INTERNATIONAL FUTURE for the MERLIN ROCKET?
Although a very British dinghy class, the Merlin Rocket has a global reputation. I have had some dialogue with a potential builder of Merlin Rockets in the USA, and I got to thinking about what would happen if the class went 'international'. Would the UK Association members even want that? (potential loss of control of class rules etc).
In all seriousness who's going to go over and measure them?
I they are not all built to the same rules including hull weights etc. then you risk creating another MRX type clone. To be called a Merlin Rocket it should meet the current Class rules.
Rod & Jo
'risk creating a MRX type clone' sounds a touch derogatory don't you think? Perhaps a good idea to suggest to the USA man to build the MRX instead and therefore avoid all the problems of duplicating the class overseas thinking how are you going to cope with same/differant class rules...? The MRX will then give you/them Merlin Rocket sailing for CONSIDERABLY LESS MONEY! The same 'thrills and spills' with nice clean modern lines; don't you think the clinker design and the 'kink' in the sail is now looking a tad 'quaint', and as for bouyancy bags! Worth a thought... but there again perhaps I'm a bit biased......
There is nothing stopping anyone simplifying the rig, if they want to spend the time and money optimising an automatic response rig (I started down that route with Selden, but kids got in the way), and stay within the Rules. I am sure that Keith could come up with some ideas to take out costs of the hull build - why have a seperate tank / case mould - integrate it into the deck and have a full height front bulkhead with a tube for the kite ... loads of potential. Don't take any weight out as it will only reduce the competitive weight range for the helm & crew.
I think that it is all stated in the first line of Keith's posting. "The Merlin Rocket has a global reputation."
Pete, the problem on the other side of the Atlantic is that they have no critical mass of MRs on which to build - do you initiate a new class which is honed to perfection, but costs a bomb, or do you try to offer something which is essentially the MR we know, but which is a simpler and more cost-effective option? I agree that reducing the weight would make the product 'out of class', but adding some prohibitions such as carbon spars and complex rig adjustment systems would still enable the US product to compete as a MR.
What they want is to create a class based on a merlin-esque development "window", but perhaps using a more modern hull shape?
There is a gap in the market (although unknown demand) in Australia for a 2 man hiking boat with spinnaker.
Jon, my perception is that it's the same scenario in the US.
Rod & Jo
A development class would be difficult to 'police' worldwide. Some of you may know that there were a number of older Merlins imported to France in the 90's. It was very chaotic; some of them ended up with trapezes being added etc.
is the first point to have an event in one of those countries to show the boat off?, if it build from there then let the individual countries have their individual rules for the rig only (not the hull design) and if international events are run, then run under a set of international rules which covers all elements of the hull and rig.
I think the thing to do is encourage them to build to existing designs as close to our rules as is possible at this stage.
I agree that further expansion of the class is to be encouraged, With Wicked Keith has made a good boat (That could be home built) this style of coat in the class should be encouraged over the Pond, after a few years of cheaper boats and home build the history shows that if a critical mass is achieved the the probuilt boats and class go from strength to strength E.G. Fireball, Miror etc). Lets encourage them to keep to the same rules as us even starting with alloy masts, hog stepped to keep costs down etc if they want and hope it will then bloom
Is there any realistic prospect of much racing between US and UK boats?
Having had slight involvement with albacore and mirror classes, both of which have world associations and suffer virtual atrophy in management, would advise caution. If you think it takes ages to get rules amendments agreed as we currently are, just go international and see what slow really means!!
Back to rear tanks, is there a rule on the size of the rear tank?.
Andy Hay - Business as Usual
Yes. 1100mm (max) from the aft face of the transom transom (Rule 15.e.ii) and with a surface that cannot divert water directly through the transom flaps (Rule 4.h.ii). The second is an interesting one. I have understood this to be in a "normally" floating trim, i.e. level for'd / aft. Nothing to stop you sitting on the transom to drain the boat though ...
The name 'Merlin Rocket' is a trademark of the RYA (how did that happen?), so I guess that means that any class that is created outside the MR Class Rules cannot be called a Merlin Rocket, which seems appropriate. A class conforming to the Class Rules but with additional prohibitions would therefore still be a Merlin Rocket.