Topic : Merlin Archive

Hey folks, I have an idea...  scary huh?

I've been a Merlinite (Is there another term I should be using!?) for many years now. I've sailed them ever since I got into sailing and now have just bought an NSM4 and very chuffed I am too!

I've always been hooked on Merlin’s not only because of how fun they are to sail but also because they sure are the prettiest boats in the dinghy park. However, there's no archive of any description that I can find, so it got me thinking about starting my own. I run my own IT consultancy and ISP so we have our own dedicated servers sat there with oodles of storage space just crying out for a quality photo and info archive of as many Merlin’s as possible! I would be prepared to create the site, but it would need people to want to post their photos and boat details online.

I note that there is a current idea of reprinting the old Merlin book, but as someone rightly points out, there have not been that many new designs since. Well why not have a ‘Living book’ as these things have been referred to in the past?

I'm not going to bother unless enough people are interested but I feel that there are so many beautiful Merlin’s about and so many different ideas and variations that it would be a great asset to the class. I also think that it would be great to have detailed photos of the open and national’s top boats specifically so people can see rigging layouts etc. We can’t all get to the nationals and wonder round admiring the latest boats, but we can have a virtual dinghy park! After all, no one ever said "Congrats on winning the Laser Worlds, can you send me a picture of your boat so I can see what it looks like" but there is still an interest even for (perhaps especially for!) the boat that came last in the Merlin national’s.

Let me know what you think to the idea, it is basically for a big jump forward from the current design guide on this site. For people buying a Merlin like me it was and is a great source of information as to the various designs, but it could be so much more!

There's less than 4000 boats currently, getting pictures of all of them would be a nice challenge!

Look forward to hearing your thoughts.


Posted: 22/07/2005 02:06:25
By: Stuart
I think its a great idea - I have been asking for an archive section on the web page for ages with old pictures of championships etc and also profiles of past champions, where they went and what they achieved. You will find that almost anyone who has done something really noteworthy has sailed and usuallly done well in Merlins. 

I have a small section on my web page about Ned Sparrow a real charachter who died a while ago.

I would be happy to help (a little)

Posted: 22/07/2005 07:50:35
By: the Gurn
I think this is already in the pipe line as I am waiting for the old merlin mags, so that they can be pdf'd and put on a site for archive sake.

Posted: 22/07/2005 08:41:46
By: ╚¤╝
Yes, only yesterday I was formatting articles from old magazines, ready for the web. It is a time-consuming task, and not very exciting for members who have already read the articles. There are a few gems in there of course - I could read John Stokes interview again and again!

Anyway, Stuart A speaks of an archive...
The design guide is currently being updated (how is this going, Chris?) so should encompass modern designs, and hopefully include relevant photos to show the differences. In addition to this I have been trying to collect a photo of every different boat whenever I spot one missing from my collection.

The gallery on this website is supposed to be evolving to include a rigging guide, but sadly no-one is sending me photos (apart from Richard T). I have been asking on the forum! Again - please send me pictures of your boat, or look at the pics in the gallery, and use the comment feature at the bottom to write some descriptive text about what you see - then newcomers can refer to this when attempting to rig their new merlin with a bag of random string.

Stuart, are you just proposing a database of images, including as many different boats as possible, with comments/details on each one? If you have some free server space to spare, I'd welcome that!
I'm also reminded of a point Rob Wilder(?) raised at the AGM - having loads of good photos in the last few years, but no idea who is who in them! Linking a comments database to an image store (as the gallery does) is an ideal way of storing this info...if we can just persuade EVERYONE to help enter the text.
And we must scan in the great photo archive at Ranelagh SC.

Any more views on this? How much support does each idea have?

Posted: 22/07/2005 10:00:01
By: Mags
I sent a lot of pics to Pat on a CD, if you can't get it off him let me know and i will send you a copy.
I will also compile a pic's and info on my boat, Steppen Wolf and all the gismo's and it's rear strop main sheet.
But it will be after my hols.

Posted: 22/07/2005 13:41:11
By: Dave F
Dave - Probably best I describe the process (for the benefit of others too).
Dont bother preparing a fancy document or anything.

Just send me the pics first - best as JPG format, resized to max 800x800 pixels if possible. I will add the pics to the gallery, and then you can use the comments facility yourself to add your text.

Posted: 22/07/2005 13:48:11
By: Mags
Feel that we should also have a rigging section for the old boats as well as the modern fliers so that they do not get left out.

Happy to take more pics when you want them Mags

Posted: 23/07/2005 19:23:30
By: RichardT


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