Boat Names (396)

Do you have more information to add?
We would love to hear it so that the database keeps growing.
To add the thinking behind your boat name - amend an entry - add a photograph - suggest website links - correct a typo please email:- [email protected]

Latest additions to the list

20.04.23  -   3782 amended : 3809 & 3820 added
24.04.23  -   1572 added
10.07.23  -   3700 amended
26.09.23  -   3792 added
29.10.23  -   578 : 1313 added
01.11.23  -   3506 picture added  :  3816 & 3817 added
16.12.23  -   3641: 3694 : 3734 : 3770 : 3795 added
15.01.24  -   2933 & 3093 added
05.06.24  -   3458 added

Hull #:
Boat Name:
#Boat NameOriginal Owners(s) / CrewEtymology
[Person supplying information]
Misty Blew
Steve Leney
A play on words related to a popular song of the era  -  Misty Blue
[Steve Leney]
Foot Loose
Peter (Spud) Rowsell
Nothing to do with fancy free - the first boat with a loose footed main.
[Peter Male]
The Last Session
Norman Blowers
Named 'The Last Session' because it was the last Merlin built to a Keith Callaghan design in the 20th century.
[Keith Callaghan (from his website)]
Re-named :-  Double Trouble
Re-named by:-        John Mark
John had two sons.
[Piers Vowles]
Bill Twine & Nick Lightbody
Named after the popular TV series about the enslaved Afro-Americans.
[Nick Lightbody]
Barry Dunning
Originally built by Laurie Smart with a dagger board. The Class Assoc. changed the rules within two weeks on hearing of the build and Laurie had to "substitute" a normal centreboard case for the dagger case.
[Barry Dunning]
A Peter Gabriel song of the late 70’s
[Chris Martin]
Just Blew
Steve Leney
A continuing theme from Steve's previous boat.  (3109)
[Steve Leney]
Nick Aubrey
Bellerophon is a hero and slayer of monsters in Greek mythology. His greatest feat was the killing of Chimera.
[Mike Liggett]
Ancient Footprints
Re-named by:-
E Whalley
The name was not registered but it was painted on the boat. It would also seem that the ownership was not registered.
[Geoff Wright]
Time Passages
Renamed by:-
Geoff & Noelle Wright
Time Passages was named after an Al Stewart Album - it seemed to fit.
[Geoff Wright]
R Deacon
The hull is a Smokers Satisfaction and therefore it was considered that the name of the cigar followed the theme
[Jeremy Deacon]
Martin and Rene Watts
Named their Disguys after 'Guy made a missile'.
[Geoff Wright]
Thwartless Blues
Steve Leney
The first boat without a thwart. Also following a theme from previous boats. (3109 & 3147)
[Steve Leney]
Tony Johnson
Tony and his crew - Ian Matthews - liked a bit of a drink. Tony liked the play on letters in the name.
[Tony Johnson]
Captain's Log
Re-named by:-
N. Baker

[Peter Male]
Woodstock & Friends
Peter Rainey
The naming of this boat links back to 2102 and the characters from the Peanuts cartoons.
[Peter Rainey]
Silk Cut
P. Frampton
A NSM design - clearly named after the popular brand of cigarette - Silk Cut.
(NSM = New smoking material)

[Chris Martin]
Hamlet & Wildfire
Alan Jackson
The boat is a Smokers Satisfaction - so it was named after the cigar (Hamlet) which gave you that satisfaction.
[Alan Jackson]
Silicon Ship
Robert Grew
Silicon Ship was built in the days of the emerging personal computer era. All the talk at that time was of Silicon Chips, so the boat, (obviously a play on words) was named to reflect the thinking at that time.
[Robert Grew]
The Bitterest Pill
Renamed by:-
Phil & Paula Mason 
A new addition to the family saw a turn in direction with less time for sailing, their 'new' boat (3515) was sold and Silicon Ship bought to keep a connection. However, they never really had the time and never did take to going back to an old boat and hence re-named it 'The Bitterest Pill', a track by the Jam. In 1982 Phil had bought tickets to see the Jam in concert and subsequently sold them at a profit and didn't see them play live. It turned out to be their last tour, the wrong decision? It kind of fit, they had bought an old Merlin, a lovely boat, but it never did fill the gap.

[Phil & Paula Mason]
Returned to original name:-
Silicon Ship
Returned to original name by:-
Jim Hopton
Jim was the original crew for Robert. In addition to returning the original name to the boat he also painted it the original colour.
[Jim Hopton]
For Ever Autumn
I Copsey
For Ever Autumn was a single from the Jeff Wayne's hit War of the worlds
[Dougal Henshall]
Seren Caer
H & W Wright
The boat was commissioned by Henry Wright and his father Walter, to sail at Bala. The name was, because of where she was to be berthed, intended to be a play on words, in welsh, of their surname. The welsh for 'Wright' (as in shipwright, wheelwright etc) is 'Saer'. This was miss-spelled by Henry and Walter as 'Caer' . (Caer is the welsh to describe a Roman stronghold, equivalent to castle or citadel. )

'Seren' is welsh for 'Star'! Hence the boat was intended to be called, in welsh, 'Wrights Star'

It is not known if the miss-spelling of 'Saer' was intentional of an administrative error.

