27/10/2012 12:30:55
Keith Callaghan
A new Merlin Rocket was launched on 7 October at Deal in Kent. The boat was built by boatbuilder Simon Cory of CORY YACHTS, when he could spare himself from his 'commercial' work. I went to the launch, and I can say that Simon has made a superb job of the boat, which is of FRP foam plank construction, with a wood deck. He hopes to be able to offer a limited number of boats each year. This boat is to my HAZARDOUS ZERO-9 LITE design - very similar to MR3708 WICKED, but designed for lighter helms. It has less rocker in the aft run, and more freeboard and beam at the deck in the aft 1.5m or so. For photos of the boat, follow the link below.
27/10/2012 14:59:59
Robert Harris
Hi Keith. Sometimes I wish I was 40 years younger too, or maybe even 50 years! She looks like my sort of boat.

27/10/2012 20:17:12
Keith Callaghan
Ah! but Robert, we have so many memories! For example, my winter project is to rebuild MR 2209 HYDRA. You may not remember that particular boat, but I built her myself, for a clubmate at Up River YC, in 1969. A couple of months ago, a friend told me she was for sale on eBay, and I bought her. Everything that happened to me as a designer of Merlin Rockets originated from that boat, and I will spend many a happy hour in my shed this winter....
My first memory of you was at Aldenham in about 1968. I was crewing for Don Hearn in FLYING SPRAY (MR1821, a Proctor MkXV) and we got in your way (our fault entirely). You told us politely but firmly - several times - to remove ourselves, but we ignored you, until you told us to b****r off. That worked well enough!

27/10/2012 21:29:43
Andy Hay
She looks lovely. Interesting points:

1. no transom flaps - banking on staying upright! Although the tank is really high, so there will be quite a positive effect when she is full to the gunwales.
2. sledge for recovery - I guess that the bilge keels are superfluous with this system!!
3. aft tanks look so much better than the faded yellow pillows.

All in all very interesting, well done all.

How many kgs of lead was there?

27/10/2012 22:28:29
David Child
Congratulations to her designer and her builder. She is truly elegant, so nice to see a "cut in" waterline too.
I truly hope she is as fast as she is pretty.

28/10/2012 17:31:23
It's a pertinent question Andy, How much lead's in that boat?

28/10/2012 21:27:53
Keith Callaghan
Andy & Ben, Simon decided to go for a stronger layup in the hull instead of bolting lead into the boat, so it's got no correctors. I wondered about the aft tank/no drains setup myself, but have yet to quiz Simon on that.
David, thanks for the compliments - Simon is new to Merlin Rockets but his first thoughts on sailing her are "She's certainly fast when she's in the groove", but like all fast MRs it's not too easy keeping her there.

29/10/2012 09:05:11
She does look good and it will be interesting to see how see goes. 

With my yearbook hat on, is she different enough to use a MK2 against the design or is she simply going to be listed as the same as Wicked?

Also Do I list the builder as Simon Cory (SC) or Cory Yachts (CY).

Keith, if you can send me Simons details as a builder of this design I will add him to the list of builders in the yearbook.


29/10/2012 09:17:36
Is a sledge easier than wheel on shingle then? Never seen that before!

29/10/2012 09:29:38
Mark Barnes
The sled is due to the beach at Deal as it can be a pig for launching/recovery with a trolley. Interesting Keith picked up on the aft tank. I too thought it strange Simon had put no after drainage in the boat. I suspect there may be a retrofit there as there are two points:

1. with the rollers on the beach, if the transom gets pooped, there may be an issue of total weight on recovery overloading the hull structure and weight on the sled

2. capsizing, as the seas off Deal are bigger than a lake, freeboard recovery may well be slower and so drainage may become an issue in big seas.

On the plus side, the boat looks good and hopefully she'll match the Winders on pace and longevity. Shall be worth watching to see how she goes.

29/10/2012 10:01:59
Robert Harris
Oh dear Keith, I would have thought I was too young to use bad language in 1968! I'd learned how to by 1980 when I was close to being banned from yachting for swearing while I was chairman!

