Topic : Advice please

Been thinking about sweliing your ranks for a while now but am having a little difficulty pursuading my partner/helm.
I love the Merlins as they look tremendous and from what i hear are reasonably exiciting to sail too, the problem is my partner is a little unsure as she feels that we would struggle to sail one well especially as neither of us have sailed for three years.
We both have a good few years sailing experience, she being a senior instructor and myself having a variety of yacht and dinghy experience (from Larks through to laser 4000's.
I think the major put offs for her are the size of the boat and the amount of ropes and adjustments to the rig.
As we are roughly a combined weight of 23 stone or so i think we have the weight covered but need some advice/help convincing her the we could master the rest.
So i guess my question is are Merlins as complicated as they appear or is that a choice you make yourself and that they are pretty user friendly?

Posted: 07/05/2008 08:32:17
By: Newbie

We've an NSM 2 (see design guide!) - there are lots of bits of string - some important - some less so. I think the easiest way to fnd out is to contact a local club with Merlins & have a sail!

Where are you? Another recent convert has been offered sailing opportunities around Berkshire.

I moved from Mirror => Firefly -> Laser -> Merlin. If you can sail a Laser 4000 then a Merlin shouldn't be difficult.


Posted: 07/05/2008 08:39:48
By: Colin
You dont have to adjust every string if you dont want to. It seems to work for our national champion. 

Keep things as simple as YOU like, you'll still have fun.

Posted: 07/05/2008 10:57:09
By: Mags
We moved to the Merlin class last year, my wife although could sail had not much experiance, we have an all up weight of 21 stone. We came from an RS200.
We have both loved sailing the Merlin and wonder now why we did not move into the class earlier. My advice would be to try one you will decide very quickly after that.

Posted: 07/05/2008 11:35:52
By: Craig
I have been sailing one for a couple of years now and although she is for sale, i'm in no rush! Takes a while to get used to the roll and twitch which occurs with the smallest of movements but this just adds to the fun.

Posted: 07/05/2008 12:03:18
By: David
Try a vintage boat such as a Proctor 9B design! We came into the Merlins from Larks and these just feel like a bigger Lark. They don't have the width and tippyness of modern Merlins but are a great starter for club racing. Once you're happy with that move onto something more modern.....

Posted: 07/05/2008 14:08:00
By: incomer
I beg to disagree. Modern Merlins aren't "tippy" compared with overpowered asymetrics. Some older designs are far less stable, on account of being narrower across the transom.  I'm sure Chris M will explain!  If you can survive in a 4000 you'll love the ease of Merlins on all points of sailing.  For "tippy" read "responsive".  We came to "modern" Merlins - one of the first wood Turner/Holt Canterbury Tales - from 400s, immediately felt at home in the boat and found our offwind speed competitive, even if we struggle sometimes on the beat.  Compared with a 4000 the conttrols on the Merlin will enable you to get the sail shape and control you could only dream about before, but you don't have to adjust everything all the time. Go for it! Try a few Merlins. If you take the plunge, although there's almost a year to wait, the Rutland Training Wekend will explain everything and put you in control of all the string.

Posted: 08/05/2008 21:11:49
By: Midland Mischief
The IXb is actually pretty vice free and very easy to sail, as are all of the Ian Proctor designs. If equipped with the then common 22 foot 6 rig they roll a bit downwind. However unless vintage racing is your thing, you sail on a river (In which case there are even better designs) or your club will adopt a personal handicap system i think you would quite quickly grow out of the boat and want one more competetive.

Depending on how much you have to spend there is the Smoker at about £400ish, still a force to be reckoned with on restricted water and a good boat to start with. Slightly more will get you a decent NSM while about £1500 should get you a very tidy NSM II or IV. Look out for a Rowsell ot Turner built boat and you won't go far wrong. Examples by Alan Jackson or Guy Winder are also worth buying but less common. Again these boats are not really fast enough offwind for open water fleet racing, but should be fine in a handicap fleet especially if you can persuade the club to use the old boat system.

To compete on a reletively even playing field in the current climate there are not many boats available. Again, the best examples are Rowsell/Turner/Jackson built. Canturbury Tales designs start at about £3000. Other designs of that time frame slightly less.

Posted: 09/05/2008 07:30:52
By: Chris M
thanks everbody for the help, we have took the plunge and brought a Roswell built NSM IV
thanks especially to Craig as the other boat my partner was looking at was the RS200 and you post really helped convince her the Merlin was a better bet!
We are really looking forward to joining the Merlin ranks and meeting some of you guys on the water.

Posted: 09/05/2008 07:44:44
By: Newbie
Speaking as an NSM4 owner (Guy Winder built), a good call ! 

Welcome to the fleet. Where will you be sailing ?

Posted: 09/05/2008 11:49:49
By: JohnB (3404)
Congratulations! You won't be dissappointed. Think seriously about coming to the Inlands at Chew for an instant induction to the class.

Posted: 09/05/2008 22:19:52
By: Midland Mischief
If they go to Chew they'll not meet many Merlin Rocketeers Cheddar is the place same "locale" different place. It is a wise salmon that knows its own tin!

Posted: 09/05/2008 22:24:08
By: ......
Will be sailing at Hastings off the beach, doubt we will make chedder as we have to work out what all that rope does before we endanger any other boats on a start line me thinks :D
The boat we brought was originally called Bucephelus sail number 3424, if anyone can fill in some of its history i would certainly be interested.
Again thanks for everyones advice, hopefully we will meet some of you later in the year.

Posted: 11/05/2008 08:06:15
By: Newbie
Bucephallus was my first Merlin. An NSM4, Rowsell built, I bought it off Stuart Gurney from Thames SC and sailed it at Hampton on the river Thames. It had a single pole on a spiro launcher, deck stepped raking rig.

Posted: 11/05/2008 22:09:42
By: Alan F
Back in June 2004 there was a Silver Tiller at Hastings which was a very enjoyable day in weather much like last weekend.

Is there an annual open meeting there for Merlins? You make get 1 or 2 visitors, if you put a date on this site, wanting to do a warm up for Salcombe or the nationals.


Posted: 12/05/2008 13:31:14
By: Brian


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