How did you end up owning a mirror?

My Mirror was given to me by a friend about 10 years ago. He was staying with us and I mentioned I'd like to get a small dinghy to sail on the local lakes. He offered me his Mirror for free. I couldn't believe my luck, it came with a road trailer too.
I knew the boat from the time he'd bought it and he'd kept it inside during his ownership and it was in good condition.
As I live in France and the boat was in the UK getting the boat had to wait until a UK visit was planned, so about 6 months later we went to collect it.
My friend said we'd have to pick it up from his son's as he'd given it to him but the son had never used it. No problem I thought he only lives a few miles away, so off we set. The son was out when we arrived but my friend said the boat was in the garden and we could just take it.
Oh dear! The boat had been in the garden for years and looked very different from how I last saw it. Not to be deterred and thinking it should clean up OK we started to pull it from it's resting place. In pulling and pushing it the transom started to separate from the hull and a large piece of the bow came away in my hands. I started to think of ways I could decline having the boat but my friend was very keen I should 'enjoy' having it.
After pumping up the trailer tyres we dropped him off and readied ourselves for our ferry crossing. Tying the boat down it was clear this boat needed work, lots of it.
I took it steady on the 5 hour drive home and we eventually made it with no incident.
I left the boat covered up in my garden while I thought what I should do.
Stop right away, burn it and tell my friend it was too far gone.
Look closely at the amount of work and see if it would be possible to patch it up on the cheap and sail it for a season and then get rid of it.
Spend some time and and money and fix it properly.
I chose to do the latter and over a winter I removed all the rot and replaced it with new ply, striped the hull and repainted it and checked all the rigging. This was in very good condition, having been stored in a dry garage.
Since doing the restoration I've had lots of fun with it and taken a number of friends for a sail. The French are very interested in it and I'm often asked what type of boat it is and I've only met one chap who new it was a Mirror. It turned out he was very keen on traditional wooden boats and went to boat rallies.
Would I do all the work again? You bet I would , she makes me smile when I'm afloat in her. I'm now 74 and whilst still fit and active, ducking under the boom shows up I'm not very supple.
Job for this week is to strip and grease the wheel bearings, ready for another seasons sailing.


I've always admired people who rescue boats in the way you have. The idea of building a new Mirror has always had a lot of appeal for me, but I now think it could be much more satisfying to restore one that's in a bad way even if it involves a lot more work. Hope you're still sailing yours a decade from now - it's never too late to take up Yoga.

62816inBerlin's picture

As far as I know there are several other Mirror owners apart from Marc Perrault in France, but then it's a big country.
BTW. Marc is inviting a crew for one of his cruises in May. Posted on Facebook:
>>>Dear friends of Mirror dinghy,
I am going to participate with my Mirror Dinghy “Mussel” in "Semaine du Golfe2017" in Brittany.
As I am alone and the boat allows two people, I hope to find a crew member in “People who love Mirror sailing dinghys”.
Here are some elements to know the event:
Departure (near Paris) on Sunday 21 May 2017,
Return to Paris on Sunday 28 May 2017,
Camping accommodation in Baden : Camping Campéole Penn Mar,
Many musical or festive animations,
More than 1000 old boats of traditional sailing on the water.
What you should know:
There will be a lot of navigation and long days,
It will surely get up early and go to bed late,
It's not always good weather in Brittany,
What we are promised:
A beautiful animation,
Beautiful encounters with other sailors,
Beautiful sailing,
Meetings with other Mirrors (5 are registered),
I wish to have a companion (male or female) for the week, participates well, pleasant, with a sense of humor, loving the navigation, accustomed to the practice of the Mirror.
To get to know:
I was not sailor before buying my Mirror in 2016,
I have since participated in some meetings of old sailboats,
My boat is 50 years old this year,
I am a little over 60 years old,
I live near Paris and Charles de Gaulle airport,
I have fun on the water,
I get to know Mirror users on facebook and enjoy seeing the achievements and activities of others,
I love good life on the water and at table.
I have a big fault, I speak very bad English !
The expenses to be envisaged for the week are for the organization:
Prices camping 8 x 13,20 €
Breakfast 8 x 5 €
The expenses to be envisaged for the week are for the life on the spot:
Meals, picnics, drinks, cakes, sweets ... for 8 days on the spot
Can also be provided a fuel participation for the trip with the boat behind the car (2x 500 km).
I hope that all this will make us spend a good week.
As I do not work anymore, I propose to you, if you wish and want, to organize in addition before or after « la semaine du golfe » a few days of visit in Paris or around Paris with the accommodation at my house.
If my proposal makes you want to participate, do not hesitate to contact me (by private message) to continue getting to know and organize the week.
Thanks to google translation for his help!