Topic : history


i was thinking about buying a vintage merlin rocket

hull number 1059

and i was woundering if anyone knew the history like her design and builder her age ect

if anyone knows anything dot hesitate to tell

Thanks Brendan

Posted: 21/02/2011 21:24:05
By: Brendan Seward
The yearbook says its a Mk 11 built by Wych and Coppock - but strangely has no name recorded.

Posted: 21/02/2011 21:41:49
By: KM
I have 1054 in my garage which is a Mk12 also built by Wych and Coppock in 1960. Given the rate that they were being built in those days they were probably in the shop at the same time.

1054's hull is in good shape but the centreboard case is a problem and I am building up the courage to take it out and replace it. It is hard to tell by the photos of 1059 on ebay but I have seen worse and she might be a good candidate for a restoration. Just make sure you have plenty of hours to spare.

Posted: 22/02/2011 08:39:59
By: Terry (3591 & 1054)
according to the 1975 yearbook 1054 was a Chippendale boat called Stilett. Then in later books it features under the boats didtroyed section! So obviously that's wrong somwhere if its in your garage.

If you take the centre board case out you may find out if its a Chippendale boat or not. Apparently he often used steel screws to fix it in.

Posted: 22/02/2011 09:48:16
By: chris
I am having a bad day - she is 1053 (Finesse).

Posted: 22/02/2011 10:33:39
By: Terry (3591 & 1053)
1053 is again a XII - though in the book it is show as a X!! - again, built by W&C.


Posted: 22/02/2011 10:38:07
By: dougal
thankyou for your help 

and yea i have time just have to work it around putting time in my national 12 too

very strange that she has no name tho

Posted: 22/02/2011 23:28:35
By: Brendan Seward
At least you can name her without incurring the displeasure of the gods!

Posted: 23/02/2011 08:23:50
By: Chris M
Whilst were at it , History on 3072 ???


Posted: 23/02/2011 15:21:37
By: Mark Homer MR 3072

You must be the lucky man that got 3072 - I went after the boat too. It is Sweet Charity, a Smart built Smokers. The boat has a wonderful record....4th in the 1978 Nationals at Abersoch, a 3rd and a 4th in the 77 and 78 inlands, runer up in the 77 Silver Tiller. I was all ready to drive from the South Coast to Scotland but you beat me to it.

I already have a Smokers that is currently being refurbished! How is the work going on 3072?


Posted: 23/02/2011 15:33:52
By: dougal
I looked at it too but understand that it was written off a couple of years back and badley repaired. What truth there is in that I do not know as I never went to look in the end. It was/is however a very good boat which was Laurie's initially and did get some very good results. The first Merlin I ever sailed was a Smart Smokers 3165 (Panatella) which my father owned. If it is well repaired you will have a good boat still.

Dougal, have you not got Riot? I sailed her a couple of years back and thought it was a good boat. I should think it will be as good when you have it done up. I can't imagine it is too bad as it was in good original condition when I last saw it which can only have been 4/5 years ago.

I still have a Rowsell Smokers myself, well it is my fathers but he no longer sails, 2926 Tobacco Road, which I use on the odd occasion. They are a great design and still hard to come by.

Good Luck with them both.

Posted: 23/02/2011 16:59:25
By: Jez3645
According to the 1962 year book MR 1059 is a Proctor designed Mk X1 built by Wyche and Coppock in Nottingham. At that time she was owned by M.F. Chambers at New Quay YC.
The 1974 yb shows a change of owner to M.R. Halliwell at Blackpool and Fleetwood YC bur still no name. Very strange. There can be few boats for which the class records are so poor.

Posted: 23/02/2011 16:59:41
By: Tony Lane
Sorry to report that Panatella (well the hull) is sitting at Banbury SC waiting to be taken away by skip or in pieces.

The hull seems reasonably sound and is probably in need of some minor repairs but having been deck stepped and triangulated with tubes from the shrouds, it seems to have then had the decks clad in carbon and epoxied, presumably to avoid a re deck. I don't pretend to know much more about how it came to be modified in this way - I thought it was still just about retreivable while it had all of it's rig and fittings, but is probably too far gone now, string cleats and blocks costing as much as they do. Redecking boats of this age is probably more a labour of love than anything else!

Posted: 23/02/2011 19:14:06
By: KM

Yes, you are spot on...3025 was originally 'Riot'. And yes again, you are right in that the boat looked and sailed very well. But much of the looks were superficial, sadly it is amazing how many sins a good coat of paint can hide.

You must have sailed the boat not long before I bought it so be thankful you did not push things too hard - many of the fittings (even the somewhat more important ones...such as shroud anchorages) were put in with B&Q screws and red plastic masonry rawlplugs!

What the boat really needs is redecking a second time but as has been pointed out, this sould end up as a labour of love and I am not sure that the hull is worth it. I still hope that at some point I can be reunited with my old 3199 - Credit Card - now that really would be a boat worth redecking! (if not 3199 - any Courageous will do!)

The other concern is the ever greater risk in boats of this vintage of the cascomite joints just giving up the ghost completely - last season more than a few bits just pulled away, on later inspection the glue bonding wood to wood was found to be crystaline and powdery.The plan is to sail 3025 in as many of the DeMay series of races as possible, so work has to progress fast if we're to be in place for Cookham.


