Topic : Any Rocket Design Hints and Tips?

I'm after help, I'm looking into buying a Rocket but the designs are confusing me.  I was under the impression that the Canterbury Tales were the design to have however reading the description has made me think twice.  I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction or at least give me some advice.

I'm looking to spend around £2500 on a boat, this should hopefully leave me with enough to buy a full suit of sails. I sail at Southport on restricted water, our total weight is 24-26 stone with more of the weight on the helm. I'm hoping this will help point me in the right direction towards hulls shapes etc.

Posted: 08/05/2010 21:44:39
By: Matt Harris
Find an NSM2 (seventh Heaven) carries weight better than a tales, tacks better on restricted waters, could try a thin ice

Posted: 08/05/2010 21:54:16
By: rob 3708

Generally speaking the Canterbury Tales is a bit of an all rounder, tried and very tested although slightly bias toward the lighter/mid range crew/helm combination but looking at your combined weight the CT would fit the bill rather well so not too sure why the description made you think twice? That said, I owned a CT and I weigh in round 15st and never had a problem. (Naturally most of this being of course muscle!);-))

I see that my old boat 3478 has come on the market. I owned this boat from 2002-05 and parted company with the boat in immaculate condition. Judging by the advert Dilip and Tim have looked after her well and seem to be selling the boat with exactly the same kit I sold the boat with, and at £2,350 you wont find many other Jon Turner Canterbury tales on the market at that price for a very long time. I sold it with 2 mains both Kevlar (Batt & Speed in very good nick), super spar carbon boom, P&B carbon poles, Kevin Driver carbon lifting rudder, the only downer being the tin mast. It would be good if they could post an image of the boat as i'm sure if you saw it you would buy it there and then (i'm not on a commission by the way. I would buy it back tommorrow if I could). I have some images of the boat taken in 2005 if you want an idea of what she looks like? Good luck in the hunt

Posted: 08/05/2010 22:05:19
By: Richard Battey
If you could send any photos through that would be great. What put me off was the weight description with the optimal weight being 22-24 stone. Being above this I didn't want to be losing out. How much would i be looking at for a carbon mast? I've also noticed the satisfaction for sale with a full carbon rig, would this be an option?

Posted: 08/05/2010 23:06:51
By: Matt Harris
As for a carbon mast you can pick them up 2nd hand for around £500 although they do not come on the market often! A new super spar carbon mast will coat around £950-1000, Chipstow carbon masts sell for £1400+ new

As for the Satisfaction (assume 2604) whilst the Satisfaction is a good weight carrier inland it is an old design, this particular boat built around 1972 by Rowsell Brothers (another very well know builder Spud Rowsell)and won the 1976 Nationals at Whitstable helmed by non other than the great Lawrie Smith, Whitbread 60 RTW, Ultra 30 fame amongst many others. I suspect the reason why this boat is so expensive is that it is being sold with all the new spangly carbon bits plus it would look like it has had quite a lot spent on it to bring it back to it's former glory. The choice is yours but personally if I had £2.5k to spend I would be upping the bar a bit and looking at a the Turner Tales or an NSM (New Smokers Material) 2 or 4. The other thing is that most modern boats are now deck stepped as opposed to hog stepped which gives much more control over the rig. I now have a very old MR 908 which I have converted to deck stepped exactly for that reason plus most 2nd hand gear that comes up for grabs (spars sails) are suited to deck stepped rigs, so this increase your choice as few kit sold on the 2nd hand list is for hog stepped boats.

I'll dig out the pics of Terrabyte and forward them on. Might be a worth a call to Dilip in the interim as I very much doubt that particular boat will be hanging around on the for sale list for long!

Posted: 08/05/2010 23:33:49
By: Richard Battey
Just noticed  you sail in Southport, having spent some time stood in the lake, is it deep enough to take a Merlin?

Posted: 08/05/2010 23:45:28
By: Chris
Well I currently sail a 400 and don't struggle with that. And there's a guy with a rocket currently who says he has no problems.

Posted: 09/05/2010 08:56:15
By: Matt Harris
Sorry another thought...are certain materials stiffer than others in Merlins?  I know the original wooden enterprises are stiffer than early GRP ones for example.

Posted: 09/05/2010 21:41:01
By: Matt Harris
Certainly a good example of an FRP hull will be stiffer than an equivalent wooden one. However depending on your price range a good FRP hull may be hard to source! The Jon Turner composite CTs are now potentially a very good buy, but all of these were sailed very hard in their day so some examples may well be tired and in need of modernisation. Beware of gelcoat issues, some of these did have problems with adhesion. Most have probably been painted by now.

Looking cheaper there are a number of FRP/composite NSM IIs around, none of these acheived popularity but suffered from a lack of jockeys. Welsh Harp boat centre used to supply an all FRP NSM II (Known as a Wembly One Design). They were/are solid but heavy.

