Is it worth rescuing MR2998
Luke 3146 smokers under repair
Never worth letting old boats die!!!!
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.
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.
Chris you had better give the Kepper of class records the details then as the yearbook says 'Sailfast'!!
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!!
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.
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.
Oh my word! made a terrible mistake!
I think Dan Alsop owned that one and it was a well known boat.
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.
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.
just for the record 2998 lives at bartley,but looks as rough as a badgers behind...sad really...
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.
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.
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.
If you do this never ever add up the costs of new blocks, sheets, control lines, tiller extensions, wheels, tyres etc!
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.
Fribbs is right about the cost, but as maggs says there are plenty of people about who are willing to help.
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.
Asp was owned by Doug Pope at Tamesis until a few years ago.
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.
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?
I think you will find that Jerry Rook (your race officer at the Nationals in LymeBay) sailed Asp in the early 7o's
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.
I love the name 'All spare parts' it fits in nicely with my last dinghy called 'Off-Cut'
Jerry told me it stood for 'Arse severely pained'
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.
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!