The Mirror dinghy is a small, light, easy to sail, easy to transport, pram dinghy. Basically a stable family boat for all ages and abilities, ideal for just "messing about", it is also raced widely and actively both in the UK and abroad. Its ease of handling makes it a very good single-hander. For racing the crew is two but when pottering three can be carried. The Mirror dinghy can be rowed or fitted with a small outboard motor - it can then accommodate four or five people. Ideal for training young people, it is an RYA-adopted Junior Class. Many of the UK's top sailors started in a Mirror! A strict one-design, the Mirror dinghy became an International Class in 1989.
The Mirror dinghy was named after the Daily Mirror, a UK newspaper. From the start it was promoted as an affordable boat, and it has probably done more than any other design to make dinghy sailing in the UK a sport available to anyone. Although most popular in the UK, Mirrors are also used in other countries, notably Australia.
It was designed by Jack Holt and TV DIY expert Barry Bucknell in 1962, the Mirror dinghy employed a novel construction method where sheets of marine plywood are held together with copper stitching and fibreglass tape. Buoyancy is provided by integral chambers rather than by bags. It was originally designed to be built with simple tools and little experience, and this meant that the design was quite unsophisticated - for example, a simple daggerboard is used instead of a hinged centreboard. The result, however, was a robust and versatile boat that can be easily maintained, and repaired, and can also be got into the water very quickly from storage or transport. Its standing lug rig, with a gaff that effectively doubles the height of the mast, means that the spars can be packed inside the hull for easy storage or transportation.
All these features make the Mirror dinghy a first class choice for children or teenagers learning sailing for the first time. Because of the very large number that have been made (over 70000 to date !) , it is fairly easy to find other Mirror sailors to cruise or race with.
A Mirror dinghy will never be the fastest boat on the water, or the most elegant, but it holds a special place in the affections of a large number of dinghy sailors.
||: 6.5m sq
Mirror Dinghies For Sale on Ebay
Mirror Dinghy comments and advice
The Mirror is a great boat for beginners. Easy to handle both on and off the water and very stable. You have to do something pretty drastic to capsize a Mirror. Be careful when trailing however, Mirrors are not the strongest of boats and its easy to puncture an hole in the bottom.
I am now the proud owner of my first ever Dinghy a water ready Mirror. I took part in a RYA course last year and learned to sail on a wayfarer. The mirror I bought came without rigging instructions and embarrassingly I am having some problems, especially with the Gaff which until Yesterday I had never seen before. I have trawled a number of sites but have been unable to find any rigging instruction, can you please point me in the right direction.
The Mirror Nationals are approaching (28th-30th May, Whitsun bank holiday weekend) at Poole and are set to be the best Champs for many years. If you haven't already entered, it is not too late and we have extended the early entry fee until 20th May.
With just under three weeks to go, we have nearly 80 boats entered, making this the largest gathering of Mirrors, with several boats still to return their forms, can we make it past the magic 100 ?. It is also pleasing to see many sailors returning to the class.
Poole YC offers some great sailing water, with easy launching and the sheltered race area close to the club house. For the non sailors Poole and surrounding Dorset countryside are popular holiday destinations.
Befitting the training nature of the class we have organised coaching support across the three fleets, tailored to the different ability levels. For those contemplating their first National Championships, this will be a great event to do. Boats in the Bronze Fleet will be able to compete without Measurement Certificates.
For the all important supporters and non sailing parents we have organised a large fully equipped spectator ship, getting you close to the action. There will also be "Mirror FM", our own event radio station, delivering full race commentary across the surrounding area.
Being the Family Class, many parents have entered to compete alongside their speedy kids. Single handers are always welcome, with their own start. For non-racers there will be a cruising rally, taking in some of the many pretty parts of Poole Harbour.
So if you are a Mirror Owner please come and join us at the class event of the year. :
The Mirror Class website is one of the best going and has a very good discussion group forum. There are many 'help' topics elsewhere on the site but not sure if there is a full rigging instruction section. However a post on the forum will no doubt get you a response. There was a very good book called 'Sailing the Mirror' which does give full instructions (easily found on ABE Books web site) or someone might be prepared to make a copy of the original instruction booklet which came with the boat (you would need to offer to pay for this as its about 20 pages and in foolscap (A4/A3) size. Good luck. The boat is wonderful and vastly underated by the snobs of the dinghy world.
The MIrror is also a good boat for single handed cruising as, unlike many modern boats, it is stable with plenty of freeboard. You can camp aboard and, in suitable weather, you can hop between harbours. I recently sailed my boat from Emsworth to Wareham, 3 nights sleeping aboard. Please ask about the necessary equipment and and experience for this activity.
Mirrors are an awesome boat, that is very easy to sail, and many champions have been created in this class. It is a pity that the amount of mirror sailors are dwindling, as the races in this boat are very fun!
The first-time buyer should buy a boat with a number 60000-70000
Alas, my Mirror is gone but not forgotten. I built it with my Dad 30 yrs ago and together we sailed it in the Great Lakes, the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. I've sailed a lot of other boats but none were as easy to handle or more fun than that Mirror. You just couldn't sink her no matter what stupid thing I'd do. We started by car-topping it then went to a trailer. No matter as the two of us could carry it and drop it in the water. I highly recommend this boat for anyone who likes to sail, beginner or not.