Tom Kirkman wrote:
I can't really speak to an increase of speed by removing the Mirage Drive. I haven't noticed it but then I haven't really bothered to check it against a GPS or anything. I will say that when the Mirage Drive is pulled you greatly reduce noise and splash by installing the well plug. Speedwise, I just can't say. I haven't done any legitimate comparisons. I'm sure somebody else has.
I haven't done legitimate comparisons either when sailing. Too many variables. It certainly feels faster and does tack better as K7 noted. (BTW if you miss the tack, reversing the rudder direction gets you out of 'irons' and sailing again)
I have done some GPS comparisons though, in kayak mode. Paddling without the drive in, rudder up and in flat conditions I can comfortably average around 7km/h. Putting the drive in and paddling, that average drops to around 6.5km/h. Interestingly that stays the same whether the fins are folded up against the hull or 'locked' down. Adding the drivewell plug makes no difference to speed but it does stop water surging up and over the 8" hatch cover.