Mirrors - What We Really Want? (topic renamed)

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19 Sep 2007 07:38 #15657 by Trevor Lloyd
Dave

We operate to the current class rules unless someone tells me otherwise.

7.5 Alterations, replacements or repairs to all boats shall comply with the current Class Rules and where the replacement of hull panels is required, shall be carried out using only such panels
originally supplied by a licensed kit manufacturer. Part B, Rule 1.1.2 shall apply to any modification of parts used for alteration, replacement or repair. If a boat has been repaired or re-built to an extent which exceeds one third of the hull it shall be re-measured in accordance with the current Class Rules.

If you have followed my threads you will find that I am trying to change the current rules so that this practice would be legal, therefore add common sense as you put it.

The problem is people are potentially able to modify an old boat in a way that someone cannot legally do with a new racing one, and that is not fair. Also when the boat is sold on, the new owner wouldn't know his boat wasn't legal to race in anything other than the bronze fleet.

Cheers

Trevor

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  • Rob Bode
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19 Sep 2007 07:55 #15658 by Rob Bode
Replied by Rob Bode on topic Mirrors - What We Really Want? (topic renamed)
If the Mirror is (as I understand it) a boat for the masses then DH makes perfect sense, getting people out sailing is the important thing and given the way the class has evolved most boats (about 98%)would be non-competitive at national and international level. As long as the spirit of the idea is maintained does it really matter that some don't meet the strict closed loop manufacturer criteria, as long as those that are really seriously competing do. A little bit of flexibility is required from all sides, otherwise the Mk3 itself looks even more Machiavellian than it seems at the moment.
As Richard and Luke are simply trying to get Mirror sailing going in the USA and not looking to sneak off with the world championship by nefarious means. I really don't think it matters if they use redwood (at least they wouldn't be underweight) to patch up and get the boats on the water, as long as they get the boats on the water. Once they get to the point where they are sending teams to the pan-americans and worlds they can worry about being exactly correct.

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  • Roger Clark
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19 Sep 2007 08:32 #15659 by Roger Clark
Replied by Roger Clark on topic Mirrors - What We Really Want? (topic renamed)
Richard has just sent me some photographs of his Mirror, just after painting. It is dark blue with a shine you would die for. His trick was to get the hull spray painted. It must have cost a fair bit, but it certainly looks fantastic.

Well done Richard, you can show those plastic boats a thing or two about finish.

Roger
59725

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  • Simon Lovesey
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19 Sep 2007 09:31 #15660 by Simon Lovesey
Replied by Simon Lovesey on topic Mirrors - What We Really Want? (topic renamed)
As already stated the class is committed to moving the wood boat forward, reducing costs and simplifying building etc. The Technical Committee are due to be looking at building from plans, mass kit manufacturer, materials and build techniques etc
etc

BUT as it currently stands wooden Mirrors can only be produced from official kits from licenced kit manufacturer, anything else is a blatant infringement of copyright, of which the copyright owners would be in their rights to take legal action.

You may ask does this matter for those more interested in rowing rather than racing, well it does.

Firstly this takes business away from our licenced Mirror builders, they have invested in the class and need our support, if people stop buying Mirror kits because they are using illegal templates they will give up on the class and may even go out of business (remember Bell Woodworking). There has already been mention that we need to support our builders.

Secondly, these boats will not be genuine Mirrors and could not be sold as a Mirror, they could not get an unique sail number from ISAF and no royalty has been paid. This can cause major problems when a future owner, thinking they have purchased a secondhand a Mirror come to get a certificate and race. At this years Nationals two Mirrors entered with the same sail number, at first we thought this was that one boat was using old sails from the other, turns out they have the same hull number as well. ISAF are investigating what has happened, may be a genuine mistake and duplicate numbers have been issued, BUT could be that one boat has been illegally made from plans !!


