Is it worth rescuing MR2998

24/04/2012 13:41:30
Hi all
I have aquired the very tired MR 2998 and although i have yet to give it a thorough once over it looks a bit knackered! I beleive it is a Smokers satisfaction design which would benefit my somewhat large frame but the big question is - is it worth repairing? Any thoughts, comments or history would be most welcome

KR Dalo

24/04/2012 14:57:36
Luke 3146 smokers under repair
Never worth letting old boats die!!!!

24/04/2012 15:01:49
According to our records 2998 would be a Callaghan Hexagon Design built by Sailfast who were not a regular Merlin Builder so I can't comment on the quality or speed.

Hard to say if it is worth repairing or not without details but if you have basic wood working and painting skills most boats are worth doing in my experiance.

See the link below for one I have just done myself.
24/04/2012 15:17:59
chris martin
My first proper merlin! It wasn't built by sailfast, it was built by scientific sailing. Fred needler would have done most of the construction.

It was well engineered and performed well. Goodness knows what she's like now, I sold her around 1999.

Be a sad day if she goes Viking.

24/04/2012 15:43:45
Chris you had better give the Kepper of class records the details then as the yearbook says 'Sailfast'!!

24/04/2012 18:04:33
chris martin
I only know because I owned it. The guy who built it still does a few repairs up here. Be didn't work for sailfast!!

24/04/2012 18:09:42
chris martin
Only error is the builder. Should be scientific sailing. It's the only complete boat they built I think, but they did complete a lot of shells.

Academic if the boat is bonfire material.

Dickie dee has fond memories too, or at least his knees do!!!

24/04/2012 19:30:50
Keith Callaghan
The 1977 Yearbook confirms that it is one of my Hexagons, definitely worth saving! The builder is shown as 'OB' owner built) but that may be just because Scientific Sailing built just the one boat. She was Originally named 'Hexpresso' and owned by A Millns of Lenchford SC.

24/04/2012 20:33:30
Oh my word! made a terrible mistake!
I posted this whilst i was at work and have got the number wrong.. Sorry. still, has provoked some debate and i truly hope that no. 2998 is alive and well.
My boat is actually no.2994 but my original question still stands?
Thanks for your replies


24/04/2012 20:42:54
Chris M
I think Dan Alsop owned that one and it was a well known boat.

24/04/2012 20:51:17
That sounds promising does he post on this forum much? It would be nice to find the history as the boat seems to have had a lot of mods including a strut between the chainplates which looks a bit worrying, i should note that i have never sailed a MR before so my limited knowledge of them is from what i have seen here.

24/04/2012 21:05:06
Just looked up Dan on the website and he mentions 2994 in his tuning guide, interestingly he says that after converting from traveller to a hoop the upwind performance was wrecked, the boat has since been converted back as it has a hoop fitted.

24/04/2012 22:05:44
just for the record 2998 lives at bartley,but looks as rough as a badgers behind...sad really...

24/04/2012 23:36:44
Jez. Just looked through your FB pictures and you have done a truly amazing job but what alot of work, if i go along the restoration route i will have a whole load of questions for you.

25/04/2012 08:59:58
You boat is a Smokers and was built by Laurie Smart, as was the one I have just restored. Given this new information I would suggest that she is very much worth saving. My boat and another Smokers that Laurie built (3054) won the championships so a good pedigree and still very fast in the right conditions.

If you have any questions by all means ask and if you post them on here there are allot people eager to help and advise.

Where are you based?
Good Luck

25/04/2012 09:37:48
Andrew M
2994 Asp had a good record in it's day and was sailed competitively for a long time.  Failed glue joints and grotty varnish are worth repairing but substantial rot in structural bits (centrecase, keel, hog) is a much trickier fix.  A Smart Smokers in good condition will still be very competitive on rivers & small ponds.

When I picked up Heaven Sent from the last trip to Laurie's hut he had Avalanche 3341 in for a refurb. He said when he built these boats he only expected them to last up to 10 years at the most - Avalanche must be 30 now & Asp must be pushing 40!

25/04/2012 10:08:52
If you do this never ever add up the costs of new blocks, sheets, control lines, tiller extensions, wheels, tyres etc!

25/04/2012 10:44:46
Most boats are worth saving, it just comes down to the question of whether your skills are up to the job, or if you need to hand it over to someone else.

