New Merlin design, photos of work in progress
Worth checking out Keith Callaghan's site as he is regularly updating with photos of Laurie Smart's construction of the new Hazardous design.
Looks really interesting. Wish I was 20 years younger, 2 stones lighter and £15,000 richer!
Robert, Â£15k may not be enough.....
So in effect you could buy the kit for Â£695, free issue to Laurie and get him to assemble/glue parts with final fit out by owner? Sounds good to me.
Absolutely Richard - provided that Laurie would find that process acceptable.
Cheaper than a mirror!
Not sure how it is cheaper than a mirror. If it takes 12 weeks for Laurie to build a Merlin (I wasn't sure if the kit saves time, lets assume not much) then at standard boat builder with a yard rates, plus the £695 kit, plus paint and varnish, plus blocks & control lines, c/board and rudder, chipstow mast/boom/poles, a nice set of sails, under and over covers, soveriegn combi?
p.s. if my assumption about not saving much time is wrong, approx how much time does the kit save
Alan, there is certainly a lot of expensive carbon, metal, string and other material in a Merlin! Much more than in a Mirror - but the Mirror is getting more sophisticated each year.
Admittedly I was looking at it from the principle that assuming you had an existing old hull, but pretty much shot, with good spars (carbon) and sails etc,etc surely this is a more economical route for someone to take if wanting to upgrade to a new more competitive new hull? Lets face it the cost will be in the assembly and painting/deck varnish, the interior will be painted. As for fit out, well unless you want to go down the one string route, which really and truthfully would be pointless, then basic fitting out shouldn't really be a major issue an amateur to do, after all its not rocket science (pardon pun)!
It would be if you wrote your current hull off!!
The boat looks lovely...it would be lovely to have a wooden boat made to order...one day, perhaps..
Andy Hay - Enchantment 3386
Now that I have a garage, am definitely thinking about the kit route as Richard suggests, but will see how the new design goes and what she looks like (whether Keith has got my ideal Merlin shape!!). Got the carbon bits, got the sails and indeed, got the one string on our existing hull, so finishing a kit off wouldn't be too bad.
Andy, thats a fair and reasonable comment regarding the one stringing and I do remember you posting a report on how easy it was to do so in essence the home kit looks a very attractive option. Personally if I were to down the home build route I would definately get Laurie (assuming he agreed and hadn't retired) to put the bits together, personally I could not trust my DIY skills and I would have the added comfort that the construction would be very robust. As for painting, varnishing & fit out I do not have a problem with this as I have restored and fitted out several Merlins over the years so fairly confident on that front.
The thing is Richard, Laurie may not want to use the materials that are supplied with the kit. I would think using the materials that are in the kit it would make an excellent "white whale" style boat, but may not be up to what Laurie wants to supply.
The materials in the kit would be from the same timber supplier as Laurie uses. But I agree that Laurie may not want to be involved with kits (though I have not discussed it with him). Maybe a professional boatbuilder of lesser talent may be interested?
I have been following this thread from the start and certainly the idea of upgrading by building my own boat from a kit and using my current rig and fittings would be appealing to me. If the plans came with a brief document outlining any useful recommendations and any possible pitfalls to be avoided during construction, that would make it a very attractive proposition (not an instruction book, just a couple of pages of hints!). I shall watch the photos of the progress with great interest. Maybe we could have a "road-test" in a future magazine?
Once she's finished, I would be quite prepared for a renowned jockey to give it a full road test.
meant to say "very good feeling"
It will be at Salcombe week, just managed to get an entry in in time.
Speaking as a newcomer who has acquired a vintage boat, the only problem I can see with upgrading by stripping the rig and fittings from existing boats and applying them to a new hull, is that the bottom will fall out (no pun intended) of the second hand market at the "entry" level.Or is the market in older boats non-existent anyway?
If you've converted a boat to deckstep/carbon you just put the ally rig back on and sell the old boat. In some ways it may encourage the NSM II/IV/Gnome owners to carbonise the rig then later on change the boat and may therefore cause a bit of a rebirth for the middle aged boats and designs. If i was going to do it i'd only recycle the mast, boom and possibly sails in any case becasue i'd want new fittings and the centreboard is unlikely to be the right shape.
Painted Hull, Painted interior, varnished decks, Sycamore gunwales.
One string rig and adjustable CB etc,
Andy Hay - Enchantment 3386
I would probably be looking to move the rig / sails / rudder as changing the fittings is a pig and would leave a lot of nasty holes. Centreboard would be probably replaced as things have moved on from the mid 1980's vintage. Chris M is right, the hull would be sold on with a tin rig and reasonable sails.
meant to say "cant go wrong"!
Andy, the kit price includes the building frames, cut from MDF (but not the base frame to erect them on). All plywood and most of the timber is from Robbins.
Well there you have it! Good quality kit at an extremely good price.
Andy Hay - Enchantment 3386
Got no problem with the wood bits and I concur that this looks remarkable value. But the hull is only one part of the cost equation.
I can't see many people having a new hull built, looking wonderful...then screwing some 10 or 20yr old fittings onto it!
