recomisioning a mirror after a long layup

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jules22
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recomisioning a mirror after a long layup

Post by jules22 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 12:25 am

Hi everyone , I have been given what i believe to be a mid 1960s mirror, it has been hanging up in a dry garage for 35 years unused !.
how would you guys go about getting it back on the water ?, as far as I can see the hull is sound, though I do plan to repaint and varnish.
I thought about floating it to check for leaks, but have been advised to paint first, not sure about this. :?
cheers. jules.

JimC
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Re: recomisioning a mirror after a long layup

Post by JimC » Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:25 am

Much less big a deal than a more traditionally built boat I suspect. Get her out on the lawn, hose her down and clean her up and inspect top to toe looking for cracks and the like. I suspect your biggest issue will be if stripwood has shrunk and glue failed, plus of course all the maintenance that needed doing when the boat went up there...

Inspecting for leaks before repainting is an interesting one you'll get much better results on repairs if you keep her basically dry, but you do have to spot things. Reckon a lot depends on the close inspection ofthe cleaned up boat.

roger
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Re: recomisioning a mirror after a long layup

Post by roger » Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:40 am

What Jim says. One thing to your advantage is the old glass tape and glue system will probably not have deteriorated as much as a glue like cascamite. I have had a couple of boats now that have been stored for some time and I did float them first just to see if/where they were leaking.

My, limited, experience with Mirrors is that the seams between buoyancy tanks and floor particularly where the helm and crew would be stamping about are the most likely to fail.
Inspect all the glass seams and if looking a bit worn or the glass is showing through I would reglue without stripping it all off.
One of my boats needed substantial work after storage which continued as the season went on as the old glue was packing up, and the other just needed a lick of paint and varnish.
Good luck with the boat and lets see some pics please.
There is a huge amount of knowledge here and if you have any doubts about anything post a pic and you will get several different answers on how to deal with it :D
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Rupert
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Re: recomisioning a mirror after a long layup

Post by Rupert » Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:58 am

Agree the main problem might be with failed glue (along the gunwales, especially) but if she was dry in a normal atmosphere for the whole time, she should be fine. And nice and light!
Rupert

jules22
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Re: recomisioning a mirror after a long layup

Post by jules22 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:23 pm

Thanks everyone, I go to extract the mirror from its hiding place in the next few weeks, so will post some pictures when I get it home and cleaned up and assess what needs doing.


I sail at south cerney Rupert, where in the waterpark do you sail ?.

ent228
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Re: recomisioning a mirror after a long layup

Post by ent228 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:21 pm

I have a Mirror, built sometime in the 70's and unregistered. She has been rebuilt twice by me and in the recent storms has been holed so is back home with some major patching to do.

The main problem with Mirrors is that they cannot be drained effectively unless modified to do so and also there is little if any ventilation in any of the tanks. These two factors kill most of them.

One of the worst rot points is the stiffener that runs acrosss the bottom just in front of the stern tank. Many boats have the toe staps attached to it. Often it is without a limber hole to allow passage of the drainage water and rot starts under it. You may like to make your own to get around this problem. Mine runs across the full width of the cockpit and acts as a foot rest for rowing as well.

So as in the other posts check all the seams. use epoxy or if doing it cheap use original polyesther from Halfords and don't expect an concours finish.

When you have invested all the time and energy in getting it to float then deal with the drainage and ventilation problem.

1) Fit large twist lock hatches to all the tanks. Mine has 4" ones in the side and stern tanks and 8" ones on the foredeck to allow me to put gear in the front tanks. Attach the lids with cord so they don't get lost. The lids get taken off everytime you leave the boat.

2)Look at the boat carefully, the only way for water to drain out is if the bow is raised a lot, so drill a drain on the keel line in the front face of the stern tank to allow water to pass though the tank and out through another drain in the transom.

3) Construct epoxy fillets to channel the water through the drains with the bow up. The idea is to avoid puddling. To make this all work the bottom corner of the bow needs to be about 4ft from the ground, This seems like a lot, but if you do not do it you will be left with little puddles and so rot.

