New Merlin design, photos of work in progress

07/01/2009 17:17:27
Andrew M
Worth checking out Keith Callaghan's site as he is regularly updating with photos of Laurie Smart's construction of the new Hazardous design.

A work of art...

Long live wooden boats!
08/01/2009 09:37:59
Robert Harris
Looks really interesting. Wish I was 20 years younger, 2 stones lighter and 15,000 richer!

08/01/2009 10:29:28
Keith Callaghan
Robert, £15k may not be enough.....
But, in conjunction with Alec Jordan of Jordan Boats (see link below), I am developing a kit of all the wood parts. Everything (with the possible exception pf the gunwhales) will be pre-cut to shape by CNC controlled router. That of course includes all the planks and the building frames. So you could build one yourself! Or you could find a builder who would build your kit for you, and then you could finish it off and fit it out. Laurie tells me it is the fitting out that takes the time (and hence money). To give you some idea, he has spent about 6 weeks getting to the stage of decking the hull, but it will take double that to complete the boat to his usual superb standards. And the price of the kit? £695 (subject to confirmation).
08/01/2009 11:18:30
Richard Battey
So in effect you could buy the kit for £695, free issue to Laurie and get him to assemble/glue parts with final fit out by owner? Sounds good to me.

08/01/2009 11:42:52
Keith Callaghan
Absolutely Richard - provided that Laurie would find that process acceptable.

08/01/2009 13:29:41
curious onlooker
Cheaper than a mirror!

08/01/2009 13:52:40
Alan F
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?

Given my limited estimating skills, dosen't that come to about 24,999?

08/01/2009 13:54:04
Alan F
p.s. if my assumption about not saving much time is wrong, approx how much time does the kit save

08/01/2009 14:06:50
Keith Callaghan
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.
As for how much time the kit would save a skilled builder, I am not sure. You may save £2-3k perhaps. (I'm guessing).

08/01/2009 16:45:55
Richard Battey
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)!

08/01/2009 19:06:46
It would be if you wrote your current hull off!!

08/01/2009 22:23:13
The boat looks would be lovely to have a wooden boat made to day, perhaps..

09/01/2009 12:39:14
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.

As an aside, I have to disagree with Richard, one-stringing an old boat isn't that difficult, just costs a lot - blocks, string and head scratching time. I really want to develop a simple rig without the string (something like the B14 with a downhaul & kicker alone), but that is for another thread.

09/01/2009 13:21:09
Richard Battey
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. 

As for the outturn of Robs boat I keep meaning to go up to have a look as I work in Haywrads Heath so Laurie is literally up the road, but what ever comes out of his shed always looks beautiful and performs well.


If not done so already perhaps you need to be talking with Laurie to see if he is up for material free issue assembly of the boat with owner/builder fit out completion options and prices! Food for thought!

09/01/2009 17:29:12
Chris M
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.

Given the market the kits are aimed at, this is sensible but not what a craftsman like Laurie or Jacko would want to produce.

09/01/2009 20:31:52
Richard Battey

Valid point although all I was suggesting is the mere putting together and gluing of said kit, the avid home DIY'r can do the rest. I have known Laurie, and lets not forget Steve Jevons his businees partner, for well over 10+ years (a short time in comparison to many) and know what both are capable of in fact I would say Laurie is second to none in terms of craftsmanship and professionalism, but other than Robs new boat, the last boat I believe Laurie was commissioned to build was Pat Blakes old boat 3640 in Oct 2003, and that is only because the plastic jobbies stormed the market and steam rollered the true wood professional builders! A mojority of their work over the past coule of years has been renovation and repair of old and new boats especially old with the rise of the Vintage wing, so with the £695 kit it could be a lucrative little market/money spinner and cheaper entry into the class.

10/01/2009 13:09:47
Keith Callaghan
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? 
In the 70s, I sold many sets of plans to guys who went off and built their own boats from scratch - not always to superfine standards, it has to be said, but nonetheless there was that 'have a go' attitude around. I'm not sure that people have the time or the inclination these days to build from scratch, but maybe they may think 'I could do a kit'. People like Andy, who currently own a boat with a decent rig on it, may want to do a very cost effective 'upgrade' via a kit. (That's assuming the new design goes as well as it looks!).

10/01/2009 17:23:31
Richard S
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?

11/01/2009 17:49:42
Rob Holroyd
Once she's finished, I would be quite prepared for a renowned jockey to give it a full road test.
The boat looks great and I have a very feeling about it, but like anything there are no guarantees of its performance. It looks right and I only hope I can do it justice.

11/01/2009 17:50:48
Rob Holroyd
meant to say "very good feeling"

11/01/2009 17:51:50
Rob Holroyd
It will be at Salcombe week, just managed to get an entry in in time.

