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Vessel Number: HV000288
Date: 1963
Designer: Jack Holt
Previous Owner:
Vessel Dimensions: 3.32 m x 3.05 m x 1.41 m x 0.2 m (10.9 ft x 10 ft x 4.63 ft x 0.67 ft)
Classification:Vessels and fittings
IMAGE is believed to be the first of the United Kingdom's hugely popular Mirror class dinghies to be built in Australia in 1964. Mirrors opened up dinghy sailing to the public as the design flourished around the world in the 1960s. They were built in their thousands and today remain a very strong class. In 2009 IMAGE was still owned by the original builder's family.
DescriptionThe Mirror Class (the dinghy is 3.3 metres / 11 feet in length) began in the early 1960s and adopted its name from the London Mirror newspaper, whose editors, as a promotion, ran a design competition for a simple plywood, two-person dinghy. The winning design was by Jack Holt, a well known UK dinghy and yacht designer, who based his design on the then new 'stitch and glue' method of construction. The concept was aimed at families and home building. The design was available as a kit, and the building process was featured in articles in the London Mirror. It sold lots of newspapers, and did its job for sailing as well; it was an immediate and outstanding success in the UK, and the word soon spread internationally.

John Bourne in Scarborough, Queensland saw an advertisement for the dinghy in a 1963 UK Yachting World magazine. He wrote to the Mirror class secretary and received a simple set of plans with the reply. They were not very detailed but enough for him to build without the usual pre-fabricated kit of materials.

Six months later Bourne had built himself a Mirror dinghy. On 12 January 1964, IMAGE went sailing with the Bourne family at Queens Beach North, Scarborough. Over the next twenty years family and friends learned to sail aboard IMAGE, and when Bourne moved inland the dinghy was stored in a shed with the odd outing on local dams.

In 2009 IMAGE remained in good original condition, the only change being a new set of sails in 1983. John Bourne recalls racing IMAGE once, when invited by other Mirror owners who had a small fleet at Scarborough. IMAGE won that race, and appears to have then retired from competition, unbeaten. IMAGE remains with the Bourne family.

Bourne's quiet start to the Mirror class in Australia has gone almost unnoticed. The first kit-constructed Mirror was launched after IMAGE in 1964. The class became a local success and in 2009 still raced in many clubs and states around Australia. The simple 'stitch and glue' plywood construction, which did not need longitudinal timbers at the joints, was a hallmark of Jack Holt designs. The Mirror dinghy's introduction helped establish the construction method as an option for local designers to copy in the 1960s and beyond.
Vessel Details
Current status:operational
Deck layout:open
Deck material and construction:timber plywood
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:paddle
Hand propulsion/steering mechanism:tiller
Hull material and construction:plywood/chineply/chine
Hull material and construction:timber
Hull shape:chines
Hull shape:monohull
Hull shape:plumb transomvertical transom
Hull shape:vee-bottomv-bottomv-sectionvee-section
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:dagger boarddrop board
Keel/centreboard/rudder type:transom rudder
Rig type:sloop
Sail cloth:synthetic
Spar material:timber

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