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Beginner Dinghy Advice - Mirror for 2 Adults?

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: General
Forum Name: Choosing a boat
Forum Discription: Ask any questions about the sport!
Printed Date: 31 May 23 at 7:17pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.665y -

Topic: Beginner Dinghy Advice - Mirror for 2 Adults?
Posted By: guitarman
Subject: Beginner Dinghy Advice - Mirror for 2 Adults?
Date Posted: 05 Nov 21 at 5:53pm
Hi all, I’d be really grateful for a bit of advice on a first dinghy. My wife and I are beginners in our late 50s and I think probably medium in size! Me 1.81m (6ft) & 83kg (13st); my wife 1.64m (5ft4’’) & 58kg (9st). We may end up doing some fun-level racing but for now want to consolidate learning with lots of hours on a lake, so I guess ‘cruising’ for the moment.

We quite like the idea of a Mirror. Is this likely to be OK for us to sail 2-up, then maybe solo later. I’m struggling to find much info on 2-adult Mirror sailing, and differentiating ‘optimal’ from ‘´possible’ crew weight. I do realise the combined crew weight is heavy to be competitive. Thanks in advance for any advice!

Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 05 Nov 21 at 6:15pm
The Mirror is a good boat but would probably feel a little cramped for you (though not as cramped as some more modern designs like the Pico or Topaz). An Enterprise might be a good choice, relatively simple, very well mannered and pretty roomy. Prices from a couple of hundred for an old one (wooden or GRP)* up to several thousand for a new or nearly new FRP boat so something for everybody. Optimum weight for racing used to be around 22 stone so pretty much spot on for you and your wife. They aren't too heavy either compared to L2000, GP14 and most similarly sized roto-moulded boats.

* If you have the will and room to maintain a wooden boat you can pick up a beautiful example for surprisingly little money.

Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"

Posted By: 423zero
Date Posted: 05 Nov 21 at 6:39pm
This is a video of mine showing a 'Mirror' two up racing, Male is about 5ft 10 and 10 stone, female is about 5ft 4 and about 8 stone, was gale force wind, Roger is a serious 'Mirror' sailor, he would tell you to give it a go Smile I agree with Samspoons 'Enterprise all the way, whatever you pay for it, you will get same amount for it a year later, a couple of hundred to a couple of thousand, you will have no issues with advice either, most club sailors over the years have been in one.   


Posted By: Do Different
Date Posted: 06 Nov 21 at 7:15am
Finding no fault with Mirror but I'd go Miracle all day long. That little bit more roomy which two adults might appreciate.

Posted By: sawman
Date Posted: 06 Nov 21 at 10:02am
Sounds like a Miracle would be a better bet - bit more space and waaay nicer to sail, easy to handle on shore as they are lighter than things like Ent's and laser 2000 (especially L2000!)  and easy to single hand if you want

Posted By: guitarman
Date Posted: 06 Nov 21 at 10:03am
Thanks for the responses so far… all good advice and food for thought.

Posted By: ColPrice2002
Date Posted: 06 Nov 21 at 8:48pm
Welcome to the world of sailing!
The Mirror is a very versatile dinghy, the Miracle is slightly bigger.

With all secondhand dingies, look carefully for signs of rot and weaknesses...
The original Mirror dinghy had a couple of weak points:-
The floor was reinforced by 2 battens - this wasn't quite sufficient, later dinghies had 4 battens...
The stitch & glue construction of the dinghy was good, but the resins used in the older dinghies isn't as good as new ones...

All the best,


Posted By: Old bloke
Date Posted: 07 Nov 21 at 9:05am
I would suggest approaching the question from the other end.
You appear to have a club in mind. What do they sail there that is broadly suitable for you?.
There are a whole host of boats that will fit your criteria, but the boats sailed at a club will tend to suit the water and, especially if you expect to race (and sailing aimlessly round a pond gets pretty boring once you have the basics) it's a lot more fun and sociable being in the mix

Posted By: wolfram
Date Posted: 02 Dec 21 at 4:56pm
look at national 12's beautiful boats and you can start very cheap. You van choose vintage or high tech modern." rel="nofollow - National 12


Posted By: rich96
Date Posted: 03 Dec 21 at 10:08am
N12 is probably not what you want as a first dinghy - beautiful boats but probably much too tippy

Miracle, Gul, Heron, Mirror, Wanderer, GP 14, Enterprise (but can also be a little tippy) ?

Posted By: davidyacht
Date Posted: 03 Dec 21 at 3:05pm
Suspect that 22 stone in a Mirror is pushing its design boundaries.  

A 12ft boat will carry 22 stone better.  Classes like Fireflys, National 12s and Enterprises filled the role that you are looking at in the past.

Good idea from Old Bloke that you check out what is being sailed at the location that you have in mind, since this will probably be best suited for the location and you might be able to get support from other owners.

I am sure that this Forum could provide more advice when you have got down to a shortlist.

Happily living in the past

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