Design Guide Query

26/06/2019 19:52:11

I've often thought that the Design Guide is probably required reading for anybody looking to join the Merlin class; the proliferation of designs must be very confusing for anybody looking to buy a secondhand boat on a specified budget. And yet, for every listing post Keith Callaghan designs the most essential piece of information is missing - the weight range for which the particular design is suitable. Is this just an unintentional omission, or is the thinking that modern rigs make hulls much more weight-adaptable? Or is there another a reason for it? 

26/06/2019 22:13:09
Chris Martin
Hi Derek,
The weight carrying ability of the hull seems to have been superseded by what you can do with the rig. Designs like the CT were originally thought to be exclusively the territory of light weights (IE sub 22 stone) and nowadays seem to be sailed fast with significantly more weigh aboard. It may well have always been the case but the good sailors in the class were lighter in the 90s?
Even flattening out the rocker line incrementally doesn't seem to have made much difference. The modified Mk4 with the fuller bow has been reported to be less weight tolerant but I'm not sure this is borne out by results and there are not that many of them around.
The Genii seems to go well with larger sailors aboard (Nick Craig/Alan Roberts, JT and Richard) and I'm not sure we've seen a proper campaign in the hands of a recognised lightweight team from this hull. So we don't really know what its weight range is like other than it's a match for its older stable mate.
We know what weight Keith's boats were designed for, but this doesn't always correlate to what happens. A class elder once commented that it seems every time someone designs a hull to carry weight they end up carrying less........

26/06/2019 23:12:07
Derik Palmer
Thanks for that Chris. You may well be right; at least, this exceedingly mediocre sailor was significantly lighter in the '90's... 


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