The "Bargain basement" FRP hull is the Omega NSM. Good, solid hulls and well built woodwork inside. They didn't set the world alight, but the NSM II arrived mere months after production started and quickly replaced it. A few have good records.

Most wooden hulls are fitted with pads and rails on the bottom planks to aid stiffness, and many have now been glass sheathed.

As said ealier, Terrabyte could be a good buy, though it will need a new rig if you want to compete on the circuit. As a club boat, if in good condition, it will be excellent as it is.

Posted: 09/05/2010 22:00:12
By: Chris M
Thanks for the help from everyone, i'll push selling my boats and probably be back with more questions when i've got the cash ready.  I'd been saving money for new sails, although i'm guessing a carbon stick will provide me with a greater advantage than a new suit of sails so may spend the money here instead.

Posted: 10/05/2010 13:06:27
By: Matt Harris
Hi matt

Lack of crew so far this year has made me think about selling my merlin.

I'll post some details here because she looks like she could be up your street. I've not put anything on the for sale board as i'm still thinking about options.

She is a turner frp nsm2 design (built very much after her time, mid 90's i think), sail number 3519.

Apart from some bruises she is in pretty good condition. The hull is sound as anything.

2 full suits of sails, including an almost unused suit of speeds. Both with kevlar mains and new rules spinny.

Superspars carbon mast and boom.

Milanes foils.

Good combi.

Rain and sun polycotton cover (3 weeks old!)

Would be looking for a little over £3,000 - but you wouldn't need to buy the sails or mast because they are all there.

Post an email address if you are interested.

Good luck hunting, chris.

Posted: 10/05/2010 17:50:48
By: chris3519
Chris (3519) I  would think that your boat is not an NSM 2, but a Canterbury Tales, as that was what JT was building at that time.

Posted: 10/05/2010 22:06:13
By: Stuart Bates (MR3615)
More likely to be a WOD if it's an NSM II

Posted: 10/05/2010 22:38:40
By: Chris M
The 1997 and 2010 year books show 3519 as a 28p the 2010 book carries the code JBBFS which is a NSM 2 foam sandwich built by Jason Bishop, 3519 to 3523 are all 28p registered in 1995 the highest sail number of an NSM II I could see was registered in 1997 being 3545.

Posted: 10/05/2010 22:40:18
By: Smokin
Matt, I'm another RS400 sailor who's just bought a Merlin.
I bought a wooden Canterbury Tales, it is in excellent condition and came up at the right time.
My logic was to buy a boat reasonably close to the current circuit standard, so that 90% of the performance difference is down to me. I intend to do open meetings with it next year, mostly on the coast, so I reckoned a carbon mast is worth paying for, weight aloft and all that. Also the square hoop and traveller, easier to learn from others if they are using the same kit!
One thing to watch out for if you are on a budget is many used boats only have fixed rudders, and IMHO lifting is essential in many venues, certainly at my home club. Secondhand lifting rudders are few and far between, a new one is over £500 and made to order with a lead time of perhaps 5 or 6 weeks.
Are you going to keep the RS400? We've kept ours because we have good club racing in it, and we'll need it in the winter when the merlin will be in the garage.
I was happy to buy an older wooden boat, because I'm mostly going to sail with my wife, so won't be thrashing the boat in big weather and I have a garage to keep it in. (although that has implied putting my motorbike in a friends garage so far!)
There is other valid logic for buying different Merlins, like having a comparable boat to local people you want to race with, other designs better on rivers, wanting lower maintenance/tougher GRP, having a narrow garage etc etc.
Good Luck with your search.

Posted: 11/05/2010 14:00:49
By: ChrisI
3519 is Brain Salad Surgery I beleive, which spent a few years at Hampton.

Don't get it weighed, you will lose confidence in the boat totally!

Still a sound boat for sailing on restricted water but for £3000 I would expect impeccable condition with very good foils and a new set of sails on a carbon mast, and even then a little above recent values.

Posted: 12/05/2010 09:44:19
By: Andrew M
Have a look at 3438, no carbon but could suit you perfectly.

Posted: 12/05/2010 12:23:38
By: Hywel jnr
Without meaning to sound too daft whats the 28p code represent?

How much narrower is the NSM2 compared to the Canterbury Tales? My only thought is that one of the reasons that i want to swap the 400 is that we struggle in a blow, having found our exact weight it is looking at 24 stone which would exaplin this. I don't want to lose righting moment with a much narrower boat and be in the same situation as we are now.

Also having succcessfully sold one boat i'm hoping that altogether i may be able to stretch to £4k, would i be best spending this on a boat and hull or more a £3k boat and full suit of sails? Sorry to everyone for all of these questions.