4) Buy a really good breathable cover. Flat or boom up.

Remember to take out all bungs when you leave her.

If you are not using her, put her in covered storage at home or invert her with a strong tarp on top. You will have to put her on trestles if you invert outside and the trestles need to be a minimum of 2ft high or else damp and splash back from rain will damage her.

Mirrors are great little boats, a true design classic and old wooden ones need to be really well looked after. It's not difficult and I've had to learn the hard way.

Good luck.

Riv

jules22
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Re: recomisioning a mirror after a long layup

Post by jules22 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:11 pm

ENT228 : Thanks, Better drainage at the rear end was one of the things I have been mulling over. I had wondered about epoxying a plastic tube in place through the rear tank to outside of the hull and useing a modern plastic screw bung, had also wondered about screw hatches to tanks so good to know that you recommend them. all usefull advice, cheers.J

roger
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Re: recomisioning a mirror after a long layup

Post by roger » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:43 pm

In the days when I owned a Mirror hatches were not allowed. Not sure of current class rules but piercing the tanks was a big no no in the 70s. Of course its not a problem if you don't intend to race her in class organised events. I don't think cvrda would take much notice of modifications for practical reasons
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Rupert
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Re: recomisioning a mirror after a long layup

Post by Rupert » Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:20 pm

Jules, I'm at Whitefriars, about a mile down the road. My son owns Mirror 67667, which has had a hard life and is slowly being converted from being a wooden boat to being one built from car body filler. One day, it will all fall out and the boat will be no more... Should get another 5 years out of her, though, with a bit of TLC - see Charlie through his childhood, especially as he is racing Lightning 368s now.
Rupert

jules22
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Re: recomisioning a mirror after a long layup

Post by jules22 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:54 pm

Got the mirror home this weekend just gone to work on, poked about the hull and could not resist attacking the worst looking areas with the heatgun and scraper despite the better halfs insistance that we were going to be late in going out (it just HAD to be done!!,I just had to know if it was sound !) and it appears sound and in better knick than I dared hope :D . will try and stick pictures up at some point.

Rupert
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Re: recomisioning a mirror after a long layup

Post by Rupert » Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:37 pm

Obviously I didn't manage to put the tiller wanted thread along with this one in my mind when asking you where you sailed - we'd already been through that...

It is amazing how long a Mirror can sit unloved, but still come out of it in good nick. The worst areas can be under the gunwales if the glue has failed, but it sounds like you might have a goodun here.

I'm wondering if there is a Mirror rotting in the abandoned boats section at Whitefriars with any bits on board. I'll have a look at the weekend.

A tiller would be pretty easy to make, too.
Rupert

jules22
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Re: recomisioning a mirror after a long layup

Post by jules22 » Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:06 pm

update time !, found some time this weekend to crack-on with paint removal, the outside of the hull is fully stripped back to bare wood now.
The wood is all in good shape with one historic hole in the floor that has been patched before this needs tidying up a bit, a few small areas of the glass tape need re-sticking back down again where they have lifted, this will be done with west epoxy. Most of the original filler had hairline cracks in it so has had the heatgun and scraper treatment and I will start again with fresh filler.
So down to the nitty-gritty !, My plan is to epoxy coat the outside of the hull , should I do this first and apply filler over this or fill and fair and then epoxy over the lot ?.
what filler do you guys rate ?, had thought about getting some microballoons to mix in with the west resin, easy to sand ?.
cheers. J .

PS. was going to order some paint this week, any suggestions on something reasonable that won't break the bank ?

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Re: recomisioning a mirror after a long layup

Post by Rupert » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:40 am

I would fill first, then coat.

On the road from Siddington to Whitefriars, there is a Jotun paint man. If going south, he is on the right, in a shed - just before the road narrows where there is a house right next to it, if memory serves me right. He can mix you any colour you like, while you wait, either of hard or soft type paint. Well worth a call and a visit.

