So you say you can’t afford a new playboat? You can always take matters into your own hands like contributor Wyatt Roscoe did when converting his dad’s ancient Perception Mirage into a 6’5” playboat. So it looks like the bride of Frankenstein? Who cares when you’re surfing something full of soul (kids, try this at home!)…
In His Own Words
With some thorough searching I managed to locate a fabulous picture on my grandmother’s refrigerator of me kissing my father goodbye on the Russian River in Northern California. My Dad was about to depart in the same blue Perception Mirage that 17 years latter his son would change from one of the first large plastic kayaks made into a 6’5” play boat.
It has always been my father who has inspired me to be a boater. Growing up the stories of poaching on the Yellowstone River, broken Plexiglas kayaks duck taped together, and getting and pinned on a rock that would become named after him on Bitch Creek in Idaho, all surrounded me.
Growing up in Wyoming and being the cheap college kid that most of us at some point are I asked permission to chop up the old boat that was not being used anymore and turn it into something that would be fun and useful these days. With a smile, permission was given and the big conversion began.
1.The desired shape of new play boat was dawn in Sharpe on the old Mirage
2.Brought the boat into the garage and hacked of the ends with a jigsaw
3.Clamped top and bottom together, drilled holes and bolted the front and back together using 1” bolts and big 1 ¼ in washers.
4.Found some unused Bituthene (a tar-like material that comes in rolls and used to waterproof roofs) on one of my father’s construction sites and took it back to the garage. It was cut to size and firmly wrapped around the front and back covering the seam and the nuts and bolts.
5.I was given some hot glue used to make climbing skins for backcountry skiing, from a friend of my parents melted it and poured it from the inside onto the seams to finish water proofing the boat.
6.Added some foam for hip pads with a little epoxy.
7.Threw on a gray racing stripe for good measure and headed to the water.
A week later I entered a surfing competition on the Snake River in Wyoming and had one of my best days on the water. The competition was held in a rapid call Lunch Counter in the Snake River Canyon. The boat was fun to paddle, but has a very round bottom and is hard to ferry and make sharp cuts. The boat weigh no more than 15 lbs., it is almost 100% water proof, continues to be used, and is an exhibit of the transformation of boat styles from one generation to another.