Great 'near one design' racing

07/07/2011 14:57:41
I am the proud owner of a beautiful Jon Turner Merlin, 3381, Seventh Wave.  I love her for what she was, what she is and what she will be as I slowly bimble her back to a pristine condition.  I lust after the Lotus Engineering boat and one day I might be fortunate enough to own Dark Star.  Keep the development going!

It’s the diversity of the class that attracts me. I’m a competent sailor, but never going to win much at the back of the boat, but I can compete and do compete with other Merlins, mostly on the Thames and have fun debating the advantages of wide boats v narrow boats. How strange that the top sailors in wide boats always seem to win!

It’s a fantastic class and wish that I had joined it earlier, rather than flogging round the circuit in an RS400 for 11 years. I used to describe The RS400 as modern Merlin. It's not!

07/07/2011 17:05:20
Here here. One of my biggest regrets in life is giving up sailing my Merlin when I was 18 and not coming back to the class until 10 years later. I think I missed out on the time that I would have learnt the most and been at my fittest!! I am content to float about and get as close to the front as possible and give the big boys the occasional fright!

I would love to see more developments on the front of the fleet, however there is alot going on in the mid range boats that have become the weapon of choice at many inland clubs now. I for one am in the process of deck stepping and modernising Panatella 3165 with a view to sail her at my home club of Cookham.

That project has been somewhat more involved than planned and has tested my wood working skills to the max. I am almost at the point where I am considering the possibility of building one of Keith Callaghan's kit boats next as a replacement for my Winder. Might be a year or so before that happens though.

I understand there is one being built and it would be interesting to know how that is going?

07/07/2011 18:30:25
Patrick Rayner
The main point about the class is the availability of old boats. Here at Thames we have the fastest growing club Merlin fleet based on vintage boats. Note a third of the entrants in the DeMay series are Thames boats. Unfortunately Fribbs (Commodore at Thames,)even though his has six fingers, couldn't work out his dates when he got his boat and it doesn't qualify as a vintage for another few years. All old Merlins welcome to the CVDRA event soon at Thames.


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