Topic : Design suitability

I am a Tasar sailor of reasonable standard looking to purchase my first Merlin and have a budget of approx £6500 and looking preferably for a FRP boat. We will weigh in at approximately 25 stone. The Tasar is very weight sensitive and hence looking for some advice regarding suitable Merlin designs. Is  a Winder FRP Canterbury Tales capable of handling the weight? I would  attend southern circuit and Live in Camberley. If any body wants a crew I have been at both ends of competive boats such as Isos, Laser 4000s Scorpions and most recently Tasars. Crewing would be a usefull insight into the class which seems the onlly two man hiker to fit my requirements. Thanks for any help you can give.

Posted: 10/10/2006 16:50:08
By: Rod Porteous
Rod, why don't you pop down to Tamesis Club in Teddington, Middlesex on the Thames - big fleet of Merlins here including four Winder FRP Canterbury Tales and a Kevin Driver EZRoller.  My father Barry has a Winder CT (Blue Velvet 3645) but doesn't have a regular crew so maybe you could have a go with him.

We sail Sunday mornings - 10.30am all-in handicap race and 11.15am Merlin class race.

See below for directions to club.

Posted: 10/10/2006 17:31:44
By: Richard (3233)
Richard , thanks for that, I have two daughters sailing two 29 ers so will check out the family sailing diary and contact your father,  can you provide contact details. thanks for your help

Posted: 10/10/2006 17:45:05
By: Rod Porteous
Rod, how much do you weigh individually? Chichester snow flake may offer you some crewing opportunities, when my son's knee is better he may be in need.

Winder Tales is the boat for you if you want low maintenance good alround weight carrier. The other variants are not proven with heavier crews, in my humble opinion.

Posted: 10/10/2006 19:46:12
By: Alan F
Rod - 2 good value Winder Tales for sale at Whitstable by ex Tasar sailors.  See secondhand list

Posted: 10/10/2006 21:56:11
By: JC
Iam 14st or 92 Kg, the design guide suggests C.Tales are suitable for lighter people would I be too heavy at the back? I can still get the Tasar to go in a blow!! I would be keen to do some limited crweing preferably on the sea so Snow flake would be of interest. I live at Camberley and Hayling so that would be good.
Thanks JC I saw the whitstable boats , but need to do a trial Sail first. Thanks, Rod

Posted: 11/10/2006 08:49:04
By: Rod Porteous
I'm close to 14 stone, when I'm crewing with a 9 stone helm the C/T goes as fast as anyone else especially in the light, difference in speed from the guys at the front just down to skill factor.  All Merlins severely punnish minor mistakes (and major mistakes) in boat handling or rig adjustments, you can lose miles out of a bad tack or running or dropping your spinnaker under the bow, e.g. a capsize with quick recovery at Wembley a few weeks back in the Silver Tiller put us from 10th to 25th ish.

When helming, with a 12 stone crew as we were at Tenby (i.e. 26 stone all up, should have entered as a heavy weight) I did notice that we lacked speed on the reaches compared to the 14/9 configuration, although the beats were fine.

With an 8 stone crew an me helming (8/14 = 22 stone) we have good boat speed, if I remember to keep my weight forward except on the flying reaches.

My obsverations come from a MK2 Winder and MK4 Winder.

Hope that helps.

Posted: 11/10/2006 16:39:11
By: Alan F
p.s. I think the optimum helm weight for a CT would be about 11 / 11.5 stone.

Posted: 11/10/2006 16:44:43
By: Alan F
Alan, thanks,I appreciate how close the fleet is and its part of the attraction(?).One of my concerns is the complication of the rig and how long it may take to grasp the basic settings, I assume as the Winder is fairly close to a one design there are "fast " settings readily available? and then, its just a simple matter of practice and not making mistakes!!!! For the Tasar there are well proven settings published in a manual for various wind strenghths, its almost possible to sail by numbers although our new mylar sails have caused a rethink to the established settings.I think I must arrange for some crewing experience, hence my recent post offering my services for Hayling. I appreciate you advise to date and would appreciate comment about rig setting, Thanks Rod

Posted: 11/10/2006 17:11:26
By: Rod Porteous
This is about as detailed as you can hope for!

Posted: 11/10/2006 17:18:21
By: Mags
Or this...

Posted: 11/10/2006 17:19:21
By: Mags
You are right that to some extent if you buy a Winder Merlin and use one of the main sailmakers then you can set off and join in 'sailing by numbers'. With no previous experience of sailing Merlins (we did not even manage a trial) my sister and I have had a great year with M3627. With a lot of very helpful people (it is a thriving and friendly class) offering tips and advice about how to use the one string rig we were vaguely competitive pretty quickly. It is stating the obvious that to make any serious challenge nearer the front of the fleet takes significant amounts of practice.

Buy one!

Posted: 11/10/2006 17:35:42
By: Antony


Posted: 11/10/2006 17:37:37
By: Rod Porteous
There are plenty of very fast helms who weigh-in the wrong side 13 stone. Get yourself the fleet standard Winder Canterbury tales and sail to the numbers initially. You can upgrade the sails and get the Winder hulls modified upto current standard (albeit with less lead in) at relatively low cost. As in my case with my older Winder, I am still the limiting factor not the boat!

Hope you get on the water soon.

Posted: 12/10/2006 13:33:05
By: Nick S
Thanks Nick , The weight issue is important to me because of the frustation with the Tasar, comments appreciated. I am hoping to view and try a boat next weekend so could be an owner fairly soon!!

