The Mirror Dinghy Discussion
Make new friends, keep the old ...
... one is silver, the other is gold : this text was sung as a campfire canon in my scouting days and comes to mind when one sees that the thread "who's got the oldest Mirror still in use?" is one of the longest on the forum, although the question has been conclusively answered. Of course it wouldn't make sense to hang on to every "old" item, or else we'd still be paddling around in dugouts or on crude log rafts.
The old and the new, single and double-digit hull numbers meet the 70k boats
Photo courtesy of Paul Cooke
All the same, there is agreat deal of charm about older boats, especially with regard to their simplicity. The first generation of Mirror dinghies, as I have now learned, deserves this attribute. There were very few high-cost fittings, the mainsail was laced to the gaff and there was a very simple wooden "gooseneck". All designed to be as economical as possible, to make the Mirror a "peoples' boat".
How many Mark I boats will survive depends on the craftsmanship and diligence of the individuals who assembled the kits, maintenance, how the boats were sailed and stored and last but not least, on the enthusiasm of their present owners, some of whom are facing daunting restoration tasks. These are the folks who are earning the "gold" mentioned in the rhyme. We should all honour them for their role in gradually establishing the Mirror dinghy as a "classic" sailing boat.