Topic : Scottish (and Northern English!) Merlins

Hi all, I'm organising some racing for those north of the border this coming year, and I just wanted to start making contact with people to get a plan going. The idea at the moment is to have 4 or 5 'consensus' events chosen from a selection of Open events, and in the case of getting enough boats then I'll lobby for class starts. Most clubs are still formulating their plans for the year, but I'd like to do Loch Tummel (usually September) as a stunning and friendly venue, maybe Loch Venacher, plus a few sea venues like East Lothian YC, Holy Loch SC or Largs SC. It would be nice to do a north England event too, if there's one in the lakes or thereabouts? Pretty scenery and good social are requirements! 

Please do pass this on to anyone you know who may have a Merlin in Scotland too, and I'll put an update here in due course. Merry X-mas!

Cheers, Andy (MR 3122)

Posted: 23/12/2012 19:00:17
By: Andy
Some fantastic venues there will send you a  list of Scottish and northern members, I would defo come up for an event

Posted: 24/12/2012 05:06:42
By: Megan
It would be good to have a sailing excuse to visit the family in Scotland.

Posted: 24/12/2012 07:02:28
By: Pat2121
What about the Keilder Water Dam-to-Dam race?

Posted: 24/12/2012 07:03:07
By: Pat2121
Kielder sounds like a great idea, should be doable for most I think. Certainly seems to tick the scenic box anyway. Will investigate! Keep the ideas coming!

Posted: 24/12/2012 12:47:16
By: Andy
Hi Andy and all others 
We would be very happy to host you at the East Lothian yacht club regatta which this year takes place over the weekend of 1st and 2nd June. We now have many classes using the weekend for their Scottish championships and if you can muster five boats we can offer a class start. The venue is great for Merlins offering real sea conditions and good breezes all within a few minutes sail of the beach, classes confirmed this year are Scottish skiffs, musto Skiffs, RS400, Rs 200, 29er, laser 2k, Laser and Radial, Phantom, Streaker in all about 140 boats plus a full social programme.
Stewart Gibbons Race Sec

Posted: 25/12/2012 23:04:02
By: Stewart Gibbons
We'd be keen to come to an ELYC event.


Posted: 27/12/2012 11:41:48
By: deepy
Hi Megan, that would be great as I can start getting the ball rolling. East Lothian is probably top of the Sea events list at the moment - I was there for the Scottish Champion of Champions event and the club regatta management was awesome. It's a beautiful place to sail too, and you often get decent breeze. Best bacon rolls I've ever tasted in a sailing club too. So Stewart I'll see what others are saying and get back to you in due course if that's ok. Thanks for your interest Chris - if anyone else fancies this event then let me know. I'll put the Doodle poll up later this week for people to register event preferences (still waiting for a lot of dates to come in tho!)

On another note, I'm hoping to have my Merlin on the CalSail stand at the RYA Scotland Big Weekend in February if anyone is around.

Posted: 29/12/2012 17:56:50
By: Andy
I would love to come, I have sailed there beforer a great place to sail but unfortunately I will probably not beable to make it that weekend.

Posted: 31/12/2012 20:34:05
By: Angus3364
No worries Angus, any ideas of other events in your neck of the woods? Maybe Wormit or something? Most of the sailing clubs are being slow to get event info out so I'm going to write to them individually I think...

Posted: 02/01/2013 18:26:26
By: Andy
Keep us informed.  We sail a Merlin at Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club, but our yacht is based at Largs.  If the timing is right, we would think about bringing the Merlin up one time.

Posted: 02/01/2013 21:54:30
By: Martin Watts
Hi Martin, would a Largs based regatta work best for you then? I've contacted the club to see what is available. It would suit me well as my boat will be there, plus I can use my cruising boat at the marina as accommodation and my parents are 15 mins from Largs and would be able to put some more people up should there be a need...

Posted: 06/01/2013 16:44:54
By: Andy
Loch Tummel has a regatta 2nd weekend in September usually, A very beutiful place to sail and there is normally camping on site but if they decided to ahve a toppy  event the same weekend it acn be a nightmare. My own club Forfar have a regatta last weekend in September. A very friendly club, but not quite as much space as Tummel and camping is at a campsite but very handy for the sailing club.

Posted: 07/01/2013 18:23:48
By: Angus3364
Loch Tummel is up there on my list certainly. I think the Bardowie Merlins have been seen at the Holy Loch Marineblast Regatta the last couple of years, I'll put that one in the Doodle poll for 7th and 8th September. Let me know when you have dates for the Forfar regatta and I'll add that too and see if people are interested. Cheers!

