The Mirror Dinghy was first produced in 1963 when the Daily Mirror commissioned the design of a boat that would revolutionise small boat sailing. Little did the Daily Mirror know that the new design would become one of the World’s greatest and most popular racing dinghies. Since 1963, over 70,000 Mirror dinghies have been built worldwide and the Mirror has been dubbed the boat that launched a thousand Olympic dreams.
Annalise Murphy, Ireland’s Olympian silver medallist, honed her skills in a Mirror Dinghy. UK double Olympic silver medallist and Volvo Ocean Race winning skipper, Ian Walker, claims he owes his career to the Mirror. Walker together with his daughter Zoe won the Mirror British National Championships as recently as 2012.
Last year’s British Olympic medallist Stuart Bithell was a very successful Mirror sailor in the early 2000’s as were fellow British Olympians, Lucy and Kate MacGregor.
The much decorated Dame Ellen Mac Arthur who recorded the fastest solo circumnavigation of the World in 2005 and Denise “Dee” Caffari, the first woman to sail solo, non-stop around the World in both directions are both loud in their praise of the Mirror.
The list goes on and on.
Good serviceable Mirror dinghies can be purchased for as little as €400-€500. Any member of sailing clubs and yacht clubs around the country will be more than happy to help and advise any family that would like to get started in a Mirror. You can also contact the Irish association directly on firstname.lastname@example.org for a more expert opinion.
The Mirror kit contains everything that is needed to make a complete sailboat except for the bonding resin and the final finishing material.
The kit includes all precut wood materials, spars, hardware, main and jib sails, standing rigging and lines. All Mirror hull and deck panels are made from top-quality imported marine plywood. The hull is constructed using the “stitch and glue” method.
- Completely built boats can also be purchased “ready to finish” or “ready to sail”. Spinnaker sails and “Go-Fast” gear are available for the Mirror Dinghy.
|Length||3.3 m (10′-10″)|
|Beam||1.4 m (4′-7″)|
|Buoyancy||4 built-in tanks|
|Hull||Marine mahogany plywood|
|Spars||Spruce and Aluminum|
Sailing the Mirror
The Mirror was first promoted as a boat that would provide affordable sailing enjoyment for the whole family. In many countries the role has shifted to that of a youth training boat. This trend is evident in the results of international competition. The last six Mirror World’s have been won by young adult helmsmen. Mirror trained sailors go on to compete successfully in other classes such as the 470, 420, Fireball International and gold in the Olympics.
- The Mirror dinghy has full adjustment on all three sails.
- The boat can easily be handled by lightweight crews. It is stable yet challenging to sail.
- The Mirror dinghy is a logical boat for a young Optimist sailor to graduate into.
- With World Championships being held every two years, there is an opportunity for World Class competition.
The mirror dinghy equips young sailors with the ability and the environment to learn tactical and crew relation skills that no other class can match to the same extent.