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Old 15-06-2019, 13:46   #1
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1982 Mirage 33 and coastal cruising

I know I know, a topic beaten to death. I'm sorry! I own a Mirage 33, 1982. She's a Bob Perry which makes me think she should do just fine. I've done nothing but sail Lake Huron but lately have been very seriously mulling the Eric Canal to the ICW to the Bahamas. I just have no experience with ocean sailing. I often joke the Great Lakes are just the ocean without hurricanes, salt, or sharks. They are quite challenging to sail, and in fact some people I've come across argue a regular day on the lakes is often more challenging than a regular day on the ocean.

Am I ok in thinking an M33 that has been taken care of should do just fine for bombing around the islands? The engine is a bit under-powered for her size (13hp yanmar 2gmf) but I worry more than I've never touched salt with her and as soon as I do I'll feel like I should have never left my 4month a year sailing playground.
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Old 15-06-2019, 14:05   #2
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Re: 1982 Mirage 33 and coastal cruising

Your boat will do fine for what you propose. I have friends who just did the same journey in an Aloha 32, so similar to your Mirage. No problem.

I spent most of my sailing/cruising life on the Great Lakes, mostly Lake Superior and the North Channel. Weíre now out on the briny in Newfoundland. The GLís are indeed good proving grounds for sailing and cruising skills, but there are differences.

Tides and currents are generally new things you have to get used to. And unlike fresh water, salt water is trying to eat your boat all the time. Storms are bigger (hurricanes), swells are larger, and the sea life is far more interesting, but the sailing is not really any harder than the GL ó in some ways it is easier in that weather is less variable and fetches mean waves tend to be less steep.

All that said, I do miss the GLís. Fresh water is very easy on the boat, and Superior truly is a cruiserís paradise.
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Old 15-06-2019, 14:19   #3
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Re: 1982 Mirage 33 and coastal cruising

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Your boat will do fine for what you propose. I have friends who just did the same journey in an Aloha 32, so similar to your Mirage. No problem.

I spent most of my sailing/cruising life on the Great Lakes, mostly Lake Superior and the North Channel. We’re now out on the briny in Newfoundland. The GL’s are indeed good proving grounds for sailing and cruising skills, but there are differences.

Tides and currents are generally new things you have to get used to. And unlike fresh water, salt water is trying to eat your boat all the time. Storms are bigger (hurricanes), swells are larger, and the sea life is far more interesting, but the sailing is not really any harder than the GL — in some ways it is easier in that weather is less variable and fetches mean waves tend to be less steep.

All that said, I do miss the GL’s. Fresh water is very easy on the boat, and Superior truly is a cruiser’s paradise.
Thanks Mike, I appreciate the dual-world insight you have. I know the ocean gets all sorts of wave combo's but I think as a fellow GL sailor you can agree the way that they seem to stand up 3m tall and 1m wide every 2 seconds makes GL waves unbelievably hard to deal with most of the time lol. I would kill for some swell one day, these triangles of black water on open Huron used to make my hair stand up on my old Tanzer 7.5m.
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Old 15-06-2019, 14:55   #4
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Re: 1982 Mirage 33 and coastal cruising

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I would kill for some swell one day,
I came on watch at 4am one morning to find a big swell running as we sailed south along the Portuguese coast with the wind and swell from behind. The peaks hundreds of yards apart left over from a distant storm allowed us to surf down the waves in exhilaration. Dawn a couple of hours later showed the true size of the swell in the first light. Steering the boat it felt like I was on a 55ft surf board, a magical experience, sadly not often repeated.

I think you should just go, life is too short to miss a chance if you can.

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Old 15-06-2019, 14:57   #5
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Re: 1982 Mirage 33 and coastal cruising

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I came on watch at 4am one morning to find a big swell running as we sailed south along the Portuguese coast with the wind and swell from behind. The peaks hundreds of yards apart left over from a distant storm allowed us to surf down the waves in exhilaration. Dawn a couple of hours later showed the true size of the swell in the first light. Steering the boat it felt like I was on a 55ft surf board, a magical experience, sadly not often repeated.

I think you should just go, life is too short to miss a chance if you can.

Pete
Thanks Pete, bringing a tear to my eye here lol
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Old 15-06-2019, 15:09   #6
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Re: 1982 Mirage 33 and coastal cruising

I had to google a Mirage 33 not being familiar with the model. You're a similar size to us and have a nice slippery hull. Keep it light and upright without too much junk on board, just as you would sail the GLs and she will do well. Cruising chute might be useful, oh and some sun protection (bimini), it's really hot when you start sailing south of 40'N in the summer

The reason you're not going to Bermuda is?
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Old 15-06-2019, 15:12   #7
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Re: 1982 Mirage 33 and coastal cruising

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I had to google a Mirage 33 not being familiar with the model. You're a similar size to us and have a nice slippery hull. Keep it light and upright without too much junk on board, just as you would sail the GLs and she will do well. Cruising chute might be useful, oh and some sun protection (bimini), it's really hot when you start sailing south of 50'N in the summer

The reason you're not going to Bermuda is?
Got a full canvas enclosure and bimini, lord knows I need it being of Scottish decent. Bermuda may be on the list. I need to dig a bit more and pick a time to shoot the Erie and then icw so I dont land smack in hurricane season. September departure from the great lakes maybe. Not a YouTube channel plug here TRUST ME I ain't making no money with my mug lol but heres some video of the boat I'd be taking:



Edited to make it a link, Pete
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Old 16-06-2019, 08:58   #8
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Re: 1982 Mirage 33 and coastal cruising

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I know I know, a topic beaten to death. I'm sorry! I own a Mirage 33, 1982. She's a Bob Perry which makes me think she should do just fine. I've done nothing but sail Lake Huron but lately have been very seriously mulling the Eric Canal to the ICW to the Bahamas. I just have no experience with ocean sailing. I often joke the Great Lakes are just the ocean without hurricanes, salt, or sharks. They are quite challenging to sail, and in fact some people I've come across argue a regular day on the lakes is often more challenging than a regular day on the ocean.

