Ahoy Nova Scotia!

Ryan, from Nova Scotia is looking for a little assistance regarding repairs to a Minuet he is considering purchasing. He has sent along some photos of the rough spots. If you have any advice or have done these kinds of repairs yourself please add your expertise in the comments below.

Also here is a link to specifications for the Minuet that might be helpful:

I’d also suggest getting in touch with the Bluenose Association which is located in Chester, Nova Scotia. They also have a Facebook page. These boats were also built by McVay so they may be worth talking to. Or perhaps they could put you in touch with other Minuet owners in your area.



 img_20161013_172846I’m looking at purchasing a small boat to do some sailing in and around Lunenburg Harbour in Nova Scotia.  I came across a Minuet for sale at a reasonable price.  I think she’s in okay condition, but wanted some expert advice.  First of all, the hull is displaying a lot of blisters in the Gel coat.  I am not too familiar with this type of repair although I suspect it will be a lot of work.  Is this sort of damage common with these boats?  Perhaps a symptom of major issues??

Secondly, and my biggest concern, is that the previous owner has modified the mast step and moved it to the roof of the cuddy with a wood post fibreglassed in to the floor of the cuddy.  Has anyone ever heard of this being done??  At the worst, I figure I’ll have to put it back to its proper configuration with the step on the floor.  One bit of information I haven’t been able to find, how long is the mast supposed to be??  I’d like to take a tape measure and see if he’s chopped off the mast, whigh would mean I’d have to buy a new one.

 There is some fibreglass work to be done on the cuddy aft bulkhead on the port side.  We’re these boats built with epoxy or polyester resin??

img_20161013_172841  img_20161013_172829

img_20161013_172529      img_20161013_172511

The previous owner is no longer around to ask about this stuff, his daughters are selling the boat and don’t seem to know too much about it.  Any information or insight anyone could provide would be invaluable.
Thanks in advance.
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Looking for a Minuet?

Thanks to Mark for the tip on this recently posted Minuet for sale on Kijiji.


19’ McVay Minuet on a trailer designed for the boat. Easy to launch and store.

– complete rigging and sails in good shape (main, genoa, jib, spinnaker)
– 1.5 hp Johnson outboard with bracket for boat

My dad (and family) used this boat at the family cottage in Cognashene Georgian Bay for years. It is a very “civilized” keel sailboat with a large comfortable cockpit and focsle large enough for sails, motor stuff, and whatever. It is _very_ pretty in the water and easy to sail.

Google “mcvay minuet sailboat” to see specs and many pictures.

The owner is asking $500 for the boat and is located in the Guelph area of Ontario.

Here is the link:


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Welcome John & Sparhawk


Welcome to John & Sparhawk! John has just acquired the Minuet that was posted recently and has a few questions that we will throw out to others. If you have any comments or suggestions, let us know in the comments below the post. Thanks!

“I am now the new owner of the lovely Minuet depicted in the ad above that began this post. I have been looking for the right Minuet for several years – and have found it at last. Her new “home” will be in Rockport, ME here in Midcoast Maine – and she will be sailed on Penobscot Bay. Her new name will be – Sparhawk. (All of my sailboats over the years have had some form of “hawk” included in their name.)

I have three questions/issues that perhaps you veteran Minuet owners can help me address.

1) Has anyone tried to install some kind of suction bailers (originally called Elvstrom bailers) in their Minuet? If this is not practical or workable, what means of effective bailing have been tried for sailing in possibly rougher water?
2) Does anyone have a roller-furled jib on their Minuet – and if so, from what sailmaker did you acquire it?
3) Trimming the mainsail from the rear traveler is an unsatisfactory, pre-historic, inefficient way of trimming that sail. Has anyone tried installing a “barneypost” in their Minuet – or minimally, a ratchet pulley on the floor of the cockpit – and thus trim the mainsail from mid-boom?

I look forward to becoming part of the Minuet Community.”   – John

We do have a roller-furled jib and we bought it from Doyle Sails. We’ve been using it for about 5 years and are happy with it. Anyone else?

Does the boat have a boom vang? If not, you might want to consider it. And does your boom have roller reefing? This would be a problem if you trim the mainsail from mid-boom.

Also, thanks Cam for the following comment:

“My Minuet has cockpit drains in the forward corners of the cockpit. I regularly take in water and the scuppers are effective at removing the water. The Elvstrom bailors require the floor and the hull to be in the same plane, so I can’t see how they’d work.
I use a Harken hi load furler after I had a wire luff installed in my jib. I’m happy with it.
I sheet from the back of the cockpit and have a traveller behind that. Again, I’m happy with the ease of adjustment. Moving the sheeting to the middle of the cockpit will steal a lot of room. While the boat is easy to sail single handed, taking friends will get crowded with mid boom sheeting.”



Posted in bailers, Jib Sail, roller-furled jib, Sparhawk | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sails Talk

What condition are your sails in? We have posted some previous discussion about sails here but recently ran across this short video from Precision Sails on a Furling Boom Mainsail. Does anyone sail with a Furling Boom Mainsail and is it worth the trouble?

Also, Dan posted a comment on using sails from other sailboat makes as a substitute for the standard Minuet sail.

