandem.
First, ours has had no problems with soft spots in the hull or any other structural defect. The fit and finish are of good quality, all fittings being bronze, anodized aluminum or stainless. It's rather heavy at about 70# plus about 20# for two drive units and two paddles, but on the water it's not a big issue. Stability is good; visibility from the aft steering position is necessarily limited directly ahead.
A previous review reporting that the kayak was unusable in shallow water may have been their unfamiliarity with the Mirage drive unit. The "sail fins" will wrap up against the hull for beaching and can be operated in shallow water by "fluttering" the fins in short strokes with one leg forward. The only limitation in this regard that I could think of is fishing in kelp beds offshore.
The tandem is very fast with both passengers pedaling. We've not really paddled it tandem, so I can't comment about that.
My wife's favorite part is that she can pedal or rest and take in the view as she pleases, and I can get my exercise, regardless.
As a solo, the bow rides a little high so wind has more effect on the tracking. I use some lead ballast in the bow and this helps significantly. Speed is about the same as the Mirage Classic; turning and maneuverability are outstanding. Solo paddling is hindered by the need to constantly adjust the rudder. There is lots of space for gear, dogs or whatever; stability is excellent.
The Mirage tandem is a high quality, durable, versatile machine that can be used for one or two. It's great fun to sit back and cruise along at a good clip. As with all Mirage kayaks, it can be a great upper and lower body workout! I recommend it highly.