Allowing mirrors to be built from plans

  • Tim Smith
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15 Jan 2006 19:45 #11281 by Tim Smith
Replied by Tim Smith on topic Allowing mirrors to be built from plans
Many open meetings, including national competitions, allow boats which don't have a certificate to race in the bronze fleet.

With regard to boats now being out of date, do you mean that boats built, say 20 years ago, may not measure under current class rules? If so, I don't think it matters if they don't. There was a discussion sometime ago talking about how some early boats (e.g. No 3) could still use a fully laced main-sail whereas modern Mirrors can't. Thus, the class rules that apply to a boat are the rules from the time when that boat was built/kit manufactured (not sure which).



Edited by - Tim Smith on 15 January 2006 19:47:47

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15 Jan 2006 22:04 #11282 by Trevor Lloyd
Hi.

It is true that boats built some time ago would have been constructed when the dimensional rules allowed greater tollerances. So long as they measured at that time then if they are a mirror dinghy. My view is that if a mirror has not been measured and or does not have certificate then it is not a mirror in the truest sense of the word. In many classes racing a boat could well be constued as contravening the fair sailing rules! After all one of the key measurements is weight of hull, if someone took out 3kg of lead they would indeed be contravening the fair sailing rules. My point is that people should be able to source quality BS certified ply to repair or build a boat from where ever they please. They should also have the option of building from plans and reducing the cost of their boat by £xx if they desire. Enabling this would actually bring a lot of boats back into class!

N2O

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  • Tim Smith
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15 Jan 2006 23:34 #11283 by Tim Smith
Replied by Tim Smith on topic Allowing mirrors to be built from plans
<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
My point is that people should be able to source quality BS certified ply to repair or build a boat from where ever they please. They should also have the option of building from plans and reducing the cost of their boat by £xx if they desire. Enabling this would actually bring a lot of boats back into class!
<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size=2 id=quote>

I hope my post above doesn't imply I disagree with this; as I don't.

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  • Tim Smith
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15 Jan 2006 23:56 #11284 by Tim Smith
Replied by Tim Smith on topic Allowing mirrors to be built from plans
This appears to be a classic weighing-up of two sides.
Whilst I agree with many of the points raised so far, it is also worth seeing this from the point of view of the kit suppliers. Trident have long been associated with Mirrors and have a licence to supply kits. Furthermore, they continue to play an important part in the development of Mirrors and so it's worth considering it from their point of view.


Martin: My dad says he believes the plywood from the one of the latter Bell kits (70142) had an Israel stamp on it. There was 2 types of ply in the kit so I'm not sure if this applied to both.

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  • Simon Lovesey
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16 Jan 2006 09:53 #11285 by Simon Lovesey
Replied by Simon Lovesey on topic Allowing mirrors to be built from plans
With regards measurement certificates it is preferable to have one and certainly makes your Mirror more valuable when you come to sell it, BUT we recognise that not every boat has a certificate for a variety of reasons. We do not want to discourage these boats from participating, and as mentioned several times here this is one of strengths of the class.

For club and local events these days it is usually OK to enter without a certificate. Increasingly for MCA Championships we are offering a bronze fleet category, aimed at the older boats without certificates. These boats still get a result, but cannot win the major prizes and the championship itself. Where possible we offer separate prizes for these boats, at last year's nationals nearly a quarter of the boats were in the bronze fleet. It was also agreed at the International AGM that we can offer a Bronze fleet for the Europeans. The class is keen for as many boats to participate, inclusion being the key word.


