8 and 161 were sold for a song earlier this year by Robbie Sampson. He has kept these boats in excellent condition for many years. Now 8 is up for sale again; £1700!
I do hope that this is not the blatant case of profiteering it would appear to be. Very sad that this goes on whilst genuine vintage merlin owners dedicate much love and cash towards keeping these boats alive.
I hope Mr Sampson will be included in the profit share if this proves to be the case.
There are many ways to view this situation. I for one would love to see the older classics fetching the kind of money I think they deserve. If a good Vintage boat was worth £1,500 - £2,000 then maybe more people would see a value in restoring them or not letting them rot in the first place.
It can only be profiteering if someone pays this money and it can only be a good thing if the values have come up to a sensible level. If it is not worth £1,700 then it will not sell. I don't recal buyers fighting over the boat when Robbie was selling it previously?
I would also suggest you ask the seller why they are selling it before jumping to conclusions. They might have a genuine reason for selling it and feel that if they got any less than what it is worth to them then they will not let it go.
I would not let Panatella go, but if someone offered me £3,000 for it I would be hard pushed to say no. However, despite the mods I have done and the carbon rig, I doubt it is worth that.
He is also selling 1230 (Proctor 14)on e-bay. Starting £300.
I met Mike, who is an enthusiast based at Axbridge (Cheddar) Reservoir, in June this year when I went to view a newer Merlin that he was selling. At that time Mike had a couple of other,very old, Merlins and he showed me one that he had spent much time and effort bringing up to a good standard; it looked very much like that advertised as '8'. I had no reason to doubt Mike's love of the boats or his work in sustaining interest in the older models, his efforts would probably shame many of us!
As to the value of these older boats, I agree it is simply what people are prepared to pay and I don't think it would benefit anyone to see them being advertised too cheaply.