11/01/2009 18:10:23
Richard Battey

In terms of finishes of your boat, painted bull, varnished decks, painted interior? Rig set up basic, or one string?

Might pop up to see Laurie during the week for a coffee and a peek!!

11/01/2009 19:19:39
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?

11/01/2009 21:11:47
Chris M
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.

If this kit build did take off I doubt it would make a jot of differace to vintage market in the short/medium term.

11/01/2009 21:44:21
Rob Holroyd
Painted Hull, Painted interior, varnished decks, Sycamore gunwales.
DS sails, Chipstow rig, Laurie CB, winder fixed rudder.

11/01/2009 21:45:06
Rob Holroyd
One string rig and adjustable CB etc,

12/01/2009 11:38:30
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.

Of course, a lot of brownie points would have to be gained before I could even venture to mention this to the crew / wife / bank manager.

12/01/2009 12:18:21
Richard Battey

The point is that it doesn't have to cost a lot of money! Rob's choice of construction, finishing/fit out is the far extreme end of the spectrum. In essence Laurie has built the boat for Rob from scratch based on Keith's CAD design and then fitted it out with new carbons/kevlar bits and pieces. Assuming that the kit form timber is of good quality from the likes of Robbins or similar then you really go wrong for self build or professional.

Sounds like you have the same problem as me when it comes to boats, money and wife!

Question for Keith, does the kit form come complete with Jigs?

12/01/2009 12:19:16
Richard Battey
meant to say "cant go wrong"!

12/01/2009 13:59:48
Keith Callaghan
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.

12/01/2009 14:42:04
Richard Battey
Well there you have it! Good quality kit at an extremely good price.

12/01/2009 15:35:42
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.

We (as a class) have still got to work out how to outfit a Merlin with decent blocks & cleats when you don't work for a chandlery! That's the costly bit.

12/01/2009 16:00:02
Richard Battey

My initial thoughts though were if you had an old hull say full of rot, in short an old dog, which the fittings, spars etc could be salvaged then this is a cheap opportunity to upgrade to a new hull.

Painting hull, inside & out, and varnish decks yourself you are looking at say £3-400 tops ( a lot more if done professionally)!

You will have the rig, sails, rudder, centreboard, blocks etc,etc. Might need some new bits of string and possibly more if going down the one-string route, but other than that you are pretty much home and dry with minimal outlay (lower end of spectrum).

In time I might even be tempted to do the self build myself, just need to complete renovation of MR908 before I could justify yet another boat to the wife!!!

12/01/2009 20:17:03
I can't see many people having a new hull built, looking wonderful...then screwing some 10 or 20yr old fittings onto it!

12/01/2009 20:58:44
Richard Battey
why not?

12/01/2009 21:05:21
Chris M
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?

13/01/2009 09:13:10
Andrew M
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.

13/01/2009 11:11:29
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 £3K for fittings. I made a carbon square top hoop for £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!

I did hear an interesting comment from one of our top helms that happens to work for a major chandler who stated "I hadn't thought about people that didn't work in a chandlery when I set out my one-string". He had the benefit of just getting another block off the shelf, we have to fork out and pay the P&P.

29/01/2009 10:27:22
latest pics

29/01/2009 12:14:01
Minx 3451
The workshop calendar is a bit saucy.  Thought he would at least have had a Pirelli....

06/02/2009 18:27:42
Any new photos?

06/02/2009 22:16:31
No new photos yet, but decks being varnished, sycamore gunwhales on,
Hopefully new photos in next couple of weeks

07/02/2009 01:32:07
Andy Gray
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!

07/02/2009 15:18:38
Rob Holroyd
Thanks Andy, If I remember rightly you borrowed my last laurie Boat at Salcombe one day for a spin around the harbour.
very much looking forward to having it on the water

07/02/2009 21:54:50
Not par chance the Andy Gray, schoolteacher who went on to sail 505`s or am I mistaken Cheers Guy Wood?

10/02/2009 11:25:26
Keith Callaghan
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.

10/02/2009 12:17:55
curious onlooker
Nice to also see Lauries appreciation for Tits and ass on the workshop wall.

10/02/2009 12:25:28
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.

10/02/2009 14:25:08
10/02/2009 17:06:57
Rob Holroyd
Is that the boat or the picture behind it, you cant have the boat

10/02/2009 19:14:54
Rob, a truly beautiful looking craft, and it is not even finished yet.
You will be the envey of all.

10/02/2009 22:33:17
Dave Lee
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.....

10/02/2009 22:36:22
Ben 3634
As well as being the envy of all, of course.

11/02/2009 08:17:40
OOOH, Mum can I 'ave one?

04/03/2009 09:14:17
Is it going to be ready for Ally Pally?

