Perception Mirage

I just acquired an old Perception Mirage 13 foot kayak. It has thick foam blocks running the length of the bow and aft sections of the boat. Are these blocks a critical part of the boats structure? Would I be stupid to remove them, or at least the front one? A pair of float bags came with the deal, they do not fit real well with the foam in there. Can I shorten the foam to fit the bags in each end?


The foam pillar is there to keep the kayak from collapsing and to give it structure. It is a WW kayak after all.

The only WW kayaks that don’t have foam pillars are Prijon and Eskimo because of the plastic they use.

Please leave the foam where it is!

If you remove the pillars, the Mirage
will be too flexy even for flatwater use. The pillars don’t weigh much, and also supply some flotation.

Saw one of those today while ww paddling…

Thanks for the replies

– Last Updated: Aug-05-10 4:38 PM EST –

Does it make sense to use the float bags at all with the foam pillars also inside?

If you are only using the boat on flatwater, you can probably get by without bags. On moving water, the bags will greatly diminish the volume of water in your boat if you exit it.

This will allow it to ride higher in the current making it much less likely to pin on rocks or under strainers. It will make the boat lighter making it much easier for you to swim it out of the current.

The bags also contribute to further
stiffening the boat. Poly WW boats back then had poor structural integrity without walls and bags. Todays poly boats are much stiffer, which tempts some to run them without bags.

I tried to help a guy paddling a Prijon Fly for his first run, without bags. Prijons are pretty stiff, and also have no front or rear walls.

Anyway, the recovery effort was a nightmare. The boat was completely full of water and had almost no positive flotation at all. My efforts to nose it to the bank were useless, because even in the shallows, the boat floated downstream as if part of the water.