Chris3519 - if you could send me photos and more details that would be great as of yet i'm after finding what my options are and working from their.

Posted: 12/05/2010 13:22:55
By: Matt Harris
with about 4k i would look for a tales or derivative with a carbon stick and a decent suit of sails.

Posted: 12/05/2010 14:13:56
By: hywel jnr
Matt, I wouldn't worry about the odd inch of leverage when you are dropping something like 25% of sail area between the RS and the Merlin. Twenty-four stone in any reasonably recent Merlin will be more than enough to keep it flat - technique and fitness permitting. The raking rig (if you get a deck-stepped mast) and carbon mast help things considerably. 

For what my tuppence is worth, try to get a raking carbon rig and 'passable' sails with your initial outlay and then look to get some better sails after a few months practice. Sails come on the market much more frequently than 'unattached' carbon masts.

Posted: 12/05/2010 14:15:21
By: Alistair
28p in the yearbook is the NSM2.  Beam is less than maximum - 2.07 instead of 2.2m at max beam, which doesn't make a lot of difference, but is significantly less at the transom, not an issue for restricted water but certainly is for spinnaker reaching in a breeze.

Terrabyte 3478 is on the for sale list, one of the very successful wooden decked foam sandwich hull Turner boats from about 1991. Pointed in the right direction would still be mid-fleet in an open meeting. Not quite as easy to sail as NSM2 or as quick tacking, but a better all rounder for 24 st. Your budget would allow a carbon mast and a new spinnaker.

Posted: 12/05/2010 14:24:32
By: Andrew M
Dispite all the forgoing I would suggest you stick to your original thoughts & go for a Canterbury Tales.

There is a very good reason why so many of them have been built since the original Canterbury Tales apeared on the scene & that is simply because they are faster overall. Also, your resale value is likely to be better too.

Posted: 12/05/2010 17:31:08
By: CJ
Personally I would say with a 4k budget you could do allot worse than Terrabyte and a new mast. It has the rest of the carbon on it and you can save the rest of you money for a decent set of second hand sails or a new jib and spinnaker.

Thats what I would do anyway. Good Luck.

Posted: 12/05/2010 17:57:15
By: Jez3645
Hi Matt - nothing further to add to the above except: how friendly, enthusiastic and helpful this class and these people are at all levels. I am sure you will find the boat that suits you and Laura and look forward to another Merlin on the Lake. (they might even breed like the 400's, Vareo's and Phantom's have. Good luck. Cheers Martin. ps - see you Friday and your secrets safe with me, Laura, Craig and anyone else looking at this forum ha ha

Posted: 13/05/2010 15:07:51
By: Martin Richardson 3167
Theres a nice looking Rowsell built NSM 2 on ebay at the moment ...  3356, Peter and the Wolf

Posted: 14/05/2010 22:36:17
By: Robin Szemeti
I very nearly hit the buy it now button (£500 at the time) as this was a good boat in it's day. I think it needs quite a lot of tlc though, so beware! More photos required.

Posted: 15/05/2010 08:00:31
By: Chris M
Looks like the nice bright gunwhales have gone black now at the very best. I should think it needs quite a bit judging by the picture.

Posted: 15/05/2010 11:52:26
By: Jez3645
chris with 3519

would you give me a call please



Posted: 15/05/2010 18:03:05
By: steve ward 07973951255
chris with 3519

would you give me a call please



Posted: 15/05/2010 18:04:12
By: steve ward 07973951255
Just been to see terra bite, varnish has come off the decks over the winter with the foredecks appearing to be a bit more serious, considering the advert said in superb condition a bit of a waste of time and petrol....good fit out inside though

Posted: 16/05/2010 08:26:56
By: disappointed
That is a REAL shame! When I had the boat it was lovingly looked after and when I parted company with her she was Immaculate!! In fact the picture on the for sale list is actually taken in my garden in late 2005 as she was then. Oh well!

Posted: 16/05/2010 15:01:33
By: Richard Battey
Hi yes a bit of a shame you can easily tell that the fit out all works and strings have been renewed and worked perfectly, as before the decks are damaged, the sails shot and the frost has taken its toll on the inside to a point, not unrecoverable however combined with the fact that the trailer tyres were flat as well I would advise anyone going to look to carefully ascertain the state before driving a long way.

Posted: 16/05/2010 19:40:29
By: Disappointed
Thanks for the information, i would have been less than happy spending 3-4 hours in a car to find a boat that wasn't quite what i expected...

Hoping to get rid of my two boats over the enxt week or so ready for a rocket although the boats available seem to be dwindling somewhat.

Posted: 17/05/2010 13:49:03
By: Matt Harris
If a boats condition is advertised incorrectly on this website should the vendor not be encouraged to put correct information forward so as not to potentially waste peoples time and money in travel?

Posted: 17/05/2010 14:34:59


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