Cruising World

Boat in a Box

The Globe Mini 5.80 is a yacht aimed at home builders and racing sailors looking for a fun, affordable, DIY sailboat.


The compact offshore racing boat known as the Globe Mini 5.80 is the brainchild of adventurer and sailing legend, Don Mcintyre. This boat design is taking off all over the world in the form of a DIY kit constructe­d with plywood and WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy.

The new Internatio­nal One Design Class of plywood Mini 5.8-meter (19') 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, oceangoing 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 the 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 of 2020, eighty sailors have signed up to build one in twenty-three 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 and more sustainabl­e challenge, says Mcintyre. “The idea of an affordable wholesome, back to basics, nonfoiling 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.”


fleets are expected to appear over the next few years. “The yacht is creating real interest and new opportunit­ies traveling 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, WEST SYSTEM® Epoxy, 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 and ensuring even competitio­n, whether sponsored or unsponsore­d.

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

Andrew Denman of Denman Marine in Kettering, Tasmania, has been appointed the Australian kit agent and is Cnc-cutting kits and keel bulbs for the fast-growing fleet.

“We have supplied two kits so far and have another one in the pipeline.”

According to the founder of the Class 5.80, Don Mcintyre, the boat was designed as an offshoreca­pable mini which will appeal to many, including the hardcore single-handed enthusiast.

“Class racing in small boats like this has proved very popular internatio­nally but the types of hi-tech vessels used would normally be out of reach budgetwise for most people,” adds Andrew. “The use of plywood, fiberglass and WEST SYSTEM Epoxy in a simple but strong structure brings the costs within reach of many more people.”

Andrew is supplying the kits and recommendi­ng WEST SYSTEM Epoxy, which he says is the ideal base for structural bonding, coving applicatio­ns, and for coating and sheathing the plywood.

Internatio­nally regarded as the leading marine epoxy, WEST SYSTEM is easy for the amateur builder to work with. The WEST SYSTEM User Manual provides basic epoxy techniques to help ensure user success.

The boats are made of Lloyd’s certified marine plywood, solid timber cleating and stringers, sheathed in fiberglass and epoxy. They are solid, sturdy and strong. The result should be a durable, low-maintenanc­e watercraft.

The Solo Globe 5.80 Transat is the first major event for the 5.80 Class. Host port partners are expected to be announced in the next few months and already there are thirteen expression­s of interest from around the world. “There’s an ambitious calendar of events for this little boat,” says Andrew. “If anybody’s going to pull it off, it’s Don.”

 ??  ?? Globe Mini 5.80
Globe Mini 5.80
 ??  ?? All kits are cut using a CNC machine.
All kits are cut using a CNC machine.
 ??  ?? CNC cutting the keel bulb.
CNC cutting the keel bulb.
 ??  ?? CNC cutting the kit pieces.
CNC cutting the kit pieces.

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