Posted: 23/02/2011 20:05:30
By: dougal
I owned 3072 for about 15 years It was built by Laurie for himself who did well with it. He sold it to Harry Roon ( CRSC )who won Salcombe and I believe Pool week with it. I bought it from Harry and sailed it mainly at Cookham where it went particularly well. When I sold it on, to Andy Grey it was in excelent condition and had a full width curved track.At some stage in its life it went up to Scotland and was I thought written off. A great river boat as was Deep Thought which I replaced it with.

Posted: 23/02/2011 23:04:43
By: Roy
As the crew to 3025, I think you will find that the helm dismantled most of the boat while sailing last year - although I got the blame...  I do still believe that the Smokers is one of the best all round designs, and I have sailed many designs of MR, old and new, the Smokers works inland and at sea.  You should have fun with the boat, she will reward the effort.....


Posted: 24/02/2011 01:21:17
By: Jon711
Well good luck with that then Dougal!! I hope you can get her ready for Cookham as I plan to have my Smokers out for that too.

Kieran, do you know who owns Panatella then? I know they got her free as they beat me to her by all of about 20mins when she came up last time. I would love to get her back if it is possible and I am sure I can make her great again no matter what shape she is in. Her hull was built for my dad by Laurie and the rest was done by my dad. He had allot of success in her and lent her to Pat who won the Nationals in her. She was only sold to facilitate a move to Greece which never happened in the end. Could you make some enquiries for me and let me know? I wondered what had happened to her. Thanks

Posted: 24/02/2011 08:55:27
By: Jez3645
Will do Jez - cookham is in the diary. We can have smokers corner...a bit like standing on the steps out the back!

Will put up some pics.


Posted: 24/02/2011 09:42:48
By: dougal
Hi Jez,
mail sent

Posted: 24/02/2011 13:02:53
By: KM
Love it, will see you behing the boat shed Dougal with the rest of the Smokers!!

Thanks Kieron, I have mailed both you and Richard back.

Posted: 24/02/2011 14:53:13
By: Jez3645
In 1960 Year Book 1059 is named "Tomboy" and owned by T. Smith at Burwain SC.

Posted: 25/02/2011 10:32:43
By: Mike Liggett

3072 recent history I know , yup scott mccolm wrote it off , but repaired it with carbon side deck and replaced bit of foredeck , next owner veneered over carbon sidedeck ,and i think sailed 3 yrs or so . so reckon shes ok . haven't really had much of a look other than I know it needs a bit of epoxy in centre plank to keel .

its under cover lost in my garage insulated with my hoards of hoardings .

look forward to sailing her .

Posted: 01/03/2011 17:01:50
By: mark homer
HI Jez,

The gunwale is now back onto the boat and withe the forecast of things being a lot warmer next week work should progress faster than it has done these last 10 days. So, save us a good psace at Cookham!!


Posted: 04/03/2011 08:17:44
By: dougal
Will do Dougal, looking forward to seeing what looks to be a big fleet at Cookham!

Posted: 04/03/2011 08:38:06
By: Jez3645
I am please to say that thanks to the help of Richard Turner and Kieron Mason at Banbury Sailing Club, Panatella (3165)has been saved from the skip and is now safely tucked away at Cookham Sailing club awaiting a full resoration. I am very pleased to say the least to have this boat back in the family and have a chance of sailing her again after 30 years!

Thanks again Chaps.

Posted: 07/03/2011 14:24:00
By: Jez3645
Well done Jez.....

will we be able to get a sneaky look at her during the Cookham open?


Posted: 07/03/2011 15:35:52
By: dougal
Well I am hoping to have her in the garage by then and under way, but if not you are welcome to see her. I will take some pictures as it progresses and maybe Mags can post them on here?

Posted: 07/03/2011 16:10:09
By: Jez3645
3072  has been reborn again , sailing at Helensburgh and looking good after Paul Scutts repair and renovation , Unfortunately she was written off again during winter storm at Helensburgh Sailing Club, work needed was way beyond my scope , Paul has redecked , regunnled retransomed and scarfed in numerous plank ends at stern , also epoxy filleted where solid wood met ply and boat is now in its second sailing season with Paul .
called thunderboat now :0, praps phoenix 2 or 2 down 7 to go .
great to see her sailing ,
sure Lawrie will be pleased still sailing  

Posted: 06/03/2017 12:04:44
By: mark Homer
Mark  -  would you like to tell us why you have called it Thunderboat. The thoughts behind the name can then be added to the Boat Names page.

Posted: 07/03/2017 22:12:52
By: Peter Male
Tobacco Road. Weymouth 1975.
My brother John was sailing Tobacco Road with Dave Wooton. She was one of the fastest teams at that Championship but John had a bad habit of being over the line in big races and was in the first one. From then on he and Dave piled up the points and only had to finish 16th or better in the last race. That race broke his heart (plus Dave's and mine) because although they finished 3rd unbelievably he was over the line again! 
Thirty one years later we still sometimes talk about it. 

Posted: 19/03/2017 11:51:30
By: Robert Harris
Hi Mark there's a new Scottish Merlins Facebook page at in case you want to stay up to date with things up north. Feel free to let anyone else know about it too, I'm still trying to track down boats and owners. Cheers

Posted: 28/03/2017 09:38:09
By: Andy J


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