I can’t say it’s not a Mirage because it is, it’s a folding Mirage! With the legality issues of OC6 trailers here in Australia a hot topic at the moment Peter and I put our heads together to see what we could come up with.
With our previous experience in 2 & 3 piece Mirage construction for export we saw that a two piece Mirage would solve the overhang problem, but we wanted to go one step further and make it easy for clubs to put the canoe together and rig it.
Why not just hinge the join so the rear piece can fold up and sit on top of the forward section for safe storage and transportation? So that’s exactly what we did. Clarkie from the Inland Outriggers wanted a new 2 piece Mirage so I pitched the idea to him and he said go for it. And here it is Hot out of the mould, Clarkie’s new folding Mirage!
To add strength to the hinges Pete inserted 2 large stainless steel plates into the iako spreaders, the stainless steel hinges are then screwed into these plates. There is no load on the hinges when the canoe is rigged and the rear section is bolted into position, nor when the canoe is folded and strapped down for transport. The only time the hinges are under load is when the canoe is being folded. Once on the ground the canoe can easily be unfolded and bolted together by 2 people in 5 mins.
When folded and placed on a shorter trailer (Clarkies building one) we’ve calculated the distance from the tow ball to the rear of the trailer will be about 9.6m. The canoes will need to be transported on the trailer the right way up though.
Clarkie will be taking delivery of his folding Mirage in early December and heading down to the National Titles at Coffs Harbour with it in tow so if you’re there make sure to check it out.
Peter and I hope that this could be one solution to the trailer legality issues facing clubs, let me know what you think?