Production Mini Transat and Trailer Sailer Sports Boat

Owen Clarke Design's second production yacht design has recently been launched, with the first demonstration model of the M65 sailing in the United States. She is a series Transat 6.50 compliant trailer sailer sports boat, based on the series mini transat rule. The M65 is aimed at inducing the North American and sports boat sailors worldwide to come and have a go on a truly exciting offshore capable sports boat. With a sailaway price of @ US$ 55,000 - less than a long wheel base Land Rover TD5, just get out and have some serious fun!  Because it's a mini doesn't mean you have to sail it single-handed across the Atlantic. Just as with the Land Rover, you don't have to do Cape-Town to Cairo, but you can if you want ! Other options available for home finishing include a base boat at US$ 45,000 and a kit version at @US$ 30,000.

  The first M65 beating to weather on sailing trials in Florida a few days after launching.

The M65 is designed and built to be fully compliant to 6.5m  production (series) mini-transat class rules and is marketed in North America by The Mini Store (TMS), a company formed in 2004 to bring the Mini to the North American market.  The boat will also be RCD compliant for importation into Europe and is built to the highest standards and uses the latest production techniques including the hull, deck and other tooling being milled from the solid using the latest CNC cutting technology. Managed by lead designer Tim Sadler, Owen Clarke Design has produced the complete design in a 3 dimensional format to suit this build method. Although aimed primarily at the North American mini transat, trailer sailer and sports boat market early indications are that with the present favorable US dollar rate  the boat has export potential.

Over powered but having FUN reaching under the 'big spi' in San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz Is. behind

The yacht itself has been over twenty four months in conception and is a natural progression to Owen Clarke Design’s previous work and involvement in the mini class. Structural engineering was carried out by Andrew Kensington of Team New Zealand, with foil design based on latest cfd sections developed by Michel Kermarec of BMW Team Oracle.

The program of hull development and vpp analysis completed has resulted in the yacht specifications attached below. Fundamental to this work has been the series of tank testing we undertook in 2002/03  in co-operation with Ian Campbell of the Wolfson Unit, Southampton University for the Open 60 Ecover 2. With new models, this testing period built on the knowledge gained during previous tank testing on the Kingfisher and Hexagon programs. In this latest series of tests one of the areas we were specifically investigating was the relationship between chines, close to the static waterplane (as opposed to higher up the hull surface) and the resulting increase in static and sailing righting moment with respect to drag.
It should be borne in mind that every class and rule is different in its treatment of beam, draft, sail area and displacement for instance. IRC in particular leads to the design of relatively short rigs, heavy and narrow boats that are at the opposite end to the Open Class fleet and therefore the approach and results of any work is likely to be somewhat different.

 Ecover test program, hard chine model at 8kts, fifteen degrees of heel, 0 degrees yaw, no daggerboard.

Nevertheless, Owen Clarke entered the design phase with an ‘open mind’ as it were and even looked at some rather unlikely candidates to test the water and to be absolutely sure we weren’t missing a trick. This included some of the narrower hull derivations we looked at during our Volvo 70 work with Clay Oliver.

Our initial desire was to ‘break’ the cycle of maximum beam designs in the mini class, especially since the production boat rules do not allow water ballast, canting keel and has no ten degree rule. We were in fact able to produce a design at 2.8m that we believe was overall faster than any of the 3m wide mini hull forms we’d used or seen before. Inexorably however with more time we were able to surpass those and the final hull derivation at 3m represents we feel the highest performance all round hull that we can develop at the moment for this fixed keel rule.

3D generated files were used to create CNC cutting files for the production of hull and deck moulds

Notably as with the route we finally developed with our Open 60 Ecover 2 we have opted for an even harder turn of bilge, flatter topsides and powerful aft sections, but without the marked detail of a chine low down at the turn of the bilge that can be seen on some other boats. In the end ‘minis’ have a high sail area to displacement ratio with greater speed potential than their equivalent size ‘sports boat cousins’. Without the brake of any rating rule being applied to them they are hungry for righting moment to offset their impressive sailplans that see them fully powered up at relatively low wind speeds. The triple spreader rig and Code0 orientated upwind sail plan has been created to ensure this.

Once heeled and tracking on the leeward of their twin rudders the wetted surface area and waterline beam diminishes quickly and the heeled waterlines take on a clear sweet form. Like it or not, these fat little boats with large sail areas are quick, yet well balanced and highly controllable, just like their longer, world girdling Open 60 and Class 40 cousins.

M65 principal dimensions:

LOA 6.5m 21.5 ft
Beam 3.0m 21 ft
Draft 1.6m 5.25 ft (keel down) 0.55m 1.8 ft (keel up)
Displacement 1065kg 2350 lbs (At Class Mini measurement, incl. Liferaft, batteries etc)
Sail Area Up 40.5 sqm 436 sqft
Sail Area Down 98 sqm 1054 sqft

For further formation, preliminary specifications, drawings and renderings go to:


For information on Owen Clarke Design's history in the mini class go to: PROTOTYPE MINI TRANSAT

For an explanation of the technology behind the design process go to: NAVAL ARCHITECTURE

For an insight into our engineering and detailed design work go to: ENGINEERING

For James Boyd’s article on Munslow and McCarthy at the 2003 race finish go to:

Mini Transat Leg 1and Mini Transat Leg 2

To review our Mini Transat page on Facebook go to:

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