Am I ok in thinking an M33 that has been taken care of should do just fine for bombing around the islands? The engine is a bit under-powered for her size (13hp yanmar 2gmf) but I worry more than I've never touched salt with her and as soon as I do I'll feel like I should have never left my 4month a year sailing playground.



I grew up sailing in South Florida.... I wish I could count the number of times my brother and I sailed our 28 foot Coronado to Bimini and Nassau.


Sailing to the Bahamas is all about picking your weather window. If you try to cross over in the winter, you had best pick a day without any winds from a northerly quadrant. Summer months bring more southeasterly winds and calmer seas.



Ive crossed many times in 2 to 3 foot seas and 15 knot winds... Ive crossed a few time where we had to motor the whole way.


You will be just fine in a 33 footer.... Whats the draft of your boat? You might have difficulties in some ports if you are a really deep draft boat.


Years ago we frequently went in a friends boat, a 34 foot DuFour that drew 6'6" and bumped often going into Bimini. Got stuck once for a few hours trying to get into the Abacos.


You should have no problem with your boat. Youve probably seen alot worse weather and water on the Great Lakes.
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Old 16-06-2019, 09:03   #9
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Re: 1982 Mirage 33 and coastal cruising

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I grew up sailing in South Florida.... I wish I could count the number of times my brother and I sailed our 28 foot Coronado to Bimini and Nassau.


Sailing to the Bahamas is all about picking your weather window. If you try to cross over in the winter, you had best pick a day without any winds from a northerly quadrant. Summer months bring more southeasterly winds and calmer seas.



Ive crossed many times in 2 to 3 foot seas and 15 knot winds... Ive crossed a few time where we had to motor the whole way.


You will be just fine in a 33 footer.... Whats the draft of your boat? You might have difficulties in some ports if you are a really deep draft boat.


Years ago we frequently went in a friends boat, a 34 foot DuFour that drew 6'6" and bumped often going into Bimini. Got stuck once for a few hours trying to get into the Abacos.


You should have no problem with your boat. Youve probably seen alot worse weather and water on the Great Lakes.
Thanks for the detailed reply. We draw about 5ft so it's not terrible. I've seen some things out there on the GL's that's for sure. That combination of steep, sharp waves, high winds, lee shores, shoals and rocks everywhere with little searoom to use a buffer unless you're in the middle of Superior make it a challenge for sure.
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Old 16-06-2019, 16:21   #10
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Re: 1982 Mirage 33 and coastal cruising

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Thanks Mike, I appreciate the dual-world insight you have. I know the ocean gets all sorts of wave combo's but I think as a fellow GL sailor you can agree the way that they seem to stand up 3m tall and 1m wide every 2 seconds makes GL waves unbelievably hard to deal with most of the time lol. I would kill for some swell one day, these triangles of black water on open Huron used to make my hair stand up on my old Tanzer 7.5m.
I have a Mirage 27 and as with that hull shape the issue seems to be with the following sea. I'm in Newfoundland as well and that was the only real concern I ever had when sailing that boat. The problem seemed to be in short period at 3-4 metres. The previous owner used to take her to Labrador and that can be a whole different animal. Having heard this I think you will be fine.
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Old 16-06-2019, 16:23   #11
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Re: 1982 Mirage 33 and coastal cruising

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I have a Mirage 27 and as with that hull shape the issue seems to be with the following sea. I'm in Newfoundland as well and that was the only real concern I ever had when sailing that boat. The problem seemed to be in short period at 3-4 metres. The previous owner used to take her to Labrador and that can be a whole different animal. Having heard this I think you will be fine.
Great info and real experience, thanks!
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Old 16-06-2019, 16:39   #12
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Re: 1982 Mirage 33 and coastal cruising

Your size boat is great for the Bahamas. GO! Bahamas are easy sailing most of the time and I'm sure the Great Lakes are more challenging more often. I had two friends who were both about 6-3", they sailed over in a 23 ft boat!
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Old 16-06-2019, 16:43   #13
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Re: 1982 Mirage 33 and coastal cruising

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Your size boat is great for the Bahamas. GO! Bahamas are easy sailing most of the time and I'm sure the Great Lakes are more challenging more often. I had two friends who were both about 6-3", they sailed over in a 23 ft boat!
Lol thanks Cheech that's what I like to hear
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Old 16-06-2019, 16:52   #14
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Re: 1982 Mirage 33 and coastal cruising

I'll just add: I've sailed the Caribe from Fl to Trinidad twice. Favorite spot? The Bahamas!
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Old 16-06-2019, 16:58   #15
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Re: 1982 Mirage 33 and coastal cruising

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I'll just add: I've sailed the Caribe from Fl to Trinidad twice. Favorite spot? The Bahamas!
Lol nice. We are considering Trinidad as a place to leave Firefly if we decided to not sail her home and to return again cruising after a fee months break (hurricane season).


Also while I have a thread going. Thoughts on Bermuda in a 33ft? It's a bit saltier than the short hops from FL to Bahamas.
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