Lightning v. Mirage

With a few exceptions, my time has been spent in a Force 5's. For general racing how do a Lightning and a Mirage compare? I have some friends looking for a new boat here on the East Coast.

I've heard the Lightning was designed with downwind paddling in mind and it works best with a heavier crew.

I've heard the Mirage is better for general conditions, but is narrow and not very comfortable.

Any of this true? I need the good and the bad. It would be useful if specs for these boats were available someplace.

No axe to grind. Any other brands out there worthy of consideration?

Submitted by YankeeHookele on Sun, 09/20/2009 - 12:24pm

My club has both. Hard to really tell if the Mirage is faster in any condition or not. There are so many variables. If you looked at both of them on a trailer as I did (I was following the trailer in traffic enroute to a race) the Bradley seems to have greater volume in the tail which would allow it to catch waves easier. I've noticed that when paddling you sit higher in the Bradley and, hence, have to adjust slightly to get your blade fully submerged at the catch, or use a longer blade. The freeboard seems a little higher. Some of the less strong paddlers have a harder time doing water changes (or boat ups for exercise) with the Bradley. We have a Force 5, too, and that's a peice of cake. Steering.....once you get used to the Bradley you'll love it. I absolutely love steering the Bradley and find it responds well to pokes or other correction strokes. It might be faster downwind, too, as we overtook another boat during a recent race. I was steering that one. You'll have to tune up the slot where the spray skirt goes with some light sandpaper. Don't try to put on the skirt for the first time if you are running late for a race start! That's about it. I love the Bradley! If I had a paddle quiver I'd go 1"-2" longer in seat 1 or 2. You'll love the boat when you are in a race and have to turn around a buoy and cut inside. Think Porsche vs. Chevrolet on that one!

#1 Mon, 09/21/2009 - 11:32am

I prefer steering the mirage in upwind or flat conditions.
I prefer steering the lightning downwind.
they are both nice boats (and are huge improvements over the older boats).

#2 Tue, 09/22/2009 - 6:00am

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