Topic : vintage measure

do you need a measurement certificate to enter a vintage event.We are looking to go up to huntingdon for the first event of the year.(do the vintage crowd take it very seriously as we are more up for fun 2180 and 642 ?)

Posted: 02/05/2006 21:22:45
By: pete nash
The Association would encourage all members to have their boats properly certified.  If you do not have the certificate for your boat, call the RYA technical department to ask about it - you will probably find that they have an original that can be updated and re-issued.  Even if racing just for fun, the buoyancy should be up to date, and the boat should comply with the rules - after all, you will be racing against other boats of similar vintage, so the playing field should be as level as possible...

Have a good time.


PS am in St Ives near Huntingdon currently, and the weather is bootiful - far too good to be working...


Posted: 04/05/2006 13:13:55
By: Chairman GGGGGG
On the subject of measure we are looking at this at Tamesis, and will be getting hold of a certifed load cell to have a weight in as a number of boats have been carved up in the last few years. I only recently found out that rigs also have to be measured, although changes have been made to conforming to the rules, it has to be added to the certificate, is this correct.My cert has rig dims from some 1964 proctor affair. Perhaps GGG could shead some light.
There is no reason why an old Merlin should not conform to our rules and we at Tammesis encourage this in the older boats. As an example someone recently converted to a carbon rig which was found to be 50mm too tall, the owner was informed, went on to win his next 6 races but has PROMISED to make the necessary adjustment!! Bless

Posted: 04/05/2006 13:38:56
By: Phil Plumtree

Tell me about it!! Tust back in the office from luch break. Must think of a cunning plan how I can get out this afternoon!!!

Posted: 04/05/2006 13:40:41
By: Richard Battey
Surely, to race aMerlin Rocket a current measurement certificate is required.

Posted: 04/05/2006 13:51:49
By: The Judge
Try getting a Merlin measured in Scotland if the RYA have no record of the original especially if she was built in 1947!!  Thanks for doing the sails GGGGG!! I am certain that with wooden mast and boom, the solid mahogany timber on oak ribs plus enclosed stern decking there is little chance of her needing corectors!! I forgot to mention the leaded centreboard weighing 7.5 kg!! I have tested the buoyancy without meaning to!!  Perfect - exactly as Holt designed - no water came in due to the roll decks.

Posted: 04/05/2006 14:17:30
By: Garry R
You still need a certificate to race in any Merlin Rocket event! There must be an RYA measurer in Scotland who would do the job.

Posted: 04/05/2006 14:21:35
By: The Judge
As I understand it the rules have changed too and it is very difficult to get a copy of the rules which were pertinent when the boat was built.  I'll ask around and see what I can find regarding RYA Scotland.  Thanks for the tip

Posted: 04/05/2006 14:24:23
By: Garry R
Surely no one will complain if Pete races at Hunts without a certificate - although of course it is best to have one. We hope to be there and won't complain.


PS 26deg in Cambridge now but rain due for weekend.

Posted: 04/05/2006 14:26:00
By: Tom(2605)
Mervyn occasionally scans this forum, but till he gives the definitive answer I'm sure that will be that the Vintage Wing events are not intended to be a mini-Silver Tiller and the accent is on getting older boats out of mothballs and doing some class racing.  There will be definite encouragement to make sure boats measure appropriately but it's more to do with preventing extensively updated boats having an unfair advantage than worrying about whether a 40-year old boat has a valid measurement certificate.

Posted: 04/05/2006 15:26:57
By: Andrew M
Where do you draw the line as to when a certificate is required or not. Difficult one!

Posted: 04/05/2006 16:39:27
By: The Judge
Not difficult at all.

If you plan to compete, you should have an up-to-date certificate.

Posted: 04/05/2006 16:57:47
By: Interested Observer

No water in due to the roll decks - we've lost something with the development!

Posted: 04/05/2006 17:03:08
By: Anon
It was actually all part of the design plan and the original outline drawings show the boat on its side with the (now) waterline - I hasten to add in calm conditions.  The roll deck becomes like a canoe hull in the water.  It's also amazing how far she can heel and no water comes in.  Downside is that the cockpit is 2ft6" wide and the stern decking makes it about 5ft long!!  SOOOOOOO - if water did come in as sure as hell it would be fun to get out!!  As a matter of interest Chris Barlow had the same experience in no6 Iska when she capsized - barely a drop. I can send you a copy of the original article if you like. Email me with your address

Posted: 05/05/2006 08:17:33
By: Garry R
The old roll deck boats were superceded because during a capsize in a breeze the blighters used to skim across the water faster than you can swim. Give me a boat that fills with water and stays put rather than a boat that blows away!