<i>The lack of a measurement certificate should not be seen as a licence to flout the rules, anyone found to be deliberately breaking the measurement rules to gain an unfair advantage could find themselves at the end of a rule 2 (sportsmanship) protest.</i>

Bev Harvey, the MCA Historian has records of many Mirrors, and may be able to confirm if your Mirror has a certificate, enabling you to get a copy from the RYA :
http://www.ukmirrorsailing.com/mca/contacts.htm


MCA Secretary

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16 Jan 2006 15:22 #11287 by Trevor Lloyd
Simon

Many thanks for your thoughts. I started this discussion as a means of finding out whether there was support for my views on allowing the building of mirrors from plans, not on the wider topics that have crept in, though they do merit discussion. This seems to have uncovered a interesting views on the workings of the class. Personally I have no issues with my own current boat as this was a top 5 worlds boat at some point and holds a measurement certificate. I am building a new boat from a kit, however and it is the cost of the kit that started me thinking. Surely the royalties have been paid on the design after 70000+. I am all for making the mirror a cheaper and more modern boat to compete 'with tupperware'. It's merits are beyond question, my views are intended to foster growth, 'legal' inclusion and accessibility not to be a hinderence.
In response to Tim's comments about builders yes they have helped but like all business's they are not generally altruistic. So if the market moves on then that's how it is and they are there to support the class. Without the class they don't have the business so it's a partnership. There would be nothing wrong with them supplying for a modest profit the basic uncut materials as an option?

I actually believe the wider subject of measurement warrants a thread of its own so have stared that one.



N2O

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21 Jan 2006 22:55 #11328 by Martin Egan
When I said ILLEGAL I meant in that it breaks the class rules which is why I quoted the class rules that are being broken. I also pointed out that ISAF own the copyright of the panel shapes. So if you make your own panels, you are infringing their copyright. If a company was to start selling their own Mirror panels (which has happened) then ISAF would certainly be interested.

What I am trying to avoid is somebody spending a lot of time re-building a boat in this manner, not realising there was a problem and thinking they would be able to get a race certificate for it when they had finished. The last thing I want to have to do is to break bad news like this to them.

SteveAUS is right about one of the dangers of publishing plans. Somebody, maybe a newcomer to sailing, could build a boat from ply that was too thin or not even marine grade. It might last a year or two and then start to crack or delaminate. The reputation of the class could suffer as a result.

Another danger of building from plans is that an experienced racer or boat builder could produce a boat with a significant race advantage over the existing boats. For example, rather than use 5mm ply as the plans would say, they might use 6mm for the floor, 3mm for the transom, stern deck, aft bulkhead, foredeck, 5mm for the sides and so on. If they used gaboon ply then it would not be obvious that it was the wrong thickness. This would put all the existing owners at a disadvantage.

Also remember ISAF own the plans, not the Mirror Class. Even if we wanted to sell plans, ISAF might say no.

Using locally purchased marine ply to do small repairs to existing panels (such as the 4" X 8") one that flying pig wants to do is OK. As I say, you may find it hard to source 5mm gaboon 3-ply. If it's an old boat or the repair is hidden, then it may not matter if the ply is a bit different. Sounds like Flying pig has no worries on this front.

Kit manufacturers are required to use 5mm ply. It's up to them if they choose to use 3-ply, 4-ply or 5-ply. Hence UK standard kits are 3-ply, UK racing kits have some 3-ply and some 5-ply panels. So a boat with a 5-ply panel is not breaking class rules if that is what the kit manufacturer supplied.

You may take the view that, as a boat is not to be raced, then it does not matter if the class rules are broken. I would much prefer to see old boats repaired and used than left to rot. However, in that situation, I think it only fair that, should you sell the boat, you point this out to any prospective owner. Don't forget boats without certificates or boat that don't comply with class rules can be raced in "bronze" fleets at big events like the Nationals.

Tim's dad is right, Widebeam and Bell used to buy their 5mm 3-ply and 5-ply from Taal who were based in Israel. Unfortunatly they went bust a few years ago (about the same time as Widebeam did) and it's proving hard to find a replacement. I notice nobody has come up with any suggestions so far.

I think Flying Pig may be being a little negative when they say "...I dread comparing my battered tub to the sleek GRP models out there! (No comparison - they'll be laps ahead of us!)" Don't forget, it's the nut that is holding the tiller that is the most important thing of all. I sail my old boat 15563 at club events and even some small opens (i.e. Starcross Open 2004). She was built in 1969, is 11Kg overweight, has crazing in the paint around the cockpit floor and is normally powered by some 1990 era Musto sails. If I make a good start and sail well then we can sometimes beat much newer boats.





