Plans released for new small, low-cost race boat


If you’ve been wanting to build your own 19-foot (5.8-meter) race boat and sail it around, you may be in luck. McIntyre Adventure, the organizer of the solo 2018 Golden Globe Race and the forthcoming fully crewed 2023 Ocean Globe Race, recently released plans (in Amsterdam, just as the city’s HISWA Boat Show closed down due to COVID-19) to establish a new international one-design class called the Mini 5.80. The new boat design is meant to be built from sustainable plantation plywood and is intended as a low-cost race boat. The cost for the plans, pictured below, is 300 euros ($322).

“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,” Don McIntyre, founder of the Mini 5.80 Class, said in a press release. “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!”

Courtesy McIntyre Adventure

Designed by Polish sailor Janusz Maderski, the plans go against the modern trend of high-tech, extreme foiling yachts — instead returning to the basic principles of a simple, strong, safe and affordable oceangoing mini racer that can be built with simple tools. The design reportedly can be towed behind a family car and will fit into a 20-foot container for shipping.

McIntyre Adventure also states that the Class Mini 5.80 Association will establish controls and simple guidelines to monitor construction, with all owners required to create an online blog and post clear photos and descriptions of their build process. Building materials will be specified and simple surveys will be carried out on the steel-plate lead bulb keel. McIntyre further stated that critical rudder and chain plate components will be supplied by the 5.80 class, and minimum build weights will be set and checked. The boat will reportedly require 500 hours to build.

The Mini 5.80 boat is designed to use sustainable plantation plywood. 

Suijuan Zhou photo/Courtesy McIntyre Adventure


By Ocean Navigator