Need help purchasing a 2nd hand Merlin
I'm looking into buying a merlin as I crewed one last year and absolutely loved the boat.
NSM II is a heavyweights boat really. This is less important these days with raking rigs though.
I'm sailing inland with very frequent wind shifts and can be very light on some days.
Turner or Rowsell NSM IIs were seen as the zenith of Merlin sailing in their day. 3288 is John Stokes' boat, immaculate by all accounts but slightly overbudget. He had it from new and is anxious that it goes to a good home. If you can provide that it would be worth extending your budget for.
I currently have an nsm4 which is a white wale. She is competative on inland lakes. She al ready 2 sail. Its had a new alley mast nd riging ova the past yr. I havnt got it advertisd on the website yet! I am lookin 4 around £1500.
I am the original owner of 3288 Atlantis. It was built by Spud and was the best and prettiest boat of its day. I sold it to John Stokes in 1985 so he has had it for most of its life. I believe it is immaculate as it has been raced on the river at Ranelagh all its life. Like John I wanted it to go to a great home and that is why I sold it to John. Good luck. Buy it if you can.
Thanks very much will look into it.
You will, no doubt, get a few responses to your questions but here is my tuppence-worth:
Rob - in my limited experience I was in the same situ as you a year ago with a similar budget. From the excellent advise I got at the time I found out with the older boats you want a deck stepped mast + a square hoop traveller (both seem to be later additions to boats this age). With deck stepped rig you can always upgrade to carbon mast later. Also don't forget the kites and poles got bigger about 2004 I think! We race 3373 and find we might be able to sneak past a Winder (even if only for a short while...!) if you sail well on a small lake where boat handling and starting come more into play. I wouldn't try my luck on the sea or an open bit of water against the winders where we would get smoked! Handicap wise in club racing, you can hold your own with an older boat (we race off the standard 1006), especially on a tight course where the 200's can't sail the right angles and the N12's don't like broad reaching. Go for it!
Whilst we are on 'future' carbonising, I forgot to check my carbon mast was 'relisting' on sailbid.co.uk.
Rob don't get dispirited at all the talk of needing a newer boat/ carbon. Tim Male at Blithfield goes surprisingly quickly in 3339 (Summer Wine) in the right conditions with original layout/metal mast even on a biggish inland water and there are plenty of older boats that still compete well on rivers/ lakes. Just look out for a well built boat in good condition with decent sails and gear so you can get out and sail rather than tinker with the kit.
Top boats will have a 1-2% boatspeed advantage over older ones. If you do everything else right that's over a minute in an average race. Difference between 1st and 10th. If you miss a couple of windshifts each beat & muck up a mark rounding that's more like 8 mins on the same race. Difference between 1st and 25th. In restricted venues there are more shifts and mark roundings & less space to get the boat up to top speed so flat out boatspeed is less of a factor.