Topic : I have two cleats left on my thwart...

I am effectively doing a new build and have almost zero merlin rocket sailing experience.

I have already run string to my thwart for:
rig fwd/back
rig tension
lowers tension

I have two cleats left on each side, which could be used for either
board up/down, or
pole up/down

As principally a big boat sailor, I'm erring towards pole controls, but have a feeling board controls would be more merlin like. Any suggestions?

Apart from anything, due to the organisation of stuff in my boat, pole controls will be easier to run. If I dont run them back to the thwart, board controls are likely to be basic (bungee). Am I underestimating their importance?

Posted: 11/05/2010 20:32:11
By: John
Hi John. It would be useful to know the number of your boat. You say you are effectively doing a new build but clearly you are working with existing cleats. If you are talking about having a "rig forward - rig back" control it sounds like you are referring to the latest "one-string" controls which uses a custom built block and automatically readjust the kicker, the lowers and the puller as you rake the rig. Is this so, or are you referring to jib and shroud controls? The centreboard controls, which are also relatively recent do not normally cleat (they use friction braking on the board). Pole downhaul (lovingly called the snodger) is an important control that some people run to the thwart whilst others run it to the rear centreboard case capping. Pole uphaul is not so much used and so is often on the mast. I have added a link to a photo of the controls of a relatively recent boat which has the latest systems but be aware that this is for a modern one-string set up. There are other photos of earlier set ups too. Hope this helps.

Posted: 11/05/2010 22:38:39
By: RichardS
Here is a photo of a slightly older set up which is not using a one-string rig. It is perhaps worth pointing out that the traveller on top of the square-topped hoop on both boats has its cleats on the hoop and not on the thwart. It is also worth pointing out that the puller is often cleated on one side of the centreboard capping, forward of the thwart. Merlins are generally fitted out in an individual way to suit the taste of the owner - so really anything goes!!

Posted: 11/05/2010 22:47:59
By: RichardS

One thought - find a local club with Merlins and pop down to ask the owners (after racing). You'll find out a number of different views on what's useful/good/rubbish etc - then make your choice.

If you're near the bar - plan in an evening out!
Colin (3387)

Posted: 12/05/2010 09:58:30
By: Colin
Thanks gents. Its sail number 2434, but has been totally rebuilt, i.e. the only original parts are the clinker hull planks, keel and stem, we have new decks, ribs, bulkhead, thwart, transom, CB case, deck stepped rig. I have set up rig controls as a one-string.

I had 16 cleats, so I put 8 on each side of the thwart!

I was planning on putting the puller on the CB case capping, and not linking it in to the one-string set up, just jib, shrouds, lowers and kicker. But perhaps if its not linked in I should consider leading it back, but I will be awkard!

I do have a clam cleat on the mast for the pole up, so perhaps there it should stay. Will investigate leading the pole downhaul back to the thwart.

CB controls not requiring cleats will make life easier. Getting the string back to the thwart and sorted with elastic takeaways is easy, getting the lead to a cleat is a pain. I think I need to investigate how to introduce some friction and do it that way. Neoprene disc either side around the pin maybe?

I have a square topped hoop, but have not sorted a travller yet, I wonder if I can live without it for a bit. I'm not expecting to win races, just want to get my boat on the water after 5 years in the shed!

3386 is sailed at my club, so I will go have a gander on Friday perhaps.

Posted: 12/05/2010 12:54:04
By: John
Hi John. Your explanation makes sense of the situation now (the 8 cleats per side is actually an arbitrary number!). Friction can be introduced to the centreboard in a number of ways. You can pack out the thickness of the board using "formica" sheet or jap tape, or you can use a centreboard brake like in the link below. I have tried them all over the years and currently use a brake as it is adjustable. Other people will inevitably have their own preferred method. The centreboard system usually involves two continuous lines (one on each side of the boat) and because of this, it is important to minimise the friction in the control line system. Brake

Posted: 12/05/2010 13:36:52
By: RichardS
If you want to link the puller to the one string system it would avoid you raking the rig back with the puller left on by mistake. The link to the one-string-magic-block comes from the "dead" end of the puller system as you can see in the photo in the link below. Happy bimbling!

Posted: 12/05/2010 13:41:27
By: RichardS
See attached for loads of cleats that I put on 3386. Definitely need pole down (snodger) if you are running twin poles.

Posted: 12/05/2010 20:16:44
By: Andy Hay - Champs Chappie
Twin poles is a whole 'nother question at the moment. I'm aiming to get the boat sailed asap, without a spinnaker, but to try to fit out with the spinnaker set up in mind, which is to be fitted out this summer. I already have a single 2.5m length of 32 mm carbon tube set aside. I can probably get another the same. What is easiest for the crew, single or twin poles, I'm guessing twin, which justifies the additional stuff.

Posted: 12/05/2010 21:42:47
By: john
When we came back into Merlins after a long break, the whole game had changed with the longer poles. I used to crew with a single, boom stowed 6' pole. We firstly bought a single long pole and after one week's sailing this was sold on and replaced with twin poles. On this issue, follow the fleet and fit the twin poles.

Posted: 12/05/2010 22:03:48
By: Andy Hay - Champs Chappie


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