Posted: 07/01/2013 18:56:46
By: Andy
Hi guys am really pleased to hear some events are to be organised again. Hamish and I used to organise events at clubs where there were Merlins such as Wormit, Holy Loch, Chanonry, Forfar and Tummel. I will be supporting the events as much as I can in 3376 and even have a promise from Hamish to crew. I have spoken to the sailing sec at Wormit my home club and he is to give me dates for the regatta which I will post asap. The club would love to see the Merlins back again.

Posted: 07/01/2013 21:46:12
By: Calum B
Hi andy

have sent you details of the northern members s hop ethat helps

yes wormit is another great location nice central one

Posted: 08/01/2013 13:07:25
By: Megan
Wormit regatta will be held on 22nd and 23rd June 2013. A fleet of Merlins would be made very welcome.

Posted: 09/01/2013 21:23:58
By: Calum B
Thanks Calum, I'll add it to the list. If anyone fancies posting a pic or 2 of their boat on the CalSail forum ( ) then feel free, be nice to see who we will be up against! In other news, my boat will be at the RYAS Big Weekend, hopefully fully rigged in the classes hall. Am aiming to have some video displayed and some leaflets etc too...

Posted: 10/01/2013 19:43:37
By: Andy
Just a quick note to let anyone north of the border know that our Smoker's Satisfaction 3122 will be at the RYA Scotland Big Weekend show this weekend, along with a variety of Merlin related videos and photos (many thanks to Demelza!), and a presentation on a big TV. Suggested racing dates are now in and I'll post the link to the calendar in the next day or 2.


Posted: 21/02/2013 09:57:45
By: Andy
Hope you have got the magazines and flyers

Woof woof. I'm the treasurers dog by the way

Posted: 21/02/2013 10:01:16
By: Megan
Hi there I have 3525 based at Bassenthwaite in the lake district. I will be coming up for Cumbraes weekend in Largs this year 31st of August to the 1st of September. 

I would like to attend events around the North of England and Scotland this year for a bit of touring. The Midlands events are a bit too far South and I don't get the one da format.

Kind Regards

John Reekie

Posted: 21/02/2013 13:12:03
By: John Reekie
Cheers John, and I've got some timber in the garage in Montgomerie Drive if you need some bits for your thwart! Just finalising the event dates today and tomorrow, will announce here and by email.

Cheers, Andy

Posted: 28/02/2013 12:26:42
By: Andy
Here's a report from the RYA Scotland Big Weekend which i took Merlin Rocket 3122 along to ( The rather dapper looking fella in one of the pics is me in a Merlin hoodie ;-) The real dapper looking fella standing next to me is of course Stu Bithell's 470 helm Luke Patience. Lots of interest in the boat (which I bought for £450 hence the tag on the boom)with leads on possibly 7 boats in garages that I didn't know about up here. More fleet building news coming up soon.

Posted: 02/03/2013 18:28:56
By: Andy
Here's the latest Scottish Merlins update, as emailed to the list of Scottish and Northern English owners today:

Scottish/Northern English Merlin Rockets 2013
Dear all,

First off, apologies for the mass email but it's just to make initial contact – from here on in we can do everything via the forum at and also at so I don't clog up your mailboxes!

I'm organizing some racing for the Scottish Merlins this year, and below you can find a tentative event list. I'm trying to get the class going in Scotland again, as there seems to be some interest to do so (and lets face it clinker boats enhance the scenery up here, unlike some other dinghies....). There seems to be a few Merlins sitting in peoples garages which I am hoping to get out to play, plus a number (7 or 8?) of active ones. I also heard a rumour of another 5 active ones in Orkney which I'm investigating! I have a Smokers Satisfaction 3122 and plan to add another one to the fleet soon as well. The boat garnered a lot of interest at the RYA Scotland Big Weekend last weekend, including Olympic Silver medallist Luke Patience (see attached pics), with many people saying it was their favourite boat at the show and many others saying they had raced them and would love to do so again, so the potential is there. Building class racing is a 5 year project for me, and I'm open to any and all suggestions for events and things – I'll make sure there is some whiskey and ceilidh action for any visitors too! I'd be especially welcoming to any sailors from south of the border who want to come up and sample some Scottish hospitality and great scenery. Among the boats already noting interest there is an NSM4 and a Canterbury Tales, so modern boats are more than welcome and a couple of the venues may actually suit boats like my Smokers quite well.

The (tentative) programme for this year is as follows:

Kielder Water : May Open: 4th, 5th & 6th. Saturday and Sunday will be round the cans with courses appropriate to the classes attending. Depending on other entries, six boats will most likely get you a class start. Monday will be our Dam to Dam event, about 16 miles total distance, generally a mass start.