Appeals on this forum will often turn up donations of old-fashioned blocks/cleats etc from people's junk piles, so if you don't need ball-bearing carbon wotsits, this will save a few bob.

25/04/2012 13:15:21
Fribbs is right about the cost, but as maggs says there are plenty of people about who are willing to help.

25/04/2012 13:33:40
Asp was a very well known boat in her day- check out the yearbook. I've now rescued two Smokers, one is 2997 Cream Cracker and now 3185 Hamlet & W and have photo records especially CC. Although battered, both had wonderfully sound shells except for the usual hole next to the drain bungs, so well worth saving. 
Since the deck had to come off (and 3185 came with no decks), it seemed worth going the extra mile to put in modern bow tanks for the benefits it gives. CC and Asp both ended up racing with bracing tubes to hold the sides apart; quite common at the time.

25/04/2012 13:42:14
Asp was owned by Doug Pope at Tamesis until a few years ago.

25/04/2012 13:54:24
For more restoration advice and support and some more racing for old boats (often jointly with the MR vintage wing) go to the cvrda website and forum.
David Henshall has been restoring his Smokers lately too.
25/04/2012 14:26:53
Thanks for all the replies on this, I have not actually got the boat back home yet, although it is just down the road, so have not given her a full inspection, when i do i will take some pics and post a link. As for restoration, i was not really after another project but am inspired by Jez's stunning work on his so this boat will definitely survive. I'm hoping that i will be able to patch up and sail the boat as is for this season and then make a decision on which way to go. I would be really interested to look at the restoration of Cream Crackered are the photos available online?

25/04/2012 18:20:32
Barry Dunning
I think you will find that Jerry Rook (your race officer at the Nationals in LymeBay) sailed Asp in the early 7o's

25/04/2012 23:14:11
John Cooper
Yes he did, he came second at the 1975 nationals.  I think "Asp" stood for "All Spare Parts" but she was a really quick boat in her time - Jeff King owned her later.

26/04/2012 08:24:37
I love the name 'All spare parts' it fits in nicely with my last dinghy called 'Off-Cut'

27/04/2012 17:35:15
Barry Dunning
Jerry told me it stood for 'Arse severely pained'

27/04/2012 17:41:26

08/01/2013 01:30:57
Paul Daniels
Hi just been doing some Internet sailing discovered these posts.  Probably long resolved now but here goes,  2998 is a hexagon design hull was built by scientific sailing then home decked and completed by original owner .  Original rig proctor/banks sailplan direct copy of Pat Blake champs winning boat.  River sailed in Midlands with some moderate success at home club / open meeting circuit.  Boat was purchased and sailed by myself for a number of years the reference to Fred Needler is relevant he maintained hull over this period.  I part ex the boat with Severn Sailboats Worcester in early 90's decided to go sailing in Fireballs.  Lost track of the boat at this point. 
Did you decide to save it?

08/01/2013 09:20:30
David Henshall
Regarding ASP, I've been in touch with jerry Rook just this week as he was runner up in the 75 Weymouth Championships. He confirmed that the initials did indeed stand for 'All Spare Parts'. The information - plus any more that I can dig up, will all go into the new MR book!

But as you've made clear, your boat is not ASP but a Hexagon and this too has been the subject of a great deal of research for the crucial 3rd Chapter. When you dig down, it becomes clear that the Smokers and hexagon were the two 'defining' boats of the mid 70s. Looking at the results, speed wise there was little in it, some would say that the Keith Callaghan boat was quicker in breeze, the Smokers great in the lighter stuff.

Is this a boat to restore? As Pat (with 2121) says, I'm another who has restored a Smokers so they are 'about' if you want to see how it can be done. A restored Hexagon would be great to see at the classic dinghy events and would, I'm sure, give a great sailing experience!


21/01/2013 21:23:17

My boat is definitely ASP but she is in a sorry state, after getting her home i discovered areas of rot in the keel and centre board case. This rot and her general condition meant that a quick fix and a sail were impossible. I have nowhere to store her undercover and she is now sitting on my decking covered with a tarp. As i mentioned before i am not looking for a project boat so her future is a little uncertain. Rest assured though i will ensure that she does not deteriorate any further. I would like to read more of her history and some old photos would be great.




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