My Sister Ship is in Spain

I have corresponded with a Spanish amateur sailor, Juan de la Fuente, who has the same boat as I have. He has experimented with different rigs, but finally he has rigged his boat in the same way as mine.

I like his story on Mirror rigged Tabur 320.

Here is the unflattering description of our boat:

The Tabur 320 is just about as ugly as a boat can be.

It has got large hips, a flat nose and the black front deck looks like the lid of a rubbish bin. Its pale yellow colour looks like puke. It is simply awful.

But if you don’t care about looks, and are looking for a cheap, light and sturdy old banger, the Tabur is like no other. Forget about road trailers and paint and plywood rot, fibreglass cracks or anyone stealing it from your backyard. For one thing is sure, it will never attract jealous glances from anyone when you are in it. So the meek shall inherit the earth. And I love it just like that.

Sure it accelerates like an old diesel van, and it cuts thru the waves bouncing like a drunkard in a crowd, but its daggerboard would resist shark bites, and you’ll never break the rudder. It is stable and very forgiving on a broach, you’d have to be drunk to capsize it…

Last year, I rigged the boat at the same time as a sailing class at Veulettes. They asked me – “Does that thing float?” At the end of the class, with me sailing near the school boats, we arrived on the beach and they had to conclude that not only did my boat not sink, it sailed very well with its rig.

I will be taking Σοφία to the far tip of Brittany at the end of this month to the Route du Sable sail-and-oar gathering. My boat doesn’t win races but she can sail with very little wind. The rig gives a terrific amount of flexibility of response to the weather, including the possibility of lowering the mainsail totally and sailing downwind with the jib alone – not forgetting the possibility of going under bridges of only 3.20 m height without de-masting.

Juan’s account is full of humour and he has improved on many of my own modifications based on those of David Sumner, Mirror-tuner and intrepid cruiser of the English South Coast!

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5 Responses to My Sister Ship is in Spain

  1. Juan de la Fuente says:

    Sister ships indeed,
    borned out of the same thought, both shrouded in red,
    ἔννοια, meet your elder sister Σοφία.

    Anthony, I,ll dutifully bring to you my reports on first tests on board, including videos and more photos. I don,t know yet to what extent ἔννοια means any improvement, but I,ll be on the lookout for flaws to correct.

    I agree theese boats respond very sensitively to the slightlest breath of air. I noticed that already with previous sails, and I bet mirror sails will further emphasize preasure responsiveness.

    My wish about this…hybrid Tabur-Mirror brainchild, trusts that if only the hull can steadily sustain course on 12 knot winds and withstand 15-18 knot gushes under control, then it will definitedly be a succesful all-rounder.

    • You should have no problem with lee helm, even with the oversized jib. Just go sailing and try it all out. You will find you still have weather helm with the unreefed sail. With 12 knot winds and 18 knot gusts, I assume you are on a lake. At sea, unless you have a weather coast, you will have a heavy swell and chop, which can easily swamp our hull of very low free board.

      Take it gently, and play with setting your sails well. Tighten your shrouds and forestay solidly and watch for the weak points. I think you will enjoy this rig.

      Finally we have ugly boats, but they are noticed, especially when they are seen to sail well.

      How about the Semaine du Golfe next May (2015)? There will be hundreds of boats and ships of all sizes, and in our sail & oar class, there will be several Mirrors. We would be the only two Tabur / Mirror hybrids in the world!

  2. Juan de la Fuente says:

    Semaine du Golfe 2015 would be a delightful ocassion both to show off and to be grateful if we are still in good healthy condition to do so!

    Yes I,ll test on a lake, carefully trying out sequences between every sail configuration and course. Will follow your advice on shrouds and forestay.
    I guess that apart from the ergonomic differences derived from our respective configurations of clamps and blocks and boom height and the like, we should find that descriptions of performance, behaviour and sensations will be similar.

    Hopefully you will also obtain useful information from this.

    I,ll take along my older jib to do a comparative test. This old jib has a foot about 30 cm shorter than the mirror one, which allowes me to adjust it on the in-side of the shrouds. I still have the feeling that on a tight upwind course the “outside” adjusted jib cannot close haul as much as the tightly adjusted to center aft mainsail can, therefore the jib luff probably begins flapping and loosing power…a few degrees before the mainsail,s top propeling capacity, probably frustrating a little bit that “pleaurable angular edge”.
    We will find out. But I hope I,m wrong, for I wouldn,t be sure if modyfing the jib by shortening the foot length would not actually spoil its foil shape ruining it.

    Anyway, I,d be more concerned had I made any serious design mistakes elsewhere.
    I,ll see what news can I give you when I come back from the first test trip.



  3. Juan de la Fuente says:

    Dear Anthony,
    I just returned from a 3 day trip to the lake tto test my…Mi-Bur. (Mirror rigged Tabur 320)
    I gathered my impresions and some photos on this address:

    I also took some video, and I scrambled a 4 minute film, which I loaded in Youtube. This is the address:

    I bet you will enjoy the lot!!
    And Anthony, thank you very much for your kind support, guidance and accurate advice on this project.

    I think Ennoia and I are going to enjoy each other. Isn,t she lovely!



  4. Juan de la Fuente says:

    I guess you missed this one out Anthony,
    Video and photos on commenty above,

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