The new plywood Class Mini 5.80 Yacht plans staged availability

As reported by Mini previously, a new concept for a One Design Class 5.80-metre yacht developed by Australian Adventurer Don McIntyre and designed by Polish sailor Janusz Maderski, has been officially released – sort of. Plans will be released to experienced builders only later this month.

Amateurs will need to wait until June 1st to receive their plans. This will, apparently, allow time for the amateurs to watch and learn from online blogs of the first and second prototypes (one building in Poland by Piotr Czarniecki for Don McIntyre, and a second built with well-known Dutch timber boat builders KOLIBRI). Each build is reckoned to take 500 hours.

Claimed to return to the most basic principles of a simple, strong, safe and affordable ocean-going Mini Racer, that anyone can build using simple tools (but only once they’ve watched enough videos), the Class Mini 5.80 Yacht can be towed behind a family car and ship in a 20ft container to or from international events.

The Class Mini 5.80 Association has established controls and simple guidelines to monitor construction, with all owners required to create an online blog, including clear photos and descriptions of their build process. Building materials are specified, simple surveys are carried out on the steel plate lead bulb keel, critical rudder and chain plate components are supplied by the 5.80 Class and minimum build weights set and checked.

“We are surprised and excited at the level of interest and passion expressed for this little plywood Mini-Mini that I love and cannot wait to sail,” says Don McIntyre, Founder of the Mini 5.80 Class. “We have schools talking about building fleets, friends getting together to build two or three side by side, and yacht clubs wanting to know more. Even top name sailors are looking to have some fun on a simple boat for a change, where the human element is more important than the technology. This little yacht with a big heart, for even bigger adventures has a strong future for sure.”

Sailing events, including a planned Solo 5.80 Transatlantic Race in Nov. 2021 from Portugal to the Caribbean and a world first Mini Globe Race (via Panama) in 2024, will require minimum sailing experience standards and skipper training, specified safety equipment, and boat surveys to minimise risk.

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