Posted: 05/05/2006 11:21:31
By: Bad swimmer
Forgot to mention that they also float so high that it is almost impossible to climb on to the centreboard without a step ladder.

Posted: 05/05/2006 11:23:16
By: Bad swimmer
Hadn't thought about the skimming in a breeze. But my goodness that lead lined centreboard makes them easy to get up!!

Posted: 05/05/2006 11:26:27
By: Garry R
OK as long as the centreboard does not weigh more than 8kg!

Posted: 05/05/2006 11:49:31
By: Bad swimmer
7.5kg on rollers adjusted with a rope round a pulley and cleated off - ask Jon Embrey!

Posted: 05/05/2006 13:34:58
By: Garry R
Chris also has a bilge pump fitted!

Posted: 05/05/2006 13:36:28
By: PJ
So will I have by the time the Tideway comes - all legal!!  A lovely vintage one

Posted: 05/05/2006 14:00:30
By: Garry R
It is a bit of a problem  - rules and certificates on old boats.
As rules have changed from time to time does a boat built in 1946 have to abide by those rules only? or should it be allowed a certificate as long as it fits the modern rules? some of the two sets of rules will conflict with each other. Can I have a 25ft carbon mast? Must I only use cotton sails? rule 9, Or how about rule 8 e...Sheeting the spinnaker around the forestay or luff of the jib is not allowed.
And I've just noticed I have broken rule 13 c (1946 rules stating a secondhand boat may not be sold for more than 130) so I've inalidated my old certificate?
How much pick 'n mixing is acceptable? tricky one.

Posted: 05/05/2006 14:27:11
By: Chris
Your mast probably has more carbon in it than the modern ones and certainly more than the alloys. Problem is that it's lignin and cellulose.  You are obviously a man ahead of your time.    Add in the (sometimes) rotating mast and you have a real winner there.  All for £130!!  I wish......

Posted: 05/05/2006 14:36:31
By: Garry R
Andrew M is quite correct, we do want to get old merlins racing again.

If you have got any questions about certificates or whether something measures, send me a E Mail.

Or better still bring your boat to Huntingdon, and I will give it the once over.

Posted: 05/05/2006 17:21:51
By: Mervyn Allen
I've been in the class on and of for longer than I care to remember and I recall several measurement controversies in the 60s and 70s. I was at the centre of the 1962 'Adur affair' and I remember going to a Merlin Rocket Championship where no certificates were checked or boats weighed.

I hope to rejoin the class shortly as a vintage owner and make the following suggestion which would allow all vintage boats to race with a valid certificate.

It can be assumed that all vintage boats were properly certificated in the past so we could simplify the measurement requirements to the minimum necessary to ensure that no vintage boat has an unfair advantage e.g. measure just the overall length and the rig and weigh the hull.

Posted: 06/05/2006 09:50:29
By: Robert Harris
As usual a very sensible suggestion from Robert, no joy yet I presume in finding a suitable yot. Good luck with this.

Posted: 06/05/2006 10:18:15
By: Ancient Geek
I can confirm we will not require valid measurement certificate for boats entering for the Hunts SC vintage event.

Posted: 06/05/2006 10:38:16
By: Mike Liggett
I notice that Rule 1b implies that old boats should EITHER comply with the current rules OR remain true to the Class rules applying at the time of the original certificate. (With the exception of bouyancy). I hope any measurer will have a complete set of all the rules going back to 1946!!!

I can see this opening a can of worms and barring many old boats. Just one example...
If your boat is pre 1959 and you are using terrylene sails on a rig taller than 6180 then you are out of class. before 1959 the rig could be 6860 but sails had to be cotton. At a guess all boats below 900 are probably sailing illegally most of the time( unless like me you are mad enough to use 60 year old cotton sails.)

Surely the suggestion of keeping it simple is the only way. after all the Tideway especially is about getting merlins of all ages out.

