Topic : So I've sailed one, like it... now what to buy

We had a sail in White Whale at the weekend as discussed in the 'how much better is a mk4 thread' and it will come as no surprise to you lot that we now want to buy a Merlin.

Thanks to the advise from you lot I've decided that we don't need a shiny new boat just yet, and so with a budget of up to £4k I wondered what opinion is on the right design/boats to look at.

We have a combined weight of 20stone ish, sail on a river with a large expanse of water to play in and sail all year around. So while I'm not scared of a wooden boat I would have some concerns about how easy it would be for me to keep it looking pretty.

What do people think... I guess everyone has been in the position of buying their first Merlin before so what did you all look for, what's important and what's just desirable, and what to avoid.


Posted: 29/06/2009 11:28:35
By: Ian
Jeremy Deacon's Let it Ride was a River Champion for sale on the boats for sale section so might tick a box or three

Posted: 29/06/2009 12:44:02
By: Spoilt for choice!!
Well done Ian on wanting to join about the most friendly class on the UK sailing scene.

Currently I am the proud owner of a Mark 4 winder (although I can't sail it at the moment because I had a knee Op two weeks ago but am on the mend and should be back racing again in no time) but my first really competative merlin was an FRP Turner Tales called Carrera.
She was a super intro boat into the class as a circuit sailor and I believe(but I may be wrong and am happy to be corrected) was made from the same molds that the Mark 1 winders used(although they were tweeked by Winders).
The turner boats were solid as a rock and have the advantage of being plastic but still regaining the beautiful wooden decks.
I would reckon that one of these would suit you perfectly and they should be around about £4k if not cheeper.

Have a look at Flying Cloud she looks like a real bargain.

Posted: 29/06/2009 12:53:55
By: Hywel
Hi Ian,

Excellent choice.

I would definately give 3512 (Flying Cloud) a Jon Turner Cant Tales a look or Jeremy Deacons 3550 Rowsell built She's a Cracker. 3512 is an ex champs winning boat (1998) when owned by Richard Whitworth. The turner boats are beautiful to sail as I owned 3478 for a few years and it was the best of the Merlins I had owned. 3550 is a Let it Ride design same as Dan Alsop's (Gangsta Paradise 3539). Again the L.i.R design is a very successful boat and as about as rare as hens teeth although very useful in the right hands. Jeremy has had very good results on the Thames sailing 3550. Both boats come with the carbon bits and bobs so you wont go wrong with either of them. I've some better pics of 3512 if that would help your decision process?

Good luck


Ps. by the way i'm not on a commission :-) only if my dear wife let me spend £4k on another boat (she hates sailing) I would buy either one of these boats tomorrow!

Posted: 29/06/2009 13:26:26
By: Richard Battey
These comments about the old girl are most flattering, however, we shed a tear or two when she was collected yesterday and taken to her new home down in Salcombe!

P.S - If you are reading this Chris... we were going to email you tonight to remove from the for sale.

Posted: 29/06/2009 14:22:24
By: Mrs D
turner tales, we sail 3486 (no7 out of the mold) lovely boat, just check the gel coat underneath as it can be flakey.

Posted: 29/06/2009 21:22:38
By: floppy toppy
I have recently launched my new boat and will soon be advertising my cherished Merlin (3579)- contact me if you want more details.

Posted: 01/07/2009 22:57:52
By: Steve


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