Mirrors - What We Really Want? (topic renamed)

  • LukeDolman
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20 Sep 2007 14:31 #15678 by LukeDolman
Replied by LukeDolman on topic Mirrors - What We Really Want? (topic renamed)
Nice one. Thanks Levante!

If they'll still have us, I think we'd very much like to explore the possibility of joining at this point. Simon, I don't want to work this out here in public. If you don't mind, I'll send you a direct email.

Best regards
Luke

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  • john mcnulty
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20 Sep 2007 15:46 #15679 by john mcnulty
Replied by john mcnulty on topic Mirrors - What We Really Want? (topic renamed)
It should be pointed out that access to this forum is open but the extent of the activity is beyond the moderating capacity of the Simon. The Association does not have the voluntary contribution from any of its members to be Editor / Moderator (as with so many other "jobs") so it falls to the overworked Gen Sec.
By being unrestricted one of the "free" benfits to users is this access, but there is a cost to the Association (in time and effort) and its members who pay towards the association's admin costs. 90% of those who use it are getting value for free. Surely, if you don't want restrictions the right thing is to join the Association and give validity to your voice. <b><i> If the discussions between paid-up members need to be less public then a restricted members forum can be created.
</i></b>
The Association is a legal entity constituted in the interest of the dinghy and the members. Despite the desire to see Mirror ownership; development & construction; recreational & racing activity and value expanded it must be done without compromising the integrity of the constitution and rules. The class must have control over the essentials that make it what it is.

To allow uncertificated and uncontrolled building to expand the market would do much harm to the "legal" Mirrors worldwide who have paid for this privilege. The class does not have the resources to police "building from plans" and "veryifying of materials" activities so the true solution is to increase the licenced builders who can source "approved" materials.

The circumstances of the Mirror market place of the UK in the 60's and 70's cannot be replicated and it is unrealistic that a "building-from-plans" scheme in the USA or anywhere else will grow the class significantly. A few enthusiasts (and thank God for them) will have some fun but the majority of new owners will want a ready built and inexpensive boat (increasingly in GRP). The key to this is to get the cost of kits down and build locally.

I suggest that the emerging North American class association should affiliate to the UKMCA so that its members have a forum and voice here and we can support them in trying to find a local means of production; though it seems this may already be in train with
Richard.

In a nutshell:
1 If you support and benefit from the work of the Association (if only from this site|) then join it.
2 It is vital that the Association keeps control of the Mirror dinghy in all respects whilst serving the interest of its paid-up members.
3 Let's expand all Mirror activity through regulated control
4 Let's recognise that (superficialities apart) all Mirrors (whether wood or plastic) stand on equal footing despite the vast range in price according to age and quality of build / maintenance and we shouldn't be creating distinctions. There is a Mirror out there for everyone (be it £500 or £5000) to suit the wide range of needs for it.
5 The Mirror has "improved" over time and every new one is making a step to supercede its predecessors some of which are left behind to become recreational boats whilst others are kept up for racing. The progress of the MkII from homebuild and factory build to pro-build to GRP to MkIII is just part of this progression. It shouldn't be seen as departing from the true raison d'etre of the origninal idea.
6 Every separate interest has a different view of "what should be done" and there is a constitutional way of reconciling these views. It is not true that the UKMCA and ISAF are any form of cabal or are cosy with each other.

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  • Simon Lovesey
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21 Sep 2007 08:42 #15683 by Simon Lovesey
Replied by Simon Lovesey on topic Mirrors - What We Really Want? (topic renamed)
Many thanks to David Hughes for pulling the Ebay auction, a sensible outcome in the circumstances and given the potential potency of the templates in the wrong hands.

It is in all our interests as Mirror owners to protect the integrity of the design and its copyright, this is regardless of any interest in racing or just pottering around in your Mirror.

There is a set of rules to define a Mirror, licenced building and unique sail number for each boat, this gives an element of protection and confidence to buyers both to the first and subsequent owners. It is amazing how many small dinghies appear on Ebay claiming to be a Mirror or like a Mirror when clearly they are NOT a Mirror. Mirrors are in demand and achieve high prices, this is because they are well known, one design control and there is an active class association, also I am sure this website plays its key part in maintaining high resale prices.

