As a new owner of 3613 (EZ Roller) we have taken our first step into the world of Merlins. First sail on Sunday at the Chichester winter series and was pleased not to come dead last in the Merlins! My thanks go to Alex and Mary (3696) for assisting us in rigging and some tips and how friendly they were. Must admit one of the best welcomes I've had to a new class, also to John Fildes who gave us a few insights.
A few questions for those in the know if you can point me in the right direction on some things I need to sort sooner rather than later.
1) slot gasket - we haven't turned the boat over to see how the gasket is fixed yet, but noticed a torrent of water pouring in on a reach so presume this needs changing, what is the current thought on gaskets? we previously had an RS400 which was a PITA of a job with glue and all sorts to stick on. Do the merlins have sailcloth gaskets with keel bands. If so any preference on where to buy from?
2) Jib Barber haulers - we appear to not have any of these though the fairlead and cleats are on the boat. Are these critical whilst learning the ropes, i.e is it something i can do at a later date without a huge impact on performance?
3) this is a specific question to the EZ roller. the Spinnaker ratchet blocks are just tied into the hull moulding with rope and not pad eye / deck bush as supposed to be, would anyone know if these were through bolted originally or screwed as there is no access to underneath the moulding to get a spanner if bolted! will a screw hold them in?
4) we need a new cover, do CT covers fit an EZ Roller there or thereabouts?
Sorry for bombarding with questions. We hope to do some of the circuit next year if we get to grips with the boat so look forward to meeting more of you!
sorry, one other thing
main halyard - ours is 1:1 and slipped quite a bit on sunday, I saw other boats were 2:1 is that the right way to have it?
1) Slot gasket. The bands are nailed on and need to be removed very carefully a bit at a time. Plenty of guides on YouTube on how to fit, local sailmakers will supply the gasket.
2) Jib Baber Haulers. In 20+ years in Merlin Rockets I find that their main use is to tie up the lowers for towing. They are not essential and add them either when you need to tie up the lowers for towing or find that you need the extra performance on two sail reaches - I may use them at Salcombe on the long two sailers but that's about it.
3) They are tied on because the moulding is very thin and either the bolts/screws pulled out or whoever fitted the boat anticipated that they would and tied them in place. This would have been ahead of its time, this method of fixing is now quite common in other classes.
4) Speak to Chris at Creation Covers and he will sort you out.
5) Welcome to the fleet :)
Thanks for the swift and comprehensive reply Chris.
Will go to with these suggestions. The kite blocks are definitely a bodge at the moment but think I can tidy up.
2:1 halyard - definate yes.
Nice one. Thanks
Stuart Bates 3615
Welcome to the fleet!
We have a 1:1 halyard that attaches to a hook at the base of the mast that has a 2:1 to the cleat, which is one option for you.
Jib Barberhaulers - we use ours quite a bit (on a lake), can be good as a way to tweak the jib quicker than getting the jib sheet. The idea is to reduce the twist on the jib on a reach, but pulling it on also acts like pulling the jib in, and the reverse when easing. Also good at keeping the jib behind the main on a run.
I've got the same set-up as Stuart. I discovered this year how ridiculously easy it is to put a loop in the middle of a piece of 12-strand Vectran. For when I pull on loads of cunningham & kicker I also have an old fashioned horned cleat below the clamcleat and wedge a knot on the 2:1 string under that and the problems with the main slipping down were finally solved.
Barber haulers - when you have worked out how to use all the other string including playing with your lowers then you could reinstate them.
P.S. if you are after a cheap cover, I probably still have a vinyl cover that could well fit your boat (Heaven Sent has the same width transom) squirrelled away though it could have shrunk a bit. Your best bet though is a new one from Chris at Creation Covers.
Thanks Andrew for the offer of the cover. I'll go for a new one I think as the boat will need a new paint job soon and that'll be one less thing to buy later on! Got lots of learning to do yet on boat handling then rig etc so the barbers can wait a while