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McIntyre Adventure officially launches home built Class Mini 5.80 yacht

by Don McIntyre 14 Mar 2020 08:54 PDT
ClassMini 5.80 Association Founding Board member Eli Van der Broke hands over the licence of prototype Mini 5.80 number 02 to Michiel Pals (Builder: Pim van den Brink), at Kolibri Yachtbuilders in Holland, who will build this second Mini580. © McIntyre Adventure

A new plywood Class Mini 5.80 Yacht was officially launched today (despite the sudden closure of the HISWA Boat Show in Amsterdam yesterday) and is attracting serious interest from sailors around the world.

Hundreds are now waiting for the release of building plans (that cost just euro$300) so they can start building their dream.

"We are surprised and excited at the level of interest and passion expressed for this little plywood Mini-Mini that I love and cannot wait to sail" said Don McIntyre Founder of the Mini 5.80 Class. "we have schools talking about building fleets, friends getting together to build two or three side by side and yacht clubs wanting to know more. Even Top name sailors are looking to have some fun on a simple boat for a change, where the human element is more important than the technology. This little yacht with a big heart, for even bigger adventures has a strong future for sure!"

The concept for this unique One Design Class 5.80-meter yacht developed by Australian Adventurer Don McIntyre (organizer of the and and designed by Polish sailor Janusz Maderski, goes against the modern trend of High-Tech, extreme foiling yachts. Instead, it returns to the most basic principles of a simple, strong, safe and affordable ocean-going Mini Racer, that anyone can build using simple tools.

It also tows behind a family car and can easily ship in a 20ft container to, or from international events. This idea resonates well with sailors young and old, who had over the years been left behind in the rush for ultimate speed with corresponding extreme budgets costing 10x more. Messages of support for this Class Mini 5.80 are arriving from excited sailors everywhere.

International and National Class Associations are being established to support local racing and International events.

The Class Mini 5.80 Association has established controls and simple guidelines to monitor construction, with all owners required to create an Online blog, including clear photos and descriptions of their build process.

Building materials are specified, simple surveys are carried out on the steel plate lead bulb keel, critical rudder and chain plate components are supplied by the 5.80 Class and minimum build weights set and checked.

On March 21st Mini 5.80 plans will be released to experienced builders ONLY. First time amateurs will need to wait until June 1st to receive their Plans. This allows time for them to watch and learn from Online Blogs of the first and second prototypes (one building in Poland by Piotr Czarniecki for Don McIntyre and a second built with well-known Dutch timber boat builders KOLIBRI.) which take approx. 500 hours to build. Other builds will quickly be under way in France, Australia, Argentina, Russia, America, Italy, Britain and Spain, so language will not be a problem.

Sailing events, including a planned Solo 5.80 Transatlantic Race in Nov. 2021 from Portugal to the Caribbean and a world first Mini Globe Race (Via Panama) in 2024, will require minimum sailing experience standards and skipper training, specified safety equipment and boat surveys to minimize risk. All the details are available on the website opening today for the first time.

Note: A few sailors have mentioned that the name Class Mini 5.80 may cause confusion with Classe Mini 6.50. In the spirit of sailing and goodwill, not wishing to cause confusion, we have entered discussions with the Mini 6.50 Association on a way forward, so both parties enjoy the freedom of the Oceans and challenging events.

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