Uncommon Sailboats - Mistral 16 , Starwing 13 , Beetle GULL , Kolibri Koralle Jr.


I'm looking for others who have any of these small sailing dinghies to share information, photos, repair and rigging tips and ideas.

Mistral 16 -- Double chined, sloop-rigged sailing dinghy with Centerboard. Canadian Company is no longer in business. Nice, solidly built boat. The hull is like that of the Wayfarer (Ian Proctor design) and the CL 16 (also a Canadian boat). Specifically, I'd appreciate help with the details of rigging. (There’s a photo of one at the www.sailingtexas.com photo gallery. Mine is white hulled. I’ve got the white sails with the orange and black.

Starwing 13 -- unusual sloop-rigged < 13' LOA fiberglass dinghy. Mine is 1987 model. I am about to embark on repairs to the hull, daggerboard well INSIDE (ahem), and part of the bow/side. I'm looking for a jib and would appreciate any help with those dimensions. OR, if you've got a Starwing 13 jib, send me a note. To see a photo of the Starwing 13, you can go to (one of my favorite sites) www.shortypen.com and click on his list of boats.

Beetle GULL. ~ 1959 vintage. A pram like design with oarlocks and a center thwart as well as a rear seat. A 10 ft LOA ROBUST fiberglass dinghy that was one of the first production fiberglass sailboats. Carl Beetle of Beetle Boats (Beetle Cat) saw the future in the late 1950's and began making sailboats from fiberglass with the help of General Electric ovens. I stumbled upon my Beetle GULL by accident when looking for a beach dinghy. I realized it was OLD, but didn't know what it was until one night while perusing the ebay offerings, I spotted the same dinghy. Someone had refurbished it along with a Beetle Swan (another Carl Beetle fiberglass boat, like the wooden Beetle Cat). The fiberglass on this boat is robust. I have the rudder and tiller and the centerboard and lever are still attached to the boat. After I spotted the ebay offering, I went out to my "boat yard" with some paint remover and applied it to the foredeck. Sure enough, B E E T L E was embossed on either side of the center design. Who knew. The boat was originally rigged with a single sail and the mast is step through a small opening in the foredeck. The mast for a Sunfish is too wide (think I didn’t try!?) and I’m reluctant (at this point) to alter anything on this vintage hull in case I get ambitious enough to restore it or find someone else who is interested in doing so. Meanwhile, I’ll try to locate the seller of the ebay Swan and Gull offerings (in Georgia, USA). Who knew my passion for old things, tools, antiques and sailing would cross paths.
Has anyone else got one of these old timers? I know of only two and I’ve been looking and looking for over a year now.

Kolibri aka Koralle Jr.: Sloop-rigged sailing/racing dinghy made in W. Germany and imported into the US in the ~ mid 1970’s. The newer Kolibri made in Calgary Alberta is not the same boat, but is similar, as is the Echo 12 (also from Canada). My Kolibri has a white hull with ORANGE cockpit and foredeck (remember the 1970’s?). It has oarlocks and a mahogany piece at the transom where a small motor can be mounted. It sails responsively and rows well too. Mahogany daggerboard and rudder and tiller with extension. Mast is stepped into a the cockpit. Be careful not to tighten the shrouds and forestay too tightly. Leave more slack than you might think you’d want. These boats are best suited to beaches and lakes because the hull is not fiberglass cloth (laid), but rather polyester resin (perhaps with some fiberglass in it). It is lightweight and pretty. If you find one that is cracked, you can repair it. It is best to use backing. The mast and boom are gold colored anodized aluminum and were offered as single piece or two-piece units. Mine has a 4:1 center sheeted main with a Ronstan swivel cleat and works very well. The jib sheet fairlead and jam cleats are set up in an unusual way: the sheet passes from the fairlead on one side and across the cockpit to the opposite jam cleat. Perhaps it was designed for ease when hiking out. Sweet little boat and I had to use to oars last night when the wind died down.

I’d like to time to go tend my Sunfish.


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I lived on a NH lake for 18 years & learned to sail in a '70's Kolibri. It was a wonderful, versatile boat. The hull deteriorated over the years and despite some fiberglass work, water had gotten between the hulls & made it heavy & slow. Would love to find another one! I ran across this website: http://www.rvharvey.com/boatstuff.htm. Ralph sounds like a fellow Kolibri fan, & could probably answer your questions.
Good luck!
Hi, I just joined so that I could reply to your question. I see it is an old thread so you may not need anymore but if you do, I have a factory owners manual for my Mistral 16 and would be happy to scan it for you if you want. I love the Mistral but may be letting her go soon as I just bought a Spindrift 22 to take down to the keys for a while. Where are you located?
[email protected]
Beetle Gull - This is an old post, but I also just joined. If you still have the beetle gull, please let me know. I just acquired one in rough shape. I was able to get in touch with the gentleman from Georgia that had the Gull and Swan that he restored. Would love to talk to you.
I grew up learning on Beetle Gull. Still love them, still use them and iwn several. Let me know if you have one for sale! I also own the one restored in Georgia. Someday, I may want to teach children about boating with them as they are safe and versatile - sail, row, motor.