Perception ¿model?

I’ve been gifted a clear/white kayak that looks like a Mirage, Dancer, or Spirit. How do I figure out what it is?

It has a Velcroed & padded back belt (too worn out to stay put), a round hull, sharp nose, very small comb (I can barely get in), there are a black support columns from cockpit to bow (one piece plastic), metal foot pegs (lock on backside, very hard to reach and set).

My best guess to dimensions are less than 10.5 feet, by less than 24" (maybe much less than). I’ll add dimensions when I can later, for now having some list of model dimensions would help.

look at their catalog archives
Perception has an extensive archive of their old catalogs – if you have the time, you can look at them to find comparable models. Measure it carefully and weigh it, if you can (stand on a bathroom scale while holding it, then put down the kayak and subtract your weight). Here is the link to the 1993 whitewater catalog with a chart showing the Dancer series (which was first marketed in 1986).

If your boat actually is 10’ 4" then it is the small person XS version of the Dancer. The standard size Dancer was 11’ 7" and no other “pointy” boats of that era were as short at 10’ 4". Weighing it will help – the XS is 30#.

sounds short for a mirage
but the fact that it has the plasic pillar supports reminds me of my mirage, back bands were an after market item, with the dancers I think perception went with closed cell foam walls.

Thanks for the link to the catalog, the measurements and profile images will help a lot.

I was wrong.

– Last Updated: Sep-07-16 11:51 AM EST –

Okay, apparently I'm terrible at guessing distances.

The kayak measured 13' and weighs 45# (though my scale isn't very consistent).

I'll double check with the catalog but now it sounds like the Mirage is the leading option.

Something seems wrong in the serial number. It looks like: WEM 106390481 R.H. is dremeled into the rear-right side of the kayak. I figure the R.H. is just the previous owner's initials, but the 04 should be a letter code and year made (confirmation of model year right?). I'd post a photo if I could.

can’t post photos
This forum site doesn’t allow photos to be posted but you can easily upload images to a free photo share and storage sight like Flickr and then post a link to one shot or an album of them. Like this, for example (shots I posted on Flickr of a kayak I modified):

There are other such photo sites but Flickr is free and I find it very easy to use (one of the few Yahoo products that is well designed.)

If it is 13 feet LOA it is a Mirage. The Spirit was 12’ 10’’. The Dancers were all under 12’ in length.

There have been multiple differing HIN formats over the years. One in use prior to 1984 was the straight year format in which the last 2 digits indicated the year of registration (build) and the 2 digits before those the month of registration, starting with “01” for January.

In other words, your boat was made in April 1981.

Thanks for your input everyone.

I’ve named my kayak “Chaziel”. It seemed appropriate for a Perception Mirage.

I’ve been looking for a better brush to attach to a broom handle and clean way up into the tips of the bow and stern. Has anyone tried a '‘cob web’ brush?

Has anyone tried filling in scratches with headlight or plastic restorers? I’ll try to keep y’all up to date as I try to give it new life.

just use a hose
I just use one of those hose nozzles that you can adjust to the high pressure blaster spray to clean crud out of the kayak insides.

Don’t worry about scratches, they don’t affect performance. Trying to keep a whitewater (or any kayak) scratch-free is like trying to keep new white sneakers spotless: not worth the effort.

And no, headlight polisher will not take scratches out of a poly kayak.