Topic : Merlin Rocket 1018

Well, my brother and I were looking for a competative class to join and we stumbled upon the Merlin Rocket Class. Since then we have accuired MR 1018. We picked her up around Nov 28th from Norfolk and brought her back home to Chelmsford. I have taken it upon myself to give her a new life!

If any one has some information to offer me about her, name, age, builder etc, I would greatly appreciate it. All I know is that she is MR 1018 and I believe that she is a proctor IXb.

When we got her, all we got was a bare hull (found a centre board tucked up in there), a mast (no spreaders or evidence of ever having any), a set of sails (looks like the moths have had a wonderful feast) and a 1x6 wooden boom. Thanks are in order to I believe "FLOPPY TOPPY" who was kind enough to give us the fittings off one of his older boats and also gave us his old ali boom which i believe is the most valuable part of the boat right now!

In the month and a bit of having her, I have stripped the hull right down to wood and filled and sanded her a few times to try and achieve that smooth bottom! she will eventually be a two toned red and yellow, red below the waterline and on the nose and yellow along the topsides. Things are taking a little longer that expected as it takes the paint a good day and a half to dry completely so it has taken me about 10 days to apply 4 coats of the yellow. Hopefully tonight I will be able to start with the red. Once the hull is complete I will then flip her over and move onto the interior. Here is a pictoral update, ( which I will update regularly aswell as updates here on the forum.

Posted: 03/01/2006 19:26:13
By: MR1018
1018 is a mk xi built by wyche and coppock in 1959 called Acushila

Posted: 03/01/2006 19:50:51
By: Chris
Lord love you boys for the optimists and grafters you appear to be. Post your needs on the forum - most of us have old bits that might help. I've got some reasonable sails and some spreaders left behind by a guy who went off to New Zealand and I'm not far away in Kent. Email me the sail & mast dimensions if you are interested.

Posted: 03/01/2006 21:17:21
By: Mike Fitz
Was intrigued by the ad for this one as I believe this was the boat that had a lunching trolley.  This would seem to me to be an excellent piece of equipment and I would like one for my own boat.  One of the main problems with these open and sea events is the lack of consideration given to having a proper lunch.  Maybe if suitably marinised this trolley is the answer?  Just tow to the start line and leave attached to the committee boat for collection after the 1st race

Posted: 04/01/2006 13:06:09
By: Andrew M
Having done a couple of restorations in the last year or so I can see that you are doing well with Acushila - the Irish for "Beat of my Heart" as a matter of interest.  Look forward to seeing you out and about at the various Merlin Vintage events and also the CVRDA events which are held around the country and where there are always a few Merlins sailing (Nos 6, 111,36 and 507 make regular appearances).  Keep up the good work.

Posted: 04/01/2006 16:49:58
By: Garry R
so, quick update, last night I put on the first red coat, still slightly tacky now so I'll have to wait till tomorrow before the next coat goes on. Pulled the mast and boom out to take a few measurements today as the weather was great, might find some interesting pics on the link that I updated on how the shrouds are attached to the mast, god only knows how they would have attached the spreaders had there been any! measurement from gooseneck to bottom of block at the top of the mast is 5800, length of the new boom is approx 2550 end to end? Pulled the rags up the mast track and found that they stop about a foot from the top. The battens are wooden and there is a drum at the base of the mast, I presume some kind of vang arrangement? We also have a baby blue spinnaker, old rules I think as it is probably as old as the boat. Now we have a chute on the boat but there is no downhaul attachment on the chute so I hope they didnt make the crew go up the foredeck and stuff it in the chute?
You may see in the background of some pictures the "lunching trolley" awaiting her restoration too!! I figured boat first otherwise I would have to paddle the "lunching trolley" to the start line and I would rather sail it there!!
I do know that we are still in need of some running rigging, how much I do not know, will have to wait until I flip her over and install some of the hardware weve recieved. A spinny pole would be nice and some propper battens/sails. If any one could steer me in the right direction, I would greatly appreciate it, We have recieved some wonderful help already from a great class!!! Thanks!

