The Globe Mini 5.80 is a boat in a box.

Boat in a Box

The Globe Mini 5.80

By ATL Composites

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, 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 the keel and rudder is simple. It can be taken home on a trailer by an ordinary family car.”

The Globe Mini 5.80

The Globe Mini 5.80

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, 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 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.

CNC cutting the kit pieces

CNC cutting the kit pieces.

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 offshore-capable 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 budget-wise 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 cleaning, 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.”

CNC cutting the Globe Mini keel bulb.

CNC cutting the Globe Mini keel bulb.

Since 1969 Gougeon Brothers, Inc., manufacturers of WEST SYSTEM Epoxy, have guided amateur boat builders through their wood and WEST SYSTEM Epoxy projects. Have questions? Call our Technical Department at 866-937-8797.


Technical Data

Length Overall – 5.80 m (19′)

Hull Length – 5.70 m (18.7′)

Width – 2.27 m (7.4′)

Draft – 1.40 m (4.6′)

Weight – 700 kg (1,543 lb)

Keel Ballast – 220 kg (485 lb)

Deck – 8 mm Plywood (0.3″)

Hull – 20 mm & 10 mm Plywood (0.8″ & 0.4″)

Twin Running Dagger-boards

Mainsail – 12.5 m2 / 9.9 m2 / 7.2 m2 / 4.4 m2

(134.5 ft2 / 106.5 ft2 / 77.5 ft2 / 47.4 ft2)

Jib – 7.6 m2 / 4.7 m2 (82 ft2 / 51 ft2)

Storm Jib – 1.6 m2 / 0.9 m2 (17 ft2 / 10 ft2)

Gennaker – 25 m2 (269 ft2)