Because you wouldn't. Most of them would probably be unsuitable anyway especially if you are one stringing, and many of them would be worn. Why put a brand new boat on the water and skimp on the fitout to save - in reality - a couple of hundred pounds?
Trouble is that if you have an old dog of a boat that has enough rot in to condemn the hull the fittings have been neglected just as much as the hull. There are a few boats around with decent rigs on poor hulls but it is commoner the other way around. If you want to save money on the fit out then some cheap alternatives on rigging are around - aft mainsheet bridle instead of hoop, bullseyes instead of blocks here and there, not fitting a barber hauler system that is adjustable from the hiking out position, but it has to all work properly.
Andy Hay - Enchantment 3386
Having just reviewed some very scary credit card statements over the last year of fitting a one string and "reviving" an old boat that had 20 year old fittings on her (and nothing worked), I would suggest budgeting for Â£3K for fittings. I made a carbon square top hoop for Â£150 and got a decent fixed rudder on Ebay, so there are ways and means. Ebay has Harken and HA blocks on from time to time, so you can cut costs if you are online all the time!
The workshop calendar is a bit saucy. Thought he would at least have had a Pirelli....
Any new photos?
No new photos yet, but decks being varnished, sycamore gunwhales on,
Hi Keith, the boat looks stunning- was up there on Wednesday! As a previous sailor of your designs (Colin Humphrey & Mass Hysteria)they were quick all round! Hope she goes well for you Rob!Nice to see you looking so youthful Keith!
Thanks Andy, If I remember rightly you borrowed my last laurie Boat at Salcombe one day for a spin around the harbour.
Not par chance the Andy Gray, schoolteacher who went on to sail 505`s or am I mistaken Cheers Guy Wood?
Andy, how very nice to hear from you (and in such a flattering manner!). Looks are one thing, but when I attempted to climb on Laurie's workbench last Saturday to take a photo of the new boat, Laurie just said "You're getting old, Keith". (Latest photos are now posted on my website). Will correspond further with you via your email address.
Nice to also see Lauries appreciation for Tits and ass on the workshop wall.
it's probably there in the study and appreciation of a higher degree of curvature continuity and fairing for the boats he builds - we'll know who to blame if merlins begin to develop shapely bulges on the foredeck.
WANT THAT ONE
Is that the boat or the picture behind it, you cant have the boat
Rob, a truly beautiful looking craft, and it is not even finished yet.
Yes, she looks stunning (ahem, the boat!). The FRP boats are superb to sail and easy to maintain, but compared to a top notch wood boat there is no contest in terms of pride of ownership. One day.....
As well as being the envy of all, of course.
OOOH, Mum can I 'ave one?
Is it going to be ready for Ally Pally?
I noticed that there are a few more recent photos added of the build
The answer is almost, there will be a rig but not all the controls will be functional, ie I dont think the one string will be installed, but as I'm away will get to see it on Sunday. Paint and Varnish should all be complete
She's green? FANTASTIC!
She's also called Wicked!
I'll be all over her with a camera on Sunday....
Rod, boat looks very nice but what more would you expect from Laurie. Good to see someone going down a different route and lines look interesting. Look forward to seeing.
Ally Pally it made it! Check out pics.
Went to the show and thought Wicked looks......well, wicked!! Superb craftmanship from Lawrie and great to see a new design from Keith
Anyone know why the nose is dropped approx 20mm more than a MK5?
I've got 3 pics for you, and will have more when I get time to resize and upload them.
Of course the new Winder is very nice too. More photos to come, but there are 2 in this section labelled "new winder".
Why is the Kite down the chute and not out there loud and proud shouting the symetrical gospel?
Nice wooden boat
Likely wasn't windy enough to fly it!! Excellent value for about Â£700 for the wood and a bit of work to glue together.
Nice to see a new Merlin Rocket with a thwart!
The nose is not dropped?
The green machine is now back at Laurie's for final fitting out. Launch date should be in about one month. Thanks to Martin and Steve for all the organising at Alexandra Palace - great job!
Actually, it was quite windy inside Ali Pali, but the kites were all droopy. There was no kite in 'Wicked's chute, but we did hoist the one on the Winder (called something Monkey?).
Look at those decks gleaming! Mmmmmm
Thanks for the link - it's now my favourite background on the PC!
Wicked (the green one) is not finished, thats why!
Mags wrote "Wicked (the green one) is not finished, thats why!"
Thanks Mags, Great pics, I'll make sure there are more updated ones as the fitting out progresses.
SW show stand manager
Popped over to see Laurie last Saturday and saw the boat in the flesh. Absolutely stunning, the build quality and craftsmanship is quite amazing, but what more would you expect from such a talented professional.
Has she been launched yet ?
Still a little to do fitting and rigging wise, hopefully 1st sail early April
Thanks Mark, I like green, as you remember many of my boats have been green of some shade.
Welcome to the Merlin-Rocket: newly selected Youth Class!
Any news on whether she has been launched yet, and if so, how does she sail
Picking up this week , hope 1st sail this coming weekend.
More questions being asked on the Y&Y forum, about building wooden Merlins.
