Sunday, April 02, 2006

Design lineage, part II

Earlier, I mentioned a book by Frank Rosenow, and the obvious design influences derived from the Swedish eka working boat. There is a further bit of design heritage in the Passagemaker dinghy that should be mentioned. The famed small boat designer Sir Jack Holt also had his role influencing the design of the Passagemaker with his Mirror racing dinghy. This role is acknowledged by the Passagemaker designer himself, John C. Harris, who says, "Both the Mirror and the Passagemaker are prams with gunter-sloop rigs, which is sort of my wink-and-nod to Holt." Indeed, the economical gunter rig is found in both boats, combining a fast, weatherly Marconi-style rig with the convenient short and transportable spars of a gaff rig. But beyond that, the serious racing purpose of the Mirror is apparent: the design sports a finer bow, a planing hull, and the more complex and versatile running rigging of a class racer. Many mirrors are also equipped with hiking straps and trapeze wires for hard sailing, in contrast to the simpler, all-purpose configuration of the Passagemaker. Large numbers of Mirrors exist today, and Mirror clubs are active in England. There, the fine art of dinghy sailing is refined, and subtle points of rig tuning discussed. Passagemaker builders have Jack Holt's Mirror dinghy to thank as another design influence.


Anonymous jane said...

the Mirror was also one of the first if not THE first dinghy to be built using the copper wire stitching method you used on your boat. I was fascinated to see this documented in detail, thanks! I own a mirror, vintage 1967, still sailing, wooden mast and all. she has won a race or two with a previous owner. but trapeze on a mirror? i think not. its far too small a boat.

4:42 PM  

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