East Lothian Regatta Weekend of 1st and 2nd June. We now have many classes using the weekend for their Scottish championships and if you can muster five boats we can offer a class start. The venue is great for Merlins offering real sea conditions and good breezes all within a few minutes sail of the beach, classes confirmed this year are Scottish skiffs, musto Skiffs, RS400, Rs 200, 29er, laser 2k, Laser and Radial, Phantom, Streaker in all about 140 boats plus a full social programme. (Best bacon rolls around!). Lots of accommodation possibles, great scenery.

Wormit regatta will be held on 22nd and 23rd June 2013. A fleet of Merlins would be made very welcome. Wormit has a Merlin and is easy to get to, and should be easy for accommodation.

Largs Regatta Week (24-25 August). Normally on the Saturday we run round the buoys racing (4 races) and then on Sunday we have a passage race round the Island of Great Cumbrae (about 12 miles). There is a good social programme for that event which I’m sure the Merlin sailors would enjoy! 5-6 Boats would probably be enough to have its own start. Lots of accommodation options, including my house and my cruising boat!

Holy Loch Marineblast Regatta 7th and 8th September. This has had Merlins attending the last couple of years and used to be a Scottish Merlin stronghold. Stunning scenery, great socials and easy access. Plenty of accommodation options nearby. The event sponsor is a great guy who is famous for having driven a Piper OD under the waves on the Clyde a couple of years ago.

I'd like to add another Northern English venue so send suggestions! We could do best 3 of 5 for a trophy (or 4 of 6 if another event materializes.). I'm looking for a broken carbon tiller to try to turn into a wood/carbon trophy (thought we might call this the 'Broken Tiller' series...) and there may be other trophies/prizes as well (that means whiskey probably). I'm really just here to co-ordinate activities so let me know if you have any ideas and I'll see what I can do.

I'll also do event reports and arrange photos for the Scottish Sailing website I run at , and I'm happy to help anyone with getting a boat up and running in terms of maintenance advice.

Please do also let me know which events you would like to attend, partly so I can confirm with the clubs.

Cheers for now,

Andy (Johnston, MR 3122)

Posted: 06/03/2013 19:07:41
By: Andy
Hi Andy,

Despite our plan to keep the boat in Wales, two events within an hours drive in June is too tempting and we certainly need some practice. I can't say for definite right now but we'd like to race at East Lothian (really is a great location) and probably Wormit.

When would you need confirmation for class start numbers etc?



Posted: 06/03/2013 22:27:49
By: ChrisDB
Fran Gifford and I will double deck 2 boats and come to the holy loch where my granny used to live

Can't wait

Posted: 07/03/2013 10:25:06
By: Megan
Andy, can you add my name to the email list please - [email protected] thanks

Posted: 07/03/2013 12:25:29
By: Hamish Myles
We will be delighted to see the class at our regatta

see entry and event info at

Stewart Gibbons
[email protected]

Posted: 07/03/2013 23:14:34
By: stewart gibbons
Sent you an email Hamish. Another Merlin has turned up in Edinburgh, so that's 3 there alone that I know about. Went through the secondhand boat list for sub - £1000 boats but all I checked have gone bar one, so if anyone knows of anything from Smokers vintage onwards sitting in a garage then please let me know so I can try to hook people up with boats (and get another one myself). Cheers.

Posted: 09/03/2013 09:41:24
By: Andy
My old Summer Wine is still in Dundee I think. The guy that bought if from me was a member at Dundee sailing club. Not sure if its still there though.

Posted: 09/03/2013 13:31:10
By: Hamish Myles
Due to a clash of dates, the regatta at Wormit has had to be moved to 3rd and 4th August. The club would be happy to run an event on the original dates but it would be preferable to have the Merlin event with the regatta in August. Apologies for any confusion caused and hope the Merlins can still return to the club for another great weekend of sailing and socialising.

Posted: 11/03/2013 22:58:51
By: Calum B
Thanks for that Calum, I'll change the dates on the poster I'm making up. Should have it ready in the next couple of days.

Posted: 12/03/2013 18:23:29
By: Andy
can organise something at bassenthwaite sailing club if you like 
fantastic scenery and hospitality and easy to get to

Posted: 14/03/2013 20:31:22
By: steve hunt
Scottish list of dates and a flyer coming later this weekend - some of the regattas might fill up quickly (elyc) so I'll post a separate topic for them with an urgent message. Looking forwards to sailing now the sun is out!


Posted: 06/04/2013 12:36:53
By: Andy
Fran and I all booked up for holy loch , gues ferry from gourock is best

Posted: 06/04/2013 13:53:03
By: Megan
You need to take Western Ferries as the Dunoon Ferry is passenger only.  I will try and find better details of the Newsagent shop where you get the ferry tickets at the local's cheap price rather than pay the full price on the boat (over 20% off).  The newsagent on the south side of Shore St, next to the Co-op is the agent and it has the Western Ferries sign outside.

