MR3386 Enchantment

11/01/2012 14:26:48
Roy Poole
This boat (or most of it) has come up on e-bay today. What's the story / history?

11/01/2012 16:47:51
Richard Battey
Well, if it is 3386 (Andy Hays old Boat) which it would appear to be then it has been stripped to the bare bone as Andy did spend an awful lot of time (and money) upgrading this boat and converting it to a one string wonder rig, alas no more! I'm sure if Andy sees this thread he will provide more than enough info on her performance etc although the pictures on ebay i'm sure will bring water to his eyes!

Have attached a link to 3386 when she had 1 string set up and carbon hoop etc....
11/01/2012 17:34:47
11/01/2012 18:08:10
Chris Rathbone
Hi Everyone,
I commissioned the design from Hugh Welbourne back in 1986 and Guy built the boat. Very fast under certain conditions and was improved considerably when we drpped the transom. It won a few bits and pieces on the road and was brilliant in a breeze upwind.

I passed over original plans and correspondence to Andy Hay when he first rescued her from rotting in a dinghy park. Any did lots of things to her and may be able to tell you more about her in her second coming!!Then, a lot of decent Harken gear was taken off her (!)
I have fond memories of her but suspect that I would die very painfully if we acquired yet another boat in the Rathbone household.............!
best wishes,


11/01/2012 21:10:09
Andy Hay
Ho hum ....

She didn't look like this when I sold her. Still I console myself that when her replacement ship, 3626 Business as Usual, comes back from Jon Turner's yard in Collumpton in a few weeks, we will have a Merlin that looks like a piece of furniture (complete with replaced transom).

Enchantment served her purpose for us, we learnt a lot of lessons and gave a few mid fleet sailors a fright at the 2008 & 2009 Champs. She was bought on the off chance (enroute to my best mate's wedding!) to see whether my good lady and I could sail together without killing each other. Caroline then took one look at Business as Usual at Rutland in 2008 (Glen and Ollie were polishing her) and said "someday, I'd like to own that boat" (or something similar). The opportunity came after Glen's win at Whitstable and Enchantment had to vacate the garage. I knew at the time that she would be asset stripped as she had a 2008 suit of Hydes (2 kites), a carbon square top hoop, Superspars carbon mast, P&B carbon poles and rather a lot of Harken and dyneema string on the one string arrangement. Still one must move on ....

Some people just don't understand Merlins ... and how they get in your soul

11/01/2012 21:31:41
David henshall
Didn't the boat do a spell back on the Hamble River in the hands of Chris Robinson and Tim Powell?


12/01/2012 23:48:19
Andy Hay
They bought her from me. I actually sailed on the mighty Hunter 707 "Betty" with Tim's brother Jon a while ago.

13/01/2012 05:14:50
Jon E
Worth putting a deal together with that mast and sails on the equipment for sale section.....

14/01/2012 23:22:26
Jonathan L
Can anyone tell me which design she is?

15/01/2012 08:18:06
Chris M
Enchantment is the only Enchantment.

It's a bit of a shame really, but a lot of these one off boats go west simply because they never recieved the time and effort to fully assess their performance or never fell into the right hands. As such they represent something of a gamble compared with their peer designs, and offerd the choice of a stripped Enchantment or decent NSM IV most people will opt for the latter.

On the bright side sourcing an ally mast to suit won't prove difficult or overly expensive and depending on how many fittings have been removed it shouldn't be to costly to put it back on the water. The lack of a combi is the problem.

Like any boat like this it has to come at the right price otherwise you may as well buy a boat that's ready to go, and there is no shortage of boats in this age range.

16/01/2012 13:46:21
Derik Palmer
Can't find anything in the design guide about her - does anybody know what sort of weight she would carry?

16/01/2012 14:17:28
Jonathan L
Weight is important to me too (18 stone helm).
You compare her to the NSM4, how does she compare; width, rocker, run aft, depth of forefoot, etc?
Does anyone know?

