HI all, I'm looking at getting back into dinghy sailing after a bit of a break and one of the classes I'm looking at is the Merlin. Big fleets and good social are very desirable!
I'm after some advice on potential designs, from reading other threads it seems a winder is the way to go to be up there. Do they carry weight reasonably well at the back, and would something like "a make it so" be an alternative?
I'm pretty sure I'll have to look at possibly a stiffer spar and sails cut for more power but this is pretty academic if I make the wrong choice of hull.
Pete Scott had a Make it So (Smart Cookie i think) and he did ok with it from what I remember though it was a long time ago.
Winder boats are more sought after, but this could be an opportunity to save some cash. If you want a stiffer mast chances are they will come with a Superspar which is stiffer than the current norm.
I suppose it boils down to whether you want a boat that you can just sail "off the peg" and copy known settings from other boats or whether you're happy to potentially have to spend some time setting the boat up from feel and advice. The postition of the shroud base varies between builders which means that spreader settings also vary.
The 'make it So' boats are very fast in the right hands and very beautiful as well. They were built by Laurie Smart who has a wealth of boat building experience especially with Merlin Rockets and is a true professional craftsman when it comes to building boats in wood. See link of Laurie building Rob Holroyds boat 3708 'Wicked' about 2 years ago.
'Make it So' (3556) was the original of this design and Lauries own boat up until a few years ago. 3559 & 3566 are all the same design so the pictures of Smart Cookie can give you an idea of what to expect.
One thing you can guarantee with Laurie's boats, if looked after they will last a very, very long time indeed due to the exceptional build quality.
I have some pictures of Smart Cookie if you want me to email them to you?
The Make it So design is certainly quick and will certainly keep up with the winders in most conditions in the right hands. I am the owner of 3556 and purely looking to sell to buy a winder. Only reasons for that are as beautiful as my boat is with it's lovely wooden decks, it does need to be garaged to keep it nice and it does not have some of the nice modern touches like one string rake adjustment.
I am struggling for garage space these days so need to go plastic really.
My boat comes with a these days rare and sort after Proctor Carbon mast which is stiff but still light with beautiful bend charachteristics. They were prone to snapping but Laurie strengthened this one when he owned it with some extra carbon fibres running up the length of the mast. It survived the gusts yesterday which would lead me to believe it can survive anything!!
If you would like any further info from me about my Make it So, let me know. I would like to reinforce what immaculate condition she is in though, most people on the circuit could back me up on that one! bear in mind that the hull is quite bright in colour though. The link on the advert shows some pictures of her from this season :-)
Good luck finding a boat!
P.S. the price is negotiable
I can vouch that 'Make it So' is in very good order since the previous owner had it stripped bare and re finished in a 'bright' colour by paintcraft.
The Make it So's are equally as quick as the Winders in my opinion, if not maybe quicker in certain conditions but are only built in wood by Laurie and so not available in bulk like Winders.
I don't think Laurie has ever built a slow boat has he?
Incidentally I also own a Smart boat (3165) which was champion in 1980.
Owned two of the 'Make It So's' over time...
If I had the cash I would get a new build with updated internals/one string and all that tat no question.... Very slippery in the tacks but stable hull!
Pocket Rocket certainly had an extra gear at times ;)