Allowing mirrors to be built from plans

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13 Jan 2006 00:23 #18880 by Trevor Lloyd
I believe that it is time that the class be allowed to buy plans like most classes and source materials themselves. The price of a kit is very high considering what you get. Surely in the interests of reducing costs this has to be positive and the licencees would still get say £35 for a set of plans?

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  • D Hughes
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13 Jan 2006 17:41 #11254 by D Hughes
Replied by D Hughes on topic Allowing mirrors to be built from plans
If you make a set of templates, there is nothing stopping you from "repairing" in full an old boat, using the correct ply.
The only problem is that the £800 you saved on the price of the kit vs just buying the plywod (provided you can find the correct 5mm Gaboon ply) You then loose about £1200 when you come to sell as it's got the old number. (I know this as a fact). It's a good idea if you don't have the money for the kit, but remember ... All the paint, varnish, fittings, sails, epoxy etc... will cost you just the same if you are buying new items.
In short - unless you just want the great satisfaction of building a new boat from scratch, making EVERY part yourself, and are not looking to sell it on in a year or so. It's not such a money saver as you may at first think.
D Hughes

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13 Jan 2006 17:45 #11255 by D Hughes
Replied by D Hughes on topic Allowing mirrors to be built from plans
Your original point is valid provided you can get a new number.
Rice paper class approved/printed templates that you paste onto the ply, cut out then wash off would work. If the measurment process was made a lot tighter to stop unapproved materials being used, would also help this work.
DH

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  • Simon Lovesey
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13 Jan 2006 18:53 #11256 by Simon Lovesey
Replied by Simon Lovesey on topic Allowing mirrors to be built from plans
The wide ranging debate over the new rig and other areas, has awakened the class of the need to modernise. At the International AGM in Sweden it was agreed for the Technical Committee to look at all rules to ensure they are appropriate and necessary. Many of our rules make the Mirror expensive but don't actually control performance, this is particularly relevant for GRP boats. This process will take some time, but I suggest we add open availability of building plans to the agenda.

It was also agreed at the International AGM that we should be looking to use wood kits to help develop fleets in non Mirror countries. With the Worlds in South Africa, IMCA are going to buy some wood kits to be offered to other African Nations. The fact the Mirror can be easily and cheaply built could be a key part of the class spreading into emerging countries, this a significant advantage we have over the modern mass produced plastic washing up bowels.

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13 Jan 2006 19:11 #11258 by Trevor Lloyd
It's great to see the debate and Simons comment about putting plans on the agenda. People would always be able to source a kit if they so desired and many may prefer to pay the premium for the convenience. The usage of illegal materials is always going to be an issue but is not insurmountable. It'll be pretty obvious if someone build a new wooden boat and paints it inside and out!

Thanks

Trevor

N2O

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  • SteveAUS
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13 Jan 2006 20:14 #11260 by SteveAUS
Replied by SteveAUS on topic Allowing mirrors to be built from plans
Being able to build from scratch is a missing ability of most classes these days. I think that classes that are capable of this will have further success in the next few years as the trend to "home build" is re-emerging.

helping emerging countries is a great idea, so long as focus is as strong or stronger on the current fleets. Important to remember the back yard.

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14 Jan 2006 11:59 #11266 by Martin Egan
I would like to point out to everybody, and D Hughes in particular, that cutting you own plywood panels to repair or re-build a boat is ILLEGAL. Part A, rule 7.5 (page 61 of the handbook) and Part B rule 1.1.2 (page 62) makes this clear. If you need to replace a panel you MUST buy it from a licenced kit manufacturer.

I also understand that the design of the panels is the copyright of ISAF, so they would have legal grounds against anyone making their own copies.

I know this sort of thing has gone on in the UK in the past and been stamped out. No doubt it still happens from time to time, however I want to make the position clear. Even if you managed to get a measurement certificate for such a boat, you would still be open to challange under the class rules.

Don't do it !!!!!

On the topic of plans - kits are made from 5mm gaboon (sometimes called Okoume) plywood. Gaboon ply is well regarded for building racing boats as it is lightweight and very strong. The weight of the ply is crucial in producing a boat that is close to minimum weight.

I'm interested that anyone in the UK (or anywhere else, apart from the USA or Canada) thinks it is easy to get hold of 5mm marine grade (BS1088) gaboon 3-ply. I'm aware that Robbins (Bristol) do a 5mm 5-ply, but if you make a kit from just 5-ply the boat would come out overweight. I'm not aware of any timber merchant in the UK stocking 5mm 3-ply. Most stock 4mm and then 6mm ply. The reason I know this is that Trident-UK have had a lot of trouble sourcing it themselves. I understand the last batch of 3-ply was a special import order made just for them. If anyone know different please let me know. Suppliers in other countries (other than the USA and Canada) are of interest as the ply manufacturer may have a distributor in the UK.

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  • SteveAUS
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14 Jan 2006 22:01 #11269 by SteveAUS
Replied by SteveAUS on topic Allowing mirrors to be built from plans
Thanks Martin.

I guess if full home build was allowed, they could possibly build a boat to last them for a title. A new owner would then have problems and the class image could suffer.

A good and acceptable reason for having kits.

