Beginners repair/maintenance kit -Surrey

Hi, Having followed You Tube posts of Mirror Cruising and the DCA et al, I have taken the plunge and bought a old wooden dinghy No. 67079 to teach myself sailing and hopefully do some cruising camping etc.
Got it home yesterday and the dinghy is in good condition but will need paint and varnish and probably some minor work.

What I've yet to find is a guidebook or list of essential maintenance items that are recommended to help me chose through the various brands and maintenance items that are necessary.

I want to keep costs down and save the money for the crucial items eg. Roadbase... (managing the boat on and off my rooftop solo will present challenges).

I'm sure there will be a lot of varying personal preferences but as a keen but complete novice to small boating, i feel a little overwhelmed.

So Any guidance for getting essentials would be great.

curlew's picture

First you must row a little boat ... (Bulger)

curlew's picture

If you never sailed and want to learn, it is best to get a couple of lessons if possible. If not, get a buoyancy aid and take the boat to a sheltered lake and try just rowing it. Next time try a calm day with the mast up and mainsail only and keep the oars handy.
There are some books about the Mirror listed on the Web.
I am more than happy to answer any questions but I cannot tell you how to sail in this small space.

The tools you need for maintenance are the same ones you need for repairs. You can also sail a wooden boat for years without doing any maintenance - you just look for signs of the start of damage and act on it promptly. It's best to ask for advice about specific repairs as and when they're needed. I'd recommend asking at the Facebook group too - people look in there more often.

PuffinInTegel's picture

Having half taught myself to sail as a teenager, I would recommend reading up on the theory about how it works and how to sail before setting sails. Rowing the boat and generally messing about in it before you try sailing is definitely a very good way to start. If at all possible, find someone who can sail to take you out (either in her/his boat or your own) and let you crew while she/he gives you basic instructions -- that's how I was taught the other half ;-) . Once you're confident about the basic handling, start practicing on your own in lighter winds and build up on that.
67079 is not an "old" Mirror by any standards and age is not as much of a quality criterium as maintenance condition is. A few woodworking and painting tools are needed over the years to keep your boat in usable condition.
Gernot H.

Hi Andy
You’re not alone! I’m in the same position......never sailed (but I do have many years boating experience in cabin cruisers). I bought #3469 (1965 vintage) end of last year. Been familiarising myself with Mirrors, sailing and her specifically ever since. Rigged her a few times on land and currently refurbishing the trailer.
Just waiting for the weather to improve to take her out under oar and so on. I don’t fancy joining a sailing club, not interested in racing. Also interested in cruising and camping.
I’ve bought a few ‘Mirror’ books and would recommend you do the same. I also discovered a 2nd hand book on Amazon called ‘Looking after your Dinghy’ by Terry Smith. It’s easy to understand and reasonably relevant on the maintenance and repair side.
Good luck with your ‘new’ purchase.

curlew's picture

Good luck with the boat, Rachael. I am looking forward to getting afloat any time now. Take a picnic.

Hi David
We’ve communicated by email a while back. Watched many of your and Gernot’s videos.
I’m getting itchy feet too. A picnic sounds a great idea!
Sadly I need to finish renovating the trailer first ........a job I started before Christmas but with all the recent rain have yet to complete; I also need to get a tow hook fitted on the car. Just waiting for slightly warmer weather to get paint to dry properly.
I’ve rigged her trailered ‘on the drive’ a couple of times which was really helpful and read lots of the Mirror books over the winter.
Expecting to rig her a couple more times ‘on the drive’ and see if I can work out how to get her from the trailer to the launch trolley and back again. Not attempted that yet but she’ll have to come off the trailer soon for me to complete its’ refurb.
I feel quite relaxed about taking her out on the water but I’ll take it stage by stage, moving on as confidence increases. Rowing with mast up, etc being my first stage.
Wishing everyone here good sailing this coming season!

Robert Nealon's picture

HI need help to repair my two lower bow sections.

62816inBerlin's picture

Welcome to the forum!
One of the first things would be to describe the damage and, if possible, put up some pictures that you could link here (maybe start a new thread). There have been quite a lot of repair descriptions on the WWW and maybe some of us here could point out the ones most relevant to the damage on your boat.
If you have no access to a picture hosting service, you could send me the pictures as e-mail attachments and I can put them in our database to be linked here. But we have limited memory capacity so I prefer the pictures to reside elsewhere.
Gernot H.