Potential New Mould
Andy Hay - 3626 Business as Usual
I have been approached to take a mould off BAU. To different manufacturers have expressed an interest. Of course, the question then is whether there is a market for another epoxy / glass / carbon manufacturer in the Merlin fleet. I have no doubts that either manufacturer would make extremely competitive products for both cost and quality.
it's a free country.........
I doubt if it is that free! I suspect that a "copy" will need to be paid for / licensed in some way.
Well, yes, but there are no class imposed limits on who can build what and it seems that there are no designer imposed ones either given that CT derivatives have been built by at least 6 differant builders, some off of used frames/moulds.
We should encourage new designs and builders. CT & NSM2 were once new designs. More builders more choice. As a development class we need to develop. Otherwise the class stagnates and we start to look like a one design class.
I think it is a good idea. If someone wants to take a chance and go to the expense of a new mould then that is up to them. They then need to find buyers for it and again that is up to them.
There have been 'serious alternatives' but, in an almost Darwininan process, only one has survived. Discuss.
The only other mould available in the same budget range as a Winder is the Ticket to Ride. This has not been put in the hands of a top helm and proven to be a race winning boat. It is therefore not a serious alternative. Why would you buy an unproven boat for the cost of the same kit as everyone else has? If you can afford to do this then you go down a completly different route and do what Rob Holroyd has done and get Laurie or Kevin to build something different.
Out of interest does anybody have an idea for how much it would cost to build a mould?
Yes, you are taking a bit of a risk trying something else. The shape of Ticket to Ride was meant to be the same as Gangsta Paradise, not sure if a mould was taken though as the internals etc were based on the Easy Roller. Not that Easy Roller is a dog either, why would Phil King have had 2 of them otherwise?
Here's my tuppence-worth as a newcomer to the class...The attraction of the Merlin, in 2010, is that it is a class in which you can have your cake and eat it. There is the opportunity to have a punt on a new design/modification, if you have the funds, nerve and inclination, as well as a healthy 'body of the kirk' fleet which can race boat-on-boat, each being personalised (rather than the RS 'which grey one is mine?'situation). Would I have spent a significant amount on a used boat if I thought there was a danger of a potential shift in the market? No - did that with a Int 14 in the 80s!
I agree with Alistair that you would not want to invest this kind of money in a dead duck, however, the good thing about the Merlins is that although the rules allow development they prevent there from being a massive change that would put the older boats out of class. Even now you can still see NSM's and Summer Wines at the top of the fleet in the right conditions and some of them are regulars in the mid fleet.
Development and tweaking is what the Merlin class is all about.
Did this ever happen?
I'm keen to make it happen
No boats have been built, so I'd say it hasn't been done yet. Glen and Joe Richards thought of the hull changes and completed the work themselves being very able boat builders. Why try to take a mould from BAU when you could place an order today for a JR Superfast Jellyfish at the Boatyard at Beer? The JF boat has been designed by JR given the lessons and feedback learnt from BAU and put on the water to get decent results at both Champs and Salcombe in the last couple years. I'd be hesitant as BAU has changed a lot since it won the nationals in 09.
I think the biggest constraint with making a mould from a current perfectly good wooden hull would be that you would have to remove the deck to get a hull mould and I am very sure the current owner would not want to do that.
No, never progressed as I had zero interest. We bought BAU as a bench mark for another design I have been working on for years but never had a good reference. Olly - she is back in the garage and having my mods removed so she will return to 2009 trim, unless I have an offer on her first in which case she will go wherever her new owner takes her. Aside from the bilge keels, I believe that the changes were positive but just let down by the muppet on the helm. The one string and pole launchers were benefits for the crews that I have had. The aft tank has cleaned her up no end and makes her even more modern (and has no effect on hull shape either!).
May as well start laying up the mould now Andy.