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14 Jan 2006 23:30 #11270 by Trevor Lloyd
I don't think anyone would seriously build one for a title, far too much time and effort required. The quality would not be ANY less than is available through kit boats today. A fast mirror would always have value. Other classes allow home build and specify the quality of ply to be used. There was much controversy in the fireball class over a so called 'obeche' (illegal ply) boat but that faded away and was never proven. I know for a fact that in that class a wooden boat is as fast as a plastic winder and last very well if looked after. Personally as someone who's building a new boat from a kit on a jig there would be a very positive saving in materials even with import duties.

N2O

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  • flyingpig
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15 Jan 2006 13:57 #11272 by flyingpig
Replied by flyingpig on topic Allowing mirrors to be built from plans
What about repairs then, if you can source the 5mm gaboon ply? I'm about to replace a 4" x 8" rotten section under the crew's feet (water lodged under the batten where old glue was perishing), intending to let in a piece with either scarf or half lap joints. Are you saying I can only get the ply in pre-cut chunks from Trident? I hesitate to tell you where I'm getting the ply in case my local boatbuilder gets in trouble for selling me his offcuts! (No, he doesn't build Mirrors, legally or otherwise). I don't have a measurement certificate and have never felt the need for one, so does it really matter?
The trouble is there are two classes of mirrors and mirror sailors
1) Those who race at high levels, nationally and internationally, and work to a high budget, who would go for all the lastest high tech adaptations if the class rules allowed it (cheque book sailing)
2) Members of little local clubs or families pottering out with kids, who may be sailing a battered old patched up "back yard" Mirror. They are probably not association members, though plenty participate in this forum. They(we) can't afford to pay Trident prices for essentials like wood, and are never going to need a measurement certificate. Are we giving the class a bad name, or keeping up the popularity of a classic boat and introducing the next generation to sailing?

As far as exporting the Mirror class, the question is what sort of sailors you hope to attract.



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

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  • Alasdair Ireland
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15 Jan 2006 17:13 #11273 by Alasdair Ireland
Replied by Alasdair Ireland on topic Allowing mirrors to be built from plans
Using wood other than from a licensed supplier may well be counter to the class rules - but it's certainly not illegal. It may not be possible to acquire a measurement certificate if you've 'done-it-yourself', but the Chief Constable of Hampshire Constabulary or wherever you live won't be interested. Flyingpig has hit a nail on the head - there is unquestionably a cost of being involved at a certain level, but is the intent behind the rules to really to alienate those that do a little self-help and keep the grass roots of the class sustained?

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  • Tim Smith
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15 Jan 2006 17:15 #11274 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>
The trouble is there are two classes of mirrors and mirror sailors
<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size=2 id=quote>

I think there are some sailors in between these two extremes.

<BLOCKQUOTE id=quote><font size=1 face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id=quote>quote:<hr height=1 noshade id=quote>
Are we giving the class a bad name, or keeping up the popularity of a classic boat and introducing the next generation to sailing?
<hr height=1 noshade id=quote></BLOCKQUOTE id=quote></font id=quote><font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size=2 id=quote>

I would say definitely keeping up the popularity of a classic boat and introducing the next generation to sailing


(Apologies for diverging from main topic)

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  • D Hughes
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15 Jan 2006 18:04 #11276 by D Hughes
Replied by D Hughes on topic Allowing mirrors to be built from plans
Martin
You have lost the plot if you think it's out side the law to repair a boat with your own materials. It's only if you are a TOP level race winner a National MCA event.that questions MAY be asked. Last year at National event, under the rules taken to the extreme, 75% of the boats I looked at could have been protested and lost. (5 ply sides on new boats etc...) Only a very TINY percentage of Mirrors do the National events. Take a look at Abersoch Mirror week. 80+ boats, lots of Mums, Dads and kids having fun, with possibly only 4 or 5 with measurement credentials. The Mirror is a cheap starter boat. Lets keep it that way. I have built a new replacement hull including epoxy and paint for £350 kitted out with donor parts. Don't worry I won't bother entering the Nationals.
D Hughes

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  • flyingpig
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15 Jan 2006 18:45 #11278 by flyingpig
Replied by flyingpig on topic Allowing mirrors to be built from plans
It would be interesting to know just what percentage of Mirrors in regular use actually have a current measurement certificate - or have ever had one!
D Hughes - are your Abersoch figures just guess work, or does anyone keep any kind of records from MCA events like traveller series? Does anyone know what proportion of MCA members (probably in themselves a small proportion of all Mirror owners) have measurement certifcates?
Personally, I was put off going to any kind of traveller events until assured that I didn't need a certificate. Even now I dread comparing my battered tub to the sleek GRP models out there! (No comparison - they'll be laps ahead of us!)

pigs can....and do.....but not with dirty great holes in the hull!

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15 Jan 2006 19:00 #11279 by Trevor Lloyd
I actually think the logical step here is to be sensible. The rules should be changed to allow building from plans and timber to BS whatever and to be sourced from wherever. A large number of well built and maintanied boats are probably 'illegal' due to an out of date set of rules. Do we really want to protest people for repairing their boats, cheaply and sensibly or are they supposed to scrap them and buy new ones? In the spirit of keeping this very practical and endearing little boat alive against the tupperware hoards lets be sensible and reduce the costs and risk of illegality where it makes sense. Some of the changes (5ply sides for instance) may make a stronger and longer living boat. What wrong with that?

N2O

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