History wanted on Merlin 1711

04/08/2011 20:33:54
Stuart
Hi All, new to the scene but have got a Merlin and trying to find out about its history, any help much appreciated
1711

05/08/2011 18:51:45
Mike Liggett
Merlin 1711 "Fearless" a Proctor XVI was built by Chippendale in 1964. The original owner was G.H.King at Hamble River SC. By 1970 she was owned by G Simpson in Derby (no club). A move south to Queem Mary SC by 1975. By 1978 she was at Thames SC. Followed by a move down river to Tamesis in the hands of the same owner by 1981  A change of owner by 1987 and back at Queen Mary SC. A new owner in 1993 and change of name to "Y-cats" and back at Tamesis. In latest records books name again given as "Fearless".

05/08/2011 19:06:20
David Child
Major G. H. (REX.) King (Sadly no longer with us.) her first owner was also the manager at Chippendale Boats so presumably although the Proctor MK16 was not a "hit" she was as well built as any Chippendale Boat was, which was very well. Jack Chippendale is still with us occasionaly teaching too.

05/08/2011 20:38:18
Stuart
Thank you for the interesting responses.I think she is a stunning boat and whilst not as desirable as some she has very nice lines. For her age she is in very good condition albeit with rather aged sails so if anyone has some good second hand ones that would be suitable at a reasonable cost I would be interested.

06/08/2011 10:04:13
Barry Dunning
At the championships in Weymouth in 1966 some of us younger sailors filled Fearless's  bouyancy bags with water and helped Rex down to the water for the second days racing. 
It was light weather and Rex started at the leeward end, got a huge header, putting him in the lead. Rex sailed a brilliant first leg and was first round the first mark. Downwind his speed was a little slow. (we had filled both aft bags and the front to the brim).
He only discovered the prank on his return to the beach.He never forgave us for ruining his best ever day on the water. The main culprits were fellow Hamble River Sailing Club members Doug Brixton and David Robinson, sadly no longer with us.
I, of course, had very little to do with it!

06/08/2011 11:17:27
David Child
David Robinson was crewing for me at that Championships I do not recall that but I do remember Rex eating the Mayoresses Bouquet - or part thereof - at the prizegiving which set the scene for various shenagins involving shovels and David Potters boat. I also remember Rex winning a championship race in 1968 at Falmouth in his 9b Clueless B (He had had the first mk 9 652 called Clueless). He said they had been chased by a shark - it was probably a friendly porpoise, that did it deliberately!

06/08/2011 11:50:56
Barry Dunning
Quite right David. That was the year that Dennis Ellis and I were arrested by the Railway Police for stealing the shovels used to bury David Potters boat. Banged up for three hours. It was also the year that Andrews and Brixton climbed the palm trees at the prizegiving and they fell over onto the dance floor. I, of course, was not involved in that either!

06/08/2011 19:57:29
Tony Lane
And it was a few weeks after the disturbance at the prizegiving at the champs at Weymouth in 1966 that Robert Lee Warner as Chairman of the MROA and myself as Secretary were summoned to attend before the town officials. We were told in no uncertain terms that the class would not be welcome back. We wrote a sincere apology and did return for a very successful champs nine years later.

06/08/2011 20:25:45
Tony Lane
I should have added to the post above that Robert asked that representatives from the Hamble River SC and Sussex Motor YC should also attend to hear the reprimands and they did!

08/08/2011 13:10:56
Andrew M
What a quiet and refined lot we are now by comparison!

Though the Proctor XVI wasn't a contemporary hit and not that many were built, Stuart Jenkins boat Ella has been going well at Hampton for some years. Definitely a better all round boat than the XV but not as good as the IX, the shape is somewhere between those 2.

10/08/2011 19:10:57
Rod & Jo
Andrew, Certainly not an all-rounder, but we have yet to find out in which conditions the MkXV even comes close to excelling, much as the boat is dear to us after 35 years' ownership. On our arrival at Salcombe this year Patrick B suggested we should be hoping for heavy weather, but in which we have always found her an absolute pig to handle compared to 2988, in which we planned to come but had to swap boats at the last minute.

What was your experience with Evan M?J

ays
10/08/2011 20:19:03
David Child
An analysis from my contempory records shows that the MK 15 only really put up two noteworthy performances Robin Judah won two heavy weather races at the Championships and was 2nd overall, a result as much to do with his very heavy crew John Faulkner and Brian Southcott swapping crews from a heavy Tony Davis for the blows and then to a light Adrian Legg according to the conditions. 
David Dyer won the Hamble Silver Tiller (Fossil Bowl) in his MK 15 in odd conditions with zero visibility and it may have been as much due to his local awareness as the boat. Thus was the heavy weather reputation of the boat born it was probably just not very good.
The MK 16 which came out in 1964 was again a victim of a light weather championship and the only class act owner being Robin Judah with again the heavyweight John Faulkner as crew. He did manage a few first six places and was I think 7th overall.
By this time the juggernaught that was the MK 9 and the alternates, The Surf Scoter, the Adur Mk7 and The Mike Noakes, Star Rocket were for a few years anyway the weapon of choice. By 1968 Mike Jackson, Martin Jones and Tony Watts were breaking new ground with the Mk9b holding its own until 1969.
This may not help you much but it is what went on.

