Class Globe 5.80 Setting Sights on the Caribbean

A new back to basics yacht design is taking the word by storm – literally.
Class Globe 5.80

The Class Mini 5.80, a 19-foot long, plywood, extreme weather, ocean capable, fully self-righting yacht that sells as a kit, either has been or is in the process of being built by nearly 100 sailors in 24 countries since it launched earlier this year.

Many, including the yachts founder, Australian adventurer Don McIntyre, are rushing to complete their own Class Mini 5.80 in time for the historic first-ever Solo Globe 5.80 Transat. This event is set to depart Portugal in November 2021, racing 3600 miles across the Atlantic to the Caribbean. 

“At this stage it’s impossible to say how many entrants will set sail in the Solo Globe 5.80 Transat, but our ‘guess’ is 10 to 14,” says McIntyre, owner director of McIntyre Adventures, and founder and chairman of the 2018 Golden Globe Race and upcoming 2023 Ocean Globe Race. “For now, we are finalizing negotiations for the Portugal and island host ports with announcements this fall. While I have travelled the world, I have never visited the Caribbean. English Harbour (Antigua) has strong links with the original 1977 Mini Transat but Martinique has plenty of attractions also. I will be making initial contacts with three possible finish ports to start a dialogue looking at facilities available, the cost of that support and if there is interest in becoming involved with this ‘5.80 Peoples Mini’ establishing a new event with long term potential.”

The concept is simple.

Buy building plans (USD $350), hand tools, plywood, glass and epoxy, then clear out the garage and start building. The finished craft takes a total budget of 500 to 600 labor hours and US $18,500 to US $35,000. www.ClassGlobe580.com

A new back to basics yacht design is taking the word by storm – literally, The Class Globe 5.80

Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.