04/03/2009 09:48:06
Garry R
I noticed that there are a few more recent photos added of the build
04/03/2009 19:59:15
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

04/03/2009 23:27:38
She's green? FANTASTIC!
05/03/2009 19:55:17
She's also called Wicked!

06/03/2009 09:17:52
I'll be all over her with a camera on Sunday....

06/03/2009 09:49:10
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.

07/03/2009 09:33:32
Ally Pally it made it! Check out pics.

08/03/2009 20:11:54
Frank Baldry
Went to the show and thought Wicked looks......well, wicked!! Superb craftmanship from Lawrie and great to see a new design from Keith

08/03/2009 21:13:45

08/03/2009 21:49:56
Anyone know why the nose is dropped approx 20mm more than a MK5?

08/03/2009 23:25:46
I've got 3 pics for you, and will have more when I get time to resize and upload them. 

Lovely decks, lovely colour, going to be even more lovely when the insides are finished.
08/03/2009 23:26:38
Of course the new Winder is very nice too. More photos to come, but there are 2 in this section labelled "new winder".
09/03/2009 00:20:43
Why is the Kite down the chute and not out there loud and proud shouting the symetrical gospel?

09/03/2009 08:27:17
Nice wooden boat
Likely wasn't windy enough to fly it!!  Excellent value for about £700 for the wood and a bit of work to glue together.

09/03/2009 08:39:23
Robert Harris
Nice to see a new Merlin Rocket with a thwart!

09/03/2009 08:50:50
The nose is not dropped? 
The freeboard is a bit more?
Very pretty a lot less soap dishy!
Lets hope it's quick.

09/03/2009 09:28:08
Keith Callaghan
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!

09/03/2009 09:54:30
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?).

09/03/2009 11:10:08
Look at those decks gleaming! Mmmmmm
09/03/2009 13:53:50
Thanks for the link - it's now my favourite background on the PC!

It's strange, I took photos from the transoms of both boats.

Describing them at home, the Green machine has 1 control line , but the Winder - described as a "one string system" has lots.
Trying to describe that at home was interesting!


09/03/2009 20:51:09
Wicked (the green one) is not finished, thats why!

10/03/2009 13:54:29
More photos...
10/03/2009 14:17:52
Mags wrote "Wicked (the green one) is not finished, thats why!"

I realised that as we took the jib down - it's not normal for the jib haliyard to be tied around the mast strut with a round turn & 2 half-hitches....

But the aramid shrouds were really nice though.


10/03/2009 14:18:29
Rob Holroyd
Thanks Mags, Great pics, I'll make sure there are more updated ones as the fitting out progresses.
I'm afraid its was a bit of a Hybrid at the show, as Laurie only just managed to get enough fittings to stand a mast. mast a CTECH loaned for show, boom a Chipstow also loaned and sails from Dynamic also loaned.
Wicked will appear with complete Chipstow rig, Dynamic sails and Laurie foils (carboned of course) with Winder hoop and carbon stock.
Aim was to keep rig very standard but with a new hull shape, time will tell but since it looks so good I have a great feeling and just want to go sailing.

10/03/2009 21:35:40
SW show stand manager
the boys done well to get the boat there.
blagged a mast, blagged some sails; managed to find enough ropes and bits to tie the mast to.
It stood up, thats the ticket.

Bit worrying when few vistors tried to rake the rig!! Held on by a shoestring (on friday buildup!)

It got a lot of attention.

22/03/2009 08:13:00
Richard Battey
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.

Good luck with the boat Rob.
22/03/2009 08:58:31
Has she been launched yet ?

22/03/2009 18:02:46
Still a little to do fitting and rigging wise, hopefully 1st sail early April

24/03/2009 12:20:02
mark nicholson
Hi Rob
congratulations on making the new design a reality. The boat looks fabulous from the pictures. I notice it is green as is traditional with your boats from way back when (when I were a lad!)

PS - caption competition anyone?!-
24/03/2009 13:05:09
Rob Holroyd
Thanks Mark, I like green, as you remember many of my boats have been green of some shade.

What are you doing these days?

24/03/2009 16:44:56
Welcome to the Merlin-Rocket: newly selected Youth Class!

03/04/2009 16:48:28
mark nicholson
Hi Rob
sorry just got around to replying. Sailing at HISC nowadays, so I see Graham and Jude quite a bit, plus some more Merlin people (the fleet is growing). Big Bruv is there too.
After 20 years in a 14, I had to get a crewless 14, ie an RS700! Great fun, but a bit lonely! I remain a slightly distant admirer of the Merlin still. Its good to see the class flourishing and new designs being ventured.

When and where is the grand launch? HISC is a good venue and has been the place where many a new boat has been deflowered!


14/04/2009 13:38:32
Baited Breath
Any news on whether she has been launched yet, and if so, how does she sail

14/04/2009 13:56:50
Picking up this week , hope 1st sail this coming weekend.

