Please don't hate me.

19/01/2011 10:20:42
I have acquired and Merlin Rocket, in average condition with all its bit and bobs. I have been looking for a small fishing boat and was considering converting the rocket in to a fishing boat, after looking at some of the stunning pics of Merlin Rockets i feel bad doing this but its cheap and i want a small fishing boat. Is it possible top convert a Melin Rocket to a small fishing fibbing because you don't want me to do it please!!!



19/01/2011 10:32:19
Richard Harris may be able to help you out here - he has a merlin rocket and you can often see him trawling up and down the thames above Teddington lock - dont know if he catches much but worth asking.

19/01/2011 10:46:05
Cheers do I get hold of him??

19/01/2011 10:57:24
Yes often get a very slow moving white boat stuck in my nets, keep on throwing it'd think it would have learnt it's lesson by now.....

19/01/2011 11:07:30
Robert Harris
I remember converting my boat 'Baccarat' no. 2614 to a fishing boat so that William I could fish off Salcombe. Quite simple really, a plastic bucket, foresail only so the boom and mainsail left ashore, plus a couple of lines with spinners. Alan Warren did the same and later we gorged ourselves with  fresh caught barbecued mackerel on the beach below the old Gara Rock Hotel.  We saw a huge basking shark in the entrance to the Estuary. A blissful day.

19/01/2011 13:07:52
Dave, before you destroy the boat could you let us know the sail/hull number. It should be stamped/engraved on the thwart or on the floor towards the back. If it is a well,known boat it might be worth something, maybe even enough to buy a small fishing dinghy.

Otherwise, I would have thought it would be a bit tippy for a stable fishing boat. I have seen a solo turned in to a fishing boat but they are flat bottomed and plastic.

19/01/2011 13:35:50
I have many times experimented by using the spinnaker to trawl for mackerel. Usually at the end of a down wind leg. This doesn't always go down well with the man at the back. I have also been informed that the mesh size does not comply with EU regulations.

19/01/2011 13:51:52
Its number is 1558

is there a way of finding out its history??

19/01/2011 14:52:15
Tony Lane
1558 "Lucky Guano" was built by Wyche & Coppock Ltd in Nottingham probably in 1963. She is a Proctor designed Mk XV. Her building was finished by her 1st owner who is recoreded in the 1964 Year Book as B. C. Howard who lived in Lowestoft and was a member of Waveney & Olton Broad Y.C.
The 1968 Year Book shows a change of name to "Votan" and a new owner A.J. Darlison at Up-River Y.C.
Her owner had changed again by 1969 to J. Norton at Nottingham S.C.
Another change by 1971 to R.G. Lane who lived in Rugeley, Staffs and Blithfield S.C. By 1975 the ownership had passed to K. G. Lane at the same club.
In 1979 she was owned by G. Cooke at Burton S.C.
The Year Books do not seem to record any subsequent owners.

19/01/2011 15:23:23
Wow.....Lowestoft, I lived there for a few years, it seems that I followed the little rocket 600 miles North to join it in North Aberdeenshire.

19/01/2011 15:25:42
Hang on..... Isn't Guano something to do with bird shit??

19/01/2011 17:28:27
Information Superhighway
And if it falls on you it is supposed to be lucky!

19/01/2011 22:17:08
I would have thought that a hard chine boat like an old GP14 would make a much better platform. The Merlin is going to be rather wobbly when you lean over the side to get the fish in. You might join the fish rather than the fish joining you! A GP also has footboards to keep your feet dry and is designed to take a small outboard on the stern. There are other options too - a Mirror if you want something a bit smaller and a lot lighter too.

20/01/2011 11:55:36
Might I recommend a National 18, good for fishing boats, fires etc...

20/01/2011 12:55:46
Keith Callaghan
Alf and Joan Darlison sailed MR1558 at URYC for several years in the late 60s. Alf of course was secretary of the MROA at about that time or shortly after. If Alf or Joan were still with us they might agree that a Mk XV would make a good fishing boat.

20/01/2011 22:45:02
Andy Gray
I also remember Merlin fishing with spinners at Salcombe with the Hampton 'Bell Tent' crew in past times. I suspect the many Perkins, Heaths, Harwichs and Bells can add to these tales.I'll ask Ros if I see her at the w/e. The Mackerel were OK, a pleasant alternative to the 'Condemned Spam' fitters, but the Garfish less welcome!
By the way,I happened upon the Barley Mow which brought back fond memories of a swift half after squash at Epsom College on a Sunday night with the Hamptonites!

22/01/2011 20:54:17
Garry R
I went to see this boat and put some pictures of her on the CVRDA site - for sale section.  If I hadn't been moving house I would have got her myself.  She needed stripped and painted and varnished but from what I could see she needed little or nothing in the way of repairs rotwise.  A shame to make her a fishing boat.  I would have thought that she would be very tippy as a fishing boat as someone else has suggested.  I guess that you are thinking about an outboard rather than sailing her while fishing. Perhaps someone else has info about this set up. All in all I think she would be a lovely vintage Merlin.

23/01/2011 01:56:33
to answer the original question... 
I think a vinbtage Merlin is far from the ideal base to make a small fishing boat. Any Merlin Rocket, even an oldie, even a cheap one, is fundamentally a racing dinghy... lose the mast and rigging and you will still have an unstable platform for fishing unless you bolt quite a few kilos of lead to the keel. stuck an outloard on the transom and all the weight is in the wrong place... far easier and cheaper to start with an old wayfarer or GP14...

24/01/2011 09:15:06
Andrew M
I owned a Proctor XV, my 1st Merlin.  Not that unstable for a Merlin, but I would totally agree with all the other serious advice that if you are going fishing one thing you are going to want to do is get to the side of the boat and even lean over it without the boat falling over.  You can do this easily in a Wayfarer, GP14, Bosun etc but you will fill up a Merlin attempting the same thing

24/01/2011 10:39:26
you could start sailing with a fixed rudder and when you've removed the transom, the trawl will haul up much easier. Alternatively, you could go on ebay and buy a fishing boat!

Sailing dinghies are for .....sailing?

24/01/2011 17:53:21
The "Salcombe Yawl Tuning Guide" on the Salcombe YC website may be of interest to anyone considering fishing from a sailing boat. Perhaps!

29/01/2011 16:34:34
Richard Parslow
@Andy Gray Yes, and the occasional bout of unlicensed boxing with the local (un)stable lads...


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