Minto
Sailing
Dinghy
       


    From the mid 1960's to the late 1990's Ranger Boats of Kent Washington produced many of these beautiful and very capable sailing dinghies. Popular as a yacht tender as well as a fun little day sailer, they are a common sight in most Northwest marinas. But the story goes further back than Ranger Boats.

From the Minto's graceful lines the heritage appears to originate with the popular 19th century Whitehall design, but that ancestry is just conjecture. What we do know from Mary Schoen and family of several old boating friends, each with a connection to the Minto, is how the Minto was born. The story of the Minto sailing dinghy began in 1946 when Rob Whittlesey bought the "Minto", a 24 foot sloop built by Hugh Rodd at Canoe Cove. Rob thought the "Minto" skiff that came with the sloop was too big for his boat so he traded it to Bob Schoen on Orcas Island. After storing the "Minto" skiff in his barn for several years Bob's friend Heine Dole, a Gig Harbor boat designer, saw it and thought it would make a great boat reproduced in fiberglass. Heine took the skiff to his friend Ed Hoppen at EDDON Boat Yard in Gig Harbor and they shortened it a couple of feet to make the plug for the first mold. To give recognition to the origin of their new boat Heine and Ed named it the Minto, and created the little steamboat graphic representing the famous steamer SS Minto. So Ed Hoppen, the original builder of the popular Thunderbird sailboats, is also the first builder of the Minto. After building a couple hundred of these wonderful little boats as the EDDON Minto, Ed then licensed Ranger Boats to produce them.

Ranger Boats was sold in the late 1990's and the new owners decided to focus exclusively on power boats. Their decision to discontinue building the Minto opened the door for Rich Passage Boats to pick up the story and take it forward. The Rich Passage Minto has taken the best of the original Minto design and incorporated some minor improvements which we think you will appreciate. Otherwise, it is the same Minto sailing dinghy Ranger Boats produced spanning three decades. For a more complete story see In Search of Minto

Over the past couple years many of you have told me very interesting stories about you and your Minto. If you would like your story added to the "Minto Lore" send it to me and I will post it to the "Minto Stories" page.
     
Rich Passage Boats  - Olympia, WA  - 360-357-4999 - minto@richpassage.com