Found on Google:

01285 862132


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Michael Brigg
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Re: recomisioning a mirror after a long layup

Post by Michael Brigg » Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:39 am

Rupert wrote:Jules, I'm at Whitefriars, about a mile down the road. My son owns Mirror 67667, which has had a hard life and is slowly being converted from being a wooden boat to being one built from car body filler. One day, it will all fall out and the boat will be no more... Should get another 5 years out of her, though, with a bit of TLC - see Charlie through his childhood, especially as he is racing Lightning 368s now.
Hi Rupert,

I have highlighted the really important bit of your posting. (Which I believe is a great piece of advice!)

(At the risk of controversy and without prejudice to Jules who is doing a fantastic job reminding us of what we all should be doing at this time of year...)

This I believe is really the essense of real mirror sailing and something that the CVRDA should work hard to promote if we are to encourage Juniors and families to join CVRDA events.

The Mirror Class has sold itself to the "Sailing development" programme and allowed itself to be taken over by the serious racing fraternity, so we now have the "Winder" mirror, made of a shiny fiberglass or foam sandwich construction, dispensing with the signature gaff rig and no doubt soon to go down the line of Fireballs and contenders where the pintles of the class extend loopholes in the design brief to produce a hull that is "faster", the older boats are "uncompetitive" and all the money and energy in the class is directed down the line of catering for a tiny minority of top end sailors.

Here (I think ) is an example of everything that is bad bout the Mirror class today...
2008winthisboat_earlscourt_lovesey_2.jpg
The class has gone down the line of promoting itself as boat suitable for Youth squad training and adult racing, and consequently become a victim to "arms race" mentality with Carbon and kevlar components in the rigging now costing more than a complete, well sorted older boat.

It fulfils neither of those roles adequately , and is no longer an accessible "bottom end" starter boat for young families. No one is ever going to stick an outboard on the back of a £10K winder boat for a river trip at Runnymede, or a beach holiday in Cornwall. and the forgiving nature of a Gaff rig, so ideal for smaller children, is replaced by more powerful Bermudan, supposedly on the grounds that it is "Less expensive??!!"

Is this a modern problem? Is this why sailing participation is shrinking at the grass roots level?

Those of us that still own mirrors should give them, in entirety, to our children to own, bash, break, mend (amateurishly perhaps) neglect and restore, and most of all, spend their own money and time on.

Not long ago you may recall this image of a mirror caused what I though was bit of sense of humour failure...
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=5268
$_12a.jpg
(31.49 KiB) Not downloaded yet
But it represents to me just one of the things that is great, about the class, yesterday, and I would hope today and tomorrow.

Because this picture kind of represents the other side of sailing. The adventure and discovery side that really should be how we start our children into sailing. Anyone that has read, or been on, a "Coarse Sailing" trip, would understand this. The best stories of sailing are almost without fail about mistakes.

If our children do not actually own the boat, they cannot learn from the mistake because, as in so many other things, they do not have to own the consequence.

I know that you do not begin to know the meaning of fear until you have children, but the wonderful thing about a Mirror is the introduction it can give our children to the concept of risk management.
Last edited by Michael Brigg on Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:58 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Nessa
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Re: recomisioning a mirror after a long layup

Post by Nessa » Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:53 am

I found some mirror sails in the club boatshed yesterday, if anyone wnats them let know. Free to a good home.

We had a new member join yesterday, an instructor who used to be in the Mirror squad. She now has a cvrds eligible mirror and I will be urging her to come to our Rally at Hunts in May.

Interestingly, a 'middle aged' Winder mirror has no shelf life. There has been one for sale on our board for months at £3,500. Too expensive to be a club cruiser, too old to be a top racer, yet the owner is desperately trying to get some return now the kids are no longer interested. A true case of a class committing self destruction to keep up with the demands of the RYA and the competition from the Smods, in this case the Feva, a very inferior boat.
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