With regards to this forum, it is clear we have gone way beyond our initial objectives of support for UK Members and there is need for an official International site with its own forum to allow discussion of the more broader issues. The latter is on the to-do list and I am sure will now be accelerated to meet this pressing need. It should be pointed out that there are several other Mirror forums on the web, it would be useful if someone could provide their URLS so we can create a definitive list.

Roger makes some valid points about the promotional value of this forum and we would look to maintain this. But the fact is this website attracts over 20,000 monthly visitors, this demonstrates a massive enthusiasm and energy for Mirror sailing, SADLY those who choose to support the Association by becoming members is a mere fraction of this number.

This website takes a large amount of effort to manage and run, it also costs us money. We have some exciting ideas to develop this and other Mirror web sites further to increase the profile of Mirrors. There are also plenty of excellent ideas to dramatically grow Mirror numbers and activity, particularly in new territories. This all takes money and time, joining the Mirror Association would greatly help this process and show real commitment to the Mirror Dinghy and its future. This future is now in the hands of its owners, put bluntly no one else is that interested or bothered.

I am always amazed how many people refuse to join the MCA because they do not race at the highest level. It is in the interests of ALL Mirror owners to join the MCA, at the very least we are protecting the value of your investment. We provide a massive amount of support and advice to non members.

SO PLEASE SUPPORT US BY JOINING MCA, it is not exactly expensive and if you join now you will get the whole of next year at the current prices
http://www.ukmirrorsailing.com/mca/Imag ... cation.pdf

If people are as passionate about Mirrors, £21 to join the MCA is a bargain.

PS Have renamed this Topic as we have moved way beyond the Mk3 and I believe it was Richard's initial objective to stimulate a much wider debate.

MCA Secretary

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  • angus
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21 Sep 2007 09:11 #15684 by angus
The heading of this thread is Mirror - What We really Want

What I dont want is yet another web site to have to look at to see what is going on in the Mirror world.

Simon, you've already added a USA section, can you add an 'general international' section to the message board so anyone in the world can use it to discuss international issues.

Whether S/H matters, Youth matters or international ones there is huge merit for everybody to be able to come to one central place, this one, to address the topics of the day.

For all of us, even if we do not agree on some things, there is strength in numbers, there always has been. Particularly now that the world is such a small place.

Im sure we can lobby the IMCA for a few extra quid to pay for this, maybe adding IRE, AUS, SA, SWE and NED sections as well.

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  • Simon Lovesey
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21 Sep 2007 10:03 #15686 by Simon Lovesey
Replied by Simon Lovesey on topic Mirrors - What We Really Want? (topic renamed)
Angus

Some valid points, the vision (and this discussion is helping) is to create a universal and international web platform for Mirrors. There would be an underlying infrastructure to handle content, forums, adverts, online entry, results, photos etc etc. The UK already has much of this, albeit in need of updating/modernising

Each country would then have there own local version but making use of the core infrastructure. This approach would also allow individual members to personalise their viewing experience, eg picking up local and international news and discussions.

The key benefit would be all Mirror websites would be managed in the same way, giving consistency and economies of scale but still maintaining their individual identities.

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  • Rob Bode
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21 Sep 2007 11:01 #15692 by Rob Bode
Replied by Rob Bode on topic Mirrors - What We Really Want? (topic renamed)
Wow, I new I wasn't very good at expressing myself clearly but i'm amazed at the way the thread went after my last post.
Can I just say that at no time was I proposing building Mirrors by back door means, what I was trying to get at, and obviously failed to, was that we should do all we can to help people like the USA association get repairs done and so get boats on the water.

Taking into account that I am not on any committees, stand to make no personal gain and that this is purely my opinion; I will stand by my opinion that for REPAIRING REAL MIRRORS ONLY, it shouldn't matter how people in non-established Mirror countries achieve it as long as they get them fixed and floating. I would hate to think what the shipping costs of, for example a new bottom panel to the states would be. As I said in my previous post as long as they are compliant come proper race time, I don't think it matters how they fix the other boats.