16/01/2012 14:30:00
Chris Rathbone
I asked for the boat to be designed to carry weight (up to 26 stone), be stable at sea in a big breeze and go well downwind! The first two came with the first part of the design and when we dropped the stern further, she went a lot faster downwind, I think the share benefited from the bigger spinni and pole. You might like to ask Andy Hay if he agrees. When he had the boat, he had the full size spinn and long pole. One thing that Hugh and I discussed was dropping the stern a bit more.
She has a short bow by modern standards but the upwind performance was brilliant and I think that with a modern rig that Andy was arriving at the windward mark in some exhaulted company. We won the Thames Open in light weather (sailing with an 8 stone crew but I was nearer 15 stone) and had a top six resuly overall in the Tideway race circa 1989/90 in a decent breeze.
Hope this helps.

16/01/2012 14:39:44
Derik Palmer
Thanks Chris - that sounds interesting.  The photo on ebay isn't very informative but she looks to have been converted to deck-stepped?  Andy, do you have any diagrams showing what was done to make her one-string?  I'd be interested to get an idea of what it would take to put back what has been looted from her.

16/01/2012 14:53:12
She has been deck stepped and had a S/S Carbon mast which I actually have now after buying it from the chap who bought the boat it was robbed to fit out!!

She went pretty well in Andys hands once he had done all his tweeks and I really hope someone rescues her from obscutity again. I remember her arriving as a new boat when CHris bought her.

Link bellow shows pictures of the Hopp and One String and you can see a bit more of what she was like.
16/01/2012 14:54:25
Appear to have lost the ability to type and spell!

16/01/2012 14:57:28
Chris Rathbone
Me too-can't even blame the booze

16/01/2012 15:38:28
Derik Palmer
Wow - looks like a lot of work to restring all that.

I'll give this some consideration. If I buy her I'll need to find somewhere in the SW London area to get her under cover whilst I work on her.

16/01/2012 15:38:30
Derik Palmer
Wow - looks like a lot of work to restring all that.

I'll give this some consideration. If I buy her I'll need to find somewhere in the SW London area to get her under cover whilst I work on her.

16/01/2012 16:44:16
Derik Palmer
Meh.  Now I'm posting in stereo!  Must lay off the liquer choccies left over from Christmas...

16/01/2012 21:45:34
Andy Hay
We got round the windward mark in one race within the top 10 at Looe Champs, so Chris was right about the upwind speed. I could never work our why she was a bit off the pace down the reaches (runs were fast though), but then we never had the practice. I was playing with pole height and centreboard angle which seemed to give a bit of a gain.

But, we always enjoyed the reverse Olympic courses (run first) as we could hold onto our initial gains longer as the fleet spread out. We hacked a number of people off at Whitstable as (when we worked out socks off and got the shifts right) we could overtake most boats upwind, in our area of the fleet anyway. Not bad for an old girl.

Kevin Driver deck stepped her and stuck the carbon mast into a useable twig, which was bought in two parts. One string, carbon hoop (home made), lots of new string and a complete strip & revarnish and paint. Funnily enough she looked in a pretty similar state to that which she now finds herself when we first had her. Dad even repaired the rot on the garboard planks at the transom, from when she spent too long with the grass kissing her rear at Milton Keynes SC. Only paid £500, originally, dread to think what the final total was.

She would make a good river boat if you can keep her upright (she's a bit lacking in depth, so the one string hasn't got quite enought travel). Anywhere where you don't reach much would be OK. We were sailing her with 10 stone at the front and 14 at the back. I needed to sit forward and we would both have to hike against the shrouds to keep the nose down. I was planning to drop the bow more, but we changed ship after the Whitstable Champs.

As Demelza said after the Looe Champs "she is a pretty boat". I guess that she could be again, given sufficent love and time.

16/01/2012 21:46:49
Andy Hay
She'll take more weight than an NSM IV too.

