Mirror 16 foot Sailing Dinghy

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by goolawah, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. goolawah
    Joined: Oct 2005
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    Location: Brisbane, Australia

    goolawah Junior Member

    Well no, I haven't, and I can't imagine it, but Barry Skelcher would be the one to know.
    Well, it would be interesting to know, but I doubt it. I'm sure the world abounds with references to Cairns other than our North Queensland city, which apparently it was named after Queensland's first Irish born Governor, Sir William Wellington Cairns.
    Does this mean you own, or work in, a boat yard in Guernsey??
     
  2. goolawah
    Joined: Oct 2005
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    Location: Brisbane, Australia

    goolawah Junior Member

    Current Mirror 16 Owners

    Barrie Skelcher has been compiling a list of Mirror 16s in their various "hot-spots" around the world. He recently sent out an updated list which I reproduce here in the hope that it may encourage others to make contact.

    I have excluded contact details and suggest that contact would best be made, in the first instance, through this forum.

    Thanks Barry.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. angus2006
    Joined: Dec 2006
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    Location: Adelaide, Australia

    angus2006 New Member

    Mirror 16

    Hi there everyone, just thought you might like to know that I have a Mirror 16in Adelaide, South Australia. She has lived all her life near the sea, at Normanville, about 1 hours drive from Adelaide. My father aquired her from our then next door neighbor at our beach house in a somewhat run down state. He replaced the floor and repainted and got her back into a sailable condition. However, she has since rotted (partly) through the foor and had a couple of holes put in the hull from getting it onto the trailer by someone who was not watching what they were doing.

    I learnt to sail in her, and I have sailed many boats but she is still my favourite. Fast, comfortable and plenty of room! It is a pitty that they are not still being made. We have taken her down the Coorong (a lake system near the south coast) many times, and is always fun.

    Is it true that boats used in salt water are less prone to rotting? Have any of you had problems with rot in the actual hull? If so how hard is it to repair and is it really justifiable to spend thousands of hours and hundreds of dollars, repairing something like this.

    Even though I know there is a large amount of work involved to repair her, I think it may be easier to build a new hull. Does anyone have plans for these boats? If you got all the shapes laser or water cut out it would be easy to build.
     
  4. goolawah
    Joined: Oct 2005
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    Location: Brisbane, Australia

    goolawah Junior Member

    Hi Angus,

    Great to hear from you. Do you know the sail number of your Mirror 16? We are trying to develop a list of know boats world-wide.
    Salt water CAN inhibit rot but if the ventilation is inadequate, as under the floor of a Mirror 16, rot can still develop. Presumably, over time, condensation will introduce fresh water as the air in the under-floor bouyancy expands and contracts. Also, the glue used in the original construction was not very good compared with today's epoxies. Our Mirror 16 hull still has most of the original outer skin but the plywood, while not actually rotted, is quite fragmented in places. It looks as though she may have been left with a puddle of water in the bottom, soaking into the ply. With such thin ply it is quite vulnerable to puncturing either from stony beaches or trailer accidents.

    There are no plans as the originals were all supplied as kits. Holt Limited in the UK no longer have plans or templates but have given permission for us to "reverse engineer" the plans from our boats. I have this process under way but it is a time consuming task and I can only progress it as time permits. Meantime we have, collectively, a great deal of information and experience including the original building instructions and the class registration measurement details.

    Our "Lulubelle" needed quite a lot of work and it took 15 months part time to get her fixed up. The main cost was epoxy and paint.

    If you have further specific questions about re-furbishment, post them here and we'll do our best to help.
     
  5. Barrie Skelcher
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    Barrie Skelcher Junior Member

    Hallo Dave,

    Does John Cluett have an email address? Would like to know more about the M16 you saw there.