MCA Secretary

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  • D.Hughes
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19 Sep 2007 10:29 #15661 by D.Hughes
Replied by D.Hughes on topic Mirrors - What We Really Want? (topic renamed)
Simon
I agree on most points except the legality point. If a person makes their own parts to repair their old Mirror (possibly by 100%) The boat is their property and they can do what they like with it. I agree that the old number would have to be used, as the licence fee was paid on it when the boat was new. The trade then benifit by supplying all the other bits required (eg I have just paid Trident £200+ for a new spinny). When selling such a re-built boat the seller would need to declair it's requirement for a re-measure and the problems that may be faced if it is intended for National Association run Events. I keep telling folk that it makes more financial sense to buy a factory kit as the boat will have a higher re-sale value. Every £1 saved on the cost of a new kit, you loose £2-£3 on the re-sale value due to the old number. Only contemplate 100% re-building your old wreck as a DIY project for personal satisfaction, or if you just don't have the £900 for a factory kit. Anyone wanting to set up in business making clone Mirrors to sell for profit, and adding a number picked out of thin air, would I agree be out of order and liable for investication. On the 4 re-builds I have done the original Factory transom (or part of) was used.
Just a note....I have finished off 2 fully legal complete factory kits this year, that the previous owners never got around to building. The point being that there are a number of old number boats that turn up from time to time that are also new. So please don't everyone start to jump on owners of new Mirrors with old numbers. - Some are still 100% genuine.

Regards
DH

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  • Simon Lovesey
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19 Sep 2007 12:23 #15663 by Simon Lovesey
Replied by Simon Lovesey on topic Mirrors - What We Really Want? (topic renamed)
David

The legal aspect refers to building a brand new Mirror from your templates, where no royalty has been paid or official sail number issued. This would be a counterfeit, an infringement of copyright and illegal.

MCA Secretary

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  • LukeDolman
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19 Sep 2007 12:49 #15664 by LukeDolman
Replied by LukeDolman on topic Mirrors - What We Really Want? (topic renamed)
Oh for heavens sake... I wondered if this would turn into another bun fight and - oh look! - it has.

I have no intention whatsoever of using some old vinyl templates to start undercutting what's left of the British boating industry. I am however genuinely interested in how difficult building from plans/templates would be for an average DIYer and how much a self built boat could cost here in the US. Believe it or not, you can credit me with rather more honesty than trying to palm off Mirror-ringers on an unsuspecting US public. If a prototype boat ever appeared it would be so my kids could get out on the water with my other, equally unmeasurable (glass sheathed) old tub of a Mirror in the first instance and as a case study for anyone interested in furthering the self-build route (via official channels) in the second.

The UK MCA doesn't have a monopoly on love for the class, desire to do things correctly and disapproval of blatent infringements of copyright and I don't need a lecture on it. To our own credit, both Richard and I have now sent two emails, neither of them answered, where we have asked permission to publish extracts or the whole of Mirror Mania on our website as a free resource for Mirror sailers around the world. Despite this book being out of print for many years and serious doubts over whether anyone would care if we did, we have still not posted it as per basic codes of fairness and decency. The same would apply to these templates if we ever got hold of them. Frankly, I doubt we will as I understand there are already many other folks watching the auction.

That's enough from me on this. Rant over.

Luke

PS: Roger, many thanks for your kind comments about Richards boat. It does indeed look absolutely stunning and the few Mirror sailers we have over here are all looking forward very much to seeing it afloat. Bravo Richard!

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  • Simon Lovesey
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19 Sep 2007 15:15 #15666 by Simon Lovesey
Replied by Simon Lovesey on topic Mirrors - What We Really Want? (topic renamed)
Luke

Firstly this is the OFFICAL Message Board of the UK Mirror Class Association and there to serve the interests of our UK members, who ultimately pay for it.

Secondly the key objective of the UK MCA is to represent the interests of our members through a number of actions, including protecting the one design nature of the International Mirror Dinghy.

We cannot condone or endorse the suggestion of building new Mirrors that avoids the current licencing and copyright arrangements, regardless of what they may be used for and any laudable objectives of getting more people afloat. Ultimately it is not in the interests of our members that counterfeit Mirrors are being built and discussed on these forums.

We have been liberal over the content of the 14,000 + messages that appear here and generous with whom can use this facility. We have carried out minimal moderation, believing it is better to air all comments, good and bad. But we are now reaching the stage where the committee are questioning the role of these forums and who should use them. It has been agreed that we will start to restrict access, with current members given full rights and others limited access.

MCA Secretary

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19 Sep 2007 16:06 #15667 by Trevor Lloyd
On a positive note.

Plans are usually full size, so if we do get to the positions where you could build from them and our own sourced timber, it would be quite easy to build a boat that way. I would suggest that most people embarking on a project of this nature would likely build a boat with better joints than are designed into the kits.

I as a complete amateur I built mine from a kit supplied by Duffin Marine. Armed with tools required to build from a kit I could have very easily built one from plans.