Posted: 12/10/2006 15:17:40
By: Rod Porteous
I can't vouch for the attribution of this but I think it was said by the ex- multiple winner of most association trophies, Phil King, at the Rutland training event.  He thought most of the attempts to design a hull that would carry more weight ended up compromising something else and that the CT design was viable at 26st all up.  Certainly having a bit of crew weight on a windy reach is handy and there are quite a few of us sailing at that sort of weight.  (Crewing Kevin Anderson at Hampton recently we could well have topped the 30st mark, fortunately it was windy, but when we finally tipped it in we couldn't really get the boat to float with the 2 of us in it let alone get the water out - so there are limits!)

Posted: 12/10/2006 19:35:28
By: Andrew M
Blimey, not often I can say I feel like a lightweight!!

Posted: 13/10/2006 09:16:47
By: Rod Porteous
I have taken the plunge following every bodies support, thank you all I think!! and purchased 3586 a C-Tales Winder converted to MK3 spec and picking up Saturday.I will be getting to grips with it over the winter sailing atQMSC. Thanks for the encouragement.  Rod

Posted: 23/10/2006 13:27:09
By: Rod Porteous
not a bad buy. welcome to the fleet.

Posted: 23/10/2006 15:53:37
By: Chairs
if you join the association now that covers you for 2007

Posted: 23/10/2006 19:11:57
By: Megan
Thanks I will be joining

Posted: 24/10/2006 08:47:44
By: Rod Porteous
Thank you Rod - I needed the money. Since you thrashed me at the Tasar Nationals I look forward to your progress in the Merlins.
Mike (ex-owner 3586)

Posted: 24/10/2006 21:16:46
By: Mike Fitzpatrick
I have been sailing the boat at QMSC and loving it to bits, so thanks to all the people on thread that encouraged me to buy 3586 (Winder CT Mk3). Even won a race so dead chuffed. It looks like we will have three Merlins at the club in the new year. I know its not a popular sailing location but would love to see other Merlins there if you fancy joining us occassionaly?. I joined about 12years ago and remember a number of wooden Merlins, so was obviously cosidered OK at one time.


Posted: 06/11/2006 09:24:07
By: Rod Porteous
I have been do QM on 'day tickets' a couple of times this year and likely to again, as it is a good bit of water for sorting out boat handling etc. I'll give you and e-mail next time I pop down to see if you are around.

Posted: 06/11/2006 10:26:10
By: Alan F
Queen Mary has a Merlin rocket heritage, going back to the first days of the club in 1972. It is a shame the fleet fizzled out and I hope a resurgence takes place. The Winter Series were legendary, with many from Tammy, Hampton, Cookham swelling the numbers to nearly 30 boats on the startline. At any nationals in the 80s it was often QM who had the largest representation. The annual dinners were always drunken affairs with many trophies handed out.  Anyone know what happened to those trophies?

Posted: 06/11/2006 11:01:47
By: mark nicholson
why not have a winter race at qm at 1 a month for all comers

should get a good turnout at the bloody mary this year also

remember the inlands are there this year

Posted: 06/11/2006 11:04:53
By: Megan
Once a month coordinated attendance is a good idea , day tickets are relatively cheap at QM and a sound solution to occassional hassle free winter sailing. I will coordinate with Rein and post some dates onto the forum for the new year to see what kind of response there is.

Posted: 06/11/2006 11:11:57
By: Rod Porteous
Having been a winter member of qmsc many years ago, I still remember blasting across the back, spinny up and nose diving, quadrant lever couldnt take the strain, mast over bow, foredeck peeled off. Always brilliant, but can be everso cold.
As mark said we used to average quite a large turnout every week.

Posted: 06/11/2006 12:25:41
By: Rob Holroyd
hi rod 
i will do a Queen Mary sailing club winter membership with millie
i know of some rs 400 sailors that used to sail merlins at queen mary that are just dying to get back into merlins if only there was more merlin rocket activity at the club.

Posted: 06/11/2006 12:35:41
By: rien
We have signed up to do the Chichester Snowflake, but would have done QM if there were a few boats going...we will do this next year if you can get it running -

Posted: 06/11/2006 12:42:08
By: Mike 3569
I think I will start a new Thread "Winter Merlins at QMSC" to see if I can generate some interset. Rein good to hear you are going to come up, Chris is hell bent on a boat and as you know he doesn't procrastinate ! he is off to look at a boat. As we are all regular sailors we should start to generate some interest. Dave of 400 fleet, Ex Merlin, is also "talking" about a swap back.

Posted: 06/11/2006 12:55:51
By: Rod Porteous
Are you allowed to join in the racing on a day ticket? Definately count me in for one or two this winter, if you are going to arrange. Remember to set them up on the weeks when Chichester isn't on (as that is fortnightly see the link to winter series)

Posted: 06/11/2006 13:21:24
By: Alan F
Yes,that would be the idea the club has no problem with joining in the racining but it would mean you wouldn't be eligible to qualify for a club trophy, but we could always generate a one off for the monthly Merlins? 

I will ensure the dates alternate with the snowflake series at Chichester.

Posted: 06/11/2006 13:27:29
By: Rod Porteous
Mrs D (The Boss) has expressed an interest in doing some QM racing this winter.. Please let us know when and it would be good if it didn't clash with the Chi Snowflake. 

How are the water levels?

Posted: 06/11/2006 16:10:00
By: 3555
Water Levels are fine, right up to top Level.Once a few more have responded I will post some dates, avoiding the snowflake, and review subject to peoples comments

Posted: 06/11/2006 16:48:19
By: Rod Porteous
Yes, we will do QM

Posted: 06/11/2006 16:49:40
By: Mike 3569


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