The Minto Sailing Dinghy, originally built by Ed Hoppen at the EDDON Boat Yard in Gig Harbor in the early 1960's, and then by Howard "Smitty" Smith at Ranger Boats in Kent until the late 1990's, is a familiar sight on Northwest waters. It excels as a row boat, easily carrying three full size adults, and is a very nimble sailboat for sailing about your moorage, or on your lake. You can also put a 2 hp outboard on the transom.
Although the Minto has been copied and modified by numerous builders, as both commercial and home projects, the original basic Ranger Minto configuration, of which more than 1000 were produced, has been maintained by Rich Passage Boats. One important feature maintained in the Rich Passage Minto Sailing Dinghy is the use of flotation cells filled with closed cell styrofoam under each of the three seats, providing about 120 pounds of positive buoyancy. The advantage of using this configuration versus molded in flotation spaces is the center of buoyancy is higher in the boat using the cells. Boats that have molded in flotation spaces extending from the seats to the bottom of the hull are more apt to "turtle" if capsized. Another important feature of the Rich Passage Minto Sailing Dinghy is the two piece Sitka Spruce mast. Because of the greater amount of labor required to mill and finish the Spruce mast, most small boat builders have converted to using an aluminum mast. Although the lighter weight and rich beauty of the Sitka Spruce mast should be sufficient to make it the better choice, the safety advantages of the Spruce mast should be convincing. The buoyancy of the Spruce mast will reduce the possibility of "turtling", and since the mast will float it can be removed and used as a balance bar to facilitate righting and bailing a swamped boat.
Rich Passage Boats is grateful to be contributing to the heritage of this wonderful little boat. The graceful lines of the lapstrake fiberglass hull, the luster of the beautifully finished teak gunwales and seats, and the versatility for use as a superb tender or day sailer, have made the Minto the dinghy of choice for many Northwest boaters for the past 45 years.