M 65: A "Mini" Review

Jeremy McGeary reviews this pocket cruiser disguised as a mini transat boat for the CW 2009 Sailboat Show.

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The M 65 is the first production Classe Mini 6.5 (or Mini Transat boat as the class is commonly known) to be built in America. Under class rules, production Minis are less complex than their custom cousins and are not permitted canting keels or water ballast. This two-tier class arrangement allows newcomers to cut their teeth on these specialized and demanding boats at a lower level in both cost and competition.

Because it won't be able to take part in its true métier until the Classe Mini movement takes hold on this side of the Atlantic, the M 65 needs to have a broader appeal. To that end, Jeffrey Dingle, who founded The Mini Store to promote the class in America, specified that Owen Clarke Design provide the M 65 with a lifting keel, to simplify trailering, and other features to make it more appealing as a sporty pocket cruiser.