Merlin Rocket for family sailing? & Whats a competitive specification ........
Just looking for a boat to return to sailing after some years away. I would describe myself as a good basic sailor. I have two young kids 4 year olds. I have always loved the look (and performance) of the Merlin Rocket.
3496 is sold.
My first thought is you need a club with both a Merlin fleet and a good kid's training scheme. Where are you based as many people on the forum have been there and done that?
Thats typical sold while I faff around! That'll teach me. Thanks very much for the comments and help though. The hunt continues! Intend to sail at Staunton Harold intitially which doesn't have a many Merlin Rockets but would be ok I thought to feel my way around the boat. I was always intending going away with the boat to race it. Maybe an Enterprise would be a better option particularly at SHSC just not the same though........
Though heresey on Merlin site, maybe a National 12 would be better than an Enterprise, there are plenty of good single floor 12's in your budget, they are easy to sail with kids, with dangley poles, and they have similar ancestry to the Merlin ... you could look at a Merlin once you have cracked the 12. A 12 can be very effective in a handicap fleet.
I agree with David - there are some excellent 12's about. Child crews are common and can also be sailed single handed for fun sailing. Definitely a single bottom - perhaps a Crusader or Design 8 - very reasonable.
rod & jo
Second, or third, that. We sail both Merlin and 12,- and others!. We like them all, but the 12 is a wonderful boat, great with a kid even in strong winds where the Merlin might be a handful. Very friendly class, many budget price boats for sale on their most informative website.
Many thanks for the advice and help. Much appreciated. Doing some homework now! Crusader & Design 8 advice noted. What about the double bottom boats?
3496s Former owner
Too bad Smokin sold on Saturday to the first couple who came to look and their family is much younger than yours.
The Merlin is more suited to teenage crews than child crews, but unless the kids are going to sail in most conditions from day 1, depending on your proportions, a merlin will be easier to find an adult crew for.
I would suggest that you ask any 12 questions on the National 12 forum. I sailed a 12 with my daughter between ages 10 - 17 and this worked very well. I know that she would have been put off by the spinnaker on the Merlin. I wish I could interest her now (aged 23) in a Merlin because there are two new C-T's joining the Salcombe fleet.
I have sailed GP14's and Wayfarers in the past & like most Merlin sailors would not go back. The Enterprise is a better shape and in some ways not a bad boat but not being able to change the layout of the controls to what suits you best is irritating & the jib fairleads are in the wrong place. 12's & Merlins are much more sensitive & responsive to sail. Ellie was just 13 when we started sailing in Merlin opens. The spinny was a bit of a problem but putting a lower ring on the mast helped immensely & we also had an old rules small sail we used when it was windy, which it was most of the Looe champs in 2000, our 1st real experience of sea sailing. With the twin pole system set up properly it's not difficult for crews even without much experience to set and drop the spinny, did just this last weekend at Hampton without any issues, though I wouldn't try it in a blow. 12's are just a bit small to have two ordinary sized adults sail them so they would suit your children better than the pick-up crews you are planning till they are old enough. If your budget allows, there are a couple of the Jon Turner Canterbury Tales boats on the list with foam sandwich hulls & wood decks, which are still good enough to get you in the fleet if pointed in the right direction.
I've got 2 sons, one 8 and the other 13 and both really enjoy club racing in the Merlin - more so than an Oppy or Topper. I do have to be a little selective on when they crew as neither is very heavy, but I'd suggest inland in anything below a F3 the weight advantage of a small crew seems to outweigh the lack of a kite.
Hi Justin, Im the Merlin rep for Trent Valley SC, Long Eaton, based about 15 mins away from Staunton Harold, we also have National 12 class at the club if you come down to the club on a Sunday im sure we can point you in the right direction or alteratly give me a call on 07980 696665.