    Regards

    Barrie Skelcher
    M16 No 64,
     
  6. Youngatheart
    Joined: Dec 2006
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    Location: Gloucester UK

    Youngatheart New Member

    Mirror 16

    This is my first contact through a forum so if I dont get it right please tell me. I have just joined the U K Dinghy Cruising Association and am looking for a boat. The Mirror 16 dimmly remembered from 70s would I thought be a good choice. However they are rather thin on the ground and from reading the thread moves are afoot to start building again. There is an obvious leaning towards timber construction, because it is the easiest way for one off construction and many people prefer it astheticaly. However would anyone be interrested in composite construction, glassfibre hull timber internals and deck and if so could permision be obtained from the design owners to produce a limited number of boats. A further consideration for new construction is legislation in the E. U. The Leisure Craft Directive. This lays down some rules which new boats have to comply with before they can be sold. But does anyone know whether it applies to home construction. Maybe as far as boat construction in the E. U. is concerned it would be as well to clarify what regs, if any, have to be complied with before a lot of time is expended on producing plans. In the meantime I am still looking for a Mirror 16, but on without too much work needed.
     
  7. Barrie Skelcher
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    Location: uk

    Barrie Skelcher Junior Member

    Hello,
    I am Barrie Skelcher and a very keen on the Mirror 16s. Last year I retrieved my old M16, No 64 which I had sold in 1977. I have had to have her restored but now she is sailing and racing again. I have another which I might be interested in selling to a caring owner.

    The M16 was designed for cruising or racing. She is a little over canvassed but designed to reef easilly. Compared with a Wayfarer she is not so robhust but lighter and faster. She is also more roomey and has a better layout for camping in. I understand that the EU classification rules do not apply to an owner built boat providing it is not sold for 5 (?) years. If I can help please email me at skelch@sumplace.abelgratis.com

    Regards

    Barrie Skelcher
     
  8. Q C
    Joined: Jan 2007
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    Location: Canada

    Q C New Member

    Our family had #88 which we bought second hand in 1969. We sailed the her hard for many years - mostly in the Solent. Then we emigrated to Canada and sailed her on the lakes here. We just plain wore her out. It would have been nice to restore her, but the reality was that we would have to build a complete new boat using her as a model. My dad was too old and I live too far away to help so my dad sold her in around 2004. It looks as if Paul Lingen bought it shortly after in 2006.

    Here are some pictures of us with her in 1974 doing what she did best - planing in a force 4 on a bright sunny day. Sorry about the quality - they were scanned from a 35mm slide.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 27, 2007
  9. nigel34
    Joined: Jan 2007
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    Location: yorkshire uk

    nigel34 Junior Member

    mirror 16

    i also have a mirror 16, no34 in the uk.
     
  10. nigel34
    Joined: Jan 2007
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    Location: yorkshire uk

    nigel34 Junior Member

    mirror 16 uk

    i also have a mirror 16, bought it last year repainted & revarnised it .looking forward to sailing it this year in the lake district . the sail number is 34 .as far as i can tell no major repairs or rot .great to see there are still m16s .will post pictures asap.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2007
  11. goolawah
    Joined: Oct 2005
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    Location: Brisbane, Australia

    goolawah Junior Member

    Just thought I would share this experience for the sake of those not familiar with the Mirror 16 (which seems to be just about everybody).

    Our local Wooden Boat Association decided to plan a messabout, held last weekend, focussing on capsizing and righting. The idea was to make sure our (mostly ageing) members had the capability to right their capsized boat, and to get back aboard. This was to highlight problems such as -

    1. The fact that you could right your boat when you were 18 is no guarantee that you can still do it at 60 plus.

    2. Some Mirror 16 owners have modified their stowage compartments so that they have closing hatches. This can increase bouyancy and the capsized boat can float so high in the water that you can't reach the centreboard.

    3. Ageing boats, bult in the pre-epoxy era may have developed weaknesses that would result in breakage under the stress of capsizing/righting. Good to test.

    We have always sailed very conservatively, camper/cruisng rather than racing so have not had occasion to experience righting a capsized Mirror 16.