Posted: 23/04/2013 20:43:24
By: Martin Watts
Thanks martin

Posted: 23/04/2013 21:14:37
By: Megan
Yes Western ferries are the only way for cars now since CalMac pulled the plug on the bigger one. Shorter trip anyway! If anyone needs a place to stay and doesn't mind sleeping on a boat, I was going to use my cruising boat a up there as accomodation for the weekend.

Posted: 26/04/2013 14:51:18
By: Andy
Merlin 3544 is travelling North this weekend and is going to spend the summer at Dalgety Bay Sailing club.  I am currently working on building Aircraft Carriers at Rosyth and with a colleague we are planning to do the Wednesday evening racing, assuming we can get out of work! I had heard there might be other Merlins in the area?

Posted: 02/05/2013 18:35:31
By: David Downs
Building Aircraft Carriers that probably wont ever launch aircraft?   Obviously an expert on whether to retain bilge keels.

Posted: 02/05/2013 22:41:56
By: Curmudgeon
Hi David, East Lothian YC has an open weekend at the beginning of June that we are attending (see forum topic on it for details). There are at least 2 others in Edinburgh (mine stays west) and another one at Forfar Loch, plus at least one on the Tay. Drop me an email for more info and I'll send you the 'circuit' we have planned. Best, Andy

Posted: 03/05/2013 16:45:13
By: Andy
Oh and 2 more modern ones at Bardowie - no word from them yet (although not checked if they were on my email list)

Posted: 03/05/2013 16:46:38
By: Andy
Made contact with the Bardowie ones, hopefully we can get something together there. Sailing my Smokers this weekend for the first time (weather permitting!) - too many distractions with other boats recently but going to be fun! Any news from any of the boats being restored up here? More boats coming out of the wood-(and Winder GRP sandwich)-work, and a possible new owner on the Clyde.

Posted: 21/05/2013 20:53:25
By: Andy
Hamish have you seen that Summer Wine recently? If it's around I'm hoping I can persuade the owner to get along to an event or 2. Cheers, Andy

Posted: 21/05/2013 20:56:03
By: Andy
Andy, will swing in past the Dundee sailing club dinghy park this week and see if its still there. Wil keep you posted. Cheers H.

Posted: 27/05/2013 21:39:43
By: Hamish
An event for any Northern or Scottish Merlin, is the Lord Birkett 6th & 7th July this year..  Number8 of Y&Y 50 events to do..

Entries are now open.

Posted: 12/06/2013 20:31:19
By: David
Boat is now ready, after a swimming session when old buoyancy bag straps decided to snap leaving the boat swamped and then capsized, thankfully close to shore. The next event we will make is Largs Regatta week Cumbraes Weekend on 24th/25th August, followed by MarineBlast regatta ( on 7th/8th September. Both are excellent events, well run in beautiful surroundings and with great social. Hope to see some of you there!

Posted: 23/07/2013 12:41:15
By: Andy
Summary of Smoker's Satisfaction MR3122 project up at . I've created a mailing list for Scottish Merlins and have sent a first email so if you aren't on this and want to be added to the list then get in touch with me on [email protected] . Cheers!

Posted: 24/07/2013 08:43:27
By: Andy
Officially on the calendar now!

Posted: 24/07/2013 09:49:58
By: Mags
Mags, you need to replace Hamish Miles with Andy Johnston at the top of the Scotish page. His number is on the Committee list. Thanks.

Nice one Andy, keep it up! I hope you get well supported by the Scotland and Northern contingant!

Posted: 24/07/2013 10:10:13
By: Jez3719
If we get 5 or more boats at either event then I'll put up a whiskey or chandlery based voucher as a prize...bonus! If anyone wants to travel then I can put people up for Largs, and I may have a space or 2 on the big boat (cruiser) for MarineBlast accomodation too.

Posted: 24/07/2013 10:36:49
By: Andy
Crewing space available this weekend on a very nice NSM 4 at Cumbraes Regatta. Email me for more details, and I can provide comfortable accomodation and transport to and from Largs each day, so all you need is to get yourself here! Stunning scenery and sailing almost guaranteed. We will be there in our Smokers Satisfaction, others coming too I think.

Posted: 18/08/2013 21:16:13
By: Andy
Looking like 4 boats for Cumbraes weekend  - Smokers satisfaction, NSM4 and 2 Canterbury Tales. May be another couple I don't know about, but if anyone else wants to come then get involved, will be a fun weekend!

Posted: 19/08/2013 22:03:22
By: Andy
Team Green will be coming too.

Posted: 21/08/2013 12:31:19
By: Steve Watson
Just found the Marineblast report

Posted: 08/10/2013 11:36:21
By: Mags


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