Potential New Mould

15/04/2010 20:35:29
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.

If anyone wants to express an opinion, then please feel free to post or email me in confidence.

15/04/2010 20:37:01
Chris M
it's a free country.........

15/04/2010 21:11:49
I doubt if it is that free! I suspect that a "copy" will need to be paid for / licensed in some way.
The question with BAU is: Who should get the license fee? is it the original designer? Or Glynn? Or the chap(s) with a sharp saw?

15/04/2010 21:40:58
Chris M
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.

As for who gets the royalties for a "chopped up" boat - interesting!!

16/04/2010 07:53:14
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.

16/04/2010 08:45:37
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.

I think Daves boats have done wonders for the class and and are excellent boats well made and will have a good shelf life, but it would be nice if there was a serious alternative.

16/04/2010 09:22:51
There have been 'serious alternatives' but, in an almost Darwininan process, only one has survived. Discuss.

16/04/2010 10:18:23
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.

Anyone wanting to produce a competative new boat needs to have the right boat to take a mould from, such as Business as Usual, and needs one of the top helms on board from day one to help develop and then campaign the new boat. Only then would it be take seriously as an alternative. Even then it will need to be winning races consistantley to convince people it is the right choice when buying new. The longer the Winder domination goes on the more the resale arguement has validity.

That is my thoughts anyway. Other people may have a different opinion which they might like to share?

16/04/2010 10:25:19
Out of interest does anybody have an idea for how much it would cost to build a mould?

16/04/2010 10:31:57
Andrew M
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?

The surgery to the transom of BAU was pretty radical and obvious, making the shape unlike any other modern Merlin, much closer to the NSM2 in fact. I'm all for diversity and experiment, will watch with interest.

Some of this is fashion, always has been. See forum discussion on the Credit Card design. If a boat is sailed by someone who would have won anyway (Phil King)that doesn't really make everybody take notice, but when Graham Scroggie won in an early Canterbury Tales, that was the death-knell of the NSM4, Gnome etc. Thin Ice, Easy Roller and the Laurie Smart designs are just as good as the CT on their day but have never taken off for whatever reason.

16/04/2010 10:33:45
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!

16/04/2010 11:32:38
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. 

This is why we ruled on the winged rudders last year to prevent the class going the way of the N12, where a year old boat suddenly became uncompetative. A new affordable design that can compete against the Winders is not going to effect the resale value of a Winder. What it might do is allow more to be built, and quicker?

16/04/2010 12:46:35
Development and tweaking is what the Merlin class is all about. 

If someone wants to do it then please allow them (especially given their building experience). This type of activity has been going on for years. Some more successful attempts than others. Especially if your contacts come in at a competitive price for the finished product - I feel that is the key. Lets let the builders concern themselves over the moulds and build costs.

I bet the class were very supportive when the Winder clan had a shot a few years ago.

22/12/2013 23:14:18
Did this ever happen?

23/12/2013 08:24:30
Gareth Griffiths
I'm keen to make it happen

Cost of moulding is not cheap. I think I would have to build and sell five boats to turn a profit.

23/12/2013 09:45:59
Olly Turner
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.
Or, for an alternative, speak to Uncle Jon about a new Genii!

23/12/2013 11:08:42
Gareth Griffiths
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.

I think there is a good reason to look into building a mould for a hull shape designed to carry more weight and be competitive hopefully faster than the winder boats.

I think the hull shape can't just be designed to sell against the winders for the same design brief. One that was designed to be an alternative would be more beneficial.

I work with Alex Newton, the builder of numerous TP 52s, Volvo 70s and open 60s. He also built the gold medal won I g star keelboat that Percy/Simpson won gold with in Beijing. Designed by Juan K.

Al has also built Fullpelt with Jo Richards.

Al and myself are very keen on building new Merlin's, cost of a mould and to do g the right design are the two issues. When discussing this we think that an adaptation of maybe a Thin Ice shape?

It would be easier to make a mould from drawings than from another boat.

If anyone is seriously interested please get in touch as we would love to be involved as builders.

23/12/2013 11:11:41
Gareth Griffiths
Alex's website..!

We are currently restoring the Ian Holt Biane wooden hull and I have some rope work to do on terabyte.

We are building dinghy booms in the new year and are keen to under take any carbon, glass or wooden modifications anyone requests.


23/12/2013 15:48:15
Andy Hay
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!).

Would I take a mould off BAU? Of course, but would consider waiting until Ben Archer whoops me in his new ship first. I also have one eye on the Rule changes that I have discussed at length which would enable CNC direct tooling technology become legal. I'd then go straight from computer to CNC mould in one step. Hopefully the class will support this when the time comes. Pat Blake was very supportive and had been given remit by the MROA to investigate, so things have finally started moving. Of course this is not a simple debate and a lot of head scratching and navel gazing will be required prior to any AGM proposal.

Jellyfish is unproven and until you have plastic one you are always compromised (due to panel stiffness, but that's another story). The new Winder shape is moving towards the BAU form, especially if Dave does what he was talking about when I spoke to him a month ago.

23/12/2013 18:30:35

Out of 12 races it has competed in at Salcombe it has won 5.
It finished second at Salcombe Week 2013 with Si and Chris.
5th at the Lyme Nationals in an unbelievably hard fleet and the best Champs results Si and I ever got.

Jellyfish is a prototype to test the concept, a plastic version would be lighter, stiffer and faster.

27/12/2013 16:57:16
Ben Archer
May as well start laying up the mould now Andy.


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