    I'm pleased to report that -

    1. She capsized without damage.

    2. We could reach the centreboard OK to climb up. (We will make some minor mods to improve access to righting ropes).

    3. She righted OK and proved to be completely self bailing. Most of the water had drained out through the centreboard case before we could clamber aboard.

    4. Climbing aboard (over the transom) was quite easy as a result of a simple step added to the side of the rudder blade. This obviously affects performance but as we are cruising and not racing it is a small concession to our advancing years.

    The way this design has a substantial amount of bouyancy under the whole cockpit floor really works well in recovering from a capsize.
     
  12. ostosix
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    Location: Lincolnshire, UK

    ostosix New Member

    centreboard case replacement

    Here is a couple of pictures of Mirror 16 No. 489 undergoing refurbishment in my garage in Lincoln, UK. I have made a new centreboard case using the measurements of wood given on the parts list I have from the original kit. I'ts relatively easy although you are not working to any datum. I used the old parts as templates. It is assembled using west system epoxy with no screws. This should stop any moisture from getting in, in the future.

    The next job is to replace the ribs which I will do with strengh an longevity in mind. All the ones missing on the photos were broken or cracked. I had to cut some away to get the old case out. I will make the lightening holes smaller so there is more wood to take the load of trailing and the crew. I will also keep the ventilation at the top of my priorities. I will fit more ventilation hatches. The ribs will be epoxy coated before final assembly of the hull.

    Tackling this with the dinghy upside down is a good way of doing it but is costly in materials. I've seen other photos were the floor is removed but this only gives you limited access to the frames. I would recommend this only as a long term option. It definatly is not a weekend repair.

    It does feel good to know that the dinghy will give plenty of years service after completeing such an indepth overhaul.

    If you've got any ideas or experience of this, especially epoxy coating, please let me know.

    My email is ostosix@gmail.com Thanks.

    Mike Bryan
     

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  13. ostosix
    Joined: Sep 2006
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    Location: Lincolnshire, UK

    ostosix New Member

    489 rebiuld

    Hi, just thought I'd give you an update on Mirror 489's rebuild.

    Now the case is in, the next job is to make and fit the ribs that support the cockpit floor. With strength in mind I made the ribs more substansial in the central section between the two lightening holes. I decided on 4 1/2 inches instead of approx 2 inches like in the originals as a mixture of strenght and ventilation qualities. This is because the dinghy will spend a fair amount of time being time being towed so it needs to be fairly strong, and I don't fancy doing this again anytime soon!

    I brought in the central support in towards the case to take the weight of the crew moving around as a lot of the floor is covered by the benches. I also made the holes smaller so there's more wood all round. They are 6 mm ply, the same as the originals. I fitted them with epoxy fillets. You can see in the picture the difference between the new and the original.( I put them in large so you can see how the old one has cracked.)

    I have some towards the transom to finish which were only part removed. That should be a quick job tomorrow.

    That's all for now.

    Any questions or points to help please email me on ostosix@gmail.com.

    Regards Mike
     

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  14. dream458
    Joined: Jul 2007
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    Location: Lawrence, Kansas

    dream458 Junior Member

    Dream Come True Pictures

    Hi all,

    This is Katrina, the owner of Sail# 458. I have been sailing the boat on Perry Lake in Kansas, USA. Here are some pics from a breezy day, we her reefed and we were moving FAST! Enjoy...
     

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  15. albatros
    Joined: Nov 2007
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    Location: UK

    albatros New Member

    Found Mirror 16 in shed

    I have been researching 16' sailing dinghies for a while to decide what to buy. I ended up getting a GRP Wayfarer. But I found this forum and looked at the Mirror 16 after an older guy in my sailing club showed me one in a friends shed nearby that has not been used for many years, and is apparently available. The boat is stored dry and looked ok. It may very well be that restoration of this example of the Mirror 16 is a rather easy surface job. I though someone reading this thread might be interested to hear. Let me know if you want to be put in touch with this guy. This would be in Staffordshire, UK.
     
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