What is it really?

Having fact checked my latest Minisail I always called the “Meson”, the boat might turn out to be a fun hybrid.

Following the two existing guides:
the MS-identification guide
the MS-list from the 1976 MS-yearbook
This boat doesn’t fit any discription. It’s hull is wooden and veed (read not flat but V-shaped) , has no handle built in at the bow, and it’s deck is “flat” with a drop keel. Terminology used in the guides is not helping but combining the lot makes me think a flat deck is the self draining type, say flush deck (check!?) and the drop keel would be a centre board (check!).
So I think this MiniSail hull started life as an early wooden flushed decked Monaco-One and was rebuilt in Meson style later on.
What it makes a fun hybrid -assuming I have the historic background guessed right- is that it combines an actual first wooden hull from the late fifties/early sixties with the latest wooden superstructure inspired or derived from the Meson kit (a 1975 GRP Sprint II hull to be completed DIY with a self draining wooden top).

Mmm, a super MiniSail springs to mind: a light man-made fibre flat bottomed hull combined with a varnished wooden Meson-inspired superstructure… equipped with post-1960 rudder/centerboard/rig/rigging/sail and an optional seat.

I would at least try one of these.

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Snapped off sliding seat

This assembly had to snap sooner or later didn’t it? Look at the picture above. The leverage is straining the seat tray way to much.
And it snapped all right. I gave the Meson for a spin into the hands of a young Europe Moth racing sailor and she sailed it back home with a broken seat ten minutes after she left.
Just in case, the Meson I talk about here below.

Genuine dinghy racers roll tack the boat and throw themselves to the windward side of the boat, hooking into the hiking straps (I don’t). With no hiking straps and only the seat to rely on my dear young friend threw her on the extended seat that then gave way.

I guess she sailed all right and I made a faulty seat.
A better seat for a Meson would be a straight plank like this one:


As I will need the item for the Minisail gathering 2018 at S.C. Bowmoor it’s now repaired. Probably to be modified to fit the Sprite later on. For the Meson a better and even more simple plank will have to be made.

Anyone still reading? Thank you and how about this:
Would an inverted sliding seat be any good? It might not be, then again it looks all right, anything inverted does. I might make one.

To be continued!

Hanging on the garage wall.


A rare garage-find this Sprite. It’s the third one I know of since more than 10 years.
The E-bay listing titled “Original wooden hulled minisail. 13ft 6ins long. Hardly used.” comments:
Original version of wooden hulled minisail (complete with mast etc.). 13ft 6ins long. Has spent most of its life hanging on garage wall unused. Photos taken in about 1966! Difficult to photograph hanging on the garage wall.
Makes me wonder how many more garages in the U.K. have one hanging in the ceiling!

Interesting photograps: It’s sail reefed, the way to mount oars, the steep mast rake angle.
Two oars? There must be a system/way to attach the rowlocks we can’t see there. Still a pair of holes in the gunwales might do, I love it.

Here is why: Ever tried to sail out of a narrow (maybe moored yacht infested) channel in any Minisail? I did many times and have the oars please, if not these aren’t the most sexy apparatus on a racing dingy,  they are cool and very smart.

 

MS Europeans 2017 Holland review


(all pictures courtesy Janny Devriese)
On Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 June the host of the event Watersportvereniging Wormer welcomed the Minisail class as participants for their annual open club race this year named the “Beschuittoren race”.
Saturday: The five Minisais (three Sprint MII, a Monaco and my Sprite) sailed out for a recreational tour on the lake. It being time for lunch we headed straight to the jetty of the waterside pub “De Hofjes”.

The sailing Saturday afternoon was a joy, not every day the majority of boats on a lake are Minisails. On several occasions all five sliding seats were out and we were planing along just for the sake of planing.
During the lulls it was for the three not locals a good training in how not to get stuck in the mud with centreboard and rudder.

Sunday: After a delicious breakfast offered by Frans and Janny at their home we drove to the club and got the boats rigged. With hardly any wind we wouldn’t make it in time sailing upwind across the lake towards the starting line (and inscriptions), so we got a tow from a helpfull club trainer.

With the race twice postponed the wind finally picked up at 2 pm and the race officer decided for a semi canncelation: The race would be a simple one way trip to the club.
David and Jakko veered off to the north side of the lake unike the majority that went of to the centre and south. The entire fleet (all boats, not only the Minisails) had to cope with windshifts and variations the same way David and Jakko did, however slowly but surely we saw them gaining on us, their option to stay close to the North side payed of.
It was a close call but it was David taking the win with Jakko second, me third, Frans fourth and Dean unlucky getting his hull full of water came in fifth.

We got more attention than deserved during the prizegiving, and would like to thank the Watersportvereniging Wormer and Frans Stoop for the hospitality.

Keyhaven Kruise 2017


Our English mates from the Minisail owners club David A. and Tom M.once again organised a lovely weekend of sailing and staying at Keyhaven.
The warm welcome and hospitality from the Keyhaven Scouts and the Hurst castle sailing club we know but the feelgood experience is one that doesn’t wear.

Sailing out from the beach towards open water tacking along in a channel between three lines of moored yachts is challenging and good fun.
Spring tide was on our side and gradually the estuary opend up for us to play and sail quarter miles back and forth on the plank; With a shiftless 18 to 20 knots wind, the conditions couln’t be better.

Venturing further on toward Hurst Casle tacking along moored yachts I went in the water. Nothing bad but my drysuit unzipped rendered me soon as a helpless lame duck in a water-filled +70 kg suit. The situation was heary and I got slightly hurt during the recovery.

No matter, it was a good sociable event and we returned with good memories and stories to tell.

Keyhaven 2018, I look forward to it.

All is well

Minisail and Merlin Rocket 2482
Not really on a global scale but it’s well in my boating micro-environment, indeed a bit of a nuisance for this blog: not much to report about.
Meson 2287 is now water tight, the centerboard slot gasket is a fine addition, and she goes like the clappers once the wind picks up. Mind she’s a handful to keep upright in shifty conditions. In 4+Bf she sails best with the centerboard half-way down and that’s not a lot to dampen any heel. Add to that the light weight (hardly no inertia moment at all) and the plank acrobatics.
Picture following: Nice run upwind riding the plank 1/2 extended. A wind shift forces to let go the main and slide in gently and rapidly both together. By the time you recover balance the following shift kicks in and blows you over. That had me swimming a few times.
This part of the learning curve now mastered (well a bit) I am confident the little witch has some more tricks to throw me off I need to find out about.

Let’s hope for a not too cold winter so I can get her out plenty before the next season begins.
Some weeks ago the Merlin Rocket 2482 and Minisail 9000 were out together on the pond. With hardly any wind we at least had the time to take a picture.
(MS 9000 had the plank removed for that day and somehow didn’t carry the right sail.)