Topic : Repair of a Merlin Rocket


Wondering if anyone can help! Im currently repairing a Merlin Rocket and have a few questions

1. Is it possible to paint a plasticised and if so what sort of paint should I be using.

2. I have sanded the entire boat down and am about to start varnishing the thing but the old grip paint is almost impossible to get off and im wondering whether it would be ok to apply new paint over the old as i assume a slightly rougher surface would prove a "key" if you like for the paint to stick to. I have removed as much as i can without really taking a heavy duty sander to it and was hoping that would be enough because i want to avoid damaging the wood.

3. What length of sheets do I need for the main sail and jib and the same for the halyards?

Hope you can help me


Posted: 19/06/2009 13:26:21
By: Adam Porter
I have done a few repairs over the years and may be able to help. For the grip paint, have you tried using a heat gun? When you say "plasticised", do you mean like a gelcoat/topcoat. For the mainsail, it all depends on the type of system you want to use, get a rough estimate, then add a meter or so. For the halyards, at least double the length for the main, and about 1.33 times bigger than the mast. What boat is it?

Posted: 19/06/2009 13:46:49
By: Jon
heat gun... ok will look into that and i understand the rigging

Its a 1970's model built by Keith Probert....dont know if that helps any
and the platicised hull seems to be a thin layer of impermeable "plastic" paint over the wooden hull.
What could this be, how do i get more and can you paint colour over it?

Thanks very much

Posted: 19/06/2009 13:58:00
By: Adam Porter
It may well be Gelcoat-Weird though if it is. Or it could be 2 pack paint. Whateer it is, you need to ensure the wood underneath is in good nick, if the wood is in good nick and the paint stuff on there is also, you my well get away with repainting it with one/two pack paint (as long as its primed, undercoated properly), or even flowcoating it(The best result is rolling on spraying gelcoat-amazing result).

Posted: 19/06/2009 14:22:00
By: Jon

In the end, it really all comes down to what sort of finish you want to end up with. Are you looking to do an okay job, a good one or are you aiming for Concours standard?

As with any restoration/renovation, the costs tend to race up as the finish level improves. Having spent the last 2 or 3 weeks being given a crash course in dinghy repainting by Ian Ridge, it seems the answer to everything is preparation. Start with 80 grit on a 'long board' - a foot length of foam and keep working at the hull, along the line of the planks, until you have a uniformly smooth finish - but working on the basis that you have a hull painted in two pot, as long as it is sound and not flaking, you may not have to go back to bare wood.

Although it may look at first a long, slow and dirty process it is amazing how much one can get done... once the finish is good, go over the whole hull with a sharp eye and a soft pencil, putting a circle around any divots or depressions. Then fill with two part body filler, sand back down, fill again, sand back down, before a final quick rub over with 120 grit.

Spraying is best - 3 coats of high build primer, then a light sanding back with 400 and you're ready for the top coat. I've currently got a Contender hull and my Smokers side by side, working both boats in tandem so am more than sympathetic to your comments about how long these things take. Now I know why taking the boat to a boatbuilder for tarting up can cost so much - longboarding with 80 grit is an easy way to eat the man hours. But it is worth it in the end.......

Posted: 19/06/2009 17:07:03
By: davidh
Hey Adam,
I speent 3 weeks last summer re-doing the varnish on a late 60's early 70's rocket. Be careful with a heat gun as it can scorch the wood. I used a paint remover (nitromores, I think, and lots of it at that) to get mine down to the base wood. I had to apply it repeatedly, scrape off and re-apply until I got down to the wood. however, when I got down to the wood it looked so well that I just oiled it with linseed oil and put three coats of marine varnish on it. It was a long messy job but boy was it worth it. Best of luck,

Posted: 26/06/2009 12:33:01
By: Rory Donnellan
Be careful with chemicals, they may also burn or even worse bleach the wod!

Posted: 29/06/2009 12:40:49
By: jon


To Reply, please join/renew membership.

Owners Association

Developed & Supported by YorkSoft Ltd


Merlin Rocket Owners Association