Posted: 04/01/2006 18:39:44
By: MR1018
too add a little more to this "quick update", measurements of the rags that I do have, 
MAIN: Luff 5550, foot 2500, sq/m = 6.93m2
JIB: luff 4800 leach 3900 foot 1500 sq/m = 2.92m2
SPINNAKER: luff 4250 foot 2500 centreline from head too centre of foot is
there are no class measurement stamps on any sail? are they still class legal?

Posted: 04/01/2006 18:51:49
By: MR1018
Welcome to the world of Merlins.

Not all masts use spreaders, I once had IXb and that had no need of them. Check with a sailmaker about the mast section, and he/she should be able to advise.

Posted: 04/01/2006 21:39:44
By: Food for thought
If you want the mainsail dimensions, or at least what they should be, don't measure the sail measure the spars.

The bolt ropes on all sails shrink with age.

Posted: 04/01/2006 23:48:10
By: Chris M
hey chris, mast is 5800 and boom is 2550, that sail has shrunk by almost a foot in its lifetime!

Posted: 04/01/2006 23:57:44
By: MR1018
I'd guess that the sails actually started life as 5720x2503 which is one of the more common rig dimensions. I don't think that they will have shrunk quite that much!!

There is of course no guarantee that the sails you got with the boat were made for that boat, or the rig that's on it. Sails that are not 5720x2503 are like gold dust these days, especially ones in decent condition.

I'd be very surprised if the mast isn't a Proctor D section.

Posted: 05/01/2006 08:29:44
By: Chris
There are no spreaders on 1728.  Can't quite understand why the sail doesn't go right up your mast unless the gooseneck track travel prevents it.  You are right about the drum - it is a kicker arrangement - I have one on 1728. There is a locking lever which stops it unwinding but I don't see it on your photo.  Out of date but I find it pretty effective.  The question really is - how much upgrading do you want to do.   There are old boats with the latest kit and there are old boats almost original.  Depends what you want I guess.  I tend to have gone down the "original route".

Posted: 05/01/2006 08:48:06
By: Garry R
1781 had the same kicker deal until i changed it, she also did not have spreaders but again a new mast sorted that! She has been updated a little but is still not as modern as alot of them have gone. Got to keep a little of the tradition in her. If i still have her later in the year will bring her to a few vintage events.

Posted: 05/01/2006 09:08:59
By: Jeremy3550
On old masts the gooseneck would slide up the mast then you pull it down to tension the luff. Sail luff lengths stretching 12inches would be normal.

Posted: 05/01/2006 10:10:12
By: Food for thought
just a little note on this thread. The lads with this boat are only young (no insult boys)and it is great to see younger lads getting to grips with an older boat rather than going straight out and buying a newer type. To really get them going if anyone has a hog stepped ally mast to donate this would really move things along as we have sails to donate for a later mast.

Posted: 05/01/2006 10:12:13
By: floppy toppy
Only got the original one from 1781 so prob no different to the one they have but they are welcome to it if they want it.

Posted: 05/01/2006 10:24:21
By: Jeremy3550
Keith Bond has a couple of masts for sale - could try haggling!

A superspar which sounds like it could be good and a gold proctor without spreaders.

Posted: 05/01/2006 10:52:52
By: Chris
Mr Fuller has spreaders.

Posted: 05/01/2006 12:02:31
By: Jon
Before the name was changed to Acushla and then Acushila, 1018 was called Three B's and was owned by J.E Trickett (perhaps Bob Trickett's father?) and D. Booker of S. Yorks S.C.

Posted: 05/01/2006 17:53:09
By: Tony Lane
thanks Tony, all the names seem to be pretty fitting so far, when we got her she took on the nickname of Betsy(1), then we started stripping all the paint and amongst all the burns and bruises, she took on Betsy the B*#ch(2)! and now she is starting to look like Betsy the Boat(3)!!! Three B's for you!
tonight she will get her second coat of red!

Posted: 05/01/2006 18:47:37
By: MR1018
If you were to contact John Ibberson, an Associate Member of the MROA, he might be able to tell you much more about your boat's history and the early owners. He lives near Sheffield and his phone no. is in the year book as 0114 229 9878. If you can contact him please give him my best regards.

