Mirror Cruise Lake Macquarrie

Finally got round to joining this forum after restoring my Mirror last year.
So far I've done a few solo and family cruises.

Here's a Youtube video of a recent cruise where I lived aboard for 4 days.


I particularly like the hoisting of the camera 30 seconds in - a great shot. Do you suppose sleeping onboard while beached might have been the cause of the seam splitting?

Kevin Green's picture

Hi David.
Sorry for not replying. Good point re beaching. I do this on sand or seaweed but certainly the ancient mirror really shouldn't be treated like this!

62816inBerlin's picture

My personal belief is that Mirrors are not designed to be stepped in / subjected to major loads when out of the water. The skin is too thin, so to say.
A while ago there was an article by a chap called Tony Bennet who sailed around the Island of Mon (Denmark) with his daughter (not camping but being picked up by car at the end of every day's trip) in a Mirror*. He left the boat tipped on its side overnight to stop water collecting in it. I have done that with Puffin on the "Jollenflottille" messabouts when the weather was bad. It saves you having to mess with tarps etc.
I was wondering whether it would make sense to expand on this idea and use the boat as one side of a "tent". Anyone here done that before?
Gernot H.
*#41639 "Minnie Moltok" The story was last published at http://www.woodenboat.net.nz/Boats/TonysFolder2/minnie.htm and is unfortunately gone. If anyone has a local copy of the files, I'd love to preserve them on our "documents" page !

Kelly's picture

That's a god idea - the Voyageurs used to do that with their big freight canoes - flip them over and then run a tarp from the gunwale to the ground - kind of a lean to. I saw a picture somewhere on line of a guy's PD Racer that he turned into a camper. What he did was he flipped the boat completely upside down and then had 4 posts that he attached to each corner of the boat - kind of like stilts to lift the boat off the ground. He then had a tarp that he either draped over the entire boat or attached to the gunwales (I can't remember exactly). Anyway he turned the boat into a hard top tent. It was kind of cool. You'd want to make sure it was tied/staked down in case the wind started blowing in the middle of the night.

sail_and_oar's picture

I use a similar camping setup to Kevin and I too have had leaks after sleeping aboard dried out. If I can I will anchor in deep enough water to stay afloat at low tide but unfortunately this is not always possible. Most of the time we get away with it. Never have I created a leak so serious I couldn't sail the boat back to where I launched. It's just an inescapable part of using a boat in this way. Repairs are usually straightforward if time consuming once you get used to the methods involved.

If I were to build a Mirror hull from new with this sort of use in mind I would consider 6mm ply for the hull bottom, fillet the joints before taping and use epoxy. With the older boats like mine you get none of these luxuries but for the most part we manage.

Many thanks for sharing the video Kevin. I enjoyed it very much. I'm sure the holes in your boat will soon be a thing of the past and you can get back out there again.


Kevin Green's picture

Thanks Cliff. I fixed the leak and have done a few cruises since then, including with my dog Wolfie, fitted a big bilge pump as well!

Sleeping under a tilted hull might be risky unless you have a robust frame holding it up, so it's probably easier just to put up a normal tent on shore, but neither of these solutions would help in places where camping is banned, so you need to be able to stay on the boat in a location which you can argue doesn't count as land. I wonder if it would be viable to make a couple of supports to put under the hull in line with the internal structures so that the boat could then rest on the ground through those. The structure under the mast is extremely strong, and the structure at front edge of the rear buoyancy tank should be reasonably strong too (or the transom could maybe be used instead). You still wouldn't want to stand on the floor without water under it, but once you've put the planks across to sleep on, the loading should be spread fairly evenly through the hull without any parts being distorted by exceptional forces. It would also prevent the paint being scraped. You'd want something that isn't too heavy, so it would be worth doing things properly by using a mould and lightweight materials (e.g. a mixture of fibreglass and carbon fibre), keeping the cost down by making multiples of each of these two supports for all the people who want them. (Being able to fit wheels to one of them could also be handy, though that would make it a lot more complicated.) The first step though would be to try it out using wood just to see if the hull can actually sit on them and take the load of one or two people climbing in (though not putting any weight on the floor). Probably best to do that test on a boat that's already beyond repair though as it would be a pity to snap a good one in half.