I applaud the work of the association in the efforts towards getting proper licensed builders around the world, I just feel that a little bit of give in the early stages will reap greater rewards in the long term.

The last couple of posts from Simon and Angus before I wrote this made me feel a bit more optimistic, these are excellent ideas which I think we should all get behind, again only MY opinion.

There is just one thing I would take issue with. When reading this please remember that I am talking from a perception rather than fact based view and am happy to accept that I may have misunderstood the situation, but I know from other posts I have read that i'm not the only one who potentially sees it along these lines
There have been several comments about supporting our builders, this is a reasonable statement in itself. Take some other (possibly out of context) things into account, and hopefully you will see why I am taking issue with it.
1. Duffin and Trident have been the main builders for the past few years.
2. The association has backed the development and marketing of a boat by another manufacturer, this boat is a real racing machine which (once people get used to it) will probably in due course prove to be the number one race boat.
3. The new boat has gone from a development proposal (see posts from around Easter on subject) at the beginning of the season to the fully ISAF/IMCA approved boat of choice with very little in the way of consultation in the meantime; remember i'm talking laymans perception not strict fact here. It starts to look like the government and the vote on the new EU charter.
4. Hector Cisernos (appologies if I have spelt the surname incorrectly) is selling his championship winning Duffin boats. If he, as possibly the best Mirror sailor in the country, then buys a Mk 3 it will just about seal the fate of Duffin and Trident as purveyors of top quality racing Mirrors.
5. As I say this is merely one way of perceiving the situation but it does seem that supporting the existing manufacturers is not what is going on.

Would it be possible to put something in the next Class Association newsletter/yearbook detailing the process from the proposal at last years AGM through the various points of consultation/ committee stages so that those of us outside of the committee will realise that it is all fair and above board, because at the moment it all seems a bit dodgy. I will say that as far as I am concerned any steps that were agreed by the committee are fine by me, after all they are the people that take the trouble to keep the class moving at a national level.

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  • Richard Larson
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21 Sep 2007 12:34 #15694 by Richard Larson
Replied by Richard Larson on topic Mirrors - What We Really Want? (topic renamed)
I think the idea by Angus and Simon to make the current UK site the world go-to site for Mirrors is quite sensible. And I think that, on this basis, the idea of people outside the UK joining the UKMCA is sensible too: in effect it is a request to join the assn that represents the Mirror in the world context.

If things go in this direction, there are a number of changes that would assist the effort, including on-line membership application, with fees handled through Paypal, and perhaps distribution (in PDF through email) of a membership directory sorted by nation. The old USMCA (now defunct) published a yearbook with a list of members. These old lists have been helpful to Luke and I in trying to locate Mirror sailors and boats in the US. (I am driving about 500 miles next weekend to fetch a boat that was discovered by these means). This sort of data is useful to have.

As an informational point, I would like to note that here in North America we do have one active Mirror Assn: the Ontario Mirror Dinghy Assn (OMDA), a wonderful group of Canadian sailors:

http://www.mirrorsailing.ca/

We also have an ISAF licensed kit builder, Mirror Sailing Development, run by Lorne Bellamy (a former IMCA president) and John McCullough. They put together excellent kits (one of which - 70369 - I have just completed):

http://www.mirrorsailing.ca/msd/index.html
http://semlab5.sbs.sunysb.edu/~rlarson/ ... irror.html

MSD also furnishes hardware and panel replacement parts.