“Check eBay for good deals on new or used sails , you can use any sails that are close to the same dimensions as the originals , I’m currently using a new main sail from a hunter 15 and it works perfectly , got it off eBay for 150 😁It’s a tiny bit smaller on the foot and leach but close enough .”

Sounds like a great way to get a sail for a good price and also, waiting for a custom-made sail for a small craft can take some time! If anyone else has found a suitable substitute, please let us know in the comments below!

Posted in Furling boom Main Sail, Main sail, Sails | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Minuet for Sale

I’m have gotten into the habit of posting the Minuets for Sale on the Main page of this site so that people who are looking, don’t miss the posts. So I am posting pictures of Sharon’s boat here. She mentions that she thinks it was built in 1977 but I don’t have any other details yet. Anyhow, it looks pretty sweet! I suggest you address any questions to Sharon in the comments section and I will post contact information and details as I receive them.






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Catching Up!



This year has been a great sailing year for us with lots of sunny and windy weather. And of course being out on the water means that the Mainsheet has been a little neglected. However, it’s the end of the season for us and time to do some online catching up!

We are pleased to hear from a number of new Minuet owners who are doing repairs or restorations to these lovely old boats this summer. And the latest to contact the Mainsheet is Mark:

Mark writes:

I have just been given a wonderful Minuet named “Mink”. I have delivered to my shop and will begin the task of restoring her to her much deserved former glory. There is one thing about the boat that concerns me and that is the amount of water getting into the hull. The boat was launched this spring but not sailed due to mast step issues. As I had the boat on the trailer I noticed a lot of water coming from under the keel. After removing the plug a lot of water came out, no surprise there. My main question relates to construction of the McVay’s. Why is the area behind the ballast hollow? What was used for ballast and how was the ballast attached to the hull. I am a boat builder of some degree of skill and am not intimidated by any repairs I have to undertake. I would like to know before I start grinding and cutting, something about the original construction techniques. Thanks and I look forward to getting involved with your group.

**I found the hull number for “Mink”, in the obvious place. She is hull #206 built in Mahone Bay and still sports the original Stevens sails. The boat is in very good condition and will be all painted and repaired for the spring.

  • We use a simple bilge pump with a 3/4″ braided hose to remove any water collecting in the bilge. We use a 12 volt motorcycle battery powered by a small solar panel that we got from Canadian tire. It works effectively. We simply leave the solar panel on the seat of the cockpit after we have finished sailing.  
  • We also found that we were able to reduce the amount of water regularly accumulating in the boat by cutting out a piece of the teak toe rail.
  • We really don’t know for sure why there is a hollow area behind the ballast, however it’s probably there because the 400 pound lead ballast needed to be further forward towards the mast to balance the boat.

And Doug from Bognor writes:

Hi. I’m resurrecting my dad’s Minuet (hull MT75412) which he bought off the Toronto Boat Show floor from E&R Enterprises out of Preston, Ontario (now Cambridge). Needs a bit of work, hull buffing to bring out the red better and especially the teak work along the decking and the stern as well as repairs to the cuddy doors (chewed by squirrels to gain access so they could store their pinecones for the winter – HUGE stash removed by my son and I). Sails are from Taylor’s out of Toronto and are Jib and Main alone. Any leads on teak (or suitable replacements) in the Owen Sound area? Goes back in the water tomorrow.

Will is interested in hearing about cuddy floor replacements:

How did the cuddy floor repairs turn out for all those who made this repair/replacement? It is something I need to tackle next year and would like some hints and tips before I attempt it!

(We have done a partial replacement of the cuddy floor and are happy with it. We will do a post on it shortly with photos. If anyone else has advice or photos please send them on!) And a call out to Patrick for an update on his work as well!





Posted in Ballast, Bilge pump, Mink, Minuet 2016, Minuet 412 | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Minuet #122


Great to hear from John who is the owner of this racy-red Minuet.

“I have been cruising the website and thought I would say hello.

 “Poppie” is our Minuet , hull #122, lying n Lake Muskoka. She is a bit tired and needs some TLC. I plan on having her painted this summer , but she also needs:

Sails…are very blown out .Do you know the best source for new sails…or will any reputable sailmaker be OK?

Keel…the drain plug has been fiberglassed  over,,,the lead needs some smoothing out. Is there someone [ Toronto or?] that is capable?

Teak doors…need replacing . Do you know a source /cabinet maker?

 Any help much appreciated.”


With regard to sails, the original sails were made in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia at R.B. Stevens and Sons Co. Ltd. The company is now into the fourth generation of sail makers and is called Michele Stevens Sailloft Ltd. The link to the website is here. It is actually quite an enjoyable site to peruse and contains a fair bit of information about the history of the company and the sailmakers.

” In between these large projects we have been seaming sails of all sizes, for all types of uses, out many types of cloth.  It would be our honour to seam a sail for you.”

In Ontario we have had no complaints with Genco. The link to their website is here. Others may have other suggestions. We can’t recommend a cabinet maker for the doors but can provide the links to the rough plans and photos we posted after building a new cuddy door for our Minuet. here and here.  Hope that is helpful and other readers will offer suggestions!

Any suggestions for the work needed to restore John’s Minuet can be posted in the comments below.

Posted in Boat Numbers, Cuddy Doors, Minuet 122, Poppie, Repairs/Restoration, Sailmaker | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment