Acquiring a Mirror Dinghy

New Boats

Photo: Mirror Under Construction with Side Panels Attached
Photographer: Lorne Bellamy The copyright for the design of the International Mirror class is owned by World Sailing (formerly known as ISAF). Under World sailing rules, new boats must be built from a kit from a licenced supplier, either by the kit purchaser or by the kit builder. Unfortunately there is no longer a kit builder licenced by World Sailing in North America at the moment. Boats or kits can imported from licenced builder abroad, but this can be quite expensive, as most of the licenced kit builders are in the UK or Australia.

Used Boats

A used boat is the most pratical way to get into Mirror sailing. Used Mirrors are regularly available. Almost all Mirrors available in Canada and the U.S. were built from kits by their original owners. The best options for finding one are online services for selling second hand items: Kijiji, eBay and craigslist.

There are two major categories of used Mirrors: boats in excellant condition and those needing significant repairs. Of course those in need of significant repairs will usually be less costly than those in pristine condition. Don't be put off merely because of the age of the boat: there are quite a few active OMDA members sailing boats over 30 years old (and winning races with them). In many cases the wood is still in good condition and some fresh paint and varnish is all they really need. The Mirror number of a used boat can be used to get a rough idea of its age.

The the UK Mirror Association has a page with some excellent advice on what to look for when considering a second-hand Mirror.