I'm with the people that want to keep old boats sailing. The Vintage wing seems to be really getting a good following these days (thanks to Mervyn) with some very enjoyable meetings. The emphasis is definately on getting old boats back on the water and therefore not on the bonfire. I think it also important that some boats that still have an original rig should not be expected to cut them down.
Perhaps more of a problem is the handicap rating which makes no difference for an old boat that is totally original, and therefore following the rules of that period to another boat of the same age that has been very updated and benefitting from all the developments to date. The CVRDA do try and cope with this as best as is possible. (there's currently a thread on their forum on updating old boats)
For me, if it was only about winning races, I would buy an up to date merlin. But I'll stay with merlin 6 and 507 and enjoy myself at vintage meetings and enjoy the winters stopping them leeking too much ( and hope they're still around in another 60 years).

Posted: 06/05/2006 11:26:21
By: Chris
Well said Chris! I am hopeing to come to a couple of Vintage opens myself this year, having just sold my Vintage boat '1781' i will be using another which i think is just withing the age limit '2926' lovely boat and completly original, although most of the wood in her now is new. We dragged her out of our carpark about 15 years ago after having been sitting there uncovered for 8 years. Been gadually replacing rot eversince. She has got a cirtificate too! Looking forward to Banbury as i missed the main open in March due to crew issues.

Posted: 06/05/2006 12:20:50
By: Jeremy3550
Don't forget you will also be welcome at all the CVRDA events see
there are usually a few merlins and a variety of other classes too. Glad to hear of another 'saved' boat!

Posted: 06/05/2006 12:29:16
By: Chris
So far we have found and restored No's 1683 Proctor mkIX, 1781 Noakes Star Rocket, 2926 Rowsell Smokers, 2974 Mager Smokers. Good fun doing it and i will be looking for a new project soon.

See you on the water!

Posted: 06/05/2006 13:38:53
By: Jeremy3550
Glad to see that we will be getting a good number at Banbury on 19th August where you will be competing for the original shield first awarded in 1952 and won by such names as Holt and Brain but now in the hands of Ian Levin (Busy B 2056) of Banbury who won in 2005.

Having got the advert over, on the question of certificates, our legal guru tells us that we should never check insurance certificates as you could be liable if you missed that it was invalid and probably the same applies to measurement certificates. We simply ask people on the entry form. We certainly would not get hung up on certificates for the Vintage event - as long as the boat floats, stays more or less in one piece and is insured.

Get 19th August in your diary now.

Posted: 06/05/2006 17:13:08
By: RichardT
I was asked at the Cookham open, to measure some new sails for one of the older boats.   I was very surprised to find the the certificate stated that the rig details were unknown???

I am at a loss to understand how the RYA could issue a certificate that is incomplete.

I would suggest that the owner of the boat in question has the certifiacte brought up to date.

Posted: 06/05/2006 19:30:20
By: Bob2926
As you know since I got the boat I elected to have a max luff length mast, boom is marked with max jib size etc and all half heights and three quarter height cam e out perfectly thanks to my friendly sailmaker. so if the rigs etc were measured it would be founf the cpmply with the present rules. How therefor do I get those measurments ratified and tranferred onto my cert.

Posted: 07/05/2006 19:37:58
By: Phil
You get your measurer to write it down and you send it along, with your certificate and £25(!!), to the RYA who will issue you a new certificate.

Posted: 07/05/2006 21:36:44
By: Chris M
where do I find a measurer?

Posted: 08/05/2006 06:53:23
By: phil
Graham Williamson is chief measurer and is probably in your neck of the woods.

[email protected] or wait for him to post here.

Alternatively these is a list of measurers in the year book.

Posted: 08/05/2006 07:10:39
By: Chris M
My certificate for 2121 arrived yesterday and all I did was drop a letter and a £20 cheque to the RYA and it took just two weeks. The original was lost between past owners.

Posted: 09/05/2006 13:01:01
By: PJ
has it got the correct rig dims on half height widths etc?

Posted: 09/05/2006 13:39:50
By: phil
Point of order if No 1 Kate is permitted to race (And why not?) Since she was a prototype  much modified in no 2 Merlin is she strictly a Merlin Rocket? Pedantry I know, but id exceptions were made surely they can for boats that once measured?

Posted: 13/05/2006 10:58:42
By: Ancient Geek


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