We have recently acquired a Merlin, thinking she was an NSM 1 design but from my very limited knowledge of Merlins I think she may be an earleir design.
The number should be carved on the Thwart. I think most were built by Rowsell's and they put their plaque just in front of the centrejammer.
Many thanks for the quick reply. There is no number on the thwart but there are some marks near the centre jammer which could indicate where a builders plate used to be.
Is there a number carved into the hog behind the case? The thwart could have been replaced, but i really would have thought that they would have had the nous to carve it back in!
some photos would help. one possibility is that thr boat has had a rig donated off an older hull.
Hello again Chris,
Feel free to send them.
I am in unsunny southern Spain at the moment but I will be able to send you some photos of my almost the original NSM 1 on return aftr 8 Jan.
The original Gregory designed Ghost Rider 2340 was built by Rowsells for David Robinson in 69/70. If you wish I can probably put you in touch with both Spud and David who might be able to confirm the identity from your photos.
PYC would be Parkstone Yacht Club, but it doesn't look like a Bob Hoare build - to me anyway. I don't know who John Avsiatin is, but it's quite likely as he isn't well known.
John Aveston, designer and builder of some one-off's in the 70's at Ranelagh?
Here is a link to the photos (note you want the GHOST RIDER ones not the older MOON ROCKET ones, in this folder).
Whoever built one of these mystery boats built them both though to different designs, characteristic reinforcement of the front of the centrecase. I wonder if it was a home builder, albeit an experienced one, in view of this reinforcement and the way the foredeck is laid, though I do remember my Bob Hoare boat from 1963 had a similar arrangement with a bit of wood going up the centre of the foredeck. Date is early 1970's - spinny chute and high bow tank but the hull not really strengthened like later wide boats, the ribs from the side decks do not go to the hog. Bob Hoare did a modified Ghost Rider for Parkstone in the 70's, Summer Blues, is it this?
John,This looks like a Ghost Rider or derivative,and the deck and mast gate area look like a Bob Hoare build.What is the colour of the ply inside? Bob used to build his boats in gaboon ply whch looked yellowy.
Also,don't think it is a Moon Rocket as that had a distinctive chine at the transom
It is certainly a Ghost Rider or very close derivative and certainly could be Bob Hoare built.
The thing that gets me here is we have two very similar boats with no number. Certainly the Ghost Rider has not had the thwart replaced and surely Bob Hoare would have carved the number in.
Bob Hoare boats had the number put onto the thwart with a series of little black dots like a tattoo. Burnt in or inked I don't know. I suppose it's possible that in a previous energetic rub down and revarnish it has disappeared
Hello, Thank you for all the most helpful comments thus far.To answer Chris Rathbone, yes my guess is that her planking is gaboon ply, it is certainly light in colour. This I understand is another pointer towards Bob Hoare. Andrew M; I cannot discern any sign of tatoo type dots on the thwart but the thwart is worn so it is possible they may have been lost over the years. I wonder however if the abscence of a number might suggest she has been finished by someone else? I think I read another thread relating to "Moon Rocket"? which refers to 2685 "Mr Sanders" ( Odd name for a boat?)and she was built by Bob Hoare and then finished by Scientific sailing. Perhaps in these circumstances the main builder does not carve the number on the hull? Andrew M kindly homes in on the Parkstone connection and refers to "Summer Blues" 3057 a design of the same name, then there is "Summer Song" her near sister which I see is a september girl. Were "Moon Rocket"? and "Ghost Rider"? built so recently! It must be pretty certain they are built by the same builder but there are some design differences so they are not exact sisters."Ghost Rider"? has a distinctive "arch" to her fore deck which I cannot see in the photos of "Moon Rocket"? I defer to the knowledge of others. regarding build dates My own guideline has been that "Ghost Rider"? has a spinnaker chute which I would say is an integral part of her original build and my understanding is that the real "Ghost Rider" is quite possibly the first Merlin to have this arrangement. Thus if correct both "Moon Rocket"? and "Ghost Rider"? are later than 1970 no 2340.
John, until recently I owned Moon Rocket 2254 built in 1969 by Wyche and Coppock. Your photos are definitley not of a Moon Rocket. I agree with the general view that the V'd transom line looks very like a Ghost Rider but I cannot guarantee it. I can however guarantee that it is not a Moon Rocket.
I made the 2685 connection in the previous thread, but my memory of the boat is hazy at best! It was/is a Hoare shell completed by another firm for the origional owner. In those days many hulls were home finished, to varying degrees of competance!
The colour of the planking, the stiffening on the plank lands and the mast gate struts are virtually identical to my 1973 Bob Hoare Phantom Kipper, which had the sail number in the hog as 'dots' rather than the thwart.
And what a lovely job you made of it too!
I agree that the jib tack arrangement looks unlikely, but I've seen it on a few boats of that era since. On the 'kipper, it was large diameter tube enclosed at each end by a block glued to the inside of the top plank. I looked at it for quite a while (don't get out much)before deciding on ballance it had been there from new - couldn't see a way it could have been retro fitted given the decks were original too. It was anodised gold to match the proctor spars and actually matched in quite well. The struts coming out from the front of the CB case were retained/enclosed against the planks in simiar blocks to the tack tube.
Andy Hay - 3626 Business as Usual
2508 Witzend was a Bob Hoare build MR that also featured the same crew / helm seats. WE cut them out to save a few kgs of mahogony!
I went through the yearbook last night,counted 70 ghostriders of many different builders, rowsells, wyche & coppock ,aln and bob hoare seem to be attributed to the majority but left quite a few by not that wellknown builders,maybe its one of those? last one is 3191 keith probert but youall knew this anyway!
Having just picked up 2427 from a shed in the north Midlands, I think that although the plank layup is differant this boat is an origional shape Ghost Rider built according to the plans.
Both 2427 and 2500 are Ghost Riders by the way!
I've got a couple of photos of the inside of 2500 and one of the transom if it would help anyone - I don't know if the owner would mind?
I work part time in a chandlers. We had a Ghost rider in a couple of weeks ago(In a shockingly poor state!) and this boat STRONGLY RESEMBLES it, I am not going to poke my neck and guarantee that it is, but I am sure it is. Hope this helps.
ive taken some shots of 2500 and 2724 ill get chris to put them on the pics site!
Just a thought - wasn't Echo a development of the GhostRider? And it had a similar transom as I recall - which could also explain two Rowsell "GhostRiders" with different transoms.
Andy Hay - 3626 Business as Usual
My Pa had 2733 "Black Sovereign" - a Rowsell built Echo - which was true round bilge, no knuckle in the transom like the pictures. The bow was rather full and the whole hull was a bit shallow. Had a bit of a tendancy to nose dive too ....
Ghost rider was not built by my father having looked at the photos!