• Transat 5.80
    Transat 5.80
  • The ready-to-build kit
    The ready-to-build kit
  • The hull plug.
    The hull plug.
  • Mini 5.80
    Mini 5.80
  • Don McIntyre
    Don McIntyre
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The compact offshore racing boat, known as the Globe Mini 5.80, is the brainchild of adventurer and sailing legend, Don McIntyre. Interest in the boat in a box is taking off all over the world, using a DIY kit constructed with plywood and epoxy resin such as WEST SYSTEM.

The new International One Design Class of plywood, Mini 5.8-metre (18ft) yachts is aimed at “home builders and adventurous racing sailors” according to McIntyre.

The Mini 5.80 is for all sailors, young and old, who have a dream to sail oceans in small, fun, affordable and proven safe, ocean-going yachts,” he says.

Simple plywood construction means anyone can build this Mini in a few months, or your local shipwright can do it for you. It all fits inside a 20-foot container for shipping to or from international events. The mast has a sleeve to allow two-piece shipping and removing keel and rudder is simple. It can be taken home on a trailer by an ordinary family car.”

Less than four months after its official launch in April, 80 sailors have signed up to build in 23 countries. Conceived by McIntyre, founder of the 2018 Golden Globe Race, as an affordable “People’s Mini” for amateur construction, this solo ocean and offshore racing yacht is proving popular.

A whole new segment of sailors is embracing the benefits of a simpler more sustainable challenge, says McIntyre.

The idea of an affordable wholesome, back to basics, non-foiling and safe Mini yacht, able to sail anywhere, has great appeal. Being easy to build, own and maintain, then offering fun yet serious one design sailing, seems to have hit the spot. Adventurous solo sailors are excited, but there are plenty of club racers who see this as an opportunity for some fun.”  

International fleets are expected to appear over the next few years. “The yacht is creating real interest and new opportunities travelling to Europe for the 2021 Globe 5.80 Transat and Mini Globe Race in 2024,” he adds.

The concept is simple: “Building plans (Euro 300), hand tools, plywood, epoxy resin, then clear out the garage and start building your Globe 5.80.  Build time is approximately 500 to 600 hours.”

Ten Sailmakers are currently under review to select an exclusive One Design sail supplier to the 5.80 Class for the next five years. This will deliver identical high-quality racing sails at a realistic price to all sailors through economies of scale. It also caps cost, leveling the playing field, ensuring even competition, whether sponsored or unsponsored.

CNC kit suppliers have been established in 15 countries, including Australia.

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