16/01/2012 23:44:18
Derik Palmer
I remember her from some time in the late eighties or early nineties; she was a very pretty boat I thought. It's a real shame to see a nice boat mistreated like that.

Do the sails on offer sound like her suits? Or have they been robbed too and replaced with old tat?

17/01/2012 08:56:21
Andy, where is the repair to the mast? It must have been done well as you can't really see it.

17/01/2012 12:26:46
Jonathan L
What mast? There isn't one in the Auction. Dropping the transom is not a problem as that happens with me at the back anyway :-)

17/01/2012 12:58:05
Andy Hay - 3626 Business as Usual
I was trying to stay out of this conversation, since this is a bit raw, but nevertheless:

1. Mast repair. The mast was broken completely around the gooseneck area (I cannot remember exactly). Rod Porteous might remember. Ian from The Boatyard at Beer repaired it and repainted the lower section. An internal sleeve was added, so it is a bit stiffer than an already stiff S/S mast. No bad thing to my mind as I always want the bottom to be a fixed pole to concentrate teh bend higher up. A robust mast that took quite a lot of abuse, notably at Whitstable in 2009.

2. Sails on the For Sale page might be our old rags. When that particular boat was sold (can't remember the number) there was a picture of a Hyde spinnaker in the same colourways that we have always used. Both kite would have been blue & purple "star" with white periphery. The main, jib & one kite would have been measured around June 2008 (I think) the other kite would have been March 2008, if I recall. The sails with the boat on Ebay look likely to be some of the original sails we got when we bought Enchantment (from Mr Rathbone's time!), a 1997 (or thereabouts) vintage Hyde jib ex. New Potato (a very nice sail that still held its shape and was REALLY easy to use upwind) and a couple of part sets of Speeds we bought when we first acquired Enchantment (these were actually pretty shot).

3. Dropping the transom entails cutting most of the hull lands, forcing them out and regluing, rather than adding weight!! Glen Truswell did this to our current boat. Adds buoyancy aft (needed), and straightens out the run (reducing rocker) to aid planing. Funily enough looking at a couple of the pictures that Demelza took at Looe in 2008 I am not sure how effective this is. Enchantment suffered considerably from wave drag - when planing she kicked up quite a lot of water off the bow, which sticks to the hull topsides. One of our latest tweaks to Business as Usual was to sharpen all the plank lands to a square edge. This should act like a spray rail on a motorboat and throw the water clear. This might have helped Enchantment.

18/01/2012 19:43:39
Anybody know how Enchantments hull shape compares with 3372 Diamond Smiles. Also built by Guy and designed to carry 26st.

19/01/2012 16:56:18
Chris Rathbone
Dear Broz,

No similarity as far as I am concerned. Diamond Smiles was from the Holt design stable while Enchantment came about following a discussion with Hugh Welbourne at the Boat Show. I will declare an interest inasmuch as at one time I owned Diamond Smiles. I found Enchantment a much easier boat to sail!
Hope this helps,


20/01/2012 19:29:24
Thanks Chris

21/01/2012 20:40:02
Chris Rathbone
Is she now sold?
Can't see her on E bay any more

21/01/2012 21:08:42
Richard Battey
Hi Chris,

Yes, she went for £245. As ever with Evilbay a bit of mad bidding toward the closing seconds. Someone clearly picked up a nice hull on the cheap.



22/01/2012 11:18:25
Derik Palmer
Had to work so missed the chance to bid in the final few seconds; bidding on ebay at any other time is pretty pointless, it just encourages the others...

Let's hope we see her back on the water re-rigged, in a good state and racing as she was meant to. I can't get my head around people who butcher good boats the way she has been.

22/01/2012 22:33:21
Jonathan L
Just missed her. I put £210 on in the last 10 secs. I had the trailer,mast and varnish ready. Damn.

23/01/2012 12:25:47
Richard Stevens
Also just missed despite bidding up to the last 10 secs!!  It seemed to jump from 150-245 in the blink of an eye.


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