Topic : Help!!!!!! Sail no. 3009 Rowsell Bros Boat

A Merlin Rocket has become available locally and is sail number 3009.

I have spoken with Chris Martin and he has advised putting it to the forum to see if any of you know which hull design it is? Can you tell me anything about that hull design if it isn't on the list

The boat is known to be a Rowsell bros boat.

I am a 17 stone helm, so the type of hull is quite important.


Pete Hannon

Posted: 21/06/2006 17:17:02
By: Peter Hannon
Its a Mustard Seed, I had one and I was a heavyweight, went well at club level, spud himself won races in one, very quick on a two sail reach, a little twitchy as it has inverted planks to get the rise of floor narrow, had a bit of a speed hump getting on to the plane.
Need to sit amidships if you get it. Called Mustard Caress.

Posted: 21/06/2006 18:07:39
By: old merlin man
Old Merlin Man,

can you email me privately on peterhannon(at), so that I can forward some pictures of her to you. When you say she has inverted planks, do you mean the clinker overlap is reversed?



Posted: 21/06/2006 18:40:15
By: Peter Hannon
Inverted planks were a cheat on the rise of floor rule to allow a narrower waterline. It has always been beleieved that the fastest Merlins are the ones that take the rise of floor to the extreme, and it followed i suppose that if you could fudge a way of getting around it you'd have a faster boat.

Many boats of that era feature slightly inverted garboards (Bottom planks), but the Mustard Seed and Super Seed took it a stage further and the planks were significantly angled upwards (The edge closest to the keel is above the edge further away so the bottom planks are like this /- rather than -/).

As for it's success it never really acheived popularity, possibly it seemed too extreme to be accepted by the masses but the thing identified in the Merlin book is that it was one of the only Merlin designs where there is a very noticable differance between planing and not planing which is not too good in marginal conditions. Bill Twine built two (Oberon and Quince) both of which went well according again to the Merlin Book.

Having seen the photos it looks a really nice boat, and i'd say it would make a great 1st Merlin. It was intended to carry weight, the fact it never acheived popularity makes it hard to say how much but if Spud Rowsell used to sail one it should be OK for you. If in doubt get a light crew and sit forward.

Posted: 22/06/2006 07:26:48
By: Chris M
Design guide says: 

"An experiment with a " Gull Wing " underwater shape for reduced waterline beam and low wetted area. Still has the occasional open meeting success, but did not achieve popularity. 2nd at Whitstable Championships in 1976. Another lightweight's reaching machine."

Can anyone say if it would be any good on a small lake or river for very light-weight crw???

Posted: 22/06/2006 09:05:48
By: Pondy
I'm not sure that that entry in the design guide is quite right. Certainly the authors of the Merlin book refer to the Mustard Seed as a weight carrier, perhaps it didn't work out like that but given that that book goes up to the NSM IV era i'd have thought they would have found out by the time it was published!

On a pond in light winds a heavyweights boat should be quite good in the hands of a light weight crew, though you accept you will have to work harder in a blow.

Posted: 22/06/2006 10:45:20
By: Chris M
Quince spent the last years of her life at Cookham and was always quite a quick boat if i remember correctly. I think she went rotten sitting in the car park for so long and eventually ended up at the top of the bonfire on Guy Faulkes night.

Posted: 22/06/2006 23:15:21
By: Jeremy3550


To Reply, please join/renew membership.

Owners Association

Developed & Supported by YorkSoft Ltd


Merlin Rocket Owners Association