These folks next door constitute a strong nucleus to help us build Mirror sailing in the US, however, as everywhere, wooden kits and replacement parts have become quite expensive, and expensive to ship. That is the principal reason why Luke is looking into a local firm that might be licensed to produce these items more cheaply in the US context. We would attempt the same thing with the MkIII should it (bless it's little plastic heart) become the standard glass design, seeking to interest a company like Vanguard in producing it cheaply, and in quantity, and, at least in one version, with rowlocks and a sturdy transom. ;-)
-Richard (70369/26688)

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  • Simon Lovesey
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21 Sep 2007 13:15 #15695 by Simon Lovesey
Replied by Simon Lovesey on topic Mirrors - What We Really Want? (topic renamed)
<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>

1. Duffin and Trident have been the main builders for the past few years.
<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size=2 id=quote>
Yes, and there are other builders around the World, Winders have had a Mirror licence for several years.
<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
2. The association has backed the development and marketing of a boat by another manufacturer, this boat is a real racing machine which (once people get used to it) will probably in due course prove to be the number one race boat.
<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size=2 id=quote>

NOT CORRECT, the MK3 was conceived/developed by the IMCA in consultation with all the Mirror licenced builders. Martin Egan and I have met the majority of them personally during this process. IMCA commissioned and paid for Phil Morrison to do the necessary design work. ANY BUILDER can make use of the Mk3 design, Winders have been first off the mark, but I am sure we will see other builders taking on board the design. In fact we were careful to make elements that could be easily incorporated by the likes of Trident without complete retooling, for example the hole in the skeg and change in the rules over buoyancy tanks, this will simplify their manufacture with minimal tooling changes.

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
3. The new boat has gone from a development proposal (see posts from around Easter on subject) at the beginning of the season to the fully ISAF/IMCA approved boat of choice with very little in the way of consultation in the meantime; remember i'm talking laymans perception not strict fact here. It starts to look like the government and the vote on the new EU charter.
<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size=2 id=quote>
Cannot remember the exact date, but the current process started in 2004, it has been discussed at many official meetings, including the two World Championships. The UK has also hosted two Mirror forums at the Dinghy Show where this and other technical issues were discussed. There has also been many discussions in the dinghy park with active members and as already mentioned the licenced builders. Various technical staff at ISAF have also been involved, we have had to convince them that what we were doing was correct. There has been plenty of consultation over three years.

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
4. Hector Cisernos (appologies if I have spelt the surname incorrectly) is selling his championship winning Duffin boats. If he, as possibly the best Mirror sailor in the country, then buys a Mk 3 it will just about seal the fate of Duffin and Trident as purveyors of top quality racing Mirrors.
<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size=2 id=quote>
Not sure what Hector's plans are, but this is no different to Hector buying his Duffin over the Trident last year. As long as we have a choice of builders and sail makers etc, the top sailors will always influence what others buy

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
5. As I say this is merely one way of perceiving the situation but it does seem that supporting the existing manufacturers is not what is going on.
<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size=2 id=quote>
As stated the Mk3 is builder independent, the fact that Winders are the first to manufacture and just launching their Mirror means they are receiving some attention at the moment. In the launch press release we actually mention Duffin and Trident, even though they currently don't have a Mk3
http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/news/?article=138387

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
Would it be possible to put something in the next Class Association newsletter/yearbook detailing the process from the proposal at last years AGM through the various points of consultation/ committee stages so that those of us outside of the committee will realise that it is all fair and above board, because at the moment it all seems a bit dodgy. I will say that as far as I am concerned any steps that were agreed by the committee are fine by me, after all they are the people that take the trouble to keep the class moving at a national level.


<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size=2 id=quote>

The yearbook will feature the story of the Mk3, who knows by then there may be other builders producing the Mk3. It is certainly not a dodgy deal.

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  • Rob Bode
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21 Sep 2007 15:45 #15697 by Rob Bode
Replied by Rob Bode on topic Mirrors - What We Really Want? (topic renamed)
Simon,
The yearbook would have been soon enough for me but, thank you for putting the matter to bed now, having read your explanation of events; I think that should make the whole MkIII evolution clear to everyone, my incorrect perception has certainly been defogged.
Particularly in the light of Richard's post immediately before yours and the information it contains I think that if we were to go back to the original title of this thread the answer must be yes. I for one am glad that this thread was started as it has resulted in quite a few things becoming clear which had previously been a matter of some contention. Now we can all look forward.
Thank you

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