I could give you a breakdown of costs to get a professionally built boat ready to sail but I dont want to give myself a heart attack until I've actually sailed it.
Rod & Jo Sceptical
It does look superb. As you may know, we have Keith's old boat, 2988 originally named Moonshadow, but which we acquired as Hysteria, and painted almost the same green;- also looks pretty good for her 35 years.
Well does it float?
1st sail tonight, will post pics etc later
Good luck Rob and Keith, hope you sort out the ropes ok, looking forward to seeing the film tomorrow.
Rob, I am curious to know what type of wood Lawrie used for the gunwales. Is it sycamore?
Yes, he was very fussy and sent a few batches back until he got some very light (colour)and consistent he was satisfied with
Funny that Rob. When I was at Lauries a few weeks back, just after your boat came back from the Dinghy Show, Laurie was explaining to me just that. He was very particular about the colour of the sycamore and quality of grain and quiet rightly so. He got it right though.
I do hope that there was a splash of whisky or something alcoholic sprinkled over the bows. Hope you enjoy sailing her and have a lot of fun.
Watched video this morning, she looks lovely.
Andy Hay - Enchantment 3386
Glad to see that Burghfield still attracts Merlins. Always thought that it was a good Merlin pond when we were tearing round there (even better now the islands have no trees!) some years ago.
Yes, WICKED was launched on 22 April at Burghfield SC. Wind was never more than 5-6mph, but she glided along nicely with 26+ stones on board. It was a bit emotional for me - my first time in a Merlin for 30 years, and my first new UK Merlin design for 33 years. Once again, Rob, thanks for having the courage to go for a speculative new design. She felt so light and responsive, but chaps, do we really need all that string?? For photos and video, go to the link below.
Having not sailed for nearly 4 years and not sailed a merlin for many more we actually had a good sail, still got a great deal of learning on what string to pull to get best out of it, felt great to be sailing.
Still got to shed a few more pounds to drop sailing weight to about 24st or less thenI expect Wicked to really fly.
And a pretty good result too for a first race - especially as it was a pursuit race and you have to fight past all the Lasers!
came in 9th, not bad for My 1st sail in 4 years, Ist sail in new boat, 1st sail in a merlin for nearly 15yrs, Keiths 1st merlin in 30 odd years, his !st sail in a merlin for 30 odd years and my 1st sail at a new club in a pursuit race of 54 boats.
Any more news, impressions or pics. of Wicked's progress ?
New boat but havent managed to sail it yet for a variety of reasons, like sisters 25th wed anniversary in Denmark, Daughter go engaged, etc etc, one of the reasons I missed the inlands.
Any one know how the new design is getting on?
Well, considering I hadnt sailed a Merlin in 16 years and hadnt sailed since Salcombe Yacht Club Regatta in 2004 the boat went exceedingly well, have a look at the pic on Keiths website. My hope was to finish in the top half, didnt quite manage that as being unfit damaged/cracked a rib on the wednesday and abandoned the Friday race part way through. Lots of potential I feel. Unfortunately I couldnt do the Champs and the jockeys potentially lined up couldnt do it due to other sailing committments.
The boat looks great on the water in the photo taken at Salcombe. It would be very interesting to see how she would perform in the hands of a top jockey (no offence to the owner intended :0( ) in a steady blow. It would be healthy for the class if there was an alternative to a Winder that could be competitive to make things a bit more interesting!!
Well an alternative has just won the Championships!
And there are two for sale .... Storm Cloud and the mighty Rong Number. Very fast boats and very capable still. Both ex Glen of course.
I meant a modern design that you can go and buy. The Let it Rides have always been quick but unfortunately they are all aging now and no new ones are being built. But it was good to see a different design win and especially as it was wood. Anyway it would be good to see going back to my original thread whether this latest design is as quick or quicker than a winder.
You could buy a fibreglass Let it Ride (or slight modification on it) from Wrecked'em Boatyard. Not sure if any others than Ticket to Ride 3689 have been built. And there is nothing stopping anyone getting a Let it Ride built from one of the wooden boat builders, except possibly the cost and the undeniable fact that Merlin owners are a bit conservative about new designs despite several non-Winder boats in the fleet being demonstrably just as quick.
Phew! - my source of information is correct!!
Your sources are usually reliable John ;)
Are we talking about another wooden Let It Ride or a Ticket To Ride?
Neither exactly, something not seen before.....
Well come on Ross spill the beans and tell me, no one else will see.
More to the point who is building them?? So no truth in the Let it Ride frames being bought off Kevin Driver then if there not Let it Rides? Anyway good to hear two new wooden boats are being built.
The Tin Man
Who says they are wooden..or epoxy, for that matter?! Only that they are 'somthing not seen before'. A stainless steel Merlin would last forever...unless you got the stainless from China!
I'm not going to reveal too much, but the hull shape is well proven and the construction method, whilst different, is within the current rules and very stiff......It's also fair to say the builder does know a thing or two about building Merlins, even though he hasn't done one for some time......
Lets not give too much away, will spoil the surprise... ;-))
He who knows