Edited by - MartinEgan on 21 January 2006 22:57:04

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  • Tim Smith
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22 Jan 2006 00:56 #11329 by Tim Smith
Replied by Tim Smith on topic Allowing mirrors to be built from plans
<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
Taal
<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size=2 id=quote>

Yep, That sounds right

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
I think Flying Pig may be being a little negative when they say "...I dread comparing my battered tub to the sleek GRP models out there! (No comparison - they'll be laps ahead of us!)" Don't forget, it's the nut that is holding the tiller that is the most important thing of all. I sail my old boat 15563 at club events and even some small opens (i.e. Starcross Open 2004). She was built in 1969, is 11Kg overweight, has crazing in the paint around the cockpit floor and is normally powered by some 1990 era Musto sails. If I make a good start and sail well then we can sometimes beat much newer boats.
<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size=2 id=quote>

Some of my brothers and I learned to sail in 35608 (Beanacrew), and did alright in some races; the boat having been rescued from a bonfire and repaired by my dad! Also, 2 of my brothers sailed Mirror 6665, one of whom won an open meeting in it (the people hosting the event put 66665 as the sail number thinking the boat was a "Mirror special" and not it's actual "age"!!). My uncle currently owns this boat.


<img src=icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle>-there are many interesting Mirror stories, and I think there will be many more.

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  • D Hughes
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23 Jan 2006 21:20 #11352 by D Hughes
Replied by D Hughes on topic Allowing mirrors to be built from plans
This has been an interesting point to follow. The original being that it would be good for the number of boats being built, if it were possible to build from plans. I'm in total agreement with most of the items put down that -
1 Boats should all be the same (one design), and all materials the same Gabbon 5mm 3 ply. Nothing wrong with 5mm 5 ply floors as these have been usedby the factory in the past.
2 I'm also against the odd chancer who is trying to pass off Mirror lookalikes on ebay to unsuspecting buyers. Selling builders merchant 6mm far east ply. (I repaired an old Mirror for somthing to do one winter using this, and it came out at 65kg!)
My point was that a new Mirror hull "could" be built for £350 finished.
Where I have done this in the past I have used an old Mirror and Repaired it (in full) using the old transom and number or getting a factory cut obishi replacement transom. The boat being fully "in class" using the correct gaboon 5mm 3ply with no attempt to bend the measurement rules.
The rules used to say that "all replacement panels must be equal to the original as supplied with the kit" It was only in the late 90's that the "factory supplied" rule came in.
I'm interested to know when this new rule started, and what happens to old number boats, repaired & measured under the old rules turns up to a National event. I know that if a boat has been repaired more than about 33%, it then has to be re-measured.
Do the new rules then apply to old boats repaired under the old rules? if not what is the cut off date?

DH

X

Edited by - D HUGHES on 23 January 2006 21:21:21

Edited by - D HUGHES on 23 January 2006 21:24:30

Edited by - D HUGHES on 24 January 2006 11:48:52

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  • flyingpig
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23 Jan 2006 22:44 #11353 by flyingpig
Replied by flyingpig on topic Allowing mirrors to be built from plans
Martin reminds us:
"Don't forget, it's the nut that is holding the tiller that is the most important thing of all."
Take no notice of me, I'm just a demoralized old grump! Never having other mirrors to compete with, I don't know how much of our poor performance is due to the (wallowing) pig and how much is due to the humans inside her, so we do our best to improve both.

pigs can....and do.....