29/10/2012 11:51:26
RobH 3708
The lite version is very different in the stern section, quite a bit flatter but I'm sure Keith will confirm so I would say its a different design

29/10/2012 12:44:06
Piers 3671
Great to see another new design from Keith - as per the aft tank I would suggest rear tubes as per the Fireballs to drain if they are allowed in the rules.

29/10/2012 16:36:07
I don't think rear tubes are allowed, the size of the tank is also restricted, for obviouse reasons.

29/10/2012 19:15:54
Richard Saunderson
The rules suggest that tubes would be acceptable as long as they conform to the following:
(g) (i) There shall be a transom at the extreme aft end of the hull which
shall form part of the hull shell. It may have openings and
cutaways. The aft surface of the transom shall be flush with the
topsides and bottom.
(ii) No part of any opening or cutaway may lie within 40mm of the
outside of the skin of the hull except that no restriction is placed on the location of drain holes whose diameter does not exceed
30mm and of which not more than two are permitted.

Shabazzle has transom flaps as in the link below.
29/10/2012 19:29:40
Andy Hay - Business as Usual
Richard - Shabazzle has transom flaps, at a height greater than 40mm from the bottom surface of the hull = OK.

What Piers suggests would be a means to self-drain = NOT ALLOWED. We have 10mm (ish) drainage tubes through our aft tanks to remove the water that condensates under the cover. These have bungs in (at both ends) when sailing.

Our aft tanks have been pretty universally praised for making our already pretty boat more modern, cleaner and stiffer, but, yes, getting the size right when considering buoyancy, function of control lines and flotation when upright & capsized did provide me with a challenge that Jon Turner executed with his customary flair and attention to detail.

29/10/2012 19:52:50
My Simon Bagley NSM2 has a full width 'high-line' tank that is a pain to drain and I have been pondering the fitting of some tunnels with some self centering cones on elastic to act as flaps.  My reading of the rules is that this would be OK as long as the tunnel is more than 40mm from the outside skin throughout its length and as long as its introdcution doesn't compromise the bouyancy.

Has anyone doen this sort of thing?

29/10/2012 20:59:50
Chris M
Why not just put 2x 30mm tubes in?

30/10/2012 12:15:55
Jon E
What Chris Said.  Abd naje then carbon tubes - off-cuts from P&Bs off-cut bin..... or anyone else who makes spinny poles....

30/10/2012 12:52:58
ex Merlin
Larger tubes work well in a fireball, buoyancy tank is good? Merlin is a development class?
So develop the rules!

30/10/2012 13:58:25
RobH 3708
The Merlin Rocket is a 'Restricted' class not a full developemnet class

31/10/2012 12:47:37
ex Merlin
I don't think that alters the argument 
the other option is the soslow way: right the boat and stay in the water to minimise the amount scooped in. Then have to clamber in afterwards. Not ideal?

The experience of the fireball sailors in the other thread is unlikely to sell the boat to them which is a pity.

Does the 40mm rule have relevance to plastic boats? (or modern wooden construction)

31/10/2012 16:38:49
Piers 3671
If the tubes have flaps re the same as flaps on the current transoms what is the issue? Also if you can have 30mm holes for drainange the 30mm tubes again with flaps or tethered bungs?  as a safety isssue for drainage / getting up on a beach without damaging a hull ( or someones back)

31/10/2012 17:15:23
Chris M
The merlin's buoyancy and drainage is one of it's great strengths. Then boat flaotds with the board at water level so you can get on it. When righted the boat floats at water level so you can get in it. The boat doesn't sail away from you when righted. When the boat starts moving 90% of the water is gone in seconds in any reasonably modern boat.

If it ain't broke............

However in an aft tank boat drainage tubes with little flaps are a good think. And they are permitted up to 30mm. I think you'd find if you went any bigger you'd compromise the structure of the boat and seriously reduce the buoyancy provided by the tank where it's most useful.

03/11/2012 16:21:48
Spinnaker chute: 
Larger opening: less damage to the kite as its launched and recovered.
Behind the forestay, so the kits will drag across the forestay = more damage.
Jib further forward... a different balance in the rig? How much difference will this make?


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