16/04/2009 10:24:58
More questions being asked on the Y&Y forum, about building wooden Merlins.
16/04/2009 11:41:00
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.
Suffice to say with all the bits it did come out quite a way beyond my mental calculation when I ordered it.
If you are a good woodworker then yes you can save quite a bit by doing it all yourself as the basic wood kit as per Keiths ealier posting is not too expensive.
But Carbon spars come out close to £3k, new sails £1.5k. String and fittings to nearly £3k (1 string rig), winder SS hoop £350, you could make your own rudder and CB otherwise budget £1k for professional ones, then theres covers and new combi trailor as well to cosset your new boat and ouch !!!!!

But I still have a superb boat which I hope to launch imminently, this was not cheque book sailing but a passion.

16/04/2009 16:56:43
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.

21/04/2009 22:10:29
Well does it float?

22/04/2009 07:51:56
1st sail tonight, will post pics etc later

22/04/2009 08:05:31
Good luck Rob and Keith, hope you sort out the ropes ok, looking forward to seeing the film tomorrow.

22/04/2009 10:51:33
Frank Baldry
Rob, I am curious to know what type of wood Lawrie used for the gunwales. Is it sycamore?

22/04/2009 12:09:11
Yes, he was very fussy and sent a few batches back until he got some very light (colour)and consistent he was satisfied with

22/04/2009 13:51:35
Richard Battey
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.

23/04/2009 09:42:35

"Wicked" floats, sails (and drifts!) and races in what is possibly the largest Wednesday Evening series in the country...
With 65 boats on the water on a lake in Berkshire, I am not sure if I would want to take my new boat out among that lot!

First pictures are at:

If that link doesn't work for you, try:*dM%24

Cheers, Chris

23/04/2009 10:29:32
Garry R
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.

23/04/2009 11:10:59
Watched video this morning, she looks lovely.

23/04/2009 12:42:03
Looks great! 

If I didn'thave on a previous set of appointments (Wed evenings), I'd have taken ours out as a welcome!

- and yes - we did re-launch ours with a quantity of malt whisky (mind you with the boat named "Tartan Warrior" it seemed appropriate - especially not wasting any!)

Colin (3387)

23/04/2009 13:34:56
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.

23/04/2009 21:17:47
Richard Battey

She looks absolutely fantastic, you must be delighted. Picture 19 tells a story, would indicate that she goes well in the light stuff.

23/04/2009 23:21:05
Keith Callaghan
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.
24/04/2009 08:35:18
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.

24/04/2009 08:36:18
Still got to shed a few more pounds to drop sailing weight to about 24st or less thenI expect Wicked to really fly.

24/04/2009 09:33:55
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!
I'm sure that some fine tuning is needed - and will improve the boat speed.

For those who are interested, Burghfield SC are having an Open Day on 9 May - if you want to come and see the facilities and/or the lake you'll be welcome. The boat park has been extended recently, and there is an active anti-weed campaign (for several years).
Colin (3387)
24/04/2009 11:50:29
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.
More to come I'm sure

09/05/2009 15:47:57
Any more news, impressions or pics. of Wicked's progress ?

10/05/2009 12:44:26
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.
As soon as I can I hope to be able to show off more pictures

18/08/2009 17:12:09
Any one know how the new design is getting on?

18/08/2009 18:09:47
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.

25/08/2009 16:08:32
Mr Curious???
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!!

25/08/2009 18:03:12
Well an alternative has just won the Championships!

25/08/2009 19:51:43
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.

26/08/2009 11:12:52
Mr Curious???
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.

26/08/2009 11:38:28
Andrew M
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.

26/08/2009 12:38:53
John Murrell

I am led to believe that there is one in build with another planned............

26/08/2009 12:49:57
Dave Lee

26/08/2009 14:47:49
John Murrell
Phew! - my source of information is correct!!

26/08/2009 21:32:34
Dave Lee
Your sources are usually reliable John ;)

27/08/2009 09:22:14
Are we talking about another wooden Let It Ride or a Ticket To Ride?

27/08/2009 09:35:41
Neither exactly, something not seen before.....

27/08/2009 09:38:18
Well come on Ross spill the beans and tell me, no one else will see.

27/08/2009 12:35:48
Mr Curious
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.

27/08/2009 12:45:50
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!

27/08/2009 13:37:42
Dave Lee
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......

27/08/2009 13:53:15
Builder: Turner
Hull: LIR
Material: Epoxy foam sandwich planks

27/08/2009 14:18:50
Lets not give too much away, will spoil the surprise... ;-))

27/08/2009 19:37:14
He who knows
Builder: Jacko
Design: Margate Tales (close to Canterbury)
Method: Essex mud, solidifed in The Shed to form a very stiff and water friendly structure


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