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23 Jan 2006 23:30 #11354 by Trevor Lloyd
Well it's good to see that we have gone back to the original point, to be able to build mirrors cheaply and I guess that £350 for the bare Hull would be very possible. This would bring into question the viability of restoring an old boat, the upside being the view that the class is more vibrant as more new boats would appear, which would help drive the class. Indeed it could bring the price differential of wood and plastic to comparable prices?
I agree that some control would be necessary, Class rules could easily state, as I made the point earlier, that only Gaboon ply to BS1088 could be used and yes it could be that we state 5ply floors and 3ply sides! So anything else would be out of class and for racing any deliberate attempt to gain an advantage would be subject to the fair sailing rule. As to the comment about builders making advantage of the tollerances to build faster boats, I defy anyone to proove that it's not been happening for years. Just look at the shape of all of the quick boats out there and compare with the old Bell boats, no comparison. I agree wholeheartedly that a fast boat sailed badly is slower than a slow boat sailed well! But only by having the best can anyone be sure that it's they that need to improve, not the boat.
I am afraid I have little tolerance regarding measurement certificates and I don't believe others should either, the ISAF ERS is quite clear. We are talking about racing boats, lots of people invest lots of money to be legal (and still sail badly sometimes) but they comply with the rules. You would soon throw someone out if they turned up and raced with a carbon mast, what is the difference? In terms of timber, it is possible to get the timber to the right spec by import, it's actually not expensive in bulk. If the class wants to be inclusive and that a very good thing then creat a classic fleet (numbers below 50000 say) and let them race for there own prizes away from the 'racers' with measured (fully legal) boats? The bronze fleet is full of serious racers, some new to the class who might object!
Enough said, it would be great to see the class put the proposition to ISAF in the interests of reducing costs.

N2O

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24 Jan 2006 11:35 #11360 by Celia May
During discussions on the future directions of the class at the Australian AGM just held, the concept of open plans was strongly endorsed. Fibreglass boats are being manufactured in Malaysia for other classes for distribution throughout Asia to a growing prosperous middle class. The Optimist Class has a policy of giving plans to developing countries who wish to sponsor the class. This has resulted in a phenomenal growth in numbers. It is good to see that South Africa is attempting to promote the class in other African countries. In Australia the Mirror remains a very inexpensive way of entering the sport while top sailors can (and do)still build a brand new high performance boat from a kit that costs $A1820. (By the way a gaffe cost $A175).
That said there is no sign that the Asian market is interested in DIY and the concept of actively distributing our plans to possible manufacturers is much more likely to see a growth in competing nations.

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  • Tim Smith
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24 Jan 2006 23:39 #11368 by Tim Smith
Replied by Tim Smith on topic Allowing mirrors to be built from plans
Martin, I found this topic, which may be of interest to you (re-Gaboon veneer):

http://www.ukmirrorsailing.com/cgi-bin/ ... IC_ID=3908

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  • ASW
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25 Jan 2006 10:25 #11370 by ASW
Replied by ASW on topic Allowing mirrors to be built from plans
Just a thought,

I recently repaired a Mirror for a customer and (of course)used a bonafide panel from Trident. This panel was £25 + carriage. Having built & repaired hundreds of boats, I could have easily found an off-cut of similar ply and reduce the cost of the repair significantly and also the workshop time in waiting for the panel to be delivered.
The overall cost of the repair was significantly higher than a similar repair to any other class of boat.
As this was an insurance repair it did not affect the customer - or did it?
Surely the net result of higher repair costs is to increase insurance premiums - something that actually affects us all.

Just a thought!!

Incidentally Robbins timber (Bristol) 01179633136 do supply an excellent range of ply, timber and a large range of exotic veneers.Thay have been my main supplier for 15 years and their timber is top quality.

Cheers,
Andy


ASW Boatbuilding & repairs. 07966 513147

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25 Jan 2006 11:22 #11372 by Martin Egan
Thanks Tim, yes I'm aware of Robbins, one of only 2 suppliers of 5mm gaboon 5-ply that I have found.

I'm pleased to hear that Andy from ASW Boatbuilding & repairs used a Trident replacement panel in his repair <img src=icon_smile.gif border=0 align=middle>. I don't doubt that it would have been cheaper to cut his own panel and that we are paying more for our insurance and so on as a result of the rules.

This forum is throwing up a lot of rule questions which I will endevour to answer with one of my mega-posts <img src=icon_smile_dead.gif border=0 align=middle> soon.

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