I would have estimated that me as a novice would have taken about an extra day to make all of the bits and shape them as necessary. A router would be useful there.

Enjoy

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  • Richard Larson
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19 Sep 2007 16:38 #15668 by Richard Larson
Replied by Richard Larson on topic Mirrors - What We Really Want? (topic renamed)
I'd like to add a couple of thoughts in this thread. Before that I want to acknowledge the point made by Roger that I was remiss in my original message in not stating that my post came from the US. This was indeed an important omission since the post was really about the Mirror in the wider intn'l context, Mea culpa. I would also like to state that I did not intend this discussion to develop into something rancorous, and in fact I think the discussion has been quite interesting and enlightening,

Although directed at the MkIII, my post was basically about the Mirror being all-rounder, appealing to cruisers and potterers as well as racers, and my view that this fact should be acknowledged by the class (which influences the design of new hulls). In one response Simon Lovesey recounted failed attempts by the UK class to organize MIrror cruises vs. successes in organizing racers. On reflection this result is not really surprising. Cruising doesn't require numbers. Most people who do it, in smaller or larger boats, do so for the pure joy of sailing & exploration. One or two fellow boats is typically quite enough. The idea of cruising in a pack will not appeal to most. Cruisers don't need "organizing" in this way. By contrast, racing is pretty much by definition a group activity. It's not a race if one boat shows up, and typically the more that show up the more exciting it is. Furthermore, racing requires crash boats, racing committees, measurements staff (if it's one-design racing), etc. It requires organization. These are just basic facts.

The question then simply becomes who/what the class assn represents: the active membership (almost by definition the racers, given the above points), or the boat. My own view is that the long-term vitality of a class really does depend on the boat, not just the racers, and many classes acknowledge this. As I've mentioned, the Flying Scot is quite popular in America despite the relatively small numbers of owners who participate in the class assn. That is healthy and just fine in my view, and Flying Scot racers are wise enough to acknowledge that changing the class rules to allow more go-fasts (even including basic things like hiking straps) while good for them, would probably be bad for the boat as a whole in the long run. So the Scot stays just what it is: a good racing boat, with excellent competition, and a very popular family boat, somewhat like Wayfarer.

In a more recent post Simon Lovesey makes the following remark:

"You may ask does this matter for those more interested in rowing rather than racing, well it does."

Doubtless it was unintended, but there is a rather unfortunate overtone to this remark implying that only racers are truly interested in sailing the boat. This is not true. The Mirror is a wonderful boat because of its remarkable versatility. There are faster racing boats in its general size range. The Mirror is an older hull design with an older sail plan. Carbon spars, bonded copolymer rigging, titanium fittings, and 3D laminate kevlar sails might get it to go a bit faster. But there probably isn't much juice left to be squeezed out. There are faster rowing boats too. A good shell with a good oarsman would obviously outpace any MIrror (even under sail, at least while lungs and arms held out). But the Mirror can do all these things pretty darn well, and it's stable to boot. Bucknell & Holt Inc. was on the money with the design. And as we know it's a wonderful boat for getting kids on the water and for teaching kids all the marine arts, including (gasp!) rowing.

My colleague Luke Dolman is an interesting case in point. His old Mirror started him rowing at age 10. He then went on to row competitively at very high junior and under-18 level - National Champs, Henley Regatta, etc. He was doing trials for the England Squad when change of family circumstances meant a switch in schools and a new life in the Lake District. No rowing up there, just sailing. Frankly I find his tale rather inspiring in regard to the boat.

As the MCA secretary rather forcibly reminds us in his latest, this is the UKMCA forum, paid for by UKMCA dues, sanctioned by UKMCA elected members, moderated by UKMCA's own (apparently increasingly peckish) officials. We outsiders post at your pleasure, and don't mean to wear out our welcome. The core fact is that we share your common affection for the boat, and your genuine interest in seeing it not merely survive, but thrive.
-Richard Larson (70369/26688)

p.s., Roger: thanks for the nice compliments. Can't wait for sea trials. 'Only wish summer were just beginning!

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  • LukeDolman
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19 Sep 2007 17:48 #15669 by LukeDolman
Replied by LukeDolman on topic Mirrors - What We Really Want? (topic renamed)
Thanks Richard. Sadly drinking out of the tankards on my mantelpiece has had as much affect on my physique as the rowing did.

