Force 5 vs. Mirage

There is no perfect OC-6, I'm sure.

What are the differences in performance between the Force 5 and the Mirage.

Any other favorites?

Submitted by YankeeHookele on Wed, 09/05/2007 - 2:30am

If I remember correctly, the Force 5 was similar to the original Bradley. I'm not even sure it would be considered a "Spec" boat nowadays. The Mirage, Lightning, etc are a whole new breed.

#1 Wed, 09/05/2007 - 5:47am

Roger that, e. I think the Force "tracks" more and is easier to steer. Better for lighter crews and flatter water for most than Bradley. A great all-around design by ( I think) Outrigger legend Walter Guild.

#2 Wed, 09/05/2007 - 5:56am

Mirage is da best. Have you tried steering a Bradley in surf/wind? Mirage feels like a 1man in the surf/wind, it knows where to go, its in control. The Bradley Lightning makes a valiant effort, gives a bit more control to the steersman and awesome turns in regatta.

If you're thinking of purchasing, go between the Lightning and Mirage. Both great "all around" boats.

#3 Wed, 09/05/2007 - 10:19am

Jim is right, Force 5 is a Guild/Bixler collaboration.. there's a wee bit more info on this at Kanu Culture site.

#4 Wed, 09/05/2007 - 11:34am

At the Ocean Connection website front page there is a shot of the Mirage, sitting on flatwater revealing its (unloaded) waterline. Pretty damn cool, and thought provoking too.

#5 Wed, 09/05/2007 - 12:10pm

The Mirage is a bit loose on the water, which makes it an awesome boat to steer either in or with the wind....side wind attack...well, who wants to do that anyway.

#6 Wed, 09/05/2007 - 12:38pm

Force 5 (Guild/Bixler) is based on the Classic Class Racer, the canoe was widened 1 to 2 inches to give it more volume, the rocker was lengthened to midship and the bow was changed to make for a more efficient entry. Still a very good all round OC6 and very popular in Australia. We still have 5 F5's and 7 Mirages but no Bradleys, would love to have them though, but Sonny says no.


#7 Wed, 09/05/2007 - 12:59pm

This may or may not help.

If you use cars as an analogy, the force-5 is like a 1996 corolla and the mirage is like a 2008 porsche. Like the corolla, the Force-5 is comfortable easy to paddle but slow and when on tough water doesn't handle all that well. The Mirage is fast, manuverable and surfs like a mo fo.

There is no comparison. In fact I have less respect for you for comparing the 2 boats.

#8 Wed, 09/05/2007 - 6:09pm

PooPoo, that's not nice. Older canoes should be respected like older paddlers are.

FYI, the "Mirage" evolved out of the concept of the "Force 5". Where do you think Karel Snr got his inspiration from?

It's not cool to 'poop' on tradition. Wipe your bum you naughty boy.


#9 Wed, 09/05/2007 - 7:39pm

I'm not disrespectin', just saying that the mirage is better. Where in my post did I poop in tradition?

Actually I poop in everything anyway so no matter.

Poops on u

#10 Wed, 09/05/2007 - 8:54pm


So let me get this straight. You're saying a Corolla doesn't handle well in rough water. What kind of paddle are you using with the Corolla in this water? If we are going to make this comparison, we must use empirical evidence.

Also, are you using the same paddle with the Porsche and the Corolla? Are these two cars being used on the same day with the same tide? Also, 92 octane gas would make a difference. Please, we must ELIMINATE variables to make this discussion worthwhile.

And lastly, as we all know, it is the engine, not the car that makes it move fast. So you must have the same engine in each car, with the same paddler as well. Hope that helped.

#11 Wed, 09/05/2007 - 9:22pm

I've paddled and steered the Mirage and F5. I can't say that I'm an expert with respect to either one of them but I do know that my preference for either one of them depends on what the course and conditons will be when it comes to steering. The Mirage winds (excuse the pun) hands down in windy, downhill conditions with bumps. But I don't like the Mirage in cross-winds on days where the run will be in flat water. The flat bottom of the Mirage coupled with my pre-adolescent weight causes the Mirage to slide like a snowboarder from hell. Constant corrections are necessary to keep the Mirage on the line which I think takes away from overall speed. The F5, on the other hand, has better tracking in these conditions.

#12 Thu, 09/06/2007 - 12:56pm


Open mouth insert foot

#13 Thu, 09/06/2007 - 1:02pm


I have never seen the Force 5 and the Lightning, were can I find some pictueres form the Boats?

#14 Fri, 09/07/2007 - 2:42am

Who can tell me the differences between the original shape Bradley made by Karel, and the newer models (lightning and striker? )made by Sonny himself. Lats

ps. the Force 5 "corolla" took Outrigger Australia to Victory in the 1997 Molokai Oahu crossing .............

#15 Sat, 09/08/2007 - 1:24pm

Yes latman,
this could be a Corolla too ;-)
300 hp in a good chape...
Olaf OC

#16 Sat, 09/08/2007 - 9:18pm

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