[David Harries]
Renamed by:-
Colin Palmer

[Peter Male]
Returned to original name:
Seren Caer
Returned to original name by:-
Peter Male

[Peter Male]
Renamed :-
Eternal Flame

[Peter Male]
Rumours was named after the hugely successful album by Fleetwood Mac.
[Graham Willianson]
Batty Bat
D Robinson
Two records albums that were hits at the time the boat was built featured 'Captain Beaky and his Band'. Batty Bat was a member of the band and a hero in the song.
[Dougal Henshall]
Guy Winder
This boat was designed to be sailed heeled, but then much modified.
[Guy Winder]
Phil King
Money was tight, Phil was between jobs, and R & M boats were expensive. Spud phoned with the final price ( considerably more than the estimate from many years previously because of the waiting time, and far more than Phil had ever paid for a boat from other builders), and asked for the name and paint colour. Phil thought that he must be bananas spending so much money on a hobby. He responded; Paint it green and call it Bananas. Spud never asked him why. Phil reported that the boat was a revelation, worth every penny, and jumped him to the front of the fleet. The year it was launched, he almost won the 1980 Weymouth nationals winning 2 races, having previously never been in contention. It was another 11 years before he had a boat that was as good. (3471 - Savage).
[Phil King]
Breakfast in America
P. Robinson

If Only
Re-named by:-
Rob Holroyd
Just a reaction to the original name
[Rob Holroyd]
Derek Hanrahan
This was the 3rd boat that Jon was to build since starting-up on his own.
The name represented Derek's risk in having a boat from Jon, when the fashion was strongly with the established builders. 
On collection Derek was so impressed that he immediately placed a substantial deposit for his next boat (Seventh Heaven - 3296).

[Jon Turner]
Dave Griffiths
Dave Griffiths had always had Rowsell boats, and had insisted that his later ones were built by Jon Turner. When Jon went on his own Dave followed, becoming a turncoat.
[Jon Turner]

Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Re-named by:-
J. Haslam
A book first published in the 1970's
[Peter Male]
Golden Snitch
Re-named by:-
Magnus Smith
The boat was yellow when purchased by Magnus, and he fancied a literary name which did not require a re-paint. His wife suggested a term from the Harry Potter books which had gripped them both. It refers to a winged ball that is nearly impossible to catch. Such a mascot hangs from the boom.
It was a popular name choice at the time; Alan Warren sailed 'Golden Snitch 2' during the following season, though the '2' was not visible on the boat. The RYA registration forms concerning the name choices probably arrived in the same week.

[Magnus Smith]
Dick Batt
Vampire - species of bat
[Chris Martin]
Steve Leney
After so many years the reason is lost in history.
[Peter Male]
One Samba Walk
Alan Jackson
Named after a dance step.
[Alan Jackson]
Family Affair
Patrick Blake & Roger Taylor
Ge'd up by his success in Merlins, Patrick decided to buy another Flying Dutchman and have a further shot at the Olympics. This time he was successful but it was 1980 and Moscow and the RYA boycotted the games. Patrick continued to sail Flying Dutchman but was keen to do Salcombe week and the Nationals, which in, 1970, he did in a borrowed boat with Roger as crew.
Roger, the husband of Patrick's sister-in-law was keen to to do club racing and open meetings so the family decided to share a boat.

[Patrick Blake]
The Message
Peter Scott
This was a buzz phrase at the time and was a good name for the boat. 'T' shirts were made saying 'I've got the message' and the trailer was liveried as The Message Carrier!
[Peter Scott]
Lawrie Smart
At the time Lawrie built this boat he was under a lot of grief from many directions.
[Lawrie Smart]
Seventh Heaven
Derek Hanrahan
Derek's seventh Merlin. (7th is highest of the heavens in Islam)
[Geoff Wright]
New Potato
Peter (Spud) Rowsell
New Potato was named by Phil Morrison. The boat was quite radical at the time. It was designed and built in the Spring and Phil M wanted to relate the (design) name to the time of year - and the thought of new potatoes popped into his head.
[Phil King]
Chris Rathbone
When Chris saw the boat being built by Laurie Smart, it looked one of the most beautiful boats that he'd ever seen. That name came very easily.
[Chris Rathbone]
Dave Griffiths
Dave spending too much time with his boats?
[Geoff Wright]
Nora Batty
R. Harris
A Summer Wine design, named after a character in the TV series "The Last of the Summer Wine".
[Chris Martin]
Jon Turner
The name reflected Jon's feelings about Merlins and sailing them.
[Jon Turner]
Do you have more information to add?
We would love to hear it so that the database keeps growing.
To add the thinking behind your boat name - amend an entry - add a photograph - suggest website links - correct a typo please email:- [email protected]


Owners Association

Developed & Supported by YorkSoft Ltd


Merlin Rocket Owners Association