10/08/2011 21:26:13
Rod & Jo
Thanks David, that's absolutely wonderful & relevant background info,- & makes sense. 

As you may know, Jo & I constitute a large part of the 'Merlin European Wing', sitting out here in France since 1977 & campaigning our 2 vintage Merlins(plus N12 & antiquated OK Dinghies) against anything else that moves on water. For obvious reasons, we rather lack contact with the class, and don't really have anything to compare against apart from our 4 Salcombe events since 2000.

That said, I did know part of that history of the 9b and the others coming after the Mk15, and even wrote a piece about it for the mag in the late 80's??.

1620 is my original love, owned since 1975, a very 'comfortable' boat to sail, heavily 'travelled' all over Europe, and for us best in light conditions on flat water when we drift past people. By comparison 2988 is a delight once there is a bit of air, and feels like going downhill al the time,- thanks Keith! We'll try that in 2011.

11/08/2011 09:15:16
Andrew M
Evan Macombich 1498 was a Bob Hoare XV.  In reasonable condition when I first acquired her despite time spent upside down in a field with chickens inside, but I had done very little competitive sailing at that time and had no money for sails or anything - the set with the boat were the 1963 Ratsey's and a tiny very porous spinnaker.  The bottom of the centreboard had been repaired with a bit of old wardrobe that still had some rather pretty veneer on.  I then capsized the boat in surf at Gurnard and it got thoroughly whacked on the beach on its beam ends and was never quite the same after despite regluing decks, planks and thwart with epoxy where the cascamite had given up.  So not really the boat to judge the performance of the design.  However I felt it was rather sluggish in light winds, better in a blow but no better than anyone else and curiously not that bad in ghosting conditions.  This was documented in Rod's article for the mag in the late 1980's when he tracked down all the Proctor XV owners he could.

11/08/2011 15:03:10
Stuart
Rod & Jo, I see you are based out in France, whereabouts are you exactly? I only ask as France is probably the destination for my Merlin!

13/08/2011 00:28:15
Rod & Jo
Well France is quite big, but we're more or less on the border with Belgium, between Valenciennes & Maubeuge, SW of Bruxelles. Merlin sailors welcome for a stopover at any time, but not, please, all at once.

13/08/2011 15:30:53
Stuart
France certainly is a big place. My merlin shall be based at my place near Argenton Sur Creuse. Right in the centre of France, so if you are ever down that way let me know.

13/08/2011 22:30:16
Rod & Jo
Got it; E. of Poitiers, I was there last week!

Why is your Merlin going there? Are you going with it?

There are a lot of very watery places to the NW, and sailing on Lac de Chambon to the S,- but to my mind the best sailing within shooting distance is to be had at Lac de Vassivière in Creuze,- E of Limoges. A large H-shaped lake of drinkable water sitting higher up on the plateau and with generally better winds; 1620 has been there several times.

Fantastic if there is to be an addition to the French Merlin fleet, keep in touch!

Should be 'Will be based', I think. Sorry to be a pedant, but we were definitely taught,- in 1st person 'shall' to indicate future prediction, 'will' to inidcate determination, but t'other way around in 3rd person. It was always illustrated by the guy who fell off a ship and shouted, 'I will drown, and nobody shall save me!;- so they let him drown! ; maybe such linguistic stupidity is what we opted for France!

18/09/2011 11:39:37
Keith Bater
I owned 1711 Fearless with Garth Simpson in Derby, we sailed at Burton on the gravel pit; I learned to sail on her which was rather a handful.  Moved to Queen Mary in 1971, she was very hard to handle in a blow. I should have kept her as we then moved to Cookham and she might have gone well there. 

I did see her at Rockley Point a few years after.

07/10/2011 23:34:33
Peter
I also owned a XV for a number of years and whilst I enjoyed it a great deal it could be a real pig at times. Sailing at sea in a swell was very difficult especially on a run when much concentration was required.

27/05/2017 14:07:27
Chris Hibbert
MR 1711 Spotted at Morbihan (Brittany) May 2017

29/05/2017 09:16:58
Samantha Lulham
Hi - if you are still looking for sails we have some for sale - if you are interested I can send some pictures via e mail?

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