Er... Cheers <img src=icon_smile_wink.gif border=0 align=middle>
Luke

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  • D.Hughes
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19 Sep 2007 17:50 #15670 by D.Hughes
Replied by D.Hughes on topic Mirrors - What We Really Want? (topic renamed)
Last posting from me on this subject.....
I after offering to sell a set of genuine building instructions which come with some free templates to help repair an EXISTING Mirror, It now sounds like I'm starting off some 3rd world workshop to turn out clone boats to flood the UK race circuit with counterfeit boats. Please read what I have put, before having a go at somthing totally different.
I have made myself clear enough in my previous posts, so I will now shut up on the matter. Never to be mentioned again.
Most people agree that plan built boats is a good thing, but is not a positive financial proposition untill class approved. Then and only then could a new number and ISAF plaque be obtained. Why get so defensive when we all mostly agree on the same points. As for international input in the forums - the more the better.

TTFN
DH



Edited by - d.hughes on 19 September 2007 18:51:52

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  • Roger Clark
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20 Sep 2007 10:03 #15672 by Roger Clark
Replied by Roger Clark on topic Mirrors - What We Really Want? (topic renamed)
D Hughes has pulled the auction on ebay that included the templates and relisted it without the templates. I feel this has been done after the discussion in this thread. It has removed the potential for anyone to obtain templates of Mirror panels and he should be applauded for his action.

To me it seems a little sad that the big stick of restricting access to the forums is being waved. I have posted regularly on another forum that is motoring based and they have strict policies of what is permitted to be posted and if the post breaks these rules then it either parts are cut with a moderators comment or the whole posting is removed. They also do not allow posts to be altered after being added to any discussion. It seems to work well and very rarely are there any problems with this practicable way of maintaining a certain level of decorum within the discussions. My own feeling is if restrictions are made for access to the forum part of the UK Mirror site are made they will ultimately be counter productive in class promotion.

I do feel we should be thankful that the committee seem to be forward thinking and inclusive. There have been many proposed minor changes to the rules, some to accommodate the MK3, some to rectify errors and interpretations of old rules, or to allow alterations and repairs made to existing wooden boats.

I now ask the committee to change their minds about restricting access to the discussion forum.

Roger Clark
59725

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  • LukeDolman
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20 Sep 2007 13:21 #15676 by LukeDolman
Replied by LukeDolman on topic Mirrors - What We Really Want? (topic renamed)
Folks; I'm obviously not a paid up member of the UK MCA and as a result I've never felt I had a right to proffer an opinion on how this forum is run. That's still the case now. I'm sure the good judgment of Simon and the committee will prevail whichever way it goes.

Where Richard and I are struggling is that it's far from clear where discussion like this could take place at an international level. From the outside it looks like the IMCA and the UK MCA are inextricably linked - the same folks seem to be running it, the IMCA website is a page on the UK site, the MkIII Mirror seems to have been a UK based project. I hope our confusion is understandable.

Granted, Richard and I have little qualification to enter into the heady world of international Mirrordom beyond our enthusiasm but frankly we do seem to be it over here as far as we can see. We have enough boats together now to qualify as a 'real' NCA and we're actively looking for ways to promote the Mirror. The specific challenges we face mean that we'll need to think both creatively and laterally in order to progress to any real degree. To clear the implied points above - At NO point would we <i>ever</i> propose folks built counterfeit boats from unoffical plans or templates - where would that get us with our goals of joining the IMCA proper??

We've also been asked - nay, challenged!! - to come up with ideas and plans. One of those ideas is to interest a big chandlery company in making and distributing licensed Mirror kits and, to that end, I sent a letter last week to the founder and chairman of the largest chandlery chain in the US to see if they might be interested. We are also very much in support of Trevor's proposals to make plans available and I think a crucial part of our own effort here is to find out how much it would cost, and how challenging a task it would be to build a boat via that method.

I'm glad the templates have now been removed from the auction as, to my mind, this clears the air on a potential legal minefield and any shadow of doubt as to my intentions. Many thanks David for a wise decision. With regards to where we go now, should we continue to discuss ideas on here - an idea I have to admit I'm fairly shy of given the direction this took - or is there a more appropriate way we can ask for candid help, support and ideas from the IMCA and the international Mirror world at large?

Best regards
Luke

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  • LevanteIRL67592
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20 Sep 2007 13:26 #15677 by LevanteIRL67592
Replied by LevanteIRL67592 on topic Mirrors - What We Really Want? (topic renamed)
The president of the international association is actually Irish!! :D

I think the way the association is run is that there is a representative from each member country on the committee

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