Posted: 06/01/2006 17:43:39
By: Tony Lane
well, the paint is going on slowly,it is taking ages to dry in the garage. 
A few more coats and then I will be able to flip her over and complete the cockpit. Unfortunatly, it is going to take a little longer to complete because apart from the paint taking so long, I am leaving for a trip back to South Africa to sort out some business/personal issues and will only be back mid Feb to continue work on the lovely 1018. I will promise that she will be ready for the open meeting in Banbury and we will be at Midlands the next day! weather she will float or not is to be seen but Im sure we will be there! well, to all you MR sailors, take care until I return next month, fast sailing and hard hiking!

Posted: 11/01/2006 12:46:42
By: MR 1018
I have had the same problem with paint drying. The cold weather has taken its tole. Try butting some fan heaters in the garage over night, i found it helped no end.

Posted: 11/01/2006 13:34:03
By: Jeremy3550
It will be good to see you at the Midland events. Join the circuit and maybe sweep the prizes!

Boat sections for 2006
All comers
Prime of Life (3535 or less)
Mature (3377 or less)


Posted: 11/01/2006 22:09:04
By: Midland Circuit Chap
Send me your address & Phone no. and I will add you to our Vintage mailig list

Posted: 19/01/2006 17:18:05
By: Mervyn Allen
1620 had a D section w/o spreaders, but it worked better when I fitted them. Whatever you do, don't follow the advice given for more modern boats about hos to set up the spreaders; you will have much less rig tension so the spreaders need to push the shrouds much more out of the straight line than is currently advised.

Posted: 19/01/2006 17:39:01
By: Rod & Jo
got back from South Africa yesterday and I am eagerly looking forward too completing my work on 1018! painting is done, now I just have some deck work and the cockpit to paint and a few rigging issues and hopefully then she will be ready to go. My goal is the open meeting at Banbury on the 25th March.
All i am looking for now, is a spinnaker pole and if anybody knows of a trailer lying around, I could use one of those too!

Posted: 20/02/2006 09:34:24
By: MR 1018
I have an old pole spare.

Posted: 20/02/2006 09:37:40
By: Mags
Welcome to Midland Circuit event!
25th March followed by Midland, Birmingham, 26th.
Accomodation available

Posted: 20/02/2006 22:41:15
By: Midland Circuit Chap
Thats our goal, I believe well be there!!! flipped the boat over last night and will put the last coat of varnish on the decks today, all that is left is stripping the cockpit and painting it and then the rigging. hopefully we will be able to take her for a test sail before then. although it is only a few hrs from Chelmsford i believe we will be looking for accomodation too.

Posted: 21/02/2006 06:10:59
By: MR 1018
I really wanted to come to Banbury this year but it has been changed to a Saturday so i can't make it. Alright for those people who don't work weekends! Isn't that right Russ?
Can we not do Midland on Saturday and Banbury on Sunday?

Posted: 21/02/2006 09:36:42
By: Jeremy3550
Damn Right Jeremy, i am trying to overcome this problem by changing jobs but if i did i couldnt afford to sail i think working weekends should be made illegal.

Posted: 21/02/2006 09:55:50
By: RussHopkins3374
I agree! Sundays should be for pubs and petrol staitions only. Saturdays sould be retail outlets only.

Posted: 21/02/2006 15:58:08
By: Jeremy3550
i HATE sanding!!!!!! just finished sanding the decks, varnish tomorrow and then the cockpit at last!!!

Posted: 22/02/2006 19:50:09
By: MR 1018
Shane, I'm with you!!!

My worst bit is the fiddly little bits where my centreboard meets the bouyancy tank........

Posted: 22/02/2006 22:48:56
By: Jon
an update of pics of her with a complete paint job on the hull. just have to remember small steps!! i really thought she would be done by now. oh well, just the inside and the rigging.

Posted: 24/02/2006 12:39:55
By: MR 1018
well, yesterday, I pretty much installed most of the rigging, got a few ideas from the boat show so all thats left now is the finishing touches, spinnaker system and one more coat of paint for the cockpit and hopefully we will have our first sail this weekend!! looking forward to it